Image: Magnificent Malta
Jim Seida /
Want to get off the beaten path? You can visit the historic Mediterranean island of Malta, with its ancient sights and prime beaches, for about $1,500.
updated 5/9/2007 5:57:04 PM ET 2007-05-09T21:57:04

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various through fall 2007

The deal
If you think a Mediterranean vacation isn't in your travel budget this summer, think again. We've scouted out three bargains that'll get you to the Med while going easy on your wallet. Book a vacation that packages air and hotel together, and you won't be stuck with surprises on your bill at the end of your trip. Prices start at $1359 for a 6-night Barcelona getaway; $1529 for a week in Malta; and $1849 for 9 nights in Spain, France, and Italy, including the French Riviera.

Barcelona bargain fling from just $1,359
Want to take in the colorful delights of Barcelona? With the stellar Virgin Vacations special we found, you can explore the Catalan capital for a song this summer. The six-day city break in question costs just $1,359 for departures between June 25 and July 12, with airfare from New York and lodging at a three-star hotel with convenient access to attractions. For just $20 extra, you can travel through June 25 or between July 13 and September 2. During the peak summer season, round-trip air alone could cost up to $1,000! Save even more by waiting till fall: between September 10 and October 31, you can enjoy the same inclusions and mild weather to boot for only $959!

Money saver to Malta from only $1,529
Want to get off the beaten path? We suggest the historic Mediterranean island of Malta, with its ancient sights and prime beaches. We found a terrific offer from Foreign Independent Tours that bundles your air, accommodation, and tours from $1,529. This gets you a breakfast-inclusive five-night sojourn at deluxe Golden Tulip Vivaldi in the resort town of St. Julian’s. Also covered is the flight from New York, D.C., or Boston plus your choice of two full-day tours or four half-day excursions to island highlights. The quoted price is valid for departures in the first half of June and in late October. Summer trips cost up to $1,999 — still a great deal if you consider the wallet-busting costs of peak-season air to Malta.

Mediterranean trio from only $1,849
To see several Med gems in one fell swoop, we recommend the three-country combo that starts at $1,849. This Virgin Vacations deal is chockablock with inclusions: airfare from New York (or your departure city of choice at low extra cost); a three-night sojourn in each of the following cities: Barcelona, Nice and Rome; first-class rail tickets between the destinations; and continental breakfast during your nine-night sojourn. The quoted price is valid for fall departures between September 10 and October 31, particularly recommended if you want to avoid high-season crowds. Want a summer fling? The trip cost of $2,209 is the max you’ll pay for all of the above, still saving you serious dollars by bundling air and hotel and pricing it all to go!

The dollars
All quoted pricing is based on double occupancy. The four packages outlined above exclude air taxes and fees but do cover hotel taxes and service charges.

The catch
Crowds of summer vacationers included too.

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