Med: Selling tips for five island hotspots

Med: Selling tips for five island hotspots

While they all have idyllic beaches and heaps of history, each Mediterranean island draws a different type of punter, be it families, clubbers, history buffs, empty-nesters, high rollers or the very active.

Here we look at what five major Mediterranean islands have to offer, and which type of holidaymaker to sell them to.


Overview: Cyprus offers clean, beautiful beaches, breathtaking mountain hikes (and ski runs), historic villages and grape-heavy slopes. Ancient ruins dot the island and the hubs – Paphos, Limassol, Larnaca and Nicosia – offer good restaurants and bars.

Why go there: Cyprus’s beaches are safe, clean and family friendly and there are is a wide range of excursions. Traditionally known as a bucket-and-spade destinations, its tourism chiefs have recently been focusing on the island’s food, culture and traditions.

Budget resort: Pernera, on the outskirts of Protaras, has three small sandy beaches and a selection of bars, restaurants and shops and is ideal for a beach holiday. The Seagull Apartments, 100 metres from the resort centre, is a good budget property.

High-end resort: Suggest the four-star RIU Cypria Resort in Paphos. With tourists feeling the euro pinch, its all-inclusive basis is appealing. There’s plenty to keep clients busy including three pools, gym, sauna, and tennis and squash courts.

Who to sell to: Cyprus can feel a bit expensive so it may suit empty-nesters with a yen for culture, as well as active types.

Sample package: Planet Holidays offers a week all-inclusive at the RIU Cypria for £899 per person including flights and transfers, departing June 7. (Tel: 0871 8712234;


Overview: There are more than 80 beaches to choose from on Ibiza as well as ultra-trendy bars and clubs and great restaurants.

Those seeking to escape the 24/7 partying can head to stunning rural locations such as Cala Comte, on the westernmost point of the island, or the pin-drop quiet pine forests between Playa d’en Bossa and Es Cavallet.

Why go: The island’s nightlife is unparalleled in its variety. And when you finally tire of the action, you can chill out in one of the hundreds of cool cafes or head back to your chic boutique hotel room to sleep it off.

Budget resort: The three-star Poniente Playa Apartments in the west-end of party hub San Antonio, are just 100 metres from the beach. Each has one or two bedrooms, with bathroom and terrace, and facilities include a pool, a children’s pool, sun terrace, laundry and mini market.

High-end resort: The swanky Cloud Nine suites at sophisticated eco-luxury Hotel Aguas offer exclusivity, while the hotel’s Revival Wellness Club will restore the most jaded of clubbers. And the funky rooftop Air Ibiza bar has spectacular views of the Mediterranean.

Who to sell to: From budget travellers to high-earning singletons and couples without children, the island pulls in anyone with a party animal fighting to get out.

Sample product: offers seven nights’ self-catering at the Poniente Playa Apartments from £120 per week, based on four adults sharing a one-bedroom apartment in May, accommodation only. Return transfers from £22 per person. (Tel: 0870 4233000;


Overview: Helped by the increase in low-cost flights, Malta is shaking off its reputation as a destination for the 50-plus crowd and its many charms, from historic Valletta and Mdina to the peaceful countryside of Rabat and the family-friendly beaches of Gozo, are getting due attention.

Why go there: Malta is reinventing itself for all markets. While it is still the unspoilt destination that has drawn the older tourist, staging events such as the Creamfields 2009 festival at Rabat and the annual Isle of MTV concert has helped attract a younger crowd.

Mellieha Bay at the north end is popular with families, while the Mediterraneo Marine Park at Bahar ic-Caghaq offers swimming with dolphins and sea lion watching, and the adjacent Splash and Fun water park has four water slides and a playground.

Budget resort: Suggest the Baystreet Hotel Complex in St George’s Bay, St Julian’s, just metres from the sandy beach. Features include a large terrace and pool area plus a casino, multi-screen cinema complex and bowling alley.

High-end resort: The five-star Meridien St Julian’s Hotel has high-end modern facilities in a quaint village setting.

Who to sell to: Malta is ideal for most clients but families are a good bet.

Sample product: offers seven nights at the four-star Bay Street Hotel in St Julian’s from £142 per person, bed and breakfast, twin-share, excluding flights. (Tel: 0871 4261680;


Overview: Rhodes is like a country all of its own. The varied destination has everything from great beaches, cultural sites and excellent nightlife to lush countryside, while authentic villages offer tourists the real Greek deal.

Why go there: The sunbed-littered beaches (Pefkos for intimate, Faliraki for super busy) will keep the fussiest of sun worshippers happy, while an afternoon spent exploring the winding streets of UNESCO World Heritage listed-Rhodes town, with its medieval fortifications and great shops, is a real treat.

Nature lovers should head for the rugged, unspoilt interior and send water sports fans to Kiotari and Faliraki.

Budget suggestion: The Achousa Apartments are in a quiet area of Faliraki, with local shops and bars, although the beach is about a 30-minute walk away.

High-end resort: Suggest Paradise Royal Mare hotel, just outside Kallithea on the north of the island. The all-inclusive hotel has eight pools, a children’s pool with
a water slide, its own beaches, entertainment, sports galore and some suites.

Who to sell to: Ideal for the client who wants a bit of everything, from great nightlife and restaurants, to good hiking and nature walks, to great shopping and top beaches.

Sample product: Olympic Holidays offers seven nights’ self-catering at the three-star Finas Hotel Apartments at Pefkos on Rhodes for £331 per adult, £307 for the first child and £325 for the second child, including transfers. The price is for a July 26 departure from Gatwick. (Tel: 0844 499 4449;


Overview: Touched by 16 different civilisations, Sicily’s history, culture, architecture, food and way of life are unique and the island is seemingly untouched by the 21st century. Even bustling Catania has a traditional ‘old-world’ feel.

Why go there: As tourists wander through the ruins of Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples, sip local wine in a peaceful village square cafe in Ragusa, marvel at the cathedral at Cefalu, stare in wonder at the brooding Mount Etna and enjoy the cosmopolitan flavour of Palermo, they will appreciate that Sicily really is a one off.

High-end resort: Suggest the five-star, antique-stuffed Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Flora in Taormina with its rooftop gourmet restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean and Mount Etna.

Budget resort: Offer the Grand Hotel Miramare in Taormina, just 400 metres from the town centre. Its prices may be budget but it still offers a pool, restaurant, air conditioning and balconies.

Who to sell to: Clients with a thirst for history, culture and learning.

Sample product: Kirker offers seven nights at the Grand Hotel Timeo and Villa Flora in Taormina from £2,045 per person, twin-share. Price includes return British Airways flights from Gatwick to Catania between June 27 and August 8, transfers and breakfast. (Tel: 020 7593 2288;


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