Savvy holidaymakers keen to get the most of their holiday budget and experiences should take a look at our pick of the Med’s best beaches
WITH time precious and money tight, who says you can’t still have it all this summer?
Savvy travellers keen to max their holiday budget and experiences are looking to the Med for a trip that offers the best of both worlds.
Here, LISA MINOT picks out the best cities that promise culture, history and charm as well as fabulous beaches to top up the tan and chill with a cocktail or two.
THE ancient port city of Cadiz is one of Spain’s oldest settlements, founded in 1100BC.
Centuries of history exist in the old town’s narrow streets, from grand mansions and public buildings to the historic dockyards and warehouses.
Go underground for more fascinating treasures at the Gadir achaeological site, where the remains of one of the world’s oldest cities have been uncovered, or at the Catacumbas del Beaterio, a network of old tunnels.
Get the best of both worlds by relaxing on one of five great beaches, including the sandy bay of La Caleta and the promenade-backed La Victoria with its bars and restaurants.
THE magical walled city of Dubrovnik in Croatia is the perfect mix of culture and beautiful white sandy beaches.
Known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with ancient palaces, medieval houses and historic churches that star as Game Of Thrones’ King’s Landing.
Don’t miss Buza – the cute bar that is cut into the city walls and has amazing views of the Adriatic.
For beach lovers, Slano is a beautiful bay with clear blue water while Lopud is known for its powdery golden sand.
The pebbly Banje Beach is just below the walls of the old town.
ISRAEL’S cosmopolitan second city comes with nine miles of fabulous sandy beaches and a 24-hour party culture.
This is a place where residents speak every language under the sun and where life is lived outdoors.
By day, get lost in the hustle and bustle of Carmel Market where the olives and oil are top notch.
Or alternatively, explore the flea market in Jaffa – which has been incorporated into the city – where you will find a maze of boutiques, pop-up bars and vintage finds.
The city beaches are at their best at sunrise and sunset.
Join the locals as they jog along the promenade or relax in one of the many beach bars over a cocktail.
CRUMBLING Italian charmer Naples is a classic southern city with archaeological treasures, narrow streets and ancient churches.
Its treasures go deep – don’t miss the underground tunnels that have sheltered the city residents since ancient times.
Explore the nearby sites of Pompeii and brooding volcano Vesuvius and, of course, indulge in a slice of pizza in the city where it was first baked.
Naples has small stone beaches but head to Bagnoli for a long stretch of sand.
The stunning island of Capri is just a short boat trip away while further up the coast lies Sorrento.
THE island’s capital is one of its best kept secrets as most UK visitors tend to choose the beaches of the south.
Venture to the north (just one hour away from Los Cristianos) and you’ll find streets packed with tapas bars and a mix of old and modern architecture, including the futuristic Auditorio de Tenerife by Santiago Calatrava Valls.
Just 7km from the city is Playa de las Teresitas – one of the island’s most amazing sandy beaches.
It is ideal for young families as it boasts a breakwater that protects swimmers from waves and strong currents.
PORTUGAL’S capital combines 21st century pleasures with thousands of years of history – and is great value for Brits hit by the plunging Pound.
Soak up the Baroque architecture, stroll through the cobbled streets of Alfama or take the weight off by jumping aboard the popular 28 tram.
Don’t miss the Museu Berardo for the best of modern art then swap culture for the beaches just 20 minutes from the city centre on the Costa da Caparica.
There are nine miles of golden sand – Castelo and Bela Vista are the most popular, and Praia de Sao Joao is one of the quietest.