For centuries, the Mediterranean Sea has been the route through which trade, exploration, and cultural contacts have passed, earning its nickname as the "middle of the Earth." Today it is still the vibrant center of some of the world's most beautiful and well-known destinations, fabled for its stunning blue waters and temperate climate.
Legendary Cities Along the Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea plays home to a number of the great cities from the development of Western civilization – some now in ruins, others thrillingly modern, while retaining the treasures of the past.
The iconic fountains, monuments, and cathedrals of Rome have drawn visitors for centuries, while Vatican City remains the destination for millions of pilgrims. In scenic Athens, the ruins of the great achievements of the ancient Greeks share the city with a bustling modern metropolis. Venice is known not only for its canals and gondolas, but also for its unique architectural landmarks. And there are lesser-known but equally astounding remnants of the past spread throughout the Mediterranean, from the coast of Tunisia to the scenic shores of Croatia.
Glamor and Nightlife
Many of the cities of the Mediterranean are known more for their current attractions rather than for their history. Monte Carlo is a playground for the fabulous, where you can marvel at the history on display, or try your luck at the casino. Barcelona has its important share of history, of course, but is also known for its restaurants, music, and for the fantastic creations of Gaudi. In Lisbon, you can shop, stroll and taste your way through Portuguese cuisine.
Hidden Treasures of the Mediterranean
Some of the most memorable travel highlights along the Mediterranean Sea aren't the well-known destinations, but the unexpected pleasures. Corfu's scenic countryside and beaches are perfect for lazy days, and their local cuisine is a treat for the senses.
Gibraltar is perfect for walking tours and scenic hikes. The coast of Croatia is still off the radar for many tourists, but features an astounding countryside, and historic cities like Dubrovnik and Split. And as you may have heard, there are fantastic beaches throughout the region, including the sun-worshippers' paradise, Mallorca.
Explore Western Europe Aboard a Mediterranean Cruise
Like the explorers of old, you can add to your Mediterranean Sea discoveries and visit the great cities and remote coastlines of Western Europe. Several Viking cruises are available to take you across the waters all the way from Scandinavia. Along the way, you can check out the food and culture of Spain and Portugal, travel farther into France, spend time in vibrant London, and cruise the North Sea all the way from Norway. Why not make it a grand voyage of new sights and old favorites?
Aboard the Viking Ship
The Mediterranean Sea abounds with scenic ports of call, and on a Viking cruise, you will connect with history through our knowledgeable, experienced guides. The professional and courteous staff can help with all your needs, and the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere will give you room to read, breathe deep, and unwind as you take in the Mediterranean's legendary blue waters and temperate climate.
The opportunities for cultural enrichment don't stop when you get back on board, either; there are lectures and onboard classes, suggested reading, and a wide variety of chances to learn more about this fascinating part of the world.