Prestige’s Guide to the Mediterranean Islands

The Mediterranean Sea hosts a plethora of enviable holiday destinations. The islands that are scattered across this 2.5 million km² ocean offer holidaymakers a fabulous climate, a healthy (and yet delicious) diet, as well as warm waters and sandy beaches straight out of a glossy brochure. But how do you choose between them?

With hundreds of inhabited islands in the Mediterranean, it can be difficult to narrow down where to stay on your next beach holiday. My team and I at Prestige Holidays have decided to put together a few destination suggestions to help you make your decision.

For Golf Aficionados – Mallorca 

In the western Med just off the east coast of Spain lie the Balearic Islands, the biggest of which is appropriately named Mallorca (from the Latin maior, meaning larger). This island is perennially the most popular summer holiday destination for the British public, and it’s not hard to work out why. Mallorca’s sweeping sandy beaches look out onto impossibly azure oceans, while Spanish flair touches its cuisine, nightlife and hospitality. Regular flights from all the major UK airports to Palma, which take around 2 and a half hours, make it an easy and accessible holiday getaway.

Whether you’re a serious sportsman or a happy hobbyist, if your idea of a relaxing break is a round – or ten – on some of the Mediterranean’s best golf courses, Mallorca is the island for you. Its mild year-round climate and rolling terrain lend itself perfectly to pristine courses which I’m sure you’ll be itching to explore.

Arabella Golf

I couldn’t talk about golf in Mallorca without mentioning the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel. This five-star Balearic beauty, just fifteen minutes from the centre of Palma, is the largest golf resort in Spain, offering no fewer than 63 holes over three courses and a 9-hole Pitch & Putt.

Son Vida, the island’s oldest golf course, challenges its players with steep inclines and narrow fairways; Son Muntaner is a modern professional course with a 36 handicap; hilly Son Quint, on the other hand, is a perfect challenge for beginners. Past guests have hugely appreciated the hotel’s excellent golf rates and complementary shuttle service, which ensure that you can try out all of them during your stay.

 

Collect your clubs and head for Mallorca for sun, sea and superb golf courses.

For Gastronomists and Oenophiles – Sicily

Moving east across the ocean from the Balearics will see you reach the largest island in the Mediterranean, sat snugly between North Africa and the toe of Italy’s boot: Sicily. Although technically part of Italy, Sicily has an identity all of its own. Its history, culture and cuisine have been shaped by its succession of foreign rulers, making it a fascinating as well as a beautiful holiday destination. Flights from the UK take around 3 hours, landing at the island’s Catania, Comiso and Palermo airports.

As someone with a passion for excellent food and drink, I cannot recommend Sicily highly enough to those who love to experience new places through their taste buds. Sicilian cuisine is an alluring blend of Italian, North African and Arabic culinary delights, almost always prepared for you with the freshest of local ingredients.

Sicilian Agriturismo

One way to experience and appreciate the island’s authentic cuisine is to stay in an agriturismo, a traditional farmhouse which shares its agricultural roots with its guests. One of my favourites in Sicily is the Relais Torre Marabino, originally a Saracen tower in the Baroque south east. With an organic farm and 30 acres of DOC vineyards onsite, this boutique property delights in educating its guests about local food and wine.

I would definitely urge you to book a four- or six-course gourmet dinner at the hotel’s Restaurant la Moresca during your stay, accompanied by the finest local Sicilian wines. It’s a truly special experience to be able to track the food you eat from the field outside your bedroom window to the exquisitely cooked creation on your plate.

 

An agriturismo is the perfect way to connect with Sicily’s rich culinary heritage, by exploring, learning and tasting.

For Peace Seekers – Gozo 

Located adrift in the Med to the south of Sicily are the islands of Malta and its smaller sister, Gozo. At just six by nine miles, Gozo is a green Eden in an ocean of blue. Largely unspoilt by tourism, this intimate little island is easily accessible from Malta by ferry. With a flight time to Malta of just over 3 hours and an ongoing journey of an hour and a half to reach Gozo, it is a little more difficult to get to than the other destinations on this list – but, my goodness, it’s worth it!

The pace of life is gloriously slow on this tiny island. If you’re searching for a Mediterranean hideaway to recharge your batteries, its sleepy villages, uncrowded beaches and gentle scenic walks are the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern-day life.

Restful Spa Retreat

Ta’ Cenc is one of just a handful of luxury five-star hotels on the island, and is easily my top pick for those seeking rest and relaxation. Set in 150 acres of peaceful countryside, this single-story stone hotel sprawls and hunkers down to blend in with the natural environment around it.

You can relax by the indoor-outdoor lagoon-style pool, or visit the hotel’s secluded rocky inlet at Il-Kantra for stunning views and swimming. The onsite wellness centre offers a sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy bath and Jacuzzi, as well as a selection of pampering treatments. We have had so many positive comments from clients who have called Ta’ Cenc the perfect luxury treat-yourself retreat.

Make Gozo your go-to chill-out destination and step back in time to an age when things moved at a much more relaxed pace.

If you have been persuaded to book one of our luxury hotels in the Mediterranean, or would like information about some of the other islands such as Crete, Malta or Cyprus, our sales team would be happy to take your call today.