Porto Heli, Greece
Porto Heli on the northeastern Peloponnese coast isn’t known as the Greek Riviera for nothing. Its spectacular sheltered coves and crystal-clear sea have drawn Greece’s high society for decades, but the rest of the world has finally cottoned on to its charms. The jewel in its crown is the Amanzoe resort where, for a super spenny room rate, you can enjoy an experience as close to living life as a Grecian god as you can get.
Stay: From £767. aman.com
Getting there: Wizz Air flies from London Luton to Athens from £130 return. wizzair.com
Volosko, Opatija, Croatia
Hidden behind the boot of Italy, Croatia is a sleepier Mediterranean destination that needs your urgent attention – fewer crowds and better bang for your buck make it a must-visit right now.
Hotel Navis is a modern and oh-so stylish take on the luxury hotel. There’s a private pebble beach for sunbathing and a well-equipped spa for those hungry for further relaxation. If this is the face of budget luxury, we’re ready for our close-up.
Stay: From £109. hotel-navis.hr
Getting there: easyJet flies from London Gatwick to Pula from £255 return. easyjet.com
Il San Pietro di Positano
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi Coast is Hollywood glam at the best of times, but if you really have A-list aspirations there’s one Italian blockbuster not to be missed.
Carved out of a rocky promontory, Il San Pietro is a breathtaking cluster of bedrooms and suites looking out towards the deep-blue sea. There are few hotels in the world with views this good.
Stay: From £537. ilsanpietro.it
Getting there: easyJet flies from London Luton to Naples from £83 return. easyjet.com
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc
Cap d’Antibes, France
The Cote d’Azur is a go-to destination for Mediterranean luxury, not least because it’s home to the sumptuous Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. This grand 19th-century mansion takes the phrase ‘gilding the lily’ and throws the (golden) kitchen sink at it.
But the treat really comes when you leave your room: 33 seafront cabanas for private lounging in the sun and nine acres of landscaped gardens create a five-star bubble you won’t want to leave.
Stay: From £506. oetkercollection.com
Getting there: easyJet flies from Gatwick to Nice from £55 return. easyjet.com
Hillside Beach Club
Yes, Turkey does high-end luxury just as well as it does your Aunt Doreen’s package holiday sunburn fest. It’s home to the unspoilt Aegean coastline for a start, but also a crop of the most underrated luxury hotels in the Mediterranean, including Hillside Beach Club. Hidden among fragrant pines, the resort’s all-white spacious rooms look out onto the sapphire-blue waters of Kalemya Cove, while several secluded beaches wrestle for your attention with tempting spa and wellness packages.
Stay: From £1,560 for four nights. hillsidebeachclub.net
Getting there: Thomas Cook Airlines flies to Dalaman from £200 return. thomascookairlines.com
Aman Sveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
Take it from us: the scallop-shaped Queen’s Beach in Montenegro is probably up there as one of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever clap eyes on. There’s only one problem – in order to park your bum on its pristine sands, you'll have to book yourself in for a stay at the plush Aman Sveti Stefan. Of course, that’ll also give you access to an 80-acre estate that was once a royal residence, views over mountains blanketed in pine trees, a mind-blowing clifftop pool and Aman’s trademark excellent spa. No, that doesn’t really sound like a 'problem' to us, either.
Stay: From £1,035pn. aman.com
Getting There: Montenegro Airlines flies from Gatwick to Tivat from £520 return. montenegroairlines.com
U Capu Biancu
Sometimes, having a stretch of golden sandy beach to yourself isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need two golden sandy beaches, an infinity pool and a wine cellar. When that need arises, check yourself into U Capu Biancu, a boutique hotel occupying prime position in Bonifacio, a gorgeous town at Corsica’s southern tip. When you’re not luxuriating in your copper bathtub with views over the bay, explore the rugged coastline with the hotel’s complimentary paddle boards
Stay: Around £400pn. ucapubiancu.com
Getting There: Air Corsica flies from Stansted to Calvi from £147 return. aircorsica.com
One look at ELIVI's heavenly white-washed rooms and wooden decks and you won't be able to resist – trust us. The resort is surrounded by the protected Black Swan Wetland, while the photo-worthy grounds are peppered with pine trees and olive groves. The residents-only beach sits on some of the most beautiful coast in the Sporades archipelago, too. Aaand relax.
Stay: From £169pn. elivihotels.com
Getting There: Thomas Cook Airlines flies from Gatwick to Skiathos from £265 return. thomascookairlines.com
If you're more about looking at outrageously blue water than actually swimming in it, Finca Cortesin in Andalucia is a bit of you. The hotel's Beach Club sits right on the water with a 35m Infinity pool, so at least it can look like you're frolicking in the waves (although of course you can actually swim in the sea should you be that way inclined). The Beach Club is also home to an excellent restaurant dishing up brilliant Mediterranean cooking, a bar serving swiggable cocktails and plush Balinese sun beds just begging to be lounged around on – all of which make the speedy courtesy shuttle bus journey absolutely worth it.
Stay: From £371pn. fincacortesin.com
Getting There: British Airways flies from Heathrow to Gibraltar from £105 return. britishairways.com