Bordered by Asia, Africa and Europe on its three sides, the Mediterranean Sea offers a uniquely diverse traveling experience. With about three thousand islands dotting its blue-green waters, one of the most sought-after packages of modern tourism has become the type for people seeking the jewels of the Mediterranean.
There are several groups of islands which form the mainstay of the regular cruise routes: the Aeolian, the Argo-Saronic, the Balearic and the Ionian. The largest individual islands counted amongst these groups include Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, Corsica and Crete. This mix of mainland influences transforms every shore excursion into a new adventure.
Charting the course along the sparkling waters, a journey on Mediterranean cruises, through waters dotted with quaint islands gift the traveler with a peek into the ancient world. You can also explore the distinct flavors of Mediterranean cuisine, some with traditions going back centuries.
Sicily, the largest island on the Mediterranean Sea, is another unforgettable stopping point. With a rich culture reflected in its arts, literature and architecture, Sicily is also home to Mount Etna, a storied active volcano that occasionally rumbles and splutters in the distance. Towns like Taormina and Agrigento offer views of well-preserved ancient Roman temples that are strewn across the island.
Next up is the paradise island of Sardinia, with its 1,800 km of sands bordering crystal clear waters. Sardinia has a rich tapestry of arts and culture influenced by its many visiting civilizations, and has its own UNESCO World Heritage site dating back to the Bronze Age. The Sardinian cuisine is dominated by dry bread, cheeses and exotic seafood.
The French island of Corsica is nicknamed the Isle of Beauty, and with good reason too! This enigmatic island blends rugged cliffs, forests and half-moon bays with beautiful sun and sand. Quiet villages with welcoming people — a far cry from the often maddening bustle of modern cities — extend warm hospitality to their guests. Equally famous here is the narrow gauge train line, with its postcard view of the Mediterranean in all of its blue and green splendor.
That’s one of the amazing things about the Mediterranean, that it has so many places that, if they were a person, you could just wrap your arms around them and hug, so cute are they! This mesmerizing area makes for a splendid vacation, with the sun, the sea, the sand and, most important of all, the memories.