With its picture postcard villages, relaxed lifestyle and unrivalled climate, it’s no wonder that the Mediterranean has become a default destination for holidaymakers. By using easyCar, however, you can drive the extra few miles it takes to escape the glitzy celebrity retreats or tourist honeypots, and find somewhere that feels like your only personal slice of paradise.
Here are just a few of the Med’s tucked-away beaches, guarded closely by the locals, all within driving distance from local airports or capitals of the region. Some are straightforward to locate, while others are quite remote, but sometimes you have to work a little harder to get that gorgeous stretch of coastline all to yourself!
Calanque d’En Vau, France
Hidden behind the extravagant resorts and film festivals of the French Riviera lay some of the most breathtaking beaches of the Mediterranean, largely untouched. Along the 10-mile stretch of coastline between the cities of Marseille and Cassis, just under an hour’s drive from Marseille Provence Airport (a location where you will be able to easily pick up your easyCar rental) along the A55/A50, there are a series of fjord-like inlets carved into the limestone cliffs. These hidden coves are called calanques, and En Vau ranks as the most stunning of the set.
Turquoise water runs up the white sand shore, while climbers dot the face of the surrounding cliff faces like flies on a wall. To reach a gem like this, though, you have to work a little! After the drive, you can park at La Maison Forestiere de la Gardiole; from here, it’s a 2-3 mile walk down a relatively steep path. Alternatively, park up in Cassis and jump onto a boat tour, making sure to bring a picnic and plenty of water as this hidden paradise doesn’t come with tourist facilities.
Maddalena Archipelago, Italy
The Maddalena Archipelago is a small string of islands on Sardinia’s northern coast, out of bounds to tourists until very recently. With barely a footprint to spoil the landscape, the beaches have been designated as a protected marine park, not only regulating the natural fauna of the local area but also keeping many of the islands’ pristine beaches free from development and the inevitable summer crowds.
To reach what is often described as a rugged version of the Caribbean, the local town of La Maddalena is only a 20-minute car ferry from the port town of Palau, itself only a 45-minute drive from Olbia Airport. So pick up your Italian easyCar rental car and head off to the islands. With world-class diving and pristine beaches on offer, as well as a scenic ferry ride and drive for the whole trip there, this really isn’t a trip with a single second wasted.
While Croatia boasts hundreds of beaches and islands, Kamenjak remains unblemished along the Istrian Peninsula. It’s the wild, rugged beauty of this undeveloped nature reserve, and the process of stepping into raw nature that refuses to be disturbed by humans, which allows this small part of the peninsula to gain its cult status amongst those who visit.
Located only a 45-minute drive south from Pula Airport, Kamenjak is fully accessible to cars, although all vehicles are charged a variable admission fee to enter the protected landscape from June through to September. Don’t forget your Croatian easyCar rental when you arrive.
Delimara Peninsula, Malta
From Malta International Airport, picking up your Maltese rental car, you can bypass the large tourist resorts and drive 20-minutes towards the Delimara Peninsula, where you’ll come across a number of stunning, natural swimming spots along the coast.
St. Peter’s Pool is nearby Delimara Point, with free parking located within 10 minutes of the spot in the nearby village of Marsaxlokk, renowned for its seafood restaurants and snorkeling opportunities.
The flat rocks around the pool provide the ideal opportunity for sunbathing while the high rocks shield you from the strong sunrays. Its secluded position means it rarely draws crowds of people, but this also means there are no tourist facilities nearby so make sure to pack all the necessities.
Cap de Favártix, Menorca
Menorca’s north coast is rugged and rocky, punctured by small, scenic coves and far less developed than the south. What this means, however, is that a little footwork and your own method of transportation will allow you to discover some of the Balearics’ best off-the-beaten-track beaches.
The drive up to Cap de Favártix from Aeropuerto de Menorca, a narrow, rocky cape at the northern extremity of the Parc Natural S’Albufera des Grau, is a scenic treat for the 45-minute journey. The last leg especially travels across a lunar landscape of black slate and, at the end of the road, a lighthouse stands watch over the relentless clash of ocean against cliff. Plenty of space to park in such a remote area!
South of the cape stretch some fine remote sandy bays and beaches, including Cala Presili, a perfect escape from the busier virgin beaches of the island, and Platja d’en Tortuga, perhaps the most beautiful beach on the eastern coast, both reachable only on foot once parked up.
The majority of these beaches are fiercely protected by the locals and so don’t come with the usual shuttle services to and from. As such a rental car with easyCar is near essential. Consider this for your next holiday, and find your own patch of heaven.