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Top mediterranean cruise destinations

When it comes to places to take a cruise vacation, few places can compare to the Mediterranean region. With its combination of history, culture and beauty, the area has several ports of call that will delight vacationers. There are several destinations that simply should not be missed if time allows. Here are some of the best:

*Venice – One would be hard pressed to find a better view from the deck of a cruise ship than that of sailing into Venice on the Giudecca Canal and seeing the terracotta roofs throughout the city. Venice is equally stunning in the summer or the fall. One of the advantages of the city is that no matter how full of tourists it is, escape is possible through its series of canals that feature several ancient palaces and houses of nobility. Visitors should be sure to make use of the water buses to get away from the tourist areas and really explore the city.

*Naples – Steeped in history, the Bay of Naples features Mount Vesuvius and the City of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the volcano. When visiting this site the tour guides really bring the stories to life. The bay also features several steep cliffs along the coast. Hire a boat to visit the nearby island of Capri, home of the original shorter pants.

*Monte Carlo – Known mostly for its luxury, many first-time visitors will be surprised at the compactness of this port. Be sure to visit the route for the famous Grand Prix race and the Palace in Monaco, which is still the home of the prince but is also open to the public. Find a seat at a street side café and watch the Lamborghinis and Ferraris cruise by and take part in the area’s favorite hobby, people watching. Monte Carlo is where the rich and exotic people of the world come to play. Take the time to visit the inside of the Casino Royale, even if just to take a look around. Being the second smallest country in the world, it can be walked within two hours.

*Santorini - Any picture taken on this beautiful Greek island is postcard worthy. The buildings are white-washed with blue tops, while the churches are white and topped with blue domes. Relax on the black sand beach or attempt to climb the stairs to the top of the city and witness the view off the cliffs and into the sea.

*Athens – Few stops offer more rich history and architecture than does Greece. While there are many sites to visit in Athens, a must see is the Acropolis.

The Mediterranean region has become a favorite for those booking cruise vacations, and there is little wonder why. Beauty, culture and history abound in every location. Each one has its specialty and many of them also have small islands which can be visited. Deciding to visit the region is a no-brainer, but picking which ports to see may be a little more difficult.
Charlotte Fletcher writes on behalf of www.monkey.co.uk, a travel insurance comparison website.

5 Amazing Places to Visit Whilst on a Mediterranean Cruise


With twenty one modern states having a coastline along the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, it’s no wonder that this is a firm favourite in terms of a cruising destination. Cruising the Mediterranean is one affordable way to take in the sights and sounds of many different European countries but with so many great ports and cities to choose from, how do you make the decision about choice of what to see?

Mediterranean sean

The Mediterranean Sea with 21 countries on its shores

 

Athens, Greece

A cruise around the eastern Mediterranean could see you visit the beautiful historic city of Athens, Greece. With monuments such as the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum, you’ll be amazed as well as in awe of the incredible Greek art; don’t forget you’ll need plenty of time to admire the numerous sculptures, vases, silverware and glassware.

A few more days here would be perfect for those with a keen eye for architecture. The marvels that lie in the orthodox monasteries on Hydra Island are not to be missed and are available as a separate excursion. Other ‘not to be missed’ adventures include the National Gardens, the changing of the guard at Syntagma Square and the Temple of Poseidon.


Kusadasi, Turkey

This resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast has been settled by many civilisations since 3,000BC and, as a result, has been at the hub of art and culture.

You can explore the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus, once a thriving Greek city location and then a major Roman settlement. The city was famed for having one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis. You can take independent tours to view these magnificent ruins, all of which are relatively inexpensive.

But you don’t have to travel out of Kusadasi; there are plenty of things to see and do around the port itself as well as an opportunity to relax on the many beautiful beaches. Or if you fancy something more energetic demanding, there are several water parks around the port too.

Rome, Italy

Taking a cruise around the Western Mediterranean is not complete without a visit to possibly the most beautiful city in the world, Rome.

St Peters Square

The stunning St Peters Square

This mainly Roman Catholic city has so many attractions that it is almost impossible to list them all. The cityscape of Rome boasts many attractions and no matter how much – or how little – time you have, there are several sights to take in. St Peter’s Square is possibly one of the most iconic sights of Rome. And with the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the exhibits of the Vatican all waiting to be discovered by you, Rome has something to offer everyone.

Pisa & Florence, Italy

Pisa and Florence are two stops you could make whilst on your Mediterranean cruise, especially as they are so close to each other and offer you another flavour of what Italy has to offer.

If you have a couple of days you can take in the quirky delights of the freestanding bell tower, the Tower of Pisa. Originally standing at an angle of 5.5 degrees, after restoration work in 2001, this great tourist attraction now leans at a slightly safer 3.99 degrees. There are also many other attractions to visit whilst in Pisa, a city which has retained most of its medieval appearance, including and is a city that boasts a number of fantastic museums.

Renaissance style Florence is the capital city of the Tuscany region. Its beauty is breath-taking and the good news here is that Florence is a compact city, easily accessible and viewable by foot, although public transport is also quite reasonable priced. Florence Cathedral, the Duomo is the fourth largest cathedral in the world and has a plethora of palaces and museums you can visit and admire, as well as some interesting art galleries.

Livorno is the port of call for an excursion to Pisa and Florence; with Florence only being around a 60 minutes train ride away, whilst Pisa is much closer.


Valletta, Malta

The streets of Malta’s capital city exhibit an eclectic mix of architecture from early 16th Century to Modernism, meaning Malta is a great stop on your Mediterranean Cruise, especially if you are a history buff.

Benjamin Disraeli was quoted as saying in 1830 that Valletta was “a city of palaces built by gentlemen for gentlemen”, and is a region city that offers a relaxed atmosphere. After exploring the Hypogeum, (one of the oldest burial sites in the world), St John’s cathedral and the Grandmaster’s Palace you can take refreshments in one of the many beautiful restaurants and cafes along the sea front. You can end your stop at this port with some souvenir hunting down one of the many picturesque streets.

In Conclusion

Choosing which ports and cities to visit on your Mediterranean cruise is no easy feat. The great thing about cruising the Mediterranean is that, no matter where you choose to visit, and no matter for how long, you won’t be disappointed. Cruising the Mediterranean is not only a fabulous, relaxing holiday but also a great way to take in the sights and culture of several European countries that otherwise you might not get the chance to see.

 

Image credits: Wikipedia 1 and 2

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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/15/Vatikan_Kolonaden_Petersdom.jpg/1000px-Vatikan_Kolonaden_Petersdom.jpg

The Journey of a Mediterranean Cruise

For the last few years major cruise liners have taken a decision to position more and more cruise liners in Europe for the summer. Because of this move, each New Year that goes by is known in the industry as the biggest cruising season in Europe. If you have not been to Europe yet you need to know that the best way to see it is by cruise ship, there are a number of reasons for this.

The Highlights of a Mediterranean Cruise

On any Mediterranean cruise you will enjoy the absolute best of Europe. Here you get the opportunity to eat pizza in a true Roman Piazza or live the glam life in Cannes. Build up memories that you can only dream of while the Greek Islands offers you Michelangelo’s in magnificent Florence. Each and every cruise will leave you awestruck and inspired with views from the Rock of Gibraltar and the ancient architecture of Barcelona. Walk through ancient cities bartering for bargains in street markets, or buying fabulous designer fashion in exclusive boutiques. There is an endless array of experiences to be had in the Mediterranean.

The Destinations of a Mediterranean Cruise

There are 4 basic regions to cruise in Europe. The first, the Mediterranean Sea is split into 2 regions, the Eastern and the Western Mediterranean. The Western region destinations include such places as Barcelona, Monte Carlo, France, and Italy with highlight destinations being, Pisa, Rome and Matla. The eastern region is split up into destinations that include the Greek Isles, Croatia, Venice, Istanbul, Turkey, and Corfu, with highlight destinations being Athens, Istanbul, Thera, Mykonos, Cyprus, and Kusadasi.
mediterranean cruise

Mediterranean Cruise Itinerary

There are a number of cruises that service the waters of the Mediterranean. Most of them offer cruises that last for set days, these are usually 6 nights or 11 nights, with some cruise companies offering different packages for 3 nights, 1 night and numerous others up to 2 weeks or more for those looking for a long getaway with their loved ones.

6 Night Itinerary

A typical 6 night Mediterranean cruise will start with the departure from Barcelona. Day 2 will run you through France and then Florence and Rome and Day 3 and Day 4. Day 5 will be spent at sea as you make your way through to Croatia on Day 6 to end up in Venice, Italy on Day 7.

11 Night Itinerary

A typical 11 night cruise through the Mediterranean will start from Venice Italy on Day 1 and Day 2 before you make your way to Montenegro on Day 3. On Day 4 you will spend the day and night cruising until you reach Athens on Day 5 and Ephesus in Turkey on Day 6. Day 7 will take you through to Bodrum in Turkey before you make your way to Mykonos and Santorini in Greece on Day 8 and Day 9.On Day 10 you will be cruising to Croatia where you will spend Day 11 before ending your relaxing awe inspiring cruise back in Venice, Italy on Day 12.

No matter the duration of the cruise you take through the Mediterranean there is never enough time for you to take everything in, leaving you wishing that the stay was longer.

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