The expansive Mediterranean Sea is definitely one of the most breathtaking destinations in the world, and nowadays, sailing the Mediterranean is also one of the safest ways to go on a family vacation. Cruising the Mediterranean is a weeks-long voyage that will take you on a discovery journey of the most breathtaking honey-hued beaches, the most secluded islet oases, and the most luxurious ports in the world. From the quaint seaside towns to the historic urban gems, all the way to the luxurious resorts boasting the finest dining and shopping, there’s plenty to see and do in the great Mediterranean.
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly subsiding in the countries on the Med, you can finally organize your long-awaited Mediterranean escapade. Let’s take a look at your itinerary and the destinations you simply can’t miss on your cruise. We’ll also mention some of the top attractions and activities along the way.
Start with the Italian coastline
There is no better way to kick-start your exploration of the Mediterranean Sea than from the Italian riviera. Now, there are many places you can set sail from in Italy, from Genoa on the western fringe to Catania in Sicily, or even Crotone, the pearl of the Italian heel. Wherever you start your journey from, though, your goal is to head east towards the Adriatic Sea in order to transition seamlessly into the beauty that is the Croatian and Montenegrin coastline.
Starting in Genoa, your journey will take along the western seaboard, and there are numerous towns and cities you need to visit, including Livorno, Rome, Naples and Salerno, as well as Palermo in Sicily. Move around the Italian heel, Crotone, Brindisi and Bari, before moving up towards San Marino, Venice, and the beautiful Trieste.
Sailing around Italy is a long journey, but it’s worth it if you’re patient and take the time to explore the gorgeous seaside towns. If you’ve got time to spare, then adding another couple of days for the exploration of Sicily into your itinerary would be amazing.
Explore the coast of Croatia
The Croatian coast is definitely one of those destinations in the world that demand a second visit. There is simply too much to see and do here, and that’s without venturing into the maze of more than a thousand breathtaking islands in its waters. Your journey from Trieste into Croatian waters will first take you to Poreč, Rovinj, and Pula – the last one being an ancient city dating back to Roman times where you will find a Roman Arena that’s two thousand years old.
In Croatia, you will find some of the best crewed yacht charters in the Adriatic that will take you up and down the coast, but also allow you to discover the secluded islands out at sea. While Pula is a beautiful city and while there are many islands to explore off the coast, you should also make your way further south towards Opatija and Rijeka, another two historic towns where the king and queens of Europe throughout history vacationed in lustrous villas overlooking the Adriatic.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a sailing voyage down the Croatian coast without a visit to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik should definitely be on your travel bucket list, as this is the place where Game of Thrones was shot, and a big historic city bustling with tourists from around the world. As for the Croatan islands, well, there is plenty of them to explore if you’ve got the time, but you need a skilled local crew for that extensive voyage.
Sail to the bay of Montenegro
The Montenegrin coast is a particularly interesting one. Sailing along the riviera, you will notice rising mountain ranges towering in the background for a truly spectacular view unmatched in the Mediterranean. In the popular Porto Montenegro, also known as Boka Bay, you will find a bustling port that boasts some of the most luxurious stays, shopping centers, and luxe experiences on the Med.
Porto Montenegro is a place where you want to drop the anchor for a while and explore the thriving lifestyle of the surrounding seaside towns like Herceg Novi, Kotor, and Perast. Once you’ve basked in the beauty of Montenegro, it’s time to embark on another extensive sailing escapade around Greece.
Discover the secluded islands of Greece
There isn’t much to say about Greece other than you could spend an entire lifetime exploring its coasts and archipelagos. With more than 6000 islands in its breathtakingly blue waters, it’s safe to say that a single lifetime is not enough to see everything that Greece has to offer.
This is a sailing escapade that you prepare for well in advance, one that demands at least a couple of months’ worth of exploration. From the bustling seaside cities like Athens and Thessaloniki to the islands of Crete, Thasos, Limnos, Mikonos, and other destinations perfect for a yoga retreat and luxe vacationing, you will find that Greece is a destination you need to visit more than once in your lifetime.
Make your way back to Corsica
Of course, we mustn’t solely focus on the eastern Mediterranean, because sailing west will take you to a whole new world of beautiful destinations. Your first destination on the second part of your voyage is Corsica. Here, you will disembark at Cagliari, the capital, where you can book a stay and enjoy the vivid local lifestyle, enjoying the fine cuisine and the starriest skies you’ve ever seen in your life.
You should then sail north towards the south of France, your eyes set on Nice. Now, the southern fringe of France is truly a special destination, and it’s more geared towards luxe travelers and those looking to explore the bigger cities on the coast. In your itinerary, you should have Nice, Cannes, Marseille, and Montpellier before sailing to Spain.
Explore the Spanish riviera
Last but not least, we have the Spanish southern riviera. Those of you who have dreamed of experiencing the Spanish culture and way of life will find everything you dreamed of in its seaside cities and quaint towns. From the expansive city of Barcelona to the smaller cities of Valencia and Cartagena, the coast of Spain is rife with historic charm and that unique Spanish passion and romance that lingers in the air.
This is another voyage that will take you weeks to complete, but it will all be worth it. Take your yacht to Barcelona, Castellón de la Plana, Valencia and Alicante, Cartagena, and Malaga. When in Malaga, make sure to drop the anchor and journey inland to Granada and Seville, two monuments to medieval architecture and the Moorish culture that persists since the early medieval period.
The Mediterranean Sea has more to offer than we’ll ever be able to put in a single guide. Nevertheless, use these tips to find and experience the most breathtaking places in the Med, and enjoy some of the most exciting things that the local peoples have to offer.