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The Ultimate Mediterranean Bucket List

Plus, the most luxurious hotels in Montenegro, Cyprus, Pantelleria, and Ile De Cavallo worth planning a trip around.

Plus, the hotels worth planning a trip around.
 

By Alexander Lobrano, Town & Country

ILE DE CAVALLO
[post_ads]Never heard of Cavallo? That’s the point. This tiny, beautiful car-free French island between Corsica and Sardinia (above) is often called the Mustique of the Mediterranean. You can come (by helicopter or ferry) only if you’re staying at the Hôtel & Spa des Pêcheurs, are renting a villa, or own a house, so even during high season the white sand beaches are nearly empty. Tips: Book a golf cart to get around the island well in advance. And although most of the regulars are Italian, that beautiful blond woman you spot out and about probably is Catherine Deneuve.

CYPRUS

If you do it right, you can have it all on this eastern Mediterranean island country: beach time, excellent sight- seeing, family activities. Spend a few days at the Anassa Hotel, on the west coast, an elegant but informal white pal- ace on a bluff overlooking a pri- vate beach; it has one of Europe’s best spas, and there are significant Greco-Roman ruins in nearby Paphos, a 2017 European Capital of Culture. Then head inland to Casale Panayiotis, a mountain village restyled as a luxurious rural hotel, for a dose of Cypriot culture and superb rustic cooking: grilled halloumi cheese with fig preserves, or seasonal vegetables stuffed with rice, meat, and herbs.
 
MONTENEGRO
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Because it was once difficult to get to, on a little-known section of the Balkan coast, the country has retained a shaggy, wild beauty. Though it charmed Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret back in the 1960s, it still comes off as a newcomer. Sveti Stefan, a former fishing village that is now an Aman resort, is one of the best hotels on the Mediterranean, with a fresh, rustic-chic decor: whitewashed or stone walls, wood beams, plank floors, earth-toned linens. It includes the original village, on a private peninsula surrounded by the Adriatic, and a grand stone villa on the mainland, formerly the summer residence of the Yugoslav royal family. Rooms in the villa have easy access to the private “Queen’s Beach,” patrolled by white-attired beach attendants. Kotor, a magnificent port on a UNESCO World Heritage Site fjord, is an easy daytrip.

MED MOROCCO

[post_ads]For ages no one thought of going to Morocco’s other coast. Yet its beaches are gorgeous, and the mash-up of Morocco and the Mediterranean is delicious. Channel Paul Bowles for a few days in fascinating but dusty, noisy Tangier, then repair for some R&R to the new all-villa Banyan Tree on Tamouda Bay, in Fnideq. It is in a glorious setting and has an excellent spa (a Banyan Tree signature) and three terrific restaurants. 

A short drive away is Tétouan, one of the most picturesque, and least known, towns in Morocco, with white houses spilling down a hillside and a UNESCO World Heritage Site medina.

PANTELLERIA

Giorgio Armani has had a house here for years, of course, but this tiny volcanic Italian island is still a bit of a secret. Not for long—there havebeen a few recent hotel openings, of which the best is the 20-suite Sikelia resort. Happily, the main attractions are still the drowsy dolce vita atmosphere, great seafood restaurants—don’t miss Osteria il Principe e il Pirata—and the stunning views: of Elephant’s Arch and, on a clear day, Tunisia. There is a small number of gorgeous villas for rent. Our favorite: villa Djenna, with a to-die-for infinity pool and fantastic kitchen.
 
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Travel Magazine: The Ultimate Mediterranean Bucket List
The Ultimate Mediterranean Bucket List
Plus, the most luxurious hotels in Montenegro, Cyprus, Pantelleria, and Ile De Cavallo worth planning a trip around.
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