From a chic but cheap villa near St Tropez to a spectacular Victorian lighthouse perched on a clifftop in Sardinia
Ideal for active families, this riverfront retreat is hidden away in a blissfully remote area between Marmaris and Datca. When you tire of lounging about on the sand at the private beach club or using the handful of complimentary canoes, kayaks and mountain bikes to explore, there’s a basketball court, tennis, table tennis, pool table and games room. Some of the 36 elegant rooms have balconies over the river. After an active day, chill out next to the freshwater pool in the grounds where lots of hidden hammocks and sunloungers are dotted among the trees.
Details: Seven nights’ half board costs from £950pp in August including flights, transfers and a day’s gulet cruise (020 8605 3500,exclusiveescapes.co.uk)
2. Likya Gardens Hotel
Ideal for romantics, this adults-only hotel on the Turquoise Coast has private cabanas and plunge pools on the decks of its seven suites. Inside are plush velvet chaises longues, antique pine floors and marble en suites with roll-top baths and Acqua di Parma toiletries. Climb down the ladder for a dip in the sea or head to the complimentary beach club. Kalkan has a Blue Flag pebbly beach but Patara, a glorious stretch of sand, is within an easy drive and home to an ancient amphitheatre, temples and Roman baths.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £290 B&B (i-escape.com)
3. The Doria Hotel
Unique in an area known for its pebbly coves, this tiny hotel has a private beach made from sand imported from Patara, along the coast. There are ten newly revamped high-ceilinged rooms with superb sea views from their floor-to-ceiling windows, while some have hot tubs on their terraces with ladders leading down to the sea. The pretty harbour of Kas is a ten-minute walk or complimentary shuttle ride away.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B cost from £890pp including flights and transfers (0207 722 2288, elixirholidays.com)
4. Karia Bel
Mess about in the water at this hotel overlooking picturesque Bozburun Bay and only accessible by boat or take a day trip to the Greek island of Symi. Breakfast on bread cooked in the stone oven and finish the day with mezze and grilled fish overlooking the water. There are 13 light and bright rooms, all but one with private terraces and sea views.
Details: Doubles cost from £148 half board (greatsmallhotels.com)
5. Beyaz Yunus
It’s hard to beat the location of this Moorish-inspired hillside hotel overlooking world-famous Olu Deniz beach. Descend to the quieter end of the mile-long curve of sand and shingle or, for complete seclusion, a 15-minute amble leads to sandy Kidrak. Seven large suites (one with a private pool) have large terraces, hot tubs and magnificent views. Food is excellent (the owners are also restaurateurs) with lots of fresh fish and delicious meze. There’s an infinity pool, spa, sauna and cocktail bar.
Details: Seven nights’ half board from £1,050pp including flights and a day’s gulet cruise (020 8605 3500, exclusiveescapes.co.uk)
6. Bodrum Maya
Tucked away in a peaceful area of bustling Bodrum, yet only five minutes’ walk from the waterfront bars and restaurants, this 60-room hotel is part of Thomson’s Small and Friendly collection. The two-storey whitewashed building has simply furnished, light and bright rooms overlooking a lovely pool surrounded by pomegranate and citrus trees. Explore the 15th-century castle, people watch in the glittering marina or take a boat trip along the coast.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B cost from £486pp (based on four sharing) including flights (0871 231 4691, thomson.co.uk)
7. Mandarin Boutique Hotel
This intimate adult-only retreat in the sleepy hamlet of Faralya is just south of Butterfly Valley near Olu Deniz. There are eight elegantly furnished rooms, all with four-poster beds and hot tubs. Enjoy a lavish breakfast featuring home-made jam and eggs from the hotel’s chickens, in your room or on the terrace overlooking the pool and hot tub. A 10-room sister hotel, including two suites with their own pools, opens across the lane in May. The nearest rocky cove can be reached on foot while sandy beaches such as Kidrak are a short dolmus ride away.
Details: Seven nights’ half board is from £785pp (0208 847 8700,cachet-travel.co.uk)
8 La Boutique Maya
Opening in May, this 30-room hotel ticks the “budget” and the “boutique” boxes. Interiors will be light and airy while the penthouse suites have large terraces with a hot tub, sunloungers and an Ottoman veranda overlooking the pool. On the ground floor all of the rooms are swim-up. There’s a separate children’s pool, a restaurant and a bar. Olu Deniz’s beach is a 15-minute walk.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B costs from £675pp including flights (0844 273 0712, anatoliansky.co.uk)
9 Hostal Sa Rascassa
Begur, Costa Brava
Set amid pine trees overlooking the rocky cove of Cala d’Aiguafreda, this five-room hotel is renowned for its Catalan cuisine. Linger over grilled cuttlefish or white beans with clams on the terrace. In the summer, the restaurant runs a beach bar. The five contemporary rooms have rain showers. Visit the Dalí museum in Figueres and the beautiful town of Cadaqués.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £76 (00 34 972 622 845,hostalsarascassa.com)
10. Hilton Sa Torre
The child-friendly beach of Es Trenc, with its white sand and shallow waters, is a short drive from this traditional finca near Palma. Spread across several buildings dating to the 14th century, the rooms have high ceilings, contemporary furniture and smart bathrooms. One of the two pools is adapted for children and there’s a summer-only kids’ club and babysitting, so you can have a game of tennis or relax in the spa.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B from £799pp including flights (0844 573 2451, vhiphotels.co.uk)
This 100-year-old mansion near the island’s northwest coast has been beautifully restored with ornate plaster ceilings and a majestic marble staircase. The 12 rooms have original frescoes on the high ceilings, hardwood floors, accent wallpapers and Philippe Starck bathrooms. Take the short tram ride to Soller beach, hire a yacht to explore the spectacular coastline or chill out under the shady gazebo by the courtyard pool.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £87 (0034 971 634 075, avenida-hotel.com)
12. The Town House
This tiny Scandi-chic pension in Marbella’s Old Town is the perfect escape from the Costa del Sol’s bustling beaches, only a few minutes’ walk away. After a day at one of the chic beach clubs, return to this boutique haven with its pretty rooftop terrace where you can enjoy a sundowner and admire the jumble of old houses and views of La Concha mountain. Some of the nine elegant whitewashed rooms are set under the sloping eaves. Friendly staff can recommend local restaurants and there’s a top-notch hotel spa across the street.
Details: Doubles from £95 B&B (0034 952 90 17 91,townhousemarbella.com)
13. Finca Cortesin
Resembling a traditional Spanish finca from the outside, this rural hotel is more like a Moorish cloister on the inside, with Alhambra-like fountains and gardens. The 61 high-ceilinged suites feature travertine marble floors and there are six villas overlooking the 18-hole golf course. If you tire of the two pools, tennis courts and the spa, a shuttle bus will whisk you to the private beach club. The hotel’s family-friendly, with baby equipment, extra beds and a kids’ club for 4-12-year-olds (half-days are free).
Details: A week’s B&B costs from £1,825pp including flights (0208 682 5080, scottdunn.com)
14. Boutique Hotel Can Pico
Only 4km from the coast in a nature reserve, this restored 17th-century Catalan farmhouse oozes charm with beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls teamed with contemporary chandeliers and designer furniture. The nine rooms are light and airy with whitewashed walls and splashes of colourful modern art. Take a dip in the pool set in verdant gardens, explore the vineyard and try the local vintages in the wine cellar.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £88 (0034 872 201 800,casacanpico.com)
15. Insotel Punta Prima Prestige Resort & Spa
You get all the intimacy of a small hotel with the facilities of its larger sister when you stay at this 52-room property in Punta Prima, famed for its white-sand beach. The sister hotel has four kids’ clubs catering for 2 to 16-year-olds as well as a children’s pool, kids’ menus and a playground. While the little ones are being entertained, enjoy a massage in the spa or just laze by the pool. The 52 suites, some with sea views, are decorated in a fresh, country house hotel style and come with kitchenettes.
Details: Seven nights cost from £3,399 per family of three including half board, transfers and return flights (01293 731 566,sovereign.com)
16. Cap Rocat
A spectacular infinity pool has been built into the walls of this converted military fortress overlooking the bay of Palma. Sensitively restored, it has door handles fashioned out of bullets and old cannons transformed into tables. Beautiful limestone and marble has been used to great effect in the 24 swish suites, some with terraces and their own pools. Wake up for a morning yoga lesson on the private beach. The open-air waterfront Sea Club restaurant specialises in dishes cooked in a traditional firewood oven.
Details: B&B doubles cost from €450 (0034 971 74 78 78,caprocat.com)
This 21-room former finca is on an orange farm but has its own beach club at Cala Nova on the northeast coast. At one end is a shabby-chic beach bar, the other a funky restaurant. After soaking up the rays, return to this rural retreat where you can relax in the lush gardens or next to the pool. Rooms are decorated with Balinese and African furniture. Dine in the romantic tented restaurant featuring home-grown produce and enjoy a massage in the Balinese spa.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £122 (0034 971 33 88 38,atzaro.com)
18. Hotel Es Marès
A short ferry ride from its big, brash sister island of Ibiza, Formentera has white-sand beaches galore. This stylish retreat in St Francesc Xavier, a few minutes’ drive from the coast, makes an ideal base. The 18 whitewashed rooms feature the local sandstone alongside contemporary four posters. There’s an outdoor pool, sleek spa and alfresco seating area. The restaurant’s eclectic menu features wild Alaskan salmon and Kobe beef alongside local prawns and octopus. Go snorkelling in the crystal clear waters or windsurfing.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £114 (0034 971 323 216,hotelesmares.com)
Limestone, wood and natural fabrics have been used in this cluster of whitewashed former farm buildings between Mahón and Cuidadela. One of the nicest of the 27 rooms is Pool Cottage, with its private plunge pool and garden. The former store house is now a restaurant overseen by famed chef Paco Morales (don’t miss the estate lamb). If you can tear yourself away, have a sundowner at the cliffside Cova d’en Xoroi bar in nearby Cala en Porter.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £117 (0034 971 377211,torralbenc.com)
20. Tiara Yaktsa
Cannes, French Riviera
Watch the mega yachts weaving across the water from the infinity pool at this stylish Moroccan-themed hotel. There are 21 exotically decorated rooms with canopied beds and terracotta tiles. The penthouse suite has two terraces, both with hot tubs. Go label-hunting along Cannes’ La Croisette, visit the daily flower market or drive to the medieval hilltop village of Saint-Paul de Vence, which inspired Picasso and Matisse.
Details: Doubles from £179.66 room only (0330 100 3180,mrandmrssmith.com)
21. La Jabotte
Roman Abramovich’s mansion is just around the corner from this ten-room budget B&B near Antibes. The compact, brightly painted rooms with tiny bathrooms might not be to everyone’s taste but new owners Nathalie and Pierre couldn’t be more helpful. Eat breakfast in the leafy courtyard before strolling to nearby sandy Salis beach. Chic Antibes with its sleek yachts, 16th-century ramparts and narrow cobblestone streets is a ten-minute walk.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £62 (0033 493 614589, jabotte.com)
22. La Réserve Ramateulle
There’s a zen-like feel to the rooms at this chic hilltop hotel near glitzy Saint-Tropez. Crisp whites, chunky woven rugs and designer pieces create an understated elegance in the 28 rooms. Dotted around the grounds are 11 Provençal-style villas with pools and gardens. The spa specialises in Crème de la Mer treatments while the restaurant serves light and healthy dishes.
Details: Doubles cost from £572 room only (0033 494 449444,lareserve-ramatuelle.com)
This chic but cheap secluded villa near Saint-Tropez has a handful of eclectic rooms with king-size beds, exposed stone walls and antique tiled floors — some with incredible views of the Cap Nègre. Breakfast on freshly-squeezed orange juice, home-made yoghurt and freshly-baked croissants in the tropical garden within a few feet of the rocky coastline. If you want to feel the sand between your toes head to the Rayol-Canadel’s Plage de Pramousquier, a five-minute walk away. Amiable hosts Brunie and Virginie will recommend local restaurants and things to do.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £107 (0033 494 056115,plageron.com)
24. La Villa
There’s no need to take any of the baby paraphernalia when you stay at this chic resort near Calvi on the northwest coast. Everything from highchairs to blackout blinds and car-booster seats are provided. Older children will love the pool table, ping pong and games consoles. Adults aren’t forgotten with Michelin-star dining and a blissful Anne Semonin spa (babysitting can be arranged). There are 52 simply furnished rooms, some ideal for large broods with two and three bedrooms. Splash about in one of the three pools, one gated.
Details: Doubles cost from £168 room only (breakfast is £24). Extra beds for under-12s are £114 (0330 100 3183, smithandfamily.co.uk)
25. Hotel Le Pinarello
What this hotel’s exterior lacks in looks, it makes up for in location — a white-sand horseshoe bay only a few feet from the sea on Corsica’s southeast coast. Inside it’s more appealing with 34 rooms decked out in neutral tones, white bed linen, contemporary bathrooms and sliding glass doors leading on to a terrace. Have breakfast alfresco with the sound of gently lapping waves, go snorkelling in the clear waters off the beach or head 20km north into bustling Porto-Vecchio with its old town and marina lined with sleek yachts.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B costs from £786pp (01202 703500,justcorsica.co.uk)
26. Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel & Spa
Théoule-sur-Mer, French Riviera
Go sailing around the idyllic Lérins Islands from the beach at this chic hotel situated on the rocky coastline near Cannes and Saint-Tropez. Relax on a Balinese day bed next to the pool or try one of the cutting-edge Parisian spa treatments. Oriental-style rooms are decked out with dark wood furniture, velvet throws and limestone-clad bathrooms. Moya, the hip beachfront restaurant with its shady pergola and bar, is the place to dine on grilled fish and the signature steak tartare.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £122 B&B (00 33 4 93 750505,miramar-beachspa.tiara-hotels.com)
near Cagliari, Sardinia
This 19th-century working lighthouse is on a clifftop on the island’s south coast. Original features, such as arched brick ceilings and a cast-iron spiral staircase, are complemented by ornate mirrors and Murano chandeliers. An infinity pool has sunloungers fashioned out of old Turkish carts and glass gazebos where you can dine under the stars. The hotel shuttle will whisk you to Chia beach where you can horse ride along the sand to see flamingos at the lagoon. Cagliari is an hour’s drive away.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £390 (coolstays.com, reference 17077)
28. Monastera Santa Rosa
Perched on the cliff’s edge, this former 17th-century monastery couldn’t be further removed from its austere past with lavish bathrooms in 20 elegant suites. Lawns and gardens cascade from a dining terrace down to a spectacular cliff-edge infinity pool. The spa is created within a labyrinth of historic monastic spaces and outdoor pavilions with a double-height vaulted tepidarium.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B cost from £1,823pp including flights (020 8682 5080, scottdunn.com)
29. Hotel La Plage
A beach butler will bring drinks and snacks to your sunlounger at this seafront resort in the Isola Bella nature reserve near Catania. Stay in one of the 61 cottage-style rooms or suites with hammocks and hot tubs on private terraces or gardens. Take the cable car up to the centre of lively Taormina with its 13th-century duomo and Graeco-Roman amphitheatre. At night the hotel’s beach bar is the place to be.
Details: Seven nights cost from £535pp B&B including flights (0207 666 1234, westernoriental.com)
30. Praia Art Resort
Explore the natural attractions of this unspoilt region of southern Italy before returning to the comforts of this bijou hotel in a marine reserve on the Ionian coast. All 13 rooms have private terraces. The pièce de résistance is the bamboo-roofed restaurant, where you can tuck into traditional dishes with a modern twist, such as octopus ravioli and lamb with locally sourced liquorice from nearby Rossano. The sandy beach is 20 metres away. Visit the waterfalls at Valli Cupe or hike through the spectacular canyons at Sersale.
Details: B&B doubles are from £251 (00 39 0962 1902890,www.praiaartresort.com)
31. Hotel Cala del Porto
While most Brits head to Pisa or the tourist honeypots on the Costa d’Argento, few have discovered the charms of the unspoilt resort of Punta Ala. You’ll feel as if you’re in Ibiza at the hotel’s chic new beach club, a ten-minute walk through fragrant oleander and pines, where you can have a massage in the spa and listen to music from regular DJs and live bands. Choose from 40 country house-style rooms. There’s a lovely figure-of-eight pool.
Details: Doubles from £228 per night B&B (0039 0564 922455,baglionihotels.com)
32. La Sosta di Ottone III
Local slate, marble and wood have been used in the renovation of this listed house where Otto III is reported to have stayed in 996. Five bedrooms have parquet floors, iron beds and antiques. The beaches of Monterosso and Levanto are a five-minute drive away. Return to watch the sunset and admire the vista of olive groves and vine-clad hills.
Details: Doubles from £152 room only (00 39 0187 814502,sawdays.co.uk)
33. Palazzo Belmonte
Santa Maria di Castellabate, Amalfi Coast
This characterful 17th-century palazzo is set in five acres of gardens with a private stretch of golden sand. Light and airy rooms feature tiled floors and antiques. The most luxurious suites are in the adjacent Casa di Edoardo and have vaulted ceilings, some with terraces. Two villas on the estate are named after Prince Belmonte’s daughters (he resides in a wing of the hotel). Dine on fresh fish from the Gulf of Salerno and fusilli pasta and extra virgin oil from the estate.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B from £1,019pp including flights to Naples and car hire (01752 878045, expressionsholidays.co.uk)
34. Masseria Torre Coccaro
Enjoy a massage to the sound of gently lapping waves while your little ones are entertained in the beach mini-club (June to September) when you stay at this fortified farmhouse a short distance from the Adriatic. The owners have young children so they understand families’ needs. All the baby paraphernalia is supplied. Some of the 37 rooms are built into the rock and are decked out with baroque mirrors and antique furniture.
Details: B&B doubles from £174 based on a couple and baby sharing (0203 603 1160, babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk)
35. San Nicolas Hotel
It’s all about the view at this hillside retreat overlooking Mikros Gialos Bay. Choose from 17 light and bright rooms, some with private pools, hot tubs and sea views. Tuck into grilled fish and delicious salads at the Mare e Monti restaurant or head to a local taverna in Mikros Gialos with its traditional houses. The hotel has a private beach.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B from £854pp including flights and car hire (020 8459 0777, ionianislandholidays.com)
36. Boheme Hotel
Set in a crisp white building typical of the architecture of Mykonos, this chic retreat has 20 “boho-style” sea view suites with funky 1950s-style Acapulco chairs. Chill out on the sun deck next to the pool or have a massage. Start the evening with a cocktail created by the in-house mixologist before exploring Mykonos town with its pretty white houses along cobbled lanes.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £223 (0800 0482 314, slh.com)
Enjoy views of the island’s famous caldera from your private plunge pool at this minimalist haven carved out of the cliff top. There are 21 whitewashed rooms, 12 with their own plunge pool. The crowning glory is the two-bedroom villa, complete with its own pool, spa and private chef. At night have an aperitif by the infinity pool and admire the island’s twinkling lights before dining on contemporary Greek cuisine in the high-domed restaurant, or head to local taverna Aktaion for moussaka.
Details: Doubles cost from £282 including champagne breakfast (0030 22860 21300, gracehotels.com)
38. Aegean Suites Hotel
Friendly staff soon know you by name at this welcoming 20-room hotel a short walk from lively Skiathos town. The only downside is that there’s no lift to reach the top-floor suites. All of the elegant rooms are light and bright with cool tiled floors and pale drapes. Have a freshly squeezed juice or cocktail at the pool bar before a light lunch at Karavia, or fine dining at Pelagos.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B cost from £845pp including flights (0843 770 4526, sovereign.com)
39. Hotel Livadaki Village
Children have own section of the lagoon-style pool at this small hotel, a 15-minute walk from Scala’s sand and shingle beach on the south coast. The 32 rooms are decorated in neutral tones with french doors leading to a balcony or terrace with garden or sea views. Tuck into a continental buffet breakfast overlooking the pool where music is played throughout the day. A bar serves burgers and mezze. See the dramatic stalactites at the Drogarati Cave and visit Antisamos beach, immortalised in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B from £638pp (based on four sharing) including flights (0871 230 2555, thomson.co.uk)
Porto Heli, Peloponnese
A shuttle bus will whisk you to a stylish beach club from this hilltop resort inspired by classical Greek architecture. Reception overlooks an expansive reflection pool lined with a colonnade while a secondary area houses the Aman Spa and another pool. All the 38 high-ceilinged suites have pools and acres of marble and wood. Enjoy alfresco dining in the restaurant with three walls of floor-to-ceiling windows, or have a drink around the fire in the outdoor lounge. Bustling Porto Heli, with boat trips to Spetses, is a ten-minute drive.
Details: B&B doubles from £572 (00 800 2255 2626,amanresorts.com)
41. Elounda Gulf Villas and Suites
April marks the launch of an Ofsted-standard crèche and kids’ club at this upmarket hotel offering stupendous views across the bay of Mirabello. As well as baby gear from nappies to sterilisers, there’s a new outdoor play area, kids’ menus and a weekly entertainment night with barbecue. Accommodation ranges from one-room suites sleeping three plus a cot to glamorous four-bedroom spa villas with their own pools, saunas and hot tub.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £94 based on two adults and up to two children under 12 sharing a one-bedroom deluxe suite (0203 603 1160, babyfriendlyboltholes.co.uk)
42. The Royal Paradise Beach Resort and Spa
Built above a beautiful curve of fine sandy beach, this modern hotel is set around four low-rise buildings overlooking gardens, mountains, the pool or sea. Rooms are furnished with wood floors and sleek en suites; the best have hot tubs on the terrace. There’s an adult-only spa, seawater and separate kids’ pools. Hire a car to explore the island and its miles of sandy beaches, mountain villages and dense forests.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B from £766pp including flights to the mainland airport of Kavala and ferry transfers (0208 758 4758,sunvil.co.uk)
43. White Orchid
Guests often spot dolphins from this tiny, adult-only hotel above the Ionian Sea overlooking Corfu and Paxos. Acres of glass maximise the sense of light in eight contemporary suites. All have a terrace or balcony. Take a dip in the 12m infinity pool or walk to a nearby secluded cove. The dramatic gorges of Zagoria and the monasteries at Meteora are in easy reach, with traditional tavernas a five-minute drive.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B from £866pp including return flights to Corfu, ferry transfers and car hire (020 3627 4822,simpsontravel.com)
44. Ionian Sun
This chic hotel overlooking the unspoilt south coast beach of Lourdas is set to open in July. Acres of glass, stone and wood will be used in the 27 light and bright rooms, which include 12 suites. Original art will adorn the walls. Set in 20 acres of lush gardens, a pool restaurant will offer grilled fish and fresh pasta. Have a moonlit massage or yoga classes overlooking the sea.
Details: B&B doubles from £114 (0207 183 5383,uniquekefalonia.com)
Elsewhere in the Med
25. Londa Beach Hotel
Local antiques, Cypriot lace and olivewood door handles add character to the rooms at this stylish hotel on its own private beach near buzzing Limassol. Built in the 1980s, the hotel has been given a chic overhaul by Milanese designers. The Italian influence extends to the glass-fronted restaurant, which serves modern dishes including seafood, pasta and colourful salads. After dinner, have a cocktail at the poolside bar.
Details: Five nights’ B&B from £449pp including flights (01204 821419, destinology.co.uk)
46. Hotel Juliani
St Julian’s, Malta
Watch the colourful fishing boats bobbing on the water from your balcony at this family-run seafront townhouse. There are 44 contemporary rooms. The pièce de résistance is the rooftop pool terrace with superb views. Try Zest, the hotel’s east meets west fusion restaurant, or explore the town’s lively bars and restaurants. The baroque capital of Valletta is 25 minutes’ drive away.
Details: Doubles from £72 room only (00356 2138 8000,hoteljuliani.com)
47. Thirtyseven hotel
Munxar, Gozo, Malta
Retired Milanese fashion designer Giuseppe has made his mark on this bijou hotel created from two stone farmhouses on the tiny Maltese island of Gozo. Bold modern art adorns ten eclectic rooms, some with exposed stone walls, Keralan teak beds and designer furniture. Lush courtyard gardens host exotic plants. Guiseppe’s wife Patti prepares fresh pasta and the day’s catch. Descend to a Napoleonic fort or follow the path to Dwejra Bay on the island’s emerald-coloured “inland sea”.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B from £1,160pp including five dinners, picnics and return ferry/taxi from Malta airport (01653 617000,inntravel.co.uk)
48. Villa Orsula
Set in pretty terraced gardens cascading down to the sea, this 1930s red-roofed villa is the perfect retreat from Dubrovnik’s bustling Old Town. All 13 rooms have been given a boutique overhaul and are decked out with rich chocolate fabrics and furnishings. The public areas still have a glamorous air with soaring arches dominating the lobby and old pictures capturing the city’s distinctive medieval architecture.
Details: Five nights’ B&B cost from £1,107pp including flights (020 3642 2595, simpsonexclusive.com)
49. Bracka Perla
Reached via a 45-minute ferry ride from Split, this tiny hotel is on the edge of the port town of Supetar where 18th-century baroque buildings cluster around a horseshoe-shaped harbour. The 11 simply furnished rooms are brightly decorated and have lovely terraces overlooking the lush gardens and sea. Tuck into a buffet breakfast of cold meats, yoghurt, cheeses and fresh rolls in the glass-roofed restaurant before exploring the island.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £91 (00385 21 755 530,perlacroatia.com)
50. Forza Mare
near Kotor, Montenegro
Watch colourful shoals of fish from the romantic over-water restaurant at this delightful little hotel on the Bay of Kotor. The ten country-themed rooms are reached via a sleek staircase spiralling around a chandelier. There’s a bijou spa, secluded pool and private pebbled beach. Explore the walled city of Kotor or head into Lovcen national park.
Details: B&B doubles cost from £152 B&B (i-escape.com)