The Mediterranean, aka the Med, is a gorgeous region comprising 20 countries in Southern Europe and North Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea. One of the best ways to discover this mix of historical cities and cozy islands is to embark on a cruise, which can last from seven to fourteen days or sometimes even longer. On such a voyage, you are sure to do some unparalleled sightseeing, taste mouth-watering foods, take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters, and soak up the famous Mediterranean sun.
Best time to cruise the Mediterranean
Mediterranean cruise lines operate throughout the whole year, but the best time to explore the region is from April to October or November, when the weather is mostly dry and sunny. The winter months, December to March, are notorious for rough waters in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as unpleasantly damp and windy days.
Top Mediterranean cruise itineraries
Generally, you can choose from a myriad of cruise lines, offering pretty similar itineraries. The most popular one is the Central Mediterranean direction, featuring France, part of Italy, the Balearic Islands, Malta, and parts of Spain like Barcelona. Another frequent choice is Eastern Mediterranean cruises, which typically depart from Venice and proceed along the coast to Croatia, Montenegro, Crete, and Greece. Greek Island Mediterranean cruises are famous among travelers who prefer cruising on a smaller ship.
Alternatively, you can start your adventures in the UK and other parts of northern Europe. These tours are more lasting, as they have a long way to go before they get into the Mediterranean basin. Such cruises stop in France, Portugal, and Gibraltar. Yet, note that such cruising vacations will take at least two weeks.
Mediterranean cruise departure ports
Most Med cruises start in the ports of Barcelona, Genoa, Civitavecchia, Venice, Piraeus near Athens, and also Southampton in England. If you wish to explore the city you're starting your trip from, make sure to save some time before the departure. The accommodations map below might be useful if you need to book a stay near some of the ports on the list.
How to choose a cruise line
Choosing your cruise line might be tough due to the options galore. Thus, we recommend thoroughly researching the operators and making your choice based on your preferences and expectations. Pay attention to the budget you're ready to spend on these holidays, consider excursions, and mind the size of the ship. Note that smaller ships are niftier to navigate the smaller islands and can enter more secluded and interesting ports.