The Mediterranean boasts a number of the world’s most popular holiday destinations and is a firm favourite amongst hordes of cruisers. Droves of tourists flock to Mediterranean ports each and every year, aboard the many cruise vessels that dock in locations across this stunning region, which stretches from Portugal in the West, along southern Europe, to the Middle Eastern nations of Turkey and Israel. Within this vast expense of land lays an array of beautiful Mediterranean ports, each with wonderful climates and fascinating local cultures and attractions. To help you decide where to visit on your next Mediterranean cruise, we have compiled a list of the top 5 Mediterranean ports that you simply have to visit to truly appreciate.
The Greek island of Santorini, situated in the Aegean Sea within a group of islands known as the Cyclades, offers visitors a blissful escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The island’s stunning natural volcanic landscape is one of its main attractions. A combination of the dramatic cliffs, verdant countryside and wineries, alongside the magical sunsets on offer, creates an unforgettable atmosphere that has captured the imagination of visitors, drawing them back again and again. The island is also surrounding by a plethora of pristine and diverse beaches, with areas of both lively and peaceful shoreline as well as nude beaches for bolder holiday-makers. Wherever you go on the island, incredible scenery awaits you.
Santorini is also famous for its historic sites and picturesque towns and villages, brimming with ancient architecture and design. One of the islands must-see historic attractions is the 3,500 year old Minoan town of Akrotiri. The streets and buildings of this fascinating area have been preserved in volcanic ash over thousands of years, allowing visitors an insight into the islands rich culture and ancient heritage.
The vibrant and dynamic city of Barcelona is one of Spain’s most popular Mediterranean ports and is the capital of the Catalan region of the country. There is so much to see and do in this wonderful city that visitors may find it hard to fit everything in during a single sojourn. They should, however, attempt to experience as many of the major sights and attractions around Barcelona as possible.
Barcelona’s architecture and design is amongst some of the most astonishing and impressive in the world. Take time to observe the range of captivating structures and UNESCO World Heritage Sites that dominate the skyline of the city, including Gaudi’s unfinished cathedral, La Sagrada Familia and the ancient Temple of Augustus. Also, make sure to spend some time strolling along Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s bustling tree-lined pedestrian walkway, where you will find a wide selection of shops and stalls selling authentic local souvenirs and provisions.
Visitors shouldn’t forget to appreciate the Barcelona’s natural beauty, particularly along the coastline at the area’s many immaculate and fun-filled beaches. Also, just outside the city is Montserrat, an imposing mountain range offering spectacular views out over the entire region.
Located on the Adriatic Sea coast of southern Croatia is the old city of Dubrovnik, one of the region’s most splendid but often under-appreciated Mediterranean ports. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, the entire city has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which gives some idea of the fascinating culture and heritage found here. The city’s old town, ancient structures and intriguing museums are amongst the most popular tourist attractions in the area, offering visitors the chance to learn more about the city’s long and illustrious history. Spend some time in the old town to see a range of ancient structures including Roland’s Column, Sponza Palace and the excellent main street known as Placa Stradum, at which the old town truly comes to life. The old town is also surrounded by well-preserved city walls, on which tourists can walk to gain a unique perspective of the area.
Once you have experienced the brilliant history and culture of Dubrovnik, be sure to allow yourself some time on the faultless beaches that stretch along its coastline. Lapad Beach and Banje Beach offer a great place to relax in the sun or paddle in the ocean. Alternatively, a short boat journey to Lokrum Island is the best way to find a more secluded stretch of peaceful shoreline.
The ubiquitously romantic and ever-enthralling city of Venice is easily one of Italy’s most famous Mediterranean ports. This world-renowned destination has something for everyone, from bustling shops and markets to peaceful canal trips aboard a traditional Venetian gondola. Upon arrival in the city, the majority of tourists are astonished by the intricate interconnected canals and the many vessels that navigate them on a daily basis. Gondola rides are an essential part of a sojourn in Venice and a definitive once-in-a-lifetime experience. Walking tours of the city are also available, leading visitors to some of the area’s most recognisable sites and buildings.
Venice is full of wonderful architecture and impressive structures, the most significant of which include the Bell Tower of St. Mark, Saint Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. The city also boasts an array of fantastic museums, charting the regions fascinating Roman culture and history as well as displaying examples of priceless artwork.
The city also contains a plethora a world-class restaurants, at which tourists can sample authentic Venetian and Italian cuisine, lovingly prepared by the finest professional chefs. Guest can take a seat inside or outside at many sophisticated restaurants or order to go and eat standing up like a local.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Monte Carlo is a governmental and administrative area of the tiny state of Monaco, situated on the beautiful French Riviera. The area is often as viewed as a being reserved for the rich and famous, with notable residents including world-famous singer Shirley Bassey, Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton and renowned actor Roger Moore. However, potential cruisers should not be put off by this idea, as the region is often included on many cruises across southern Europe and is viewed by many as one of the ideal Mediterranean ports to experience during a voyage.
The area is home to a wide variety of extravagant structures and delightful attractions, such as the marvellous Prince’s Palace, which offers both guided tours and inspiring views across the region. Other important local buildings, each boasting its own tremendous features, include Monaco Cathedral, Monaco Opera House and the region’s verdant Exotic Gardens. Alternative excursions can involve trips to the astounding Oceanography Museum and Aquarium, the Marlborough Fine Arts Gallery and, for those tourists who happen to be feeling lucky, the world-famous Grand Casino.
These Mediterranean ports are just a select few of the most popular destinations across the Mediterranean, found on a wide range of cruise itineraries. Head over to the SixStarCruises site now to see the full list of deals and ports on offer with luxury cruises to the magical Mediterranean.