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The Mediterranean is packed full of culture and history, all on our doorsteps waiting to be explored. One minute life will feel as if it’s passing by casually without a care in the world, the next minute there’s hustle and bustle everywhere with so much to see and do.
Each country in the Med has something different to offer, which makes it brilliant for cruising because you wake up to a new adventure everyday and a new culture to become immersed in. No day is ever the same in the Mediterranean..
The French Riviera is packed full of glamour, shopping and opportunities to people watch whilst you sip a glass of crisp, cold white wine in a pavement cafe. St Tropez, Cannes, Villefrance and Monte Carlos are all top spots and feature in most cruise itineraries.
As the most common cruise stop in the Med, Spain oozes culture and diversity. Barcelona is one of Spain’s largest ports and a leader in architecture and art. The Picasso Gallery and Gaudi’s unfinished cathedral, La Sagrada Familia features heavily on everybody’s list of sights to see, whilst open air cafes and street entertainers attract those looking for the laid back life. Other ports of call include Valencia, Malaga, Gibraltar and Seville. A little off mainland Spain are the Balearic Islands, with Palma being the starting point for many cruises.
Passion, pasta and pizza. What more could you want from a Mediterranean cruise than the chic elegance of Italy. Every port of call fills your senses with smells, sights and sounds you’re sure to remember forever. Florence and Venice are possibly the most romantic cities in Europe, whilst Pisa is a must see for the leaning tower. Milan will have you stepping out in style and Rome is full of ancient history. If all that sounds too much, just relax on the Amalfi Coast with a coffee and pastry whilst the world zips about around you. A sort trip away is Capri, the unspoilt island of picturesque villages and caves.
The islands of myths and legends whisk you back in time to pretty white wash villages and the birthplace of the Olympics. Athens bustles with energy whilst crystal clear blue waters surround Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes and Samos, inviting you in to cool down and take a dip in the Greek sunshine.
Maltese history and architecture spans back 6000 years, with the port of Valletta being seen as one of the safest natural havens in the Med. Malta’s size is a huge benefit as cruisers can get a real taste of the island in a short amount of time, often resulting in travellers returning for a longer holiday. The Maltese way of life is laid back, with mouth watering cuisine, historical sites and shopping. Relax and explore the churches, palaces and streets safe in the knowledge you’ve tasted Malta at it’s best before you board you cruise ship for the onwards journey.
Turkish ports of call include Istanbul, Bodrum and Kusadasi. Istanbul is a melting pot of culture, with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia. Istanbul once ruled all islands within 1000 miles and it’s monuments and mosques paint a storey of it’s colourful past. Bodrum has a hint of the French Riviera about it and also boasts one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Mausoleum. Kusadasi is a lively fishing port which serves as a great base for exploration of ancient cities.
No matter what time of year it is, you can always rely on warm weather in the Canaries with an annual average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius. Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote make up the most popular islands, with La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro making up the collection to seven very different destinations. Originating from volcanoes, landscapes are breathtaking with black sand beaches, forests and crystal clear waters. The islands are dotted with small villages which have stayed true to their cultural heritage and history where cruisers can taste their amazing cuisine and become carried away in the atmosphere of a local fiesta.
Limmasol, the most popular port in Cyprus is perfectly placed to explore the island of Cyprus. With a backdrop of the Troodos Mountains and archaeology dating back hundreds of years, Cyprus is another island you can get a really good feel for in just one day. You could go on a thrilling jeep safari to get to the heart of the mountains, or take a more laid back approach by visiting a local village to witness the true relaxed Cypriot way of life.