The Mediterranean is a European playground of gorgeous islands graced with a large variety of destinations offering crystalline waters and fantastic beaches. Some islands are known to have a peculiar, exotic charm that is reminiscent of tropical places, while others are more characteristically Mediterranean. There are those that are glamorous and cosmopolitan, others are still pretty authentic, remaining close to their traditional roots. And it is these latter islands that are less known, but fully capable of offering travelers who choose to visit them an experience that is fully imbued with sensationally visuals, scents, and sounds that are entirely bonafide. Here are three Mediterranean island recommendations for exactly that:
Varos village in Lemnos island
Set in the north Aegean sea, the island of Lemnos is a place where time has almost stood still. Local people and their habits have been shaped by customs and traditions that have formed the Lemnian character. An island whose coastline is an exceptionally intricate one, full of inlets, coves, and bays that give it a unique geomorphology, which visitors will be excited to explore. Apart from some fantastic beaches, and ones that are popular water sports hubs of activity, the inland part of Lemnos is also intriguing. There you will find sand dunes, salt lakes, a petrified forest, and natural springs. With a significant wine and cheese making culture, the local gastronomy is closely bound to its roots. Lemnos is a paradise for those who seek to reconnect with themselves, through discovering Lemnos where life is, perhaps, more meaningful. Fully representing the traditional character and warm hospitality of the island are the Varos Village traditional residences, where guests can actually be part of a real village and fully absorb its charming, bonafide aura.
Rethymnon town in Crete island
Although, Greece’s largest island, Crete greatly maintains its traditional personality, known throughout Greece as being one of the few places that has a distinctly different mentality that is entirely Cretan. Found between mainland Greece and the continent of Africa, Crete enjoys amazing climate and an astonishing coast that is without exaggeration, jaw-dropping. Rethymnon, which one of the four prefectures in Crete has not a couple but 20 amazing beaches. In addition to that, it is in itself one of the quaintest, most authentic places you can visit. Much like the other capital towns of Crete’s prefectures, Rethymnon boasts a picturesque harbour that is the coastal promenade laced with many tavernas, cafe-bars and restaurants that overlook an array of traditional fishing boats that bob along the water’s surface. However, as you begin to explore its labyrinth of alleyways, you will be seduced by its hidden charm. It is like opening an imaginary door into an entirely different world from the tranquility of the harbour. People are sauntering around observing the colorful shops and stores, eating, drinking, revelling. And in the midst of all this almost clandestine vivacity, you will come across some striking heritage, like the marvelous Rimondi fountain. For being able to soak up the bonafide vibes, Pepi Boutique Hotel offers a central location while also offering its guests an oasitic aura of tranquility in between its walls.
Limassol in Cyprus
The easternmost Mediterranean island, Cyprus is often overlooked as a summer destination. This is understandable as it has two strong contenders such as Greece and Turkey to be compared with. It provides a sensational alternative to either Mediterranean destinations, considering it is a mesh of both cultures, that has resulted in a striking identity of its own. One of its most popular locations for seaside holidays is Limassol, home to Harmony Bay Hotel which offers sea views as far as the eye can see. As the 3rd up-and-coming destination in the world according to Tripadvisor in 2014, today, Limassol has so much to offer that endless sea vistas. From cultural attractions that include almost a dozen Medieval castles, to archaeological museums that display antiquities as far back as the Neolithic Age and the Roman period, there is also a strong entertainment element in Limassol. Different kinds of festivals happen every year, with the most well-known being the wine festival that can be related back to pagan times. Catering to visitors of all ages, in Limassol youngsters can enjoy a trip to the Zoo or the Fasouri Waterpark, while as a family bonding activity, a leisurely walk in the verdant, public gardens as well as an adventure within nature at the Troodos Mountains will prove to be thrilling experiences for everyone.