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The Mediterranean coast and Balearic Islands boast glistening waters, sun-bleached cliffs, ancient ruins and idyllic villages, making for the perfect escape.

Best for Partying: Ibiza, The Balearic Islands

This island is synonymous with massive beach raves, but there are also plenty of refined clubs and bars to enjoy. If you’re big into clubbing, the south is the place for you. Known as the party capital of the world, the list of big venues and famous nights is endless. Here the action goes on all night. Wild gatherings on the beach, rowdy booze cruises at sunset, day-time fiestas, and world famous club nights. Toned bodies of the young and beautiful rub up against each other as alcohol flows and dance beats blare. There is nowhere in the world where you can pack more partying into the day, and all while getting a tan. The northern half of the island is more upmarket; here, sunset lounges and boutique hotel bars make up the nightlife. It is elegant and classy, reserved for the elite few who are in the know. But word is spreading. Get here quick to indulge in some Mediterranean glam before the riff-raff arrive.

What else? Enjoy a candlelit dinner under a medieval castle in Ibiza Old Town before exploring ancient rambling alleys and cobbled streets. The town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers spectacular panoramic views and comes to life at night with street artists and transvestites in platforms higher than Charlie Sheen after a bender.

Best for food: Amalfi Coast

You can’t talk about the Mediterranean without mentioning the food, which is probably one of the best-known cuisines in the world. The hot, dry summers and wet, rainy winters make perfect conditions for plump, sun soaked fruit and veg. And what a coastal cuisine also has to offer is incredible fresh fish. Although dishes are good across The Med, food fanatics love the Amalfi Coast for its range. Here, Italian classics can be found alongside traditional coastal dishes, and the recipes have been passed town for generations. The best of the fisherman’s catch drizzled in tangy olive oil, plump tomatoes that are to die for (believe us, you haven’t tried a tomato until you’ve eaten one on the Mediterranean coast), and juicy vegetables grilled to perfection. Spices are light, but that’s because the food’s natural flavours are enough and everything is fresh, fresh, fresh. Cetera, a small fishing village on the eastern edge of the coast has been specialising in catching and preserving anchovies for thousands of years. Just west is the town of Praiano, where grandmothers serve up homemade dishes from their kitchens – and only they know the secret ingredients. There’s no doubt about it: you’ll eat some of the best meals of your life along this idyllic stretch of Mediterranean coastline – and everything tastes better when you’re overlooking the sea.

What else? Hop on a local SITA bus for a stomach churning drive along towering roads carved into the cliffs. With sharp switchbacks and 500-foot drops into the glimmering Med, the trip is not for the faint hearted but the views are breathtaking.


Destination Guide: The magic of the Med
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