Places in Mediterranean Europe You Must See at Least Once in Your Lifetime

| © Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Tara Jessop

The Mediterranean coastline is home to endlessly beautiful landscapes. After all, tourists flock here constantly in pursuit of azure waters, rocky hillsides and ancient architecture. But, what spots truly stand out from the rest in such an idyllic part of the world? From Morocco to Monaco, here are the Mediterranean destinations you really need to visit at least once in your lifetime.
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Santorini, Greece

With white-washed houses that stand out against the bright volcanic cliffs, Santorini is a picture-perfect Greek islands. Our eight-day Greek Island Odyssey begins in Athens, stopping off at Milos and Naxos en route, but it could only ever end up in Santorini, for sunset panoramas unlike any other.

Cinque Terre, Italy

A Unesco World Heritage site since 1997, Cinque Terre is a collection of five pastel-coloured fishing villages perched on a cliff edge. They’re all connected by a quaint, 19th-century train track. Our Classic Northern Italy trip takes in the Cinque Terre’s spectacular coastline on a scenic hike, as well as taking you to Rome, Florence, Lake Como, Siena, Milan and more.

Collioure, France

A picturesque port nestled on the edge of Pyrenees mountains, Collioure has inspired many famous artists, including Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

Bonifacio, Corsica

Located on the southern tip of Corsica, Bonifacio is virtually dangling into the Mediterranean Sea. It’s home to Medieval fortresses and Roman ruins, making it a city steeped in history and natural beauty.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a vibrant, historic and exciting jewel of the Mediterranean. The Gothic Old Town, the Modernist marvels and the awe-inspiring food markets are just some of the reasons why you need to see it at least once in your life. Join us in the Catalan capital for our Surrealist Spain Mini Trip, where we explore Gaudí, the Gothic Quarter and Passeig de Gracia.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

The Bay of Kotor is one of the wettest places in Europe – it even has small glaciers in certain areas. Harbouring many important Medieval towns, the bay has been designated a Unesco World Heritage site since 1979.

Valencia, Spain

Plaza de la Virgen is one of Valencia’s must-see destinations near the cathedral in the Old Town

Host of the annual Las Fallas firework and pyrotechnic festival, Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain. It’s a thriving Mediterranean capital with an important Arts and Science Museum.

Athens, Greece

Athens is world-famous as the birthplace of democracy. From there, we got the backbone of all of Western civilisation. However, there’s more to the Greek capital than history. After being wowed by the Acropolis and the Parthenon, stroll through the luscious National Garden, or unleash your inner petrolhead at the Motor Museum. Tuck into an authentic Greek dinner with views of the Acropolis and explore Athens on a street art tour during our Speedy Greece Mini Trip, which explores the city and the nearby sleepy island of Serifos.

Antalya, Turkey

The gateway to the Turkish riviera, Antalya is a fishing town which boasts both a historic town centre (Kaleiçi) and some lively, modern bars and restaurants. Relax on the beautiful beaches of the Turkish riviera at the end of our 12-day Epic Trip in Turkey – a well deserved treat at the end of all that adventure.

Valletta, Malta

The capital of Malta, Valletta is a Baroque masterpiece built in large part during the 16th century by the Knights Hospitaller or Order of St John. A Unesco World Heritage Site, it also boasts a number of well-preserved Modern, Neo-Classical and Mannerist landmarks.

Cannes, France

There’s more to Cannes than the film festival; it’s also the heartland of the French Riviera. Lined with palm trees and overlooking the Mediterranean, the Boulevard de la Croisette is the place to be seen. It’s full of sumptuous palaces, designer boutiques and luxury hotels.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik juts out into the sea

Dubrovnik is a must-see destination whatever the time of year. In summer the beaches attract sun-worshippers and party-goers; meanwhile, the colder months are the perfect time to explore the historic city centre and beautiful limestone streets. Our Coastal Croatia trip ends with two relaxing days in the city.

Marseille, France

Marseille is the bad-boy of the French Riviera. However, behind the gritty façade there is a city full of culture and history to be explored.

Venice, Italy

One of the most romantic cities in the word, Venice is spread across 100 lagoons that occupy the Venetian lagoon. Taking a gondola ride through the intricate network of canals that meander among its Renaissance palaces is something that has to be on everyone’s travel bucket list. Eat your way around Venice’s labyrinthine streets and get fizzy with it in the nearby Prosecco Hills on our Sparkling Veneto Mini Trip.

Tetouan, Morocco

A treasure along the North African shoreline, Tetouan is an off-the-beaten-track Moroccan city located at the foot of the Rif mountains. Rich in Hispano-Arabic art dating back to the time of the Spanish Reconquista, the ancient Medina is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Mykonos, Greece

In the early 20th century, Mykon os was a fairly poor, desolate island; today it’s a glitzy hang-out. It’s a white-washed paradise frequented by jet-setters and party-goers. We’ll stop off here for some free time on the island during our premium Greek Sailing Trip.

Gibraltar

The Rock in Gibraltar is its most famous landmark

Located at the southernmost tip of Spain yet a territory of the United Kingdom, Gibraltar is a little drop of Britishness among a sea of Mediterranean culture. Cutesy tea rooms, greasy fish and chip shops, and hundreds of Barbary apes are just some of the quirks.

Chania, Crete

Located on the northern shoreline of Crete, Chania has a 14th-century Venetian harbour and 16th-century lighthouse. The crooked streets are lined with charming artisan stores, and old tavernas serving fresh fish and other local delicacies.

Paphos, Cyprus

Said to be the birthplace of Greek goddess of love Aphrodite, Paphos is both a well-preserved piece of antiquity and a lively tourist destination, with plenty of nightlife and family-friendly activities.

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast is a morsel of Mediterranean magic: a rugged coastline dotted with colourful villages perched on sheer cliffs and surrounded by dazzling waters and lush nature. Featured in countless movies and TV series, the coast has been designated a Unesco World Heritage site since 1997. Cruise along this majestic coastline on a private boat on our Seductive Southern Italy trip.

Bosa, Sardinia

Bosa is a small fishing town with a landscape reminiscent of an artist’s palette, Multicoloured houses line the waterfront, boldly standing out against the vivid turquoise waters.

Monaco

Home to the rich and famous, Monaco is the land of fast cars, superyachts and mega-mansions. It is a place to party, be seen and to have fun.

Palermo, Sicily

The Sicilian capital is steeped in history and architectural beauty, with many monuments dating back to the 9th century. A melting-pot of cultures throughout the ages, Palermo bears the traces of Byzantine, Baroque and Gothic influences. As the capital it naturally plays a big role in our Spectacular Sicily trip, which includes a culinary and historical deep dive into the city, before you explore the island’s many natural phenomena.

Naples, Italy

Naples is a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, with a rich artistic heritage and some rather fine monuments, palaces and restaurants. Embark on a food tour of this culinary behemoth on our Coastal Italy Mini Trip.

Formentera, Balearic Islands, Spain

If Ibiza is famous for the all-night parties, Formentera is the quieter little sibling. It’s just 30 minutes by boat from Ibiza and surrounded by jaw-dropping turquoise waters – not to mention lined with spectacular white-sand beaches and tranquil villas.

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