Top 5: Delightful Destinations to Explore in the MediterraneanBy Angelica Malin
Europe is full of beautiful cities, towns, islands and seaside resorts. But there’s something about the atmosphere, climate, cuisine and culture of the Mediterranean that makes it particularly hard to resist. If you’re planning a tour of the Mediterranean in the next few months, here are five delightful destinations to consider stopping by.
You’ve probably heard of Valletta, but you might not know that Malta’s capital city is located on a peninsula jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea, or that it’s only 1km by 600m in size. Of course as we all know, good things tend to come in small packages, and Valletta is no exception. If you’re lucky enough to visit this wonderful little city, make sure you give yourself time to tour all the top historic attractions; that includes the 16th-century Grand Master’s Palace, St John’s Co-Cathedral, and the modern City Gate which marks the entrance into Valletta.
Italy is one of the most popular holiday destinations on earth, and as a country that is home to the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, Pompeii, and the best pizza on earth, it’s no surprise why. But next time you’re thinking of visiting this country, why not do something a little different and visit the island of Sicily? Here you’ll find the city of Messina, a bustling hub of culture and cuisine that is famed for its cathedral and (strangely enough) its excellent local swordfish. Messina is one of several popular stops on Mediterranean cruises — as with all the destinations on this list — and is the perfect place to spend a few days experiencing the Sicilian way of life.
The tiny nation of Montenegro is located on the Adriatic Sea and shares a border with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. Though the best-known city in the country is its capital Podgorica, the most spectacular Mediterranean experience can be had in the fortified coastal town of Kotor. Situated on a narrow bay and surrounded by mountains, this holiday destination boasts all kinds of attractions, from its old town walls to its beautiful Catholic cathedral. Whilst there, visit Lovcen Mountain and National Park, where you can hike, mountain bike and — weather permitting —camp.
As a country, Greece is bursting with brilliant cities, historical sites, and holiday resorts. One that often goes ignored (and very unfairly) is the coastal city of Igoumenitsa, located in the northwest of the country. This popular port town is situated across from the island of Corfu, and has excellent transport links. It’s also close to Ormos Valtou National Park, which boasts some stunning secluded stretches of beach.
Dubrovnik is another impressive Mediterranean city drenched in history and culture. Located in southern Croatia on the beautiful Adriatic Sea, the city is most famous for its formidable stone walls, terracotta roof tiles and being a regular filming spot for the TV series Game of Thrones. Top activities in the city include a ride up the Mount Srd cable car (where you’ll get the best views), a walk around the city walls, and a boat trip out to Lokrum Island where you can swim, sunbathe and explore the island forests.
Wherever you choose to go in the Mediterranean, remember that some of the best experiences can be had travelling through places, and discovering all those picturesque little villages and secluded natural spots along the way. Whether you choose to go by cruise, train or foot (if you’re feeling adventurous) you’re sure to have an amazing experience. Just try not to book your trip in the rainy season…