9 reasons why the Mediterranean is our favourite cruise destination

Destination Reviews
By

If you have travelled widely, your friends will often ask about your favourite cruise destination, expecting stories of remote and exotic lands they can never hope to visit.

The great truth as far as we are concerned, though, is that there is no better destination than the Mediterranean for a fantastic taste of everything. The Mediterranean really has it all...

1. Scenery

From the volcanic islands of Sicily and Greece to the scented archipelagos of the Adriatic, the craggy cliffs of the Peloponnese to the wooded hills of Provence, the breathtaking scenery of the Mediterranean countries is enhanced in the springtime by lush vegetation and by glorious displays of flowers through the summer months.

Kotor, Montenegro

2. Shopping

Market stalls piled high with gleaming fruit and vegetables are cheek by jowl with designer stores or tiny artist's studios. The stylish cities and vibrant villages of the Mediterranean have so much to offer, and whatever your tastes and interests, an outing to the shops is going to be a revelation.

Fruit and vegetable market in Barcelona

3. People watching

The balmy Mediterranean climate lends itself to leisure. The pavements and squares of every town are crammed with outdoor cafés perfect for whiling away a happy hour over coffee, watching the world go by - locals doing their daily shop, jetsetters soaking up the chic, backpackers touring Europe, travellers and locals of all nationalities and from all walks of life.

Placa Reial, Barcelona

4. Art & Architecture

Aficionados of art and architecture will find so much of interest in the Mediterranean cities, with great galleries and museums crammed full of treasures. See the lands that inspired the Impressionists as you tour in Provence, or enjoy the Moorish marvels of Spain.

Florence, Italy

5. Ancient History

Travelling by sea was the easiest option for the ancients following trading routes between the far flung corners of the known world. So many treasures from the ancient world, including some of the Seven Wonders, can be visited, bringing this extraordinary history alive.

Temple of Trajan in Pergamum, Turkey

6. Food & Wine

We all know the Mediterranean diet, based on the region's traditional fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood, olive oil, and dairy - with perhaps a glass or two of red wine thrown in for good measure - is supremely healthy, as well as delicious.

Bordeaux wine festival

7. Beaches and bathing

Pretty coves and harbours, isolated inlets and remote bays are perfect for sea bathing and lounging on the beach. The crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean are quite irresistible, and when you add in the people watching and the food and wine we already mentioned, what more could you wish for.

Navagio beach in Zakynthos, Greece

8. Islands

Key Mediterranean islands have been hugely influential over hundreds of years. Trading crossroads such as Malta and Sicily, powerful civilisations such as Crete and Cyprus, bastions of the Knights Templar like Rhodes, have played a major part in the region's history. Away from the key trade routes, sleepy islands have preserved a magical mood in remote isolation from the busy bustle.

Valletta, Malta

9. Culture

In these days of uneasy immigration, the multifaceted culture of the Mediterranean region stands as a proud indicator that a modern day culture can be the product of myriad influences. In the Mediterranean, so many key powers were vying for supremacy: Greeks, Egyptians, Phoenicians, Turks, Venetians, Moors, Romans and more - a melting pot indeed.

Istanbul, Turkey
Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina
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