Plenty of Brits looking to book a holiday will end up dreaming about hotspots in the Maldives with those iconic clear blue waters and white sanda.
Unfortunately for most of us the expense of a trip to the South Indian Ocean is far too costly. From hotels to seaplanes you could easily spend thousands on just a few days in the gorgeous honeymoon spot.
But, it seems there may be a way to enjoy the best attributes of the Maldives closer to home…
A beach area in Italy has been dubbed the “Maldives of Europe” thanks to its gorgeous natural beauty.
Maldive del Salento Pescoluse near Palombara sits at the heel of Italy and enjoys plenty of sunny days.
In the summertime, the region sees temperatures of around 30C so you won’t be afraid to jump in the water and cool off!
Photos show the beach to have glittering, clear blue water and yellow sand just like parts of the Maldives.
You can take boat rides out into the sea for more adventures like snorkelling or scuba diving.
Plus, you can explore the picturesque towns nearby like Otranto and Leuca.
On TripAdvisor, some holidaymakers raved about the stunning beach.
Daneila D said: “This beach is just beautiful! Although it was in the milddle of july it didn't feel as crowded as other beaches we went to. The water is clear and beautiful and the sand nice and white.”
Another person said the “sea is spectacular in its colour”.
A Spanish tourist added: “The beach goes on for miles. Sheer perfection. Loads of Lidos with well behaved people.
“Although busy it’s orderly. Clean sand, crystal clear waters. Amazing day on a perfect beach.”
While Hannah T noted: “I think people misunderstand the reason for the title ‘Maldives of Italy’.
“This isn't to do with the beach, but the clarity of the sea water. And for that reason, it is true. The sea is so clear, blue, warm and very shallow.
“You can walk out far and feel nothing under your feet but soft sand. Its to die for!”
Not everyone in the reviews said that the beach lived up to expectations – some noted that the towns nearby were “concrete jungles” while others said there was some rubbish on the beach.
Others thought the beach was the best in the area.
Beautiful seaside town proves a hit – and it's also one of the UK's poshest places
Soehail recommended visiting outside of the main tourist season and added: “People know this is the most nicest beach in the region, because it has a stretch of white sand and really blue sea.
“The beach bars are trendy but packed, and along the same coast you can find less packed places for as good value such as stunning rock formations with good beach bars.”
Italy isn't the only country that has been likened to the Maldives in recent weeks.
Palasë Beach, in Albania's riviera, was compared thanks to its "aqua" blue water and pretty white sand beaches.
You can stay in the region from as little as £15 per night.
Meanwhile, anyone who's desperate to stay in an overwater bungalow doesn't have to fly so far as Greece has its own overwater villas for guests.
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