We’ve been on two Mediterranean cruises thus far. The first took us from Rome to Barcelona and the second took us from Malta to Athens. We loved most of the places that we visited but definitely had some favorites; we’ve even gone back to a couple of them! Since we’ve found some places that we truly love, we wanted to share our list of the best Mediterranean cruise destinations.
Why a Mediterranean Cruise?
We’ve chosen to go on two Mediterranean cruises with Seabourn because it’s the easiest way for us to discover which places we like best. It allows us to travel to multiple countries and more-or-less sample the culture and food prior to a full commitment of a week or two.
Then, when we find a destination that we love, we make sure to go back. The first destination on our list is one of our favorite countries in the world, and it’s Adam’s top pick (ok, it’s mine too but, when I asked him which his favorites were, this was the first place that came out of his mouth…so I guess he earned it).
Before we get to that, we want you to know that it’ll be difficult to find a cruise that goes to each of these places. We ranked them in our order of preference in hopes that it could help you make a decision.
As far as a cruise line? Here are our reasons for choosing Seabourn.
Adam is obsessed with Malta, so much so that we’ve been considering purchasing a second home there (when the time comes). The food, the culture, the access to both water and land adventures? It’s all reasons he loves this country.
He feels as though this should be a top Mediterranean cruise destination because it’s an island that (one) people have never heard of and (two) offers various things to do for a cruise port day. We’ve even got our list of things to do in this amazing country.
Some of those things, for those that don’t want to read the full post include: visit Gozo (which, honestly, comes with its own list of things to do), go to Fort St. Elmo, and wander around the three cities.
Ah, Monaco. We visited this beautiful place during our honeymoon. The luxe lifestyle of this principality can be seen in everywhere. From the designer shops to the grand prix and the casinos, this place screams wealth. Since he loves all things luxe, this was a dream.
On a port day in Monaco, we recommend visiting the palace and the museums around it. It’s been a while, but we remember purchasing a ticket that allowed access to multiple museums. Afterward, we wandered around, taking in all of the stunning views and walked around all of the famous places.
We had an amazing lunch at the famous Cafe de Paris (which was amazing) and recommend that you try it out too!
Since Adam loves adventure, he also recommends heading over to Kotor. There’s an amazing hike up to the castle walls that we absolutely loved. It yielded amazing views and helped us to work off some of that cruise food!
For those that choose to hike, it’s a morning activity for sure. It gets so hot in the summertime! We were drenched in sweat and ended up drinking tons of water.
Even though the hike isn’t intense, the weather makes it feel so. We saw multiple women hiking in flip flops or dresses. I chose to wear workout gear since we were planning on heading back to the ship afterward anyway. We could not wander around the walled city looking like we did!
For those that like water activities, we would recommend kayaking in the bay. We didn’t get to do it, since we chose to hike instead, but it seems like such an amazing experience.
We both tend to prefer places that are less traveled to, and Taormina is one of those places, even though we both suspect that it’s moving up in popularity (based on the amount of clicks on our Taormina posts!).
Taormina is a beautiful city in Sicily. Prior to our first trip here, we had never heard of it. And, after having been twice, I can state that it’s one of my favorite places in the world. There are so many things to do. You can go shopping, visit Isola Bella, wander around the famous Greek Amphitheatre, and catch views of both Mt. Etna and the stunning sea below.
The first time we were there, we noticed that a concert was being set up in the Amphitheatre, and we have huge plans to go back and stay there so that we can witness a concert in such an amazing venue. It’d be a once in a lifetime experience! And who doesn’t love those?
The island of Corsica (another place that we hadn’t heard too much about) offered one of the most amazing days on our honeymoon trip. We visited Ajaccio (on a whim, since winds wouldn’t allow us to visit Bandol) and we fell in love. The morning that we went, there was a local farmer’s market. We had so much fun wandering around and looking at different foods, spices, and florals.
In Ajaccio, there was also a sidewalk along the shoreline. It was a gorgeous walk to this ferris wheel. We were able to get on and check on the views of Ajaccio.
It was such a perfect day, even though we didn’t get to research and plan out things to do. It was so fun to just go and explore – and stumble upon things too! It gave us such fond memories that we hope to go back, both to Ajaccio and to the remainder of the island.
Let’s face it. We all know about Oia and the beautiful views. While it’s a busier cruise port, which made it a little bit more annoying to visit, I still fully recommend it. Usually, you’ll be here a little longer, a little later, as the cruise lines are fully aware that cruisers want to see the glorious sunsets too!
When visiting the island of Santorini, we fully recommend heading out in the morning, going back to the ship during the hottest part of the day, and then heading back out in the evening for one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever witness.
Unlike the other destinations, there aren’t exactly a ton of things to do in Oia. We just wandered around to different viewpoints, took loads of photos, and cuddled a few kittens.
It’s this that makes it a place that you can leave in the afternoons, especially because it really is hot (even for us Florida natives!).
bonus: one place we weren’t fond of
Remember how our unplanned day in Corsica went so well? Well, our unplanned day in Sarande, Albania did not go so well.
While the sea was beautiful, the town was more-or-less empty and run down. It was difficult to have an unplanned day here, as there wasn’t much to do. We saw the old city center ruins; however, all of the other “things to do” were quite far. We considered doing another hike but didn’t want to have to put in the work to talk with the taxi drivers that kept haggling us.
All in all, it was a beautiful place but, unless you plan to spend most (or all) of your time outside of the actual city, we don’t recommend it. However, this is just our opinion as luxe travelers. We’re unsure of how others would feel but, since we prefer “nice things”, this cruise port wasn’t for us.
We hope that you enjoyed our list of the best Mediterranean cruise destinations. What would you put on your list?