Mediterranean Cruises visit ports from Barcelona to Rome and beyond and generally last anywhere from 7 to 14 days. For many, it’s the cruise of a lifetime. The sights, the sounds, the atmosphere and cuisine are all among the best in the world. Some of these cruises set sail for the Western Mediterranean, some head to the Eastern Mediterranean and many of the longer Mediterranean cruises visit both areas. So, let’s take a look at the destinations, attractions and dining options that make the Mediterranean such an amazing cruise destination.
Destinations: Europe may be small in size but the history of this area is a long and storied tale. A Cruise on the Mediterranean Sea from Cyprus in the east to the Strait of Gibraltar in the west and all points in between offers a fantastic array of visuals. As you pass one of the 13 countries that border this large body of water, you’ll be thrust into the cultures and experiences of which you’ve been dreaming. Both large and smaller cruise ships visit ports in Barcelona, Rome, Athens, Istanbul, Livorno/Pisa, Monte Carlo, the Greek Isles, Venice, Sicily and other areas along this gorgeous route. Popular shore excursions often involve visits to famed cities like Naples, Alexandria, Malta and Port Said. Interested in seeing, first-hand, the pyramids in Egypt? Want to tour the Catacombs of Rome? On a Mediterranean cruise, the options are endless.
Attractions: Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, Spain, is one of the most popular attractions for those interested in a Mediterranean experience. Visit La Sagrada Familia (Home of the Poor) the famed church designed by Antonio Gaudi, wander the narrow streets in the Bario Gotico (Gothic Quarter) or take a walk along the Calle Reina Christina, following in the footsteps of Pablo Picasso. In Athens, you can visit the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a stone theater built in 161 AD. A tour through the Ottoman buildings in Istanbul and a peek at the skyline dominated by Imperial Mosques will remind you that Turkey’s architecture is among the finest in the world. While in Pisa, after visiting the famous leaning tower, visit Knights’ Square, one of the most important landmarks in Italy. Other favorites include the Salle Garnier opera house in Monte Carlo, the waterways of Venice and the Valle de Temple in Sicily, Italy.
Dining Options: Mediterranean cuisines are as varied as the cultures along the Mediterranean Sea. In Spain, tapas plates feature small, yet mouthwatering versions of both new and traditional Spanish dishes. But in Italy, the cuisine is markedly different, with pasta and other regional specialties taking top billing. Fans of Greek food will love the gyro, pork and oven-baked lamb dishes that dominate the dining landscape in Greece. One bite of an adana kebap on flat bread will win over any doubters in the deliciousness of Turkish cuisine. With all of these options, it may be hard to choose the perfect dinner spot while at port but be sure to experiment a bit and enjoy the variety of different tastes and spices of the Mediterranean.
As you can tell, there are plenty of things to see, do and eat during a Mediterranean cruise vacation. Regardless of your choices, you’re bound to have an incredible time as you cruise through some of the most historic ports in the world.
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