Mediterranean vacations are high on the list of vacation spots for travelers interested in ancient history and cultures, romantic scenery, beautiful landscapes, and lively cities. There are several locations that are always among the best Mediterranean trips, including such destinations as Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and France.
Each of these countries provides plenty of fascinating attractions and things to do, as well as multiple options to get there. If you travel to the Mediterranean by air, you’re most likely to have stops in major cities, including Madrid, Nice, and Rome among others. However, cruise vacations to the Mediterranean are also popular and a great way to see the beautiful region, and though they’re obviously limited to destinations along the coastline, there is still plenty to see. Depending on your cruise itinerary, common ports of call include Barcelona, St Tropez, Naples, Athens, and the Greek Islands such as Mykonos.
To experience the adventure of visiting multiple countries without driving or flying, a rail vacation is an option as well. The Eurail pass or a similar vacation deal often includes inland destinations on the continent, but it’s also possible to make sure your train trips include coastal destinations, though if you want to reach islands such as Sicily or Crete, it will be necessary to take a ferry or charter boat. Either way, these vacations are popular as both family trips and romantic getaways, depending on which destinations you add to the itinerary.
The best Mediterranean trips combine a variety of activities, such as swimming and boating in the Greek Islands, sightseeing in Athens, sunbathing in Monte Carlo, or strolling along the French Riviera. If you take a winter vacation, you can even enjoy both the beaches and ski vacations, if you visit destinations such as Val Gardena in Spain or Sestriere Italy, which hosted events during the 2006 Winter Olympics.
You can also plan your itinerary to travel to the Mediterranean for some of the best annual events, such as the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona Spain or the Carnival in Venice. Mediterranean vacations include opportunities to relax on beautiful beaches and islands, such as Capri, Sardinia, or Santorini, as well as the chance to see fascinating historical sites, museums, monuments, and architecture. For instance, visitors can learn about ancient history in Naples and Rome, or wander through the exotic city of Casablanca in Morocco.
Spain has some of the best sightseeing attractions for those interested in art and history, including the Prado Museum in Madrid, the thirteenth-century Moorish Alhambra in Granada, and the eighth-century Mosque of the Caliphs in Cordoba. In addition to famous Roman ruins such as the Colosseum in Rome, travelers to Italy can also see the preserved cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which were destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Although you can take Mediterranean vacations via airplanes or the railways at any time of year, the prime time for cruise vacations is between April and October, though some lines do offer trips year-round. If you’re planning to take a cruise, the trips usually range between one and two weeks in length, and you’ll have your choice of itinerary for the eastern or western Mediterranean regions, as well as Holy Land cruises that include stops in Egypt and Israel in addition to Mediterranean destinations.
Eastern travel to the Mediterranean focuses on Greece, Turkey, Italy, Bulgaria, and Croatia, while cruises to the western Mediterranean typically include ports of call in France, Spain, and Italy with additional ports in Morocco, Monaco, Tunisia, and Portugal. The Mediterranean is ideal for romantic vacations, anniversary celebrations, and honeymoons, with numerous resorts and luxury hotels as well as apartments and villa rentals providing private accommodations for your vacation.