According to Dr Johnson, "the grand object of all travel is to see the shores of the Mediterranean" and 250 million people agreed with him last year.
How can the Mediterranean survive our infatuation with sun, sand and sea?
Julian Pettifer, who first travelled the shores of the Costas in the 1950s, revisits these now ravaged concrete shores and asks if the newly fashionable jewel of the Adriatic, Montenegro can learn from their mistakes.
He meets Canadian billionaire Peter Munk who is investing 500 million euros in the biggest inland sea marina in the Med.
His vision is, within two years, to turn Tivat marina into the "Monaco of the Adriatic" making space and facilities for up to 750 mega yachts.
His argument is that this is the only way to preserve the beauty of this small Balkan state, but is this massive foreign investment really in the interests of the Montegran environment and people?
Then Julian, to his surprise, finds that the Costa Brava, in places, is trying to retrieve some of its beauty. The package holidays are being pushed out in exchange for new conservation and diving holidays.
And the fishermen are on board too, turning their fishing boats into diving boats and reaping the rewards. Pettifer sails and swims around these newly established marine reserves that are encouraging a new type of visitor.
Is the only salvation for the Med to go up-market?
BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 30 August 2007 at 1102 BST.
It was repeated on Monday, 3 September at 2030 BST.
Reporter: Julian Pettifer
Producer: Daniel Tetlow