Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mediterranean islands emerge as the top places to party

Source: Travelmole

The top 10 islands in the Mediterranean for August were Cyprus, Corfu, Crete, Sanrorini, Mykonos, Ibiza, Sicily, Majorca, Capri and Malta according to traveller popularity and TripAdvisor.

“All of these islands offer pristine beaches and their own unique features,” said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor. “Our travellers have identified the hot islands in the Med this summer, especially if you want sun, sea and dancing all night.”

Here's the definitive list of what was hot in August:

1. Cyprus, Republic of Cyprus
Visit Aphrodite’s birthplace in the eastern Mediterranean by heading to Cyprus, steeped in history and bustling with energy. No longer the package holiday location, the level of sophistication in hotels and restaurants has increased dramatically in recent years. Beaches are the draw for many visitors to the island, but so is the nocturnal activity with Ayia Napa being the town to party in for people of all ages. According to one TripAdvisor traveller, “We would have to say the Troodos Mountains were our highlight. You will know what we mean if you take the journey. Breathtaking!”

2. Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece
Corfu features a lush green landscape and serene, white beaches. Visit one of the Venetian fortresses, or relax under an olive tree, before enjoying the vibrant nightlife the island offers. According to one TripAdvisor traveller, “Nightlife in Corfu should just be called morning life.”

3. Crete, Greece
As the former centre of the Minoan civilization, it’s no wonder that Crete features a plethora of historical attractions including Knossos and Phaistos. Those in search of adventure on the largest Greek island can hike down Samaria Gorge for spectacular scenery. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Crete is an amazing place to explore ancient culture. From the ancient ruins at Knossos to the 'off the beaten track' historical sites at Olous (Elounda) and Kritsa.”

4. Santorini, Cyclades, Greece
In the south of the Aegean Sea, Santorini features dramatic cliffs overlooking a stunning caldera. Watch the breathtaking sunset in Fira, then head to the bars and nightclubs for an all-night extravaganza �" emerging in time to view the sunrise. One TripAdvisor traveller called it, “We visited the town of Fira, which is perched on the edge of a 260 meter cliff and offers a fantastic panorama of the volcano as well as the sunsets.”

5. Mykonos, Cyclades, Greece
Perhaps best known for its nightlife, Mykonos attracts famous DJs (and partygoers) to its plentiful bars and clubs on the island. Rejuvenate the next morning by strolling through the town of Mykonos and dining at a local taverna. As one TripAdvisor traveller commented, “Apart from the beaches, Mykonos is a place to dance all night long, then as soon I got out of bed, it was time again for nude sunbathing.”

6. Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
Visit the party Mecca of Ibiza and feel honored by joining the thousands of revelers at Privilege, the largest club in the world. Besides the vast nightlife, check out one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as God’s Finger, a large rock at the entrance of Benirras Bay. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “After last year’s amazing time in Ibiza I returned for another year of amazing music, happy people, amazing weather, beautiful beaches, mental nightlife and all the rest.”

7. Sicily, Italy
The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has the three Cs �" culture, cuisine and calm. Laden with orange and lemon orchards, the countryside of Sicily boasts spectacular natural beauty �" great for relaxing. One TripAdvisor traveller recommended, “If you are in Sicily, go on the sunset tour of Mount Etna. You are brought up in 4x4s and can see the steaming ground and smell the sulfur.”

8. Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
The largest island in Spain and part of the Balearic Islands, Majorca features mountainous terrain and beautiful beaches �" the perfect escape for a holiday. Have a drink at the Abaco Bar housed in an old Majorcan manor house with a baroque-esque interior. As one TripAdvisor traveller put it, “Visit the Abaco bar - it's hidden behind giant wooden church-like doors, but inside it's a theatrical experience not to be missed!”

9. Capri, Campania, Italy
Off the coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula, Capri is an island of magical scenery. Take a boat through the not-to-be-missed Blue Grotto, a beautiful sea cave, apparently once used by Roman emperors as a personal bath. According to one TripAdvisor traveller, “The calm sea makes it easy to get into the grotto thru the cliff wall, and the sun shining gives the water the most beautiful blue colour.”

10. Malta, Republic of Malta
Steeped in culture and history, Malta also features beautiful beaches and secluded coves, making the island feel like paradise. Stroll along Dingli Cliffs, watching the sunset at the highest area in Malta or visit the impressive Hypogeum temple featuring the sleeping Venus of Malta at the entrance. As one TripAdvisor traveller said about Malta, “It has all the Mediterranean inducements: amazingly clear, blue, warm waters, blue skies, sidewalk cafes, good food and wine and charming villages.”

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