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10 sun-drenched Mediterranean destinations for summer 2019

The Mediterranean is most people’s first choice when planning a holiday, and justifiably so. Golden beaches, scorching sunshine and a variety of cities, resorts and landscapes to suit all tastes – it is the ultimate summer destination. Although there are endless places to explore in this diverse area of Europe, here are 10 you can’t miss.

10 Mediterranean holiday destinations for 2019

1. Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Packed into a fairly small area, this beautiful Mediterranean region of France has a number of interesting towns and cities to explore. Inland you’ll find the fairy-tale, fortified city of Carcassonne along with the elegant city of Montpellier. Heading towards the coast, make a stop in Perpignan (the third largest city in Catalonia) and the picturesque port-town of Collioure with its intriguing blend of French and Spanish culture. What’s more, Languedoc-Roussillon is the world’s biggest wine region. Enough said?

Carcassonne, France - one of the best destinations for a Mediterranean holiday

2. Cadiz, Spain

Colourful boats in Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain - one of the best holiday destinations in the Mediterranean

Unjustifiably ignored by the masses, Cadiz is one of Andalucia’s (if not Spain’s) most beautiful cities (and provinces). From its main beach you can enjoy dramatic views of the city’s colourful buildings and its yellow-domed cathedral. Lose yourself in the narrow, cobbled streets where you can enjoy some seafood tapas and soak up its history.

More: The best places to visit in Spain: 10 must-see destinations

3. Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre in Italy by night - one of the best destinations to visit in the Med

The Italian Riviera’s ‘Five Lands’ (and more literally, ‘five villages’) of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore tumble into the Med from the cliffs of Liguria. If you like amazing Italian food, a laid back way of life and pebbled beaches, you’ll be more than happy to stroll around these pretty terracotta villages.

4. Majorca, Spain

Panoramic view of the verdant hills and the sea in Majorca, Spain

The Balearics (Majorca in particular) have always been a firm favourite for tourists from Ireland seeking summer sunshine because of its coastline. There are large beach resorts such as Alcudia and Palma Nova and traditional fishing villages such as the Cal Figuera. However, if you venture inland you’ll also discover beautiful countryside, rolling vineyards and peaceful olive groves.

Boats in Majorca, Spain - one of the top destinations to visit in the Mediterranean

More: Top things to do in Palma de Mallorca 2019

5. Dubrovnik, Croatia

The walled city of Dubrovnik - one of the best Mediterranean destinations for summer 2019

Dubrovnik‘s walled city is a labyrinth of marbled streets and baroque architecture. There are plenty of gorgeous beaches and islands to explore if you decide to venture outside the city walls. And you can take a cable car up the mountains and admire the electric blue waters and idyllic scenery.

More: The best secret beaches of the Mediterranean – and how to reach them

6. Corsica, France

Houses perched over a cliff in Corsica - one of the best holiday destinations in the Mediterranean

Having avoided over-development compared to many other Mediterranean beach destinations, Corsica still retains a sense of individuality. The island has some of the best beaches in Europe and dizzyingly beautiful scenery. Despite officially being part of France, Corsican culture is fiercely unique with locals clinging to their mantra: “Always conquered, never subdued”.

More: Love Islands: the most romantic island getaways in Europe

7. The Algarve, Portugal

Picturesque town by the beach in the Algarve, Portugal

300 days of sunshine a year. Good food. Friendly locals. Golden beaches enclosed by rugged limestone rocks. Yeah it may be where your great aunt and uncle go golfing every year, but Portugal’s southern coast is exceptionally stunning and full of hidden gems. Rent a car and explore the many white-washed villages and fishing towns.

Sun rays pierce the Algarve's rocky cliffs - top holiday destinations in the Med

More: 5 Beautiful beaches near Faro in the Algarve

8. Adriatic Coast – Montenegro

Panoramic view of Kotor, Montenegro at dusk - top holiday destinations in the Med

Montenegro’s beaches make it one of the fastest growing travel destinations in Europe, and one of the most intriguing in the Mediterranean. Visit the walled city of Kotor or climb to the nearby fortification for amazing views of the town and marina. Alternatively, go further along the coast and spend a day at the beach admiring the beautiful Sveti Stefan, a former fishing village that has been transformed into a luxury resort.

More: Discover Europe’s 10 smallest countries

9. Crete, Greece

Balos beach, Chania, Crete - one of the best holiday destinations in the Mediterranean for summer 2019

Crete’s 1000km of coastline make Greece’s largest island a hugely popular place to visit – and rightly so. It is an incredibly diverse island with fine beaches and incredible mountain ranges. The cities of Chania and Rethymno have charming Venetian architecture and outside the capital (Heraklion) you’ll find the ruins of the Minoan palace of Knossos.

10. Ionian Coast, Albania

What may appear as a surprising choice for many, given its reputation as an unwelcoming country during its Communist era, will make sense once you have explored Albania’s unspoiled coastline along the Ionian shore. Turquoise sea and a dramatic, mountainous landscape makes the coastal drive between the towns of Vlorë and Sarandë a must as along the way there are many beautiful beaches such as Dhermi, Himara, and Ksamili.

Beach flanked by verdant hills in Albania - one of the best destinations in the Med for summer 2019

More: The best secret beaches of the Med – and how to reach them

10 best Mediterranean holiday destinations for summer 2019

1. Languedoc-Roussillon, France
2. Cadiz, Spain
3. Cinque Terre, Italy
4. Majorca, Spain
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
6. Corsica, France
7. The Algarve, Portugal
8. Adriatic Coast – Montenegro
9. Crete, Greece
10. Ionian Coast, Albania

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