The treasures of the Mediterranean offer a tantalising taste of the cruise lifestyle.
And with 2.5 million km² of open waters, there’s plenty for you to explore.
From the beautiful coasts of Spain and France in the west, to the fascinating cultures found in eastern Europe and north Africa.
Whilst it’s unlikely you’ll get to see each and every country on one trip, a cruise will allow you to enjoy multiple countries in the same holiday.
Whether it’s your first cruise or your twentieth, there are gems to discover on all over the Med.
The region is rich in history, culture, UNESCO World Heritage sites and delicious cuisine – there really is an experience for every taste.
You can visit almost any combination of countries you like, but will typically stick to either the east or west side of the Mediterranean.
Here’s what each has to offer…
The Western Mediterranean offers a dazzling mix of beautiful architecture and world-class museums.
From the Vatican in Rome to Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, visitors to the west can feast their eyes on impressive constructions, many of which have deep religious significance.
Additionally, art lovers can explore exquisite collections such as that of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Dali Museum in Palamos. In a nutshell, culture vultures will find plenty to keep their interest levels high.
The epicurean traveller with a predilection for rustic French cuisine, creative Spanish tapas or hearty Italian comfort food will find a cruise of the Western Med caters to all their culinary desires.
Munch your way through Spanish paella, French pastries and the fresh seafood pastas that can be found all along the Italian coast.
All washed down with excellent wines or luxurious cava, of course – the perfect accompaniment to a seaside view.
The city slicker will be delighted with some of the ports of choice on a Western Mediterranean cruise.
Barcelona and Rome are two of the most popular embarkation and debarkation ports whilst locations like Florence and Monaco offer further opportunities to experience the beating heart of vibrant Europe.
Here are a couple of our favourite cruise routes, all of which can last between seven and 14 days.
Three of the most notable countries in Europe, each of which is filled with exciting things to see and do – including the famous Coliseum in Rome. Here you’ll find plenty of warm, sandy beaches, delicious dishes and welcoming people.
Another trip to Italy, but this time you’ll also be visiting some of the smaller areas of the Mediterranean. Monaco and Corsica have some truly beautiful, luxurious sights that we’re certain you’ll enjoy.
The Eastern Mediterranean possesses charms that are similar yet different to the west.
Here you can find just as much history and culture, but with Greece and Turkey onside, the opportunities for delving into the secrets of the ancient world through fascinating archaeological sites are more of a draw than sophisticated museums and galleries.
If crumbling ruins and sites steeped in mythology hold appeal for you, the famous Acropolis of Athens or rock-hewn Lycian Tombs of Dalyan will certainly satisfy your soul.
In terms of gastronomy, the east also has its own brand of delicious delights to offer with a focus on grilled seafood, roasted meats, kebabs, mezze and fresh salads.
Eateries tend to be like the towns – more rustic and earthy than the glossy destinations of the west. You are more likely to haggle for goods in a colourful street market in this part of the Med than spend an afternoon browsing boutique-lined streets.
However, the big draw of the Eastern Mediterranean is the glorious coastline that is a standard feature throughout. The crystalline waters of Croatia; the powder soft sands of Turkey; the rugged coastline of Greece – all make for a beach lover’s dream.
Expect embarkation ports such as Athens and Istanbul to grace an Eastern Mediterranean cruise itinerary, where you can marvel at the Parthenon and the Blue Mosque respectively.
Fancy a cruise in the eastern parts of the Med? Here are our recommendations…
Two fascinating countries, filled with intriguing history, architecture and culture. Although not a typical tourism hotspot, Albania will prove to be a wonderful visit, with its lush beaches and friendly residents. You’re certain to have an amazing time.
If you’re looking for a couple of island visits, the Malta and Sicily will prove to be right up your street. In addition to that, you can visit Montenegro, a fantastic country with lots to see and do. Kotor in particular is well worth a visit.
Whichever side of the Med you choose to pursue, there’s always next year to see how the other side live.
But one thing all trips have in common is the need for the correct travel insurance policy to cover you in case anything should go wrong. Use our free online comparison tool at Medical Travel Compared to get your Mediterranean cruise insurance quote today.