If you’re looking for an amazing holiday under the sun overlooking some of the finest works of nature? Many of the places to visit in the Mediterranean have some of the best vacation ideas for you!
An intercontinental sea-wide Mediterranean sea, also known as the incubator of Western Civilization, expands from the great Atlantic Ocean on the west to Europe on the east. The amazing fact is that it differentiates Europe from Africa. Some evidence suggests that about 5.9 billion years ago, the Mediterranean sea cut off from the Atlantic Sea.
Then its formation came into the world. Its irregular depression lying between latitudes 30° and 46° N and latitudes about 5°50′ W and 36° E . Mediterranean sea covers an area of almost 970,000 square miles, or we can say about 2.5 million square kilometers.
The Mediterranean Sea connects to the Atlantic via the Strait Of Gibraltar, which is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa, which is only 14 km wide.
This sea was the most essential and important route for the traders, merchants, and travelers around there for business and cultural exchanges. The tides of the Mediterranean Sea are very limited because of the narrow connection with the Atlantic Ocean. Visit Mediterranean beauty and explore its boundless beauty.
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the busiest routes for shipping and trading in the world. And talking about tourism which is the biggest factor for the income of people living in the Mediterranean region, receives huge response every year.
The countries in the Mediterranean region attract thousands of travelers, backpackers, and tourists every year, offering all types of attractions from laid-back countryside holidays to the best beach destinations in the world.
With so much to offer, selecting the top places to travel in the Mediterranean could be tiresome. Here’s your quick guide to the land of exploration with some of the best places in Mediterranean countries to visit.
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Table of Contents
- What are the Places to Visit in the Mediterranean?
- 1. Santorini, Greece
- 2. Cinque Terre, Italy
- 3. Antalya, Turkey
- 4. Valletta, Malta
- 5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
- 6. Tetouan, Morocco
- 7. Paphos, Cyprus
- 8. Bosa, Sardinia, Italy
- 9. Monaco, France
- 10. Tunis, Tunisia
- 11. Trapani, Sicily
- 12. Palma, Mallorca
- 13. Chania, Crete, Greece
- 14. Porto, Portugal
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What are the Places to Visit in the Mediterranean?
1. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is a Greek island which is located in the Aegean Sea distanced as 200 km southeast of Athens, 150 km south of Mykonos, and 140 km north of Crete. Santorini has an area of 76 square miles and is mostly famous for romantic sunsets, dazzling panoramas, and volcanic-sand beaches.
Santorini is popularly known as the Supermodel of Greece, and the destination that makes it the top list of all travelers, honeymooners, and backpacker’s lists.
From multicolored cliffs opening to the blue sea, whitewashed buildings lighting up at sunset, it’s not surprising why Santorini is one of the top places to visit in the Mediterranean. So what can you do in this gorgeous town? Walk, watch sunset, taste wines, take tours to the volcanic islands of Palia Kameni and Nea Kameni.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Santorini, Greece
2. Cinque Terre, Italy
Set across the most beautiful coastline on the Earth, Cinque Terre (land of fives) comprises five ingeniously built fishing villages. Cinque Terre is a place within Liguria located in the northwest of Italy.
In 1997, the Cinque Terre was recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and This is today a national park and secured marine area to maintain the consistency of this impressive cultural heritage and wonderful natural environment.
The vernacular architecture of Cinque Terre makes it a unique historical sightseeing destination in Italy. The terraced cliffs cut the complicated landscape for gardens and fields that are modified, chiseled, and layered to form some eye-pleasing views.
Some of the popular things to do while you are in Cinque Terre include watching the magical views of Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero, and the food at Nessun Dorma, Manarola, sunbathing at Monterosso beach, and visit Cantine Lunae.
3. Antalya, Turkey
Antalya is located on Anatolia’s southwest coast, touching the border of the Taurus mountains. One of the largest and most rapidly developing cities of Turkey has been attracting tourists from all across the world. Explore Turkish culture and the best of the Mediterranean beaches in Turkey’s most visited destination.
The city has almost everything for everyone. From touristy sightseeing spots to the atmospheric historical sites to the white sand beaches of the turquoise coast, history buffs and beach lovers are both in for some amazing time.
Among some of the best places to visit in the Mediterranean, Antalya has popular attractions such as Kaleiçi, an old town, (fluted minaret) Yivli Minare, archeological site of Aspendos, remains of the ancient city in Termessos, Perge, Konyaalti Beach, and Karain Magarasi.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Antalya, Turkey
4. Valletta, Malta
The Fortress City of Mediterranean, Valletta is the capital city of Malta, which is popular for being the working, living, commercial, and administrative heart of the country. The city was built and further expanded on the rocky peninsula of Mount Sceberras peninsula. Even though it’s a busy city, one can easily experience the timeless atmosphere as the sun goes down, giving you an old-school feel.
The city’s narrow streets of historic buildings boast the finest artwork in Europe, making it one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Mediterranean region. Valletta is also abundantly rich in sites to explore, such as Valletta’s gardens like Hasting Gardens, Lower Barrakka Gardens, St John’s Co-Cathedral.
Valletta has successfully managed to retain the old charm of its 16th-century elegance. With many sights to see, UNESCO has named it a World Heritage site, and also the most intensive historic area in the entire world.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Valletta, Malta
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is an ancient city located in southern Croatia, fronting the Adriatic Sea. Dubrovnik is famous for its magnificent old walls filled with narrow cobblestone lanes, and classy high-end restaurants. A day trip is enough to explore the best of this Croatian city.
Among some of the star attraction sites of Dubrovnik, St. Dominika Street, Minceta Tower Fort Lovrijenac are among the best places to see in the Mediterranean. There are two reasons for that: one for its stunning view, and second, it is also a filming site for Game of Thrones.
For history buffs, visit Gornji Ugao is an interesting activity to know about the history of the city while you walk into the excavated foundry. To summarize your tour to one of the top places to see in the Mediterranean region, sample some Montenegrin and Croatian wine alongside cheese and meat platters.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Dubrovnik, Croatia
6. Tetouan, Morocco
Tétouan, one of the major ports in Morocco, is also known as the White Dove in Arabic. It has been inhabited for more than 2000 years and is very rich in history, having Hispano-Moorish influences.
The medina in Tétouan is a known UNESCO World Heritage site. Houses have carved ceilings and tile work inside the old city. Do see the Archaeological Museum and the only Roman Catholic church – Iglesia de Bacturia.
You can find the coastline at Martil where you can enjoy water sports. One can also head to Cabo Negro for relaxing on the beach with the best sand strips. Sample local dishes like the goat tagine, gazelle horns (pastry), and the creamy cheese Jben. Do stay at a Riad – a traditional Moroccan house or head to the Rif Mountains for picturesque natural spots, camping, and hiking. Monday is the market day, and you can check out the local market stalls in alleyways.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Tetouan, Morocco
7. Paphos, Cyprus
Lying in the southwest of Cyprus, Paphos is on the UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world’s heritage list. It is known for its spectacular ancient remains. You must see the Paphos Archaeological Park and the large Roman Villas – House of Orpheus, House of Dionysos, House of Theseus, and the House of Aion.
They all have well-preserved mosaic floors. There is also the Basilica of Panagia Limeniotissa, a necropolis – Tomb of Kings and a theatre to engage yourself in some history.
The Paphos Castle stands at the harbor, and the Saint Solomoni Church catacombs are quite famous. The Temple of Aphrodite that dates to the 12th century BC was one of the most important places of pilgrimage in the ancient world.
The Agios Neophytos Monastery, another jewel, was carved out of the mountain by St. Neophytosnd boasts some of the prettiest frescoes. You can also sit down to a Meze to sample delicious food or go on a wine tour to experience Paphos.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Paphos, Cyprus
8. Bosa, Sardinia, Italy
Lying on the west coast of Sardinia, Bosa is along the river Temo. One of the most beautiful towns in Sardinia, its pastel houses, makes it look like a painting with patches of green and the blue of the river running through the town. The piazzas and palazzos with traditional balconies add more charm to the place. The place is steeped in heritage, and one can explore the medieval streets, stone staircases, and cobbled walkways.
Check out the Malaspina castle and the Cattedrale Dell’immacolata, which is a popular landmark and among the famous places to see in the Mediterranean. The cathedral is adorned with beautiful frescos.
Just outside the town is the Bosa Marina beach, where you can relax and watch the sunset. There are other beaches around with alcoves and limestone sculptures. The Chiesa di San Pietro with a 13th-century façade is one of the oldest Romanesque churches and is a great example of architecture at that time.
9. Monaco, France
Monaco is a microstate and country in the French Riviera and is the smallest country after the Vatican, and also, one must add places to visit in the Mediterranean. Its most well-known Quartier is Monte Carlo, and the country is ruled by a constitutional monarchy.
The glamorous Monet Carlo has a casino and luxury boutiques that attract the famous and rich. See the Palais du Prince that offers panoramic views and has decorative frescoes. Some rooms are decorated in certain styles and are a must-see.
The Renaissance fireplace in the Throne Room, Palatine Chapel, and Carrara marble double staircase are popular. The Musée Oceanographique on the edge of the ocean stands on rocks and is much known for its dramatic building as it is for its species of marine life.
The Jardin Exotique garden, the Observatory Cave, and the Les Jardins Saint-Martin are beautiful and stand out. Check out the Moneghetti District for its pathways and an outdoor performance at Fort Antoine for a truly local experience.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Monaco, France
10. Tunis, Tunisia
The capital of Tunisia, Tunis, is the 3rd largest in the Maghreb region. Lying on the Gulf of Tunis, the city extends on the coastal region and is surrounded by hills. The ancient median, which is a world heritage site, lies at its core. The medina has 700 monuments, including madrasas, palaces, mausoleums, and mosques. The Bey’s Palace and the Al-Zaytuna Mosque are some of the buildings in the area that can be of interest.
The remnants of Carthage are scattered across the Bay of Tunis. The tumbled columns and marbles in a seafront setting have their own charm. See the renowned mosaic collection of the National Bardo Museum. Sidi Bou Said – the seaside neighborhood is a laid-back area where you can relax against the backdrop of the ocean.
The beautiful Olive Tree Mosque is a great example of religious architecture. The Dar Hasan Palace is a gorgeous architectural gem. Tunis is like a living city when you can revel in history.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Tunis, Tunisia
11. Trapani, Sicily
Trapani is a city on the coast of Sicily, which was founded by the Elymians. It is in the shape of a sickle, at the foot of Mount Erice, in front of the Egadi Islands.
It has gone through many civilizations, the proof of which can be seen in its historical remnants. The places that you can see are – the Chiesa del Purgatorio church that holds the mysteries of 20 sculptures of the passion of Christ. They are carried around the city on Good Friday.
The island museum of Mozia is a short ride across the lagoon. This unique museum has many exemplary works of art. The Cave of Uzzo was a location for prehistoric settlements, and you can find it in the La Riserva Naturale Dello Zingaro. You can trek through this breathtaking area to arrive at the cave.
The nearby town of Erice has the Castello Pepoli o di Venere and the Giardino del Balio. There many other places of historical interest in the surrounding areas that showcase architectural gems. Lastly, do try the delicious red shrimp, vastedda, and the Caponata di melanzane before you leave.
12. Palma, Mallorca
A fascinating city with historical influences, Palma is the capital of the Balearic Islands and must-visit places. The honey-hued stones that rise from water are the first thing you see when you notice Palma. There is history at the heart of Palma with medieval streets, aristocratic townhouses, baroque churches, and bohemian marketplaces.
Walk through a pine forest to get to the 14th century, Bellver Castle. It overlooks the city below and walking up can be a pleasant experience. Walkthrough the Old Town and chance upon quaint architectural pieces. The cathedral La Seu is an impressive monument with rose windows and is very popular.
Walk or cycle on the promenade to Portixol for a quick meal in the eateries there. The Arab Baths are pretty fascinating to see. Do try Tapas with a glass of wine or beer when you have walked around and want a refreshing meal.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Palma, Mallorca
13. Chania, Crete, Greece
Chania is one of the largest cities in Crete. The Cretan harbor, the historic town, little alleyways, and waterside restaurants will leave you charmed. Explore the waterfront and the Venetian Lighthouse. There are quite a few museums that you can visit while you are in Chania – the Naval Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and the Maritime Museum.
The Venizelos Graves allows uninhibited access to views from amongst the trees of the Venetian Harbor and the sea beyond. You can also visit Agii Apostgolli Beach for a swim. You can also book an experience to cook Cretan food with one of the locals.
The Greek Orthodox Cathedral still holds a statue of the Virgin Mary from the old Venetian Church. Check out a preserved old-school tannery in Tabakaria. Enjoy a meal near the water in one of the cafes while watching yachts and sailboats move by. Chania is a small town that will let you relax and rejuvenate your mind in peace.
14. Porto, Portugal
Porto is a vibrant city that has enthralled many tourists. Located in northern Portugal, along the Douro River estuary, it is one of the oldest European cities. The center of Porto, Monastery of Serra do Pilar, and the Luiz I bridge are a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and also among the places to visit in the Mediterranean.
The famous export of Portugal – Port wine is named after Porto. Walk along the ancient Ribeira district through to Trindade. This region still stores port in the cellars along the Douro. You must obviously go on a port tasting tour if you are here.
The Praia de Matosinhos beach is a few minutes away from the city center. Do visit the Capela Incomum. This unique place was a 16th-century chapel that has now been turned into a wine bar. See the wine terraces in the Douro Valley while you are biking across or take a river cruise.
Other places to see are the Casa de Serralves villa, Luis I bridge, the internal décor of the Church of São Francisco, Palácio da Bolsa, and the Praça da Liberdade. This place is full of little places that you can explore on your own as you walk through.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Porto, Portugal
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