If you’re looking for the perfectly luxurious holiday destination within reasonable flying time of the UK, there is a wealth of destinations to choose from. The Mediterranean coastline offers a whole host of gorgeously sandy beaches, quaint towns and villages and cultural delights just waiting to be explored.
With so much choice, you might think it impossible to find the very best spots for your next trip abroad. But as with many things in life, if you really are serious about getting the very best, simply follow in the footsteps of the celebrities. Not all famous faces head to the Caribbean or Indonesia for their luxury breaks. Many are partial to a bit of Mediterranean sunshine, too. Read on to discover why.
The Balearic island of Mallorca attracts more than just hedonistic clubbers. In high summer, it brims with all kind of holidaymakers, including various celebrity visitors looking to soak up some of the superb sun, sand and sangria this island has to offer.
The bar for celebrity holiday makers to Mallorca was set a long time ago, when in 1838 Frederic Chopin visited the island for a several months to shake off the winter blues. Today, the list of stars who frequent Mallorca is so extensive that a separate runway has been built on the island to accommodate the private jets.
Recently spotted famous faces in Mallorca include Joan Collins, Eva Longoria, Goldie Hawn and Antonio Banderas, to name just a handful. British celebrities are a common sight too, as the short flying time from the UK only adds to the island’s attraction. If you plan to visit, why not head down to the undeveloped and part-nudist beach of Es Trenc to catch a glimpse of glitterati, or hang out by the luxury marina at Puerto Portals and see the luxury yachts sail in to be moored. When it’s time to dine, take a tip from nineties supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who personally recommends the restaurant La Cuchara in Palma, which apparently does wonderful organic tapas.
Described by Homer as a “beautiful and rich land”, Corfu holds many attractions for tourists and celebrities alike. From stunning, unspoilt shorelines, top-of-the-range marinas and enchanting natural beauty to the buzzing nightlife and great hospitality, Corfu is a top choice for any discerning traveller.
The famous Corfu Villas which occupy the north east corner of the island have been under the ownership of the Cookson families for many years. The luxurious and exclusive nature of this secluded resort has attracted many famous faces over the years, from Jude Law to Bryan Ferry and even the Duke of Cambridge, who apparently learned to water ski while on his holidays here.
More recently the island has been visited by Kate Moss and Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter on a relaxing break from the limelight. If you plan to take advantage of one of the many cheap holidays to Corfu this year, take binoculars whenever you go to the beach, as you never know who will be sailing into the bay.
The Italian Riviera has long been the playground of the rich and famous, and the former fishing village of Portofino has become a celebrity retreat of the very highest class. Made legendary in the mid-20th century when Elizabeth Taylor brought four of her husbands here (not all at once, of course) and Ingrid Bergman, Frank Sinatra and Brigitte Bardot came to enjoy some down time, Portofino today is still a firm favourite with A-listers.
Just this summer, pop sensation Rihanna was spotted enjoying the local ice creams and cavorting on her boat off the coast, and Madonna chose to celebrate her 51st birthday in this sleepy and charming Italian village.
Many celebrities have their own villas in the town, including Giorgio Armani, and everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Steven Spielberg have enjoyed the delights of Portofino.
Naturally, you don’t need a celebrity budget to visit, but you might want to invest in some decent sunglasses if you don’t want to feel out of place on the beach. Whichever destination you choose, you’re guaranteed to feel like you’re getting a taste of paradise.
Photo: Stefan Kraft