When selecting your perfect Mediterranean cruise we understand the decision-making process may not be smooth sailing. From historical capital cities, charming coastal towns and serene sandy beaches, the Mediterranean offers it all. Embarking on one of our Mediterranean sailings, whether it be the East, West or both, you will experience the wonders that each unique port of call has to offer.
We consulted with our specialist Cruise Concierge and hand-picked what we consider to be the ten hidden gems of the Mediterranean, to accompany your chosen itinerary. We have highlighted ten niche excursions off the beaten track that will create an unforgettable and personalised cruising journey.
1.Take a tapas cooking class – Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is known for its cultural and artistic flair. This port of call has a lot to offer, including the opportunity to take a tapas cooking class, fully immersing yourself within Spanish style cuisine. Using fresh, quality ingredients chosen by you from La Boqueria Market, this creative personalised experience offers a cultural cuisine insight and a new skill to take home.
2. Experience a lavender day tour – Provence, France
Known for its diverse landscapes of alpine regions, coastal areas and winding vineyards, Provence is the perfect day trip if your itinerary allows it when visiting the elegant southern France. If you enjoy being immersed by the power of nature’s colour and beauty, a trip to the Lavender and Sunflower fields are not to be missed. Surrounded by the beautiful aromas of lavender, accompanied by the perfect backdrop to satisfy your picture-taking needs, it is the perfect excursion to experience nature’s creations.
Alternatively, for fine dining fanatics, take a trip to the quaint market town Aups, Provence and visit Maison De La Truffe, the truffle museum. Be part of a guided tour alongside a specialist, whilst an immersive tasting session is also available, where you will discover the perfect truffle for starter, main and dessert.
3. Create your own perfume – Nice, France
If you are seeking a personalised excursion a stop off at the Molinard perfume boutique in Nice is the perfect experimental experience to create your own unique scent. Matching your personal style and fragrance preference to your very own perfume souvenir, whilst learning about the different oils, scents and the history behind the ingredients used is an interesting and valuable excursion to be a part of.
4. Hotel Grande Bretagne – Athens, Greece
If Athens is a port on your itinerary, we recommend visiting Hotel Grande Bretagne a breath-taking luxury hotel with stunning views over the Acropolis valley, original Olympic Stadium and the surrounding precious, history-rich city.
Cruise Concierge Top Tip: 🔎 Dine on the GB Roof Graden Restaurant/ Patio for incredible views of the Acropolis, where former Prime Minister of the UK, Winston Churchill, would sit and relax.
If seeking something simpler the lanes throughout Athens city are worthy of a visit to experience their authentic, cobbled streets and historical features, bringing this ancient city to life.
5. Take a boat trip to Monemvasia – Monemvasia ,Greece
If your itinerary allows it, we recommend taking a short boat trip out to Monemvasia, Greece if you seek a secluded location, walking along unspoilt streets through a quaint medieval city. Take a walk around or up to the castle where you will be mesmerised by gorgeous sea views.
Cruise Concierge Top Tip: 🔎 Monemvasia has a small selection of dining locations available, including roof-top restaurants, offering mesmerising views. Some may say this portrays a Shirley Valentine story ambiance, for those familiar with the romantic comedy-drama film from 1989.
6. Local wine tasting – Santorini, Greece
Known for its stunning sea views and iconic, white-washed buildings, Santorini is a port of call for many of our Mediterranean cruises. During the 16th century the island was ruined by a volcanic eruption, and since then has recovered and blossomed into the stunning destination we visit today. A local wine-tasting experience is a recommended excursion when visiting this port due to Santorini’s grape vines growing within the islands volcanic soil and is said to give the wine a unique volcanic flavour!
7. Explore local farms tasting fresh olive oil – Crete, Greece
If your itinerary allows it visit Greece’s largest island, Crete. Its diverse environment and cultural monuments scattered over the island make it the perfect port to visit within your cruise itinerary. A hidden gem excursion involves exploring one of Crete’s local farms to taste fresh oil, crushed from the fresh olives grown within the orchards and ripened by the beautiful Cretan sun.
8. Experience monasteries in the sky – Meteora, Greece
Cruise Concierge Top Tip: 🔎 Meteora is a special location our concierge insisted must be mentioned when visiting central Greece! The stunning natural beauty of huge cliffs and rock pillars alongside the peaceful, spiritual monasteries are a sight to behold, purposely hidden amongst their surroundings to enforce serenity. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is of extreme importance to Greece and has been known as a holy place since 1995. This unique hidden gem from above is worth the visit.
9. Dive into Alexandria’s Classical Past – Egypt
For those of you who are interested in history beneath the water’s surface, taking a dive in Alexandria’s waters to witness the historic ancient Egyptian artifacts, statues and buildings is a must-do excursion. The sunken City of Cleopatra incorporates the entertainment of diving with an educational journey through sunken historic treasures that have many stories to tell. This excursion offers dives for both beginner and expert levels of diving, making it perfect whatever your abilities.
10. Experience a Solar Eclipse – At Sea
Another stunning display by nature to experience is an extremely rare solar eclipse which can be viewed on-board when at sea on a number of sailings, date dependant. A bucket list experience for many, this natural occurring excursion is one to look out for, whilst being positioned in the best viewing spot for maximum effect. The average cruisers will not experience something as spectacular as this, therefore it is definitely a hidden gem excursion!
This concludes our ten hidden gems of the Mediterranean, however, there are many more hidden gems waiting to be discovered and visited during any of our Mediterranean cruises.
Contact our dedicated Cruise Concierge to book your perfect Mediterranean Cruise.