About the Western Mediterranean Sea
The stunning blue waters of the Western Mediterranean are surrounded by some of the most famous and picturesque sites in the world. For centuries, the sea has been a hub of trade, exploration, and empire building. A cruise on the waters of the Western Mediterranean Sea today provides a fantastic opportunity to witness ancient beauty and history in the midst of vibrant, modern culture, nightlife, and cuisine.
Glimpses of the Past
With millennia of stories to tell, the Western Mediterranean is a living library for students of history. Monuments of the Roman Empire can still be found scattered throughout the region, as well as remnants of the hundreds of other cultures that have crossed these waters.
Rome today is a thriving, bustling modern city, where you can still find some of the most famous and iconic monuments in the Western world. Day trips to the surrounding museums and cathedrals bring history up close and personal. Or you can take in Malta, which still features remnants of the many cultures that have coexisted and clashed there. In Tunisia, on the northern coast of Africa, you can take a trip to visit the ruins of Carthage. The sights of Pisa, Tuscany and the surrounding countryside might feel familiar even to the first-time visitor.
Natural Wonders Along the Western Mediterranean
Not all of the attractions along the Western Mediterranean are manmade. Besides the legendary beauty of the sea itself, the beaches, islands, and countryside of the region have attracted artists and other travelers for centuries.
If you're looking to pay a visit to any of those famous beaches, you'll find them in abundance on Mallorca, along with pleasant hikes and delicious local delicacies. Less well known are the beaches of Corsica, with its cave system and rugged terrain. Or you could start from Toulon, France, and explore the regional cuisine. Sardinia and Sicily also beckon, as do the arid sand-scapes of Algeria. Along the Western Mediterranean, a wide variety of travel opportunities await you.
Mixed in together with the history and natural wonders, you'll also find gleaming modern cities with festive crowds of diners and shoppers out celebrating until the wee hours and beyond. Barcelona is a city that likes to eat, dance and play. And then of course there's Monte Carlo, playground of the ritzy and glamorous, with its famous casino nightlife. You'll find that many of the cities of the Western Mediterranean are constantly evolving and growing, while still retaining the spirit of their unique histories.
Tastes of the Mediterranean
The Western Mediterranean has long been famous for its food, flavored by the spice trade and its blend of diverse cultures. On a Viking cruise, you'll get a chance to sample from the vast, inventive range of culinary styles. You will also have the option to take cooking classes with local chefs, in order to improve your own skills, so you can bring the Mediterranean's flavors back home with you.
Exciting choices abound; in Naples, you'll find the most traditional style of pizza, as well as their specialty limoncello. Valencia is another standout, known for paella and local wines. From tapas tasting to vineyard tours, you'll find a bounty of flavors await you on your next Viking cruise.
Aboard the Ship
Your exploration of the history and culture of the Western Mediterranean doesn't end when you get back on board, either. On a Viking cruise, you'll find ample opportunities to immerse yourself, including onboard lectures, classes, activities and performances.
On the ship as well as on shore, you'll have knowledgeable, professional staff and guides to help you get all you can from your travel experience. You'll also have the free time you need to relax, unwind and imagine the centuries of stories that have unfolded on the waters of the Western Mediterranean.
View our Ocean Cruises on the Western Mediterranean.