Mediterranean Europe has an unparalleled reputation as a traveler’s delight, owing it to the pleasant climate, breathtaking beaches and iconic monuments. This part of the old continent is a spectacular confluence of colors, culture and cuisine, which offers an unforgettable experience to every tourist. The region is a home to several beautiful islands, all of which combine natural splendor with cultural marvels – creating some of the most sought after destinations in the world. Whether you are a thrill seeker or someone in the search of a relaxing getaway, the Mediterranean islands could offer you the perfect holiday. Following are some of the most picturesque Mediterranean vacations of Europe, ideal for reveling in the carefree spirit of this region.
1. Santorini Island in Greece
Overlooking the indigo blue waters of the Aegean Sea is the crescent-shaped island of Santorini. This Greek island is livened up with the iconic blue and white houses and the colorful cliffs that dominate a majority of the landscape. It is a land that holds many stories, in the form of ancient ruins and a giant depression left behind by one of the biggest volcanic eruptions known to man. Be sure to visit the archaeological site at Akrotiri and have a glimpse at the remnants of a Minoan civilization. Same goes for the ruins at Thira which hold relics from the Roman and Byzantine era. Explore the local museums will give you a chance to dive into the history of this region region. As for relaxation, a long lounge at the beautiful sandy beaches will do the trick. But, do not forget to dig into the local delicacies, drizzled with plenty of olive oil, for the perfect Greek experience.
2. Majorca Island in Spain
Known as the favorite holiday destination of the Spanish royal family, the island of Majorca is undoubtedly one of the most idyllic spots in Spain. The golden beaches of the island are washed by the gentle waves of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounded by majestic hills that impart a calming effect to the scenery. Equally stunning is the architectural style of the region. With its primary center of attraction being the La Seu Cathedral, one of the highest Gothic cathedrals in the world. Close to the cathedral is the palace called Palau de l’Almudaina, once an Islamic fort that has been housing the Spanish monarchs since the 13th century. While there, experience local flavors in style. Best place for that are the bistros along the coast, which offer traditional Spanish cuisine, with simple but tasty food combined with bright and lovely surroundings.
3. Capri Island in Italy
The island of Capri is an eclectic mix of modern culture and imprints from the past, in the form of open-air cafes in the midst of Roman architecture. Spending a lazy afternoon at the Piazzetta, or the main square, sipping on coffee or cocktails while soaking in the Mediterranean sun is a great experience in itself. But you can also walk to remains of any of the 12 Roman villas in the region. These ancient monuments are by now reduced to spellbinding ruins, with Villa Jovis being one of the most popular ones. Capri also offers quite few activities for the adventurers. Taking a rowing tour to enter the magical realm of the Blue Grotto, a narrow sea cave whose walls reflect the colors of the sea and emanate a bluish glow, is an unforgettable experience. Also, a trip to the peak of Mount Solaro to capture a marvelous view of the landscape is something that should not be missed.
4. Malta Island in Malta
Malta is a unique blend of prehistoric magnificence and natural beauty. And, it can be comprehended only upon witnessing it with your own eyes. The megalithic temple complexes of Malta were built around 3500 BC. And as such are some of the oldest free-standing structures in the world. These complexes offer a rare insight regarding the life and culture of those ancient times. St. John’s Co-Cathedral and St. Paul’s Cathedral are some of the most famous man-made marvels of the Mediterranean vacations. The majestic cliffs along the seashore present perfect contrast for that in the form of nature’s works of art. Scuba diving and snorkeling are some of the most popular water activities in this region. So, naturally many enthusiasts for these sports are coming here to explore the treasures hidden in the azure waters.
5. Brac Island in Croatia
The island of Brac is one of the best Mediterranean vacations. It has several limestone quarries that have supplied high-quality stone for the construction of some of the most palatial buildings in the world, including the White House. This Croatian island is equally popular for its white pebbled beach, Zlatni Rat, which is a narrow protrusion of land that juts into the Adriatic Sea. Mesmerizing blue waters on one side and lush green pine forests on the other, make this beach one of the most photographed spots in Croatia. A visit to the Supetar mausoleum will transport you back in time with its wonderful sculptures from the early 20th century. You can also hike to the Dragon’s Cave in Bol, which stands out due to the unique wall carvings. Accessible by yachtcharter, Brac is a place with blend of ancient relics, rustic villages and relaxing beaches that is hard to come by at other locations.
These islands are some of the shining stars of Mediterranean vacations, representing the best that this region has to offer. A fusion of geographical wonders and cultural heritage preserved over the centuries is what makes these destinations so fascinating. A visit to any of these gorgeous locations will make for an amazing and memorable vacation.