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6 Amazing Places to Visit Around the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean coastline is filled with magnificent beaches and interesting sites to visit all year round.

The weather offers sunny days year-round to explore, while water activities are best enjoyed through the warm extended summer months.

A holiday to the Mediterranean is the perfect way to relax, enjoy the sunshine and soak up some local history and culture.

The six best places to visit in the Mediterranean are revealed below and offer a wide range of relaxation,activities, sites, and fun in the sun to entertain all. These cities, towns,and islands are a must-visit when planning a holiday to the Mediterranean.  

Crete, Greece

Beautiful beach, Crete, Greece

Crete is the largest island of Greece and is the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

It boasts a wide range of idyllic beaches and ancient ruins to awe all types of tourists. North of the island, Crete’s modern capital Heraklion, caters to people of all tastes.

Accommodation here ranges from luxurious hotels with complete facilities such as swimming pools and spas to smaller family-owned apartments, camping grounds, and backpackers.

Outdoor seating with Ocean view in the background

History

A small distance south of Heraklion lies the old palace of Knossos, the 3,000-year-old mythic seat of King Minos.

The palace is known as the location Daedalus built a labyrinth to hold his son, the Minotaur and is a magnificent place to reflect on the gorgeous history Greece has to offer.

There are many other ancient sites to explore around the island and continue to learn of Greece’s interesting ancient history including: Archaia Poli tis Lato, Malia Palace and the Ancient city of Polyrinia.  

The Coast

On the west side of the island lies Elafonisi beach, known as one of the best beaches in the world, and after visiting you will understand why.

The snow-white, sandy beach is located on a nature reserve that stretches from the mainland, across the channel, and over to Elafonisi, a small rectangular island renowned for its stunningly pink sandy beaches and dunes.

The water between the island and mainland is shallow and clear, where often sand bars allow a safe, dry passage. Elafonisi offers a beautiful natural pool that is the perfect place to relax, calmly floating along the water's surface.

The calm turquoise waters and beautiful mountain views of the coastline make this area paradise.

Aerial shot, Balos beach, Crete, Greece on a sunny day
Balos beach on a beautiful day

Balos Lagoon, frequented by ferries from Kissamos, is one of the only rivals to the paradisiacal Elafonisi beach.

Viewing the gorgeous lagoon that is caught between cape Gramvousa and Cape Tigani by boat or walking along the hillside road is a sight to behold and not one to miss while visiting this beautiful island paradise.

To the west, where Gramvousa Peninsula connects to the mainland, lies Falassarna beach. This harbor contains 5separate beaches and is the only other rival to Elafonisi.

The surrounding rugged terrain creates the perfect place to paraglide and enjoy water sports available on the beachfront.The beautiful yellow sandy beach is the perfect place to spend the day relaxing in the surf and sun.  

Mallorca, Spain

Aerial shot of beachgoers enjoying the sea, Mallorca
Sun, sea, sand, the perfect mix!

If beach resorts are where you like to stay, Mallorca in Spain is the place to visit. There are hundreds of choices from luxurious to affordable, that offer magnificent beachfront luxury.  

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The Beach

Aerial shot of beach in Mallorca, Spain

Limestone mountains leading to sheltered coves and beautiful beaches offer a range of perfectly sunny spots to relax and enjoy the sand, surf and gorgeous mountain views.

Sailing and boat tours constantly encircle the island teaching tourists about boating life. Snorkeling, diving, and kayaking are also available from boats or shore, allowing people to explore the unique ocean life of Mallorca.

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The Island

Onshore wine tasting tours run constantly and offer a range of unique vintages along with tapas to delight the senses.

Rock climbing is a common sport due to the beautiful limestone mountains which also offer some of the most magnificent views when hiking.

The gorgeous hillside village of Fornalutx is surrounded by citrus plantations and offers a beautiful range of rock-climbing and hiking trails to enjoy.

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The stone-built village of Pollenca offers a yearly international music festival, inviting guests from around the world to enjoy the local art galleries and restaurants, as the village comes alive with culture and music from all around the globe.

The remote eloquent hilly towns and the capital of Palma support a soulful nightlife year-round to cap off an enjoyable day of island activities.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Aerial shot of the coastline and sea, Dubrovnik, Croatia
A stunning gem of the Mediterranean

In southern Croatia, along the Adriatic Sea lies the majestic city of Dubrovnik.

The old town is encircled with massive stone walls surrounded by the modern city and is a perfect place to holiday in the Mediterranean.

It is not surprising Dubrovnik is known as one of the most prominent tourist destinations of the area due to the range of modern and historical gems found here.

 

History

Statue outside historic building, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, historically named Ragusa, dates back to the 7th century.

It has been a part of the Byzantine,Austrian and French Empires, the Kingdoms of Italy and Yugoslavia, the Republic of Venice and finally as it is known today, Croatia.

This rich history offers many historical relics to view city-wide. Buildings including the baroque St. Blaise church,the Renaissance Sponza Palace, and the Gothic Rector’s Palace are just some of the gorgeous, well-preserved architecture found amongst the old city.

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Modern Sites and Activities

The modern Mediterranean restaurant scene here is something to behold, or rather, taste.

Restaurants in the city offer a wide variety of dining options, with the freshest seafood you can experience.

The catch of the day is a frequent item on menus here, with cuisine available to satisfy any craving. The limestone-paved Steadun Placa is lined with restaurants and shops to indulge any fancy.  

Since the restoration works after the 1991 War of Independence, the city has emerged as one of the Mediterranean’s top tourist destinations and has been used as a filming location for many movies and T.V shows.

The Movie tours around the city allow tourists to visit the many filming locations throughout Dubrovnik, while a wide range of other walking tours accommodates all interests. These walking tours will entice and delight and allows tourists to enjoy the gorgeous sites this city has to offer.

The Sea  

Aerial shot of coastline, Dubrovnik

The Adriatic Sea is a beautiful place to escape the city and enjoy the open waters.

Many speed boat tours leave from the Dubrovnik port and take tourists to a range of caves and local idyllic spots perfect to jump in and enjoy the clear turquoise waters.

Kayaking tours or hiring a kayak is a very popular way to explore or drift and see where the Sea will take you.  

Alexandria, Egypt

Citadel of Qaitbay, Alexandria
Citadel of Qaitbay

The port city of Alexandria is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, gorgeous sandy beaches and unique underwater ruins.

It is a city full of history that gives a sense of past grandeur, and it is obvious when visiting why Alexandria is one of the best places to visit in the Mediterranean.

The city  

In the past, Alexandria was seen as the Jewel of the Mediterranean as it hosted the great Library of Alexandria and the tremendous Pharos Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The Bibliotheca Alexandria is the modern re-imagining of the Ancient Great Library, containing one of the modern world's most formidable libraries.

The beautiful exhibition spaces below the main library display the magnificence of the city and offer beautiful insight into Alexandria.

The variety of museums found here explore the gorgeous history of this timeless city, displaying ancient texts and scrolls alongside antiquated sculptures from ancient Egypt to the Roman era.

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The catacombs of Kom el-Shuqqafa are thought to date back to the 2nd century AD. These catacombs, hewn from rock on the southern slopes of a hill in Carmous are a wonderful place to admire Alexandria’s union of Ancient Egypt and Greco-Rome.

Recently, an ancient treasure was discovered under Kom el-Dikka or Mound of Rubble in English.

The site was being cleared for housing when the remains from Alexandria’s Greco-Roman period were discovered.

The site is now a small archaeological park containing remnants of the Ptolemaic temple and a range of Bath-houses and villas from the period.

It is a wonderous place to visit and begin understanding the style of Alexandria.  

The Water

Harbour with many boats and skyline of Alexandria

The waterfront along Corniche Road is a sight unto itself.

Along this scenic walk is the chance to view the magnificent multi-domed Abu Abbas al-Mursi Mosque, and the heritage hotels that were once the grandest addresses in town.

These infamous sites, once host to celebrities such as Agatha Christie and Winston Churchill, are a marvelous representative of the city’s prime.

Continuing east along the shorefront lies Fort Qaitbay, once the site of the colossal Pharos Lighthouse.

The lighthouse was toppled by a violent earthquake in 1303, and so the fort was built to stand guard over Alexandria inits place.

Birdseye shot of beach in Alexandria Egypt

Lighthouse rubble was used in the construction of the Fort, and at its peak, after climbing through ancient chambers, is a grand view of the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Diving from Port Alexandria is unlike any other SCUBA experience along the Mediterranean.

The Eastern Harbor offers a myriad of ancient underwater ruins to explore and is an awe-inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Toppled statues, sphynxes, and ancient columns of the old city make for a fascinating underwater expedition.

Paphos, Cyprus

Ocean view with Villas, Paphos, Greece

Paphos is the ideal holiday location,offering a range of archaeological and historical sites alongside the best place to snorkel in the Mediterranean.  

The city

Paphos is a city on the southwest coast of Cyprus that hosts a range of historical gems.

‘Old Paphos’ was the mythical birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite and hosts several idyllic sites concerning the goddess.

The surrounding ‘New Paphos’ hosts the modern city, the Harbor, and the Paphos Archaeological Park. Here, ancient tombs, theaters, fortresses and villas display the gorgeous history of the city, ready for exploration.  

Snorkeling

Woman snorkelling in shallow blue waters

 

Paphos city offers a wide range of options for both experienced and novice divers.

Tourists can learn to SCUBA or Snorkel at one of the many diving centres across the city, take a boat tour to perfect diving destinations off the coast, or simply snorkel from one of the local beaches.

The best places to snorkel in the Mediterranean are found along this coastline which offers unique sites such as Coral Bay, Manolis Bay, the Baths of Aphrodite, Fig Tree Bay, and Cape Greco, among others.

The coral reefs provide a range of ocean life to be discovered, including colorful fish and turtles, while the crystal-clear beaches are an idyllic paradise, perfect to spend the day relaxing in the sun.

The many beach restaurants offer the perfect place to dine, feel the fresh air, admire gorgeous views and fill up after a day enjoying the best snorkeling the Mediterranean has to offer.  

Sliema, Malta

Harbour with yachts and man fishing, Sliema, Malta

The resort town of Sliema, on the east coast of Malta, features a range of marvelous wonders to experience.  

Things to do in the Water  

While there is a lack of sandy beaches here, there is no lack of swimming opportunities.

The Fond Ghadir commonly referred to as the Roman Baths, is a beautiful series of rectangular rock-cut pools.

Swimming ladders line the rims, and the sheltered pools offer an idyllic place to relax and swim.

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Hiring one of the dinghies from Malta Self Drive Boats requires no experience and tourists are provided with ideal locations to anchor and swim or even pull up at the waterfront bar.

These self-drive boats offer a perfect way to explore the hidden gems of Sliema Harbor and offer a unique perspective of the stunning coast.

If driving a boat isn't ideal then catching the Valletta ferry is the perfect way to admire the gorgeous coastline of Sliema.

 

Things to do Onshore

St Julians in Sliema Bay, Malta

Tours of Sliema's Churches, Fort Tigne, St.Julian’s Tower and visiting Manoel Island are all wonderful ways to explore the history this town has to offer, whereas the art galleries and shows at the Salesian theater offer an entertaining cultural experience.

The local shopping and restaurant scene surrounding Tigne Point, a modernized Military Barracks, provides tourists with a range of local boutiques to discover and dining experiences that will delight the taste buds of all who eat here.  

The coast life and history found along the Mediterranean Sea are a must-experience.

These 6 best places to visit in the Mediterranean offer a magnificent starting point to any Mediterranean adventure, each hosting a selection of beautiful diving, idyllic beaches, historic monuments, restaurants and entertainment for everyone to enjoy.