Exploring The Gems Of The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is a beautiful place to visit at any time of year - the food, the cultures, the beaches and the quaint little towns make it one of the most romantic regions in Europe to visit, whatever your age and whatever your circumstances.

Even if you happen to be travelling with a group of friends, a trip to the Mediterranean coast will make you feel as though you’re starring in the most romantic movie of all time.

There are plenty of wonderful places to choose from, and a number of these are listed below in more detail, but the Mediterranean is also the perfect destination to experience what it’s like to go on a cruise.

If you’ve ever wanted to travel on a cruise ship and take in the sites of a number of different destinations in one go, try a Mediterranean cruise. You won’t be disappointed…

Visit The Picturesque Cinque Terre, Italy

If you want to travel to the Mediterranean this year for your holiday, Cinque Terre should be at the top of your list of places to consider. It’s part of the Italian Riviera and made up of five little seaside villages, namely: Vernazza, Corniglia, Monterosso al Mare, Manarola and Riomaggiore.

The area has been protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Foundation since 1997 which means that the only way of getting around is via a public service of electric buses – cars are not allowed. Bliss!

A few days holidaying in this part of the Mediterranean offers a really authentic experience too as many of the villagers will rent out their spare rooms to interested travellers.

One thing you must do if you choose to spend your holiday time in Cinque Terre this year is hike from Monterosso to Vernazza along the guided footpath. It’s a brilliant and natural way to workout while on holiday and the views will make all your exercising efforts worthwhile.

Be Charmed In Cassis, France

Italy is not the only spot in the Mediterranean with a riviera worth visiting – the French Riviera is just as beautiful and if you’re looking for a holiday to help you relax and switch off from the daily stresses of the year, Cassis is the perfect spot.

France’s riviera used to be home to a number of tiny, fishing villages. Now it’s a popular, but intimate, beach destination.

Having said that, the old village streets and buildings of Cassis are well-preserved, which means it hasn’t lost any of its rustic 16th century charm and unlike Nice or Saint Tropez, it is possible to escape the crowds even during the high season.

If you do plan on visiting Cassis this year, make sure you take a boat tour around the Calanques (a popular stretch along the coastline, famous for its deep inlets) or inject a little bit of action into your visit by opting for a kayaking tour of the Calanques instead.

You’ll get plenty of time to throw yourself into the water in-between visiting the different sites on the itinerary and you’ll benefit from some enjoyable “active time” on your holiday aswell.

Lay back & Relax In Gozo, Malta

Gozo inspires peace and quiet, but it’s far from being a lazy beach resort with nothing going on. Victoria is a great place to go wandering around in at night.

There’s always some kind of activity to enjoy and the “go-with-the-flow” attitude is just the kind of medicine needed if you ordinarily live in a place which demands order, deadlines and routine.

Gozo might be geographically close to the Maltese mainland, but the traditions, accents, lifestyles and dialects of the people living on the island are very different from those on the mainland.

The wonderful thing about Gozo is that it really tempts you to do things you wouldn’t normally do without even realising that you’ve been cajoled into experimenting.

There’s always a village “festa” or party going on during the high season that you’ll be able to join in with, whether travelling alone, with friends, with your partner or with the whole family.

Rabbit is a popular choice on the menu in most restaurants, which isn’t something you tend to see on many menus these days, and mountain bike rides around the island are really refreshing.

Watch out! You’ll come back a party-loving, rabbit-eating, mountain bike champion and your friends won’t recognise you!

Visit All Of Them In One Trip

If you can’t decide between the many beautiful places in the Mediterranean, then don’t – book yourself onto a Mediterranean cruise instead and spend a week or two visiting as many spots on the Mediterranean map as possible.

The best thing about living the dream on a Mediterranean cruise is that, if your live in the UK, you’ll have the option of starting your trip direct from the port at Southampton.

There are lots of cruise companies who offer great deals on Mediterranean cruises from Southampton’s port and, especially when travelling with small children, the convenience of this arrangement can be a real lifesaver.

Author Bio: Tracey Chandler is a freelance writer from London, UK. She specialises in features for female-interest publications, shorter posts for travel blogs and she manages her own online travel publication, The Jolly English Pirate.

(photo credit: 1 - 2 - 3)

9 Responses to Exploring The Gems Of The Mediterranean

  1. Lance Wiedower March 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Beautiful! I’ve thought about traveling to Cinque Terre, but haven’t put too much thought into the other locations. I think combining Cinque Terre with Cassis sounds like a great trip; maybe add a few other spots in France and Italy as well.

    • Sofia March 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Cinque Terre seems amazing, I hope I will be able to squeeze in a visit when I go to Italy in a few weeks. I agree, combining that with Cassis would be epic!

  2. Jam @icoSnap March 6, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    The first photo in Cinque Terre, Italy definitely caught my attention it looks so beautiful!

    • Sofia March 8, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      I know, the photos of Cinque Terre really looks like the kind of place you wouldn’t think existed anymore, it really is beautiful!

  3. Alexis Marlons March 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I do hope to visit these places all at once. Gotta save quite a lot for this.

    • Sofia March 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

      The great thing about cruises is that doing a round-trip will often be cheaper on a cruise than if you were to arrange everything yourself and travel over land. So it might not be too crazy expensive after all. :)

  4. ME March 8, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Cinque terre and France have my total approuval but…on Malta is a totally different story. A while ago I could not really find the beauty in it…but thinghs can change.
    Morover look around… there are millions of other little “beauties’ out there.

    • Sofia March 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Sorry to hear you didn’t have the best experience of Malta, I agree though, giving a place a second chance is always a good idea. :)

  5. Minkner April 5, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    You should include Mallorca and Ibiza in your trip, too. Both are excellent destination in my opinion!