Popular Mediterranean Cruise Stops

Popular Mediterranean Cruise Stops

One of the main appeals of Mediterranean cruises, or any cruise in general, is the ability to see many different places and experience many different cultures, all in one trip.

The Mediterranean is an amazing part of the world if you are looking to take in many different cities and cultures on a cruise. There are a plethora of coastal regions across multiple countries that will capture your imagination and give you a taste of what Mediterranean Europe has to offer.

Barcelona, Spain

The capital city of the Catalan region of northeastern Spain, Barcelona is a very popular spot on any Mediterranean cruise. It has many tourist attractions including the inimitable La Sagrada Familia cathedral, designed by renowned architect Antoni Gaudi, himself a native of Catalonia.

If you’re a sports fan, you can visit the Camp Nou, the home stadium of European football giants, F.C. Barcelona, where stadium tours are regularly given, showing off the rich history and success of La Blaugrana.

While exploring the city, you can take a stroll down La Rambla, one of the city’s most famous streets, lined with endless restaurants, bars, cafés, and spearheaded by La Plaça de Catalunya, a tree-lined square that is often filled with various performers and merchants, bringing a real vibrancy to the area.

And, if you’re looking for a change of pace from the multiple tourist activities you can do in the city centre, there are multiple beaches you can go to sit in the sun or go for a swim.

You can visit Barcelona and many other fantastic destinations with this 7-night Mediterranean cruise.

Rome, Italy

The Eternal City of Rome in the Lazio region of eastern Italy is one of the most historically significant cities in Europe and the world, making it an extremely popular Mediterranean cruise spot. Located on the River Tiber, Rome is steeped in history dating all the way back to the (in)famous Roman Empire.

When it comes to exploring the vast history of the city there are many places you can start, but maybe none better than Il Colosseo, or in English the Colosseum. The ovular amphitheatre is the largest of its kind in the world today and dates all the way back to the 1st Century, estimated to have been completed around 80 AD. The towering structure cannot be missed as you walk the streets of Rome and tours are given regularly for interested visitors.

Rome is also steeped in rich religious history, being the centre of Catholicism. While in the city centre, you can cross over the border into the Vatican City, the smallest country in the world at just 0.4km squared. It is home to Pope Francis and the many dignitaries of the Roman Catholic church. While there, you can visit famous sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica or the Sistine Chapel, where you can enjoy the work of Leonardo Da Vinci on the Chapel’s roof.

Italy is known the world over for its rich culture of food and millions of people visit Rome every year to enjoy Italian cuisine. In Rome, you will find a pizzeria on almost every street where you can enjoy some of the best and most authentic pizza and pasta in the world. Once you are ready for dessert, you can take a short walk to any of the city’s gelaterias, where you can enjoy rich indulgent ice cream. While enjoying your gelato, you can visit some of the centre’s other attractions, such as the Trevi Fountain or the Pantheon.

Explore Rome and the Greek Islands on this amazing 10-night Mediterranean cruise.

Athens, Greece

From one of the most historically significant cities in the world to another, and from one ancient civilisation to another, Athens is a very popular Mediterranean cruise spot for those seeking multiple different types of holidays. The capital of Greece, Athens, named after Greek goddess Athena, is the seventh most populous city in the EU. The city is located on Greece’s southeast coast and is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history spanning approximately 3,400 years.

The “city of the Violet Crown” was the centre of the Ancient Greek empire and, like Rome, is filled with the remnants of an ancient civilisation that will keep history seekers occupied. One of the biggest attractions of the city is the Acropolis of Athens, the ruins of a temple that dates all the way back to the 5th century BC.

As well as being a civilisation of great architects, the Ancient Greeks were also known as great thinkers, bringing many concepts of philosophy into popular thinking. There are many museums and tours that you can do that will teach you about the lives and work of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates.

If it’s not a history holiday you are looking for, the centre of Athens is not far removed from the Greek coast where you can relax on the beach and enjoy the glistening views of the Mediterranean Sea. And, when you get hungry, you can try any variation of a pita or kebab, for which the Greeks are famous for.

Discover the history and culture of Athens on this fantastic European cruise.

Marseille, France

On the Gulf of Lion, at the mouth of the River Rhône, lies the city of Marseille. Founded by Greek travellers around the year 600 BC, Marseille is the oldest city in France, and the second most populous.

Located on the Côte d’Azur, Marseille has many golden beaches that are perfect for an evening stroll either before or after going for a succulent meal in one of the city’s many fine dining options.

One of the city’s major attractions is Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, a Catholic Basilica located at the highest point of Marseille, overlooking the entire city. The basilica, known colloquially as la Bonne Mère, or the Good Mother, dates back to the mid-19th century and receives over a million visitors yearly from all religious faiths and non-religious visitors alike.

Marseille is also a very popular shopping city with many bespoke boutiques and reputable retail brands located in the 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 7th arrondissements. Due to its location on the Mediterranean Sea, and with a very active port, Marseille is an extremely multicultural city, with influences in the city visible from other southern European countries as well as the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. This mix of culture adds a sense of vibrancy that is unique to the city. The city is also home to Olympique de Marseille, a football club in Ligue 1 with a history dating back to 1899, whose stadium, Stade Vélodrome, holds a whopping 67,394.

Experience the beauty of Marseille with this Western Mediterranean cruise package.

Naples, Italy

Naples, Italy is a city steeped in history, known for its stunning architecture and breathtaking landscapes. Naples is a must-see destination for those seeking to explore the heart of Italy.

One of the most significant landmarks in Naples is the ancient city of Pompeii, located just a short distance from the city. This once-thriving city was buried under volcanic ash and pumice after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, and has since been rediscovered and excavated to reveal a wealth of historical artefacts and insights into life in ancient times. Visitors can take a guided tour of the ruins to explore the preserved streets, houses, and public buildings of this once great city.

Naples is also home to a wealth of other notable attractions, including the Royal Palace of Naples, which houses a museum showcasing the history and culture of the city, as well as the Castel dell’Ovo, a mediaeval fortress that offers breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples. The city also boasts numerous churches, cathedrals, and museums that offer insight into the rich history and culture of Naples.

Of course, no trip to Naples would be complete without experiencing the city’s famous local cuisine. From the beloved Neapolitan gelato to the fresh seafood of the Gulf of Naples, visitors can indulge in a variety of culinary delights throughout the city.

If you’re interested in exploring Naples and the surrounding areas, this 7-night western mediterranean cruise is the one for you.

Valencia, Spain

Valencia is a stunningly beautiful city situated on the southeastern coast of Spain, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and delectable cuisine, making it a popular destination for tourists visiting the Mediterranean

One of the most significant historical sites in Valencia is the City of Arts and Sciences, a massive complex that includes six main structures, including a planetarium, a science museum, and an opera house. Designed by the world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava, the complex is an architectural masterpiece that has become an iconic symbol of the city.

The Valencia Cathedral, built in the 13th century, is a stunning Gothic masterpiece that houses the legendary Holy Grail which might interest some Indiana Jones fans!

The Central Market is a lively hub of activity, where visitors can experience the vibrant local culture and indulge in some of the city’s best food and drink whether it’s their famous
paella, or the succulent mussels that are harvested from the nearby Mediterranean Sea.

Explore the beautiful city of Valencia on this 11 night Western Mediterranean Cruise with a Spanish Focus.

Florence & Pisa, Italy

Florence and Pisa are two of Italy’s most iconic and must-see cities for travellers.

Florence, located in the heart of Tuscany, is a city oozing with history and art, with a rich cultural heritage that has earned it the nickname of “The Cradle of the Renaissance.”

The city’s historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s no wonder why with stunning landmarks such as the Florence Cathedral, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the Ponte Vecchio, all of which will have you in awe of their architectural splendour.

A visit to Florence would not be complete without exploring the world-renowned Uffizi Gallery, which houses masterpieces by all the big names; Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo, the list goes on. And of course, another must-see is the Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo’s David.

Meanwhile, in the nearby city of Pisa, the world-famous Leaning Tower is an architectural wonder that has become an international symbol of Italy. Visitors can climb the tower and enjoy panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape.

And with Tuscan food being some of the most renowned in Italy, you won’t be left hungry. From succulent bistecca alla fiorentina to fresh pasta dishes like pappardelle al ragù, there is something for everyone’s taste buds.

Many Mediterranean cruises include stops in Florence and Pisa, including this Western Mediterranean Cruise with an Italian focus.

Kotor, Montenegro

Nestled in the heart of Montenegro’s picturesque coastline lies the charming town of Kotor. Surrounded by stunning landscapes, it has become an increasingly popular Mediterranean cruise destination.
The town’s rich past is reflected in its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Visitors can explore the impressive fortifications that surround the city, which date back to the mediaeval era.

A climb up to the top of the fortress walls provides an unforgettable view of the town and the surrounding Bay of Kotor.

Kotor’s quaint Old Town, which boasts narrow winding streets and a lively atmosphere, is another must-see attraction. The town’s charming piazzas are the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely coffee or a traditional Montenegrin meal alongside some delicious locally produced wine for those over 18.

If you too can’t wait to wander the cobblestone streets of the Old Town or scale the fortress walls, check out this Greek Islands and Italian Cruise

Santorini, Greece

Recognise those stunning blue domes from your instagram feed? Santorini, an island in the southern Aegean Sea, is one of the most breathtaking and insta-worthy stops on any Mediterranean cruise.

Known for its white-washed buildings, blue-domed churches and stunning views of the sea,
Santorini is a great place to wander through the narrow streets and take in the unique architecture, quaint shops, and cafes.

The ancient site of Akrotiri is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. The site is a well-preserved Minoan Bronze Age settlement, which was destroyed in a volcanic eruption in the 17th century BCE. Visitors can see well-preserved frescoes and artefacts, which provide an interesting glimpse into the lives of the people who lived there.

Santorini is also renowned for its food culture, which includes the famous Santorini tomato and the local white eggplant. Visitors can taste these local specialties in many of the island’s restaurants, where they can also enjoy traditional Greek dishes like moussaka and souvlaki.

Experience the stunning beauty of Santorini on this Eastern Mediterranean cruise that includes a stop on this unique island, where history, culture, and natural beauty come together in perfect harmony.

Sicily, Italy

This southern Italian island has a rich history and vibrant culture that makes it an ideal stop for many Mediterranean cruises, famous long before it served as a stunning set location for the hit TV show, The White Lotus, Season 2.

One of the most iconic landmarks in Sicily is the ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina, a breathtaking amphitheatre that has been standing since the third century BC. Visitors can explore the ruins and take in the stunning views of Mount Etna and the Mediterranean Sea.

Another must-see destination in Sicily is the city of Palermo, visitors can explore the city’s historic centre, which is home to stunning landmarks such as the Royal Palace of Palermo and the Cattedrale di Palermo. For those interested in the island’s ancient history, the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is a must-visit site, featuring an incredible collection of Greek ruins dating back to the fifth century BC.

Sicilian cuisine is also a highlight of any visit to the island. The cuisine is a fusion of Italian, Greek, and Arab influences due to its geographical location, resulting in a unique and delicious flavour specific only to the region.

Experience the wonders of Sicily on this Greek Islands and Italian cruise that stops in this stunning destination.

Discover More

Well if that’s not convinced you that the Mediterranean is THE spot for your next cruise holiday, we don’t know what will. These 10 amazing cruise stops are ready to be explored!

To find out more about all of our Mediterranean cruise offers, speak with our travel experts today to choose the perfect Mediterranean cruise for you!

By Astrid Bell

Cruise Product Manager

Favourite Destination: Cruise Holidays

If I had my way every holiday I go on would be a cruise holiday! They are a fantastic way to see the world from Hawaii and the West Coast, The Caribbean and Bahamas Islands, the wilds of Western Canada and Alaska or the New England and Eastern Canada coastline. Not only will you get to visit a host of fantastic destinations, the cruise ships themselves these days are something of a destination too! With 5* entertainment options, fine dining and fantastic bars and an array of on board activities you might not want to ever leave the ship!