Whether you’re looking for Caribbean-style beaches closer to home or want to indulge in a hefty dose of culture without the crowds, these alternative escapes are guaranteed to make your summer sizzle.
If you like the Caribbean, try Halkidiki
Best for… beach lovers
Gold sand, turquoise sea and waving palms… Halkidiki in Greece has all the charms of the Caribbean – just minus the nine-hour flight. What’s more, the three-fingered peninsula, which extends into the Aegean Sea, has a laid-back appeal that’s hard to beat. If you can bear to leave your lounger, Sithonia, the next peninsula along, has a wilder beauty with rugged mountains, deserted bays and the ancient city of Toroni to be explored. And a boat trip around the coastline of Unesco World Heritage Site Mount Athos, the third peninsula, is a must-do to catch a glimpse of its magnificent monasteries, which are off-limit to tourists.
Gold sand, turquoise sea and waving palms… Halkidiki has all the charms of the Caribbean – just minus the nine-hour flight
Where to stay
Kassandra, the western point and most developed of the three peninsulas, is home to Sani Resort, which overlooks Mount Olympus. Check-in to sophisticated Sani Beach and enjoy days relaxing on a dazzling white sand beach and evenings feasting on Greek meze, such as vine leaves in herbs, at oceanfront Verandah Restaurant.