The Mediterranean remains one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world. Its sun soaked climate, crystal clear turquoise waters, famed history, culture, good food and friendly locals make it a hot spot for tourists. A Mediterranean Cruise is the perfect way to explore this breath-taking region. This article looks at 5 of the best Mediterranean Cruise Ports and offers tips and advice on what to see and do.
Villefranche-sur-Mer – France
Nestled in the east of the French Riviera, between Monaco and Nice, is Villefranche-sur-Mer which is the most visited port in France. Forget the glitz and glamour that is usually connected with this part of the Mediterranean, Villefranche-sur-Mer has managed to maintain is authenticity, offering visitors the chance to experience real old town living dating back to the 12th century! The town is famed for its port, which is one of the deepest of any port in the Mediterranean. Scattered around the port are wonderful cafés, bars and restaurants from which you can sit back and soak up the atmosphere.
Top Tip: Visit La Darse, the old harbour where you can view the many exotic yachts and boats that are docked, explore a wide range of interesting shops and stalls and then unwind with some authentic food and wine!
Valleta – Malta
As part of many Mediterranean Cruises, you may be granted the opportunity to dock at Valletta in Malta. Valleta is the capital of Malta and boasts the most outstanding architecture dating back to the 16th century. Valletta is a lively town steeped in incredible history and culture offering a wide range of museums, cathedrals and churches; all exquisite celebrations of baroque architecture. As well as its vast history and culture, Valleta is a mecca for those that enjoy a bit of retail therapy, as well as good food and drink.
Top Tip: Visit St John's Co-Cathedral, Malta's most impressive church. Designed by Gerolamo Cassar and built between 1573 and 1578, St Johns grand interior is worth the visit to Malta alone!
Rome – Italy
One of the most famous and oldest cities in the world, Rome is a must see for any Mediterranean traveller. A city literally built on some of the most fascinating history ever documented, Rome will provide you with much to see and do. As a city that nurtured the talents of Michelangelo, Rome is naturally a hive of architectural and artistic brilliance. As well as its rich history and culture, Rome is also a vibrant modern city and offers a fantastic range of modern, designer shops and boutiques to waste away the hours, and pennies!
Top Tip: The Colosseum is a must for any history buff, dating back to AD 72, the walls of this historic monument tell a gory story.
Santorini – Greece
When it comes to experiencing the true Greek lifestyle, the island of Santorini is the perfect destination. Santorini is a popular cruise port and is often at the top of cruisers lists of places to visit. Providing some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the Mediterranean, Santorini is as authentic as Mediterranean living gets. White washed homes, deep blue skies, turquoise waters and the friendliest locals you will ever meet. There are many historic and cultural sights to take in; but for me Santorini is all about taking it easy and enjoying life, indulging in good food, local wine and simply taking each day as it comes.
Top Tip: Explore the many coves and caves dotted along the coast for a more personal and private way to enjoy the crystal clear waters.
Venice – Italy
Dubbed one of the most romantic cities in the world, Venice is another extremely popular cruise destination. There is so much to see and do in Venice from museums, piazzas and art galleries, to markets, bars and restaurants. Of course the main attraction of Venice is the fact that it is the world's only pedestrian city. Its intricate web of canals offers the perfect way to explore this gorgeous city.
Top Tip: Take a trip on a Gondola; it's quite expensive but you only live once, it's worth the photo opportunity!