Cities along the Mediterranean offer year-round warm weather, fascinating history, diverse cultures, and stunning architecture. Also, many of the major cruise ship operators offer packages from various departure ports. So pack your bags, grab your phrase books and set sail for adventure. Here are some Amazing Stops to include on your Mediterranean Cruise!
1. Mykonos, Greece
- Country/Region: Greece/South Aegean
- Population (2011): 10,134
- Climate: Mediterranean
- Avg Summer High 28C
- Avg Winter High 15C
- Avg Sunny Days/Year: 300 Days
- Known for Whitewashed Buildings With Deep Blue Colors Matching The Surrounding Waters
If you’re looking for fun in the sun, then you’ll find it in Mykonos, with its party atmosphere and popular night spots. It's definitely now the place to be and be sure to visit the Windmills on the hill, enjoy a leisurely seaside meal and soak up the cosmopolitan vibe amid the traditional white-washed buildings. This is one stop where you’ll fall in love with some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean.
Mykonos town with a whitewashed windmill and a cruise ship, Mykonos island, Greece | Photo By Aetherial Images/Shutterstock
Little Venice, Mykonos Island, Greece | Photo By Pawel Kazmierczak/Shutterstock
Panagia Paraportiani church in Mykonos Town, Mykonos Island, Greece | Photo By Ppictures/Shutterstock
2. Venice, Italy
- Country/Region: Italy/Veneto
- Population (2011): 264,579
- Climate: Humid Subtropical
- Avg Summer High 27.7C
- Avg Winter High 6.6C
- Avg Sunny Days/Year: 188 Days
- Known for Canal Streets and hundreds of pedestrian footbridges spanning the canals. Be sure to get a water taxi from main train station to an area near your hotel. Finally, Murano glass made on the Venetian island of Murano and sold everywhere in Venice
Luxury Mediterranean Cruises often use Venice as their departure city. There are no roads, only canals as the city is built over 100 islands in a lagoon. This enchanting destination offers secret squares, Gothic architecture, museums and art on every corner, and don’t forget to take a ride on one of Venice’s famous gondolas along the canals. You’ll discover history seeping from every brick, vibrant nightlife, delicious Italian cuisine and fantastic shopping. For the best Mediterranean cruise - Venice has to be on the itinerary.
Grand Canal in Venice at the sunset, Venice, Italy | Photo By givaga/Shutterstock
Murano glass artworks on display on island of Murano, Venice, Italy | Photo By Volha Stasevich/Shutterstock
San Marco square in Venice, Italy early in the morning | Photo By martinho Smart/Shutterstock
Both long and short cruises will undoubtedly stop in Athens, the heart of ancient civilization. Discover one of the oldest cities in the world and marvel at such famous sites as the Acropolis and the Parthenon. Western civilization and democracy as we know it, is said to have been born here. The medieval Daphni Monastery is the second UNESCO World Heritage site in Athens and well worth a visit as it dates back to the 11th century. Athens will not disappoint with its heady mix of ancient and modern culture.
A Mediterranean cruise from U.S will bring you to the lively country of Spain and bustling Barcelona. If you love interesting architecture and art, then you’ll adore Barcelona, with its famous landmark - the Sagrada Familia church and many contemporary art galleries. It’s busy, vibrant and has been an important site since Roman times. Barcelona is dripping in culture, and the only trouble you’ll have is finding the time to fit in everything you want to see in this historic Spanish city and learning the flamenco, of course!
Monte Carlo, Monaco
For a truly magical Mediterranean experience, a luxury cruise that stops in Monte Carlo is an absolute must. You’ll be astounded by the glamorous beauty of this part of Monaco as it sits between the luscious mountains and the sparkling seas of the Med. You know it’s great by the sheer amount of rich and famous people that come here! It’s chic and stylish with incredibly beautiful gardens and luxurious hotels. If you want to strut your stuff, then a walk along the beach in Monte Carlo - it's the place to be seen.
You might not be familiar with this destination, but it’s situated in what has been called one of the five most stunning bays in the whole world. The Bay of Villefranche is simply gorgeous and offers a taste of a real French fishing village in the middle of the French Riviera. The sea is warm, the sand is soft, and the local fishermen sell their fresh catches of the day in the local market. The perfect place to explore for an authentic Mediterranean experience.
All small luxury cruises Mediterranean-bound will call at this ancient and influential city. With over 3000 years of culture, art and architecture on offer, you’ll have the ultimate Italian dream trip in this capital city. Must-see sights include the Colosseum, the Forum and the global center of the Roman Catholic religion, Vatican City. See Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in all its natural glory and the magnificent St Peter’s Basilica. Follow the cobbled streets, indulge in some world-famous local cuisine and soak up the gorgeous aroma of fresh Italian coffee on every corner.
Famous for its annual film festival, there is much more to Cannes, this gem on the French Riviera. Beautiful beaches, trendy boutiques and the chance to take a stroll where many celebrities have passed before on the tree-lined Boulevard de la Croisette. A stop off at Cannes is a must for luxury, European style with the benefit of palm trees and glorious sunshine.
This beautiful mountainous island combines coastal towns and beautiful forests. There are some amazing beaches to find, perfect trekking conditions and ideal diving spots. Along the coast, you’ll find lively bars, expensive yachts, narrow cobbled streets and very classy boutiques. Visit the battlements of the old citadel and enjoy watching the world go by while indulging in some fresh local cuisine. The island belongs to France but definitely retains its Italian flair.
Looking out over the Bay of Naples, Sorrento sits high on the cliffs, above the bustling marinas. Here you’ll find awe-inspiring views and wonderful cafes around the town square. It’s unashamedly beautiful, bursting with Italian culture and offers spectacular views of Mount Vesuvius in the distance. Visit the nearby Amalfi, renowned for its pretty charm and fragrant lemon groves. Mediterranean splendor at its finest!
These volcanic islands are part of Spain and offer an exciting mix of stark, rocky scenery and sparkling tourist beaches. Tenerife is the perfect location for star gazing, and the Canaries are also ideal for dolphin and whale watching. Tenerife’s Mount Teide is a World Heritage Site and the third tallest volcano on Earth. The climate here is mild all year-round, and the islands boast two national parks with World Heritage status.
A cruise in Mediterranean Sea all inclusive may include a stop in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Often not thought of as a Med destination but this city is a real gem, with a warm climate, fabulous blue waters and a UNESCO World Heritage award due to its ancient walls. The town is pedestrian-only, packed with quaint churches and medieval history while the beaches are world-class with excellent sporting facilities and unbeatable seafood. For stunning views, ride the Dubrovnik Cable Car and be sure to walk the entirety of the medieval walls.