The Mediterranean region consists of over 20 countries and their surrounding waters. Because of the sea that connects them, tourists are drawn to the beautiful beaches these countries offer. However, these nations don’t just have picturesque shores to their names. Many of these countries were the seats of power in the Old World and have plenty of history to show for it. If you want a memorable Mediterranean vacation, here are three spots you need to check out.
One of the most easily recognizable Mediterranean destinations is Santorini, Greece. This small volcanic island is formed around the remains of an ancient crater, giving it naturally dark sands and beaches. In sharp contrast to this dark ground, the cities consist of whitewashed concrete. These stark white buildings are built in perfect harmony with the natural landscape, allowing visitors to get stunning views of the harbor for sunrise and sunset.
Santorini doesn’t just offer Mediterranean beaches. Because of its balmy climate, this Grecian island produces some fantastic wine. Visitors can tour the vineyards and attend tastings, allowing them to experience the flavors of this region. In addition to the wineries, the island offers stunning hikes between its coasts for more athletic visitors. These hikes are only a few miles long, making them great for seeing the island up close. For travelers wanting to experience stunning natural views mixed with quaint towns, the island of Santorini is perfect.
A must-see destination for fans of history is Paphos, Cyprus. This beautiful coastal city has some classic beach views as well as stunningly well-preserved historical monuments. If you’re planning on going to Paphos, head there in the spring. This island tends to get very hot in the summer, making exploration uncomfortable. There’s a lot to see in Cyprus, so staying cool is essential. If you get too hot, you can dive at the wreck of the Zenobia, one of the most famous scuba diving sites in the world. The waters surrounding this island are mild and full of life, making it perfect for swimming.
One of the most popular attractions in Paphos is the Tomb of the Kings. This ancient necropolis dates back thousands of years and remains in excellent condition. Tours of the complex are available, allowing guests to see ancient history up close. Once you’re done at the Tomb of the Kings, head over to the Paphos Archeological Museum to see some artifacts unearthed from similar periods. This region is full of history, and experiencing it first-hand will make for a memorable vacation. If you want to combine history with stunning beaches, pack your bags for Paphos.
Finally, Valletta, Malta is a beautiful island for those who want more of a modern vacation. This island is relatively small, with its total area summing up to under 100 square miles. Because of its size, everything you need for an enjoyable trip can be found in a relatively condensed area. While Malta has the classic Mediterranean beachscapes, most of the draw of this country lies in its architecture. Maltese architecture has a very Gothic feel, with stately churches and stucco buildings surrounding the city streets. In the main thoroughfares, shops and apartments are dating back hundreds of years that are still occupied today, giving the country a very charming feel.
Along the coast, Malta is famous for its aquamarine waters. The Blue Lagoon is known for its incredibly clear, warm water. These beaches are some of the most picturesque in the world, with the rocky coast of the island rising behind the still water. If you want some excellent swimming conditions and rich history, head for Malta.
To sum things up, the Mediterranean has plenty more to offer than just its beaches. While these waters are prized for their color and clarity, the Mediterranean region has rich history and culture spanning thousands of years. If you want a vacation that combines relaxation and interesting history, head for the Mediterranean.