5 Wonderful Mediterranean Cruise Ports
A Mediterranean cruise in the summer is hard to beat when it comes to holiday options, with its mild climate, idyllic bays and fine sandy beaches. But, its charms are not just limited to sun, sand and summertime. With their bustling waterfronts, historic centres and charming people, the ports of the Mediterranean are always worth exploring.
So come with us on a tour of the 5 most wonderful Mediterranean cruise ports, each with its own character and charm to discover.
Welcome to the cradle of Western civilisation, a place that was a tourist destination before a lot of other countries were even born. Today, Athens is a heady mix of ancient and modern, with 2,500 year old monuments standing side-by-side with neoclassical buildings and high-rises, old taverns and fast-food outlets, craftsmen's shops and souvenir outlets. There are many highlights for a visit to Athens, but some of the standouts include The Acropolis, Greece's premier attraction and one of the most important historic sites in the Western world; the Plaka, a historic neighbourhood home to quaint and quirky shops, and quality restaurants; and the Monastiraki Flea Market, a bustling market known for its clothing, fur, jewellery, vintage records, antiques and souvenirs.
The second largest city in Spain, Barcelona was developed as a a port by the Romans and has long been a Mediterranean centre of commerce and passenger shipping. The city's prime location on the Iberian Peninsula, its wealth of historical, cultural and artistic offerings, and docks within walking distance of the city centre, make it a major draw card with cruisers. A vibrant city, Barcelona is probably best known for its architecture, as it is home to Gothic cathedrals and magnificent creations by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudi. Another highlight of a visit to Barcelona includes Las Ramblas, a promenade leading from the waterfront to the centre of old Barcelona, offering tapas bars, shops, flower stalls, street performers and the famous Boqueria Market along the way.
The 900-year old city of Dubrovnik is an idyllic harbour town and today is one of the most popular Mediterranean/Adriatic ports. With blue sea beaches, medieval ramparts surrounding the ancient streets and historic architecture, and a surrounding countryside that remains redolent of old-world living, it is not difficult to see why it is so popular. Known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik is home to churches, synagogues and monasteries that date back centuries; a medieval Old Town surrounded by 80-metre high walls that offer magnificent views; and narrow cobbled laneways lined with charming stores and cafes.
A city on two continents, Istanbul is literally where East meets West, sitting at the point where Europe and Asia touch. Is a place of mosques and minarets, sultan's treasures, crowded bazaars, and holy Christian landmarks. Its a chaotic, modern city teeming with energy, where your senses spring to life with the smell of the spice market, the taste of traditional Turkish dishes, the feel of a Turkish carpet, and the sound of muezzins chanting the call to prayer. A true juxtaposition of culture and history, a visit to Istanbul will expose you to both aspects as you explore the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace, to name just a few.
As legend would have it, Rome was supposedly founded by twin brothers Romulus and Remus in 753B.C, and this mythic stature has not waned over the centuries of history that span this great city. Rome is considered a living museum, with its historic architecture, ancient ruins and renowned artworks spread across the city. Vatican City, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, St Peter's Basilica and the Colosseum are some of the world's famous attractions - and they're all in Rome. The food, the culture, and the legendary hospitality of the people all add to the reasons to visit.
Of course, there are many other wonderful and amazing ports highlighted on a Mediterranean cruise, but hopefully this has given you a taste of what is to come. If you've spotted an itinerary that interests you, call one of our Cruising Specialists to find out what cruise will suit you, and lets get you to the Mediterranean next summer. Just call us on 1300 954 661 today.