When one thinks of traveling to Europe, the Mediterranean can often get overlooked in favor of some of the continent’s bigger and bustling cities. The likes of London, Paris, and Amsterdam are all hot spots for tourists from North America, and while each of those cities do have their highlights, they don’t even come close to The Med when it comes to natural beauty. Planning a trip around the Mediterranean is one of the best ways to enjoy the cultural riches of Europe’s gorgeous coastlines.
The area is rich in history and is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes, delectable foods, and dynamic civilizations on Earth. And those cultures are quite dissimilar from those found across the pond. Bovada’s Super Bowl betting odds, as impressive as they are, won’t get looked at in Europe, as soccer (or football if anyone from Europe is reading this) is the order of the day.
1. Santorini, Greece
This breathtaking Greek Island is known for its stunning sunsets, blue-domed churches, and whitewashed buildings. Visitors can also explore the ancient ruins of Akrotiri or relax on one of the island’s famous beaches. But besides its idyllic scenery, there are a plethora of essential things to do while exploring this Greek paradise.
Take a stroll through the charming alleys of Oia, a quaint village that boasts traditional architecture and awe-inspiring views. For an otherworldly experience, visit the Santorini Caldera, a volcanic crater filled with geothermal springs that create natural hot tubs. Amaze yourself with the surreal sight of the red and black sand beaches that sparkle under the enchanting sun.
A visit to Santorini’s archaeological site at Akrotiri, a prehistoric bronze age settlement frozen in time, is also necessary. No trip to the picture-perfect island is complete without an indulgence in its delightful cuisine, sip on some of the region’s world-famous wines, and sample local delicacies like fava, spanakopita, and moussaka, which will leave your taste buds longing for more.
2. Dubrovnik, Croatia
The walled city of Dubrovnik is enchanting and steeped in both history and culture. While it is famous for its UNESCO-listed Old Town and Game of Thrones filming locations, there are plenty of other essential things to do in this coastal city. Start by walking the city walls, which offer stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and the charming, red-roofed houses below.
Visit the Rector’s Palace to see the lavish interior of the former seat of government and climb up to the Fort of St. Lawrence for another fantastic lookout point. Take a cable car ride up to Mount Srđ for even more breathtaking views or explore the picturesque island of Lokrum.
3. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, a bustling seaside city, provides a distinctive fusion of tradition, culture, and modernity. It has long been a favorite of tourists the world over, and in 2023, the capital of Catalonia still lives up to its superstar billing.
Visit the magnificent Basilica de la Sagrada Familia first; it is an architectural wonder that has been under construction for more than a century. Next, take a stroll down Las Ramblas, a vibrant boulevard with street performers, flower stalls, and outdoor cafes. To get a taste of the local food scene, head to the Boqueria Market, where you can sample everything from freshly squeezed juices to traditional Catalan dishes.
As we mentioned in the introduction, football is life in these parts. If you get the chance, you must visit the 100,000-capacity Camp Nou and watch the famous FC Barcelona in action. The stadium is currently undergoing refurbishments and doesn’t look as dazzling as it once did, but a tour of the famous old ground is a must for any sports fans.
The small island country of Malta is one of the lowest points in Europe and North African countries such as Tunisia and Libya are just a stone’s throw away. As such, you can imagine how warm the climate is, and the country is famed for having “300 days of summer” every year.
When you set foot at Luqa International Airport, your first point of exploration should be the ancient, fortified city of Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the capital of Malta. Also, be sure to visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral, a stunning Baroque church with a rich history, which is located within the walls of the capital city.
Don’t miss the Blue Lagoon, a picturesque bay on the uninhabited island of Comino with crystal-clear turquoise water perfect for swimming and snorkeling. And, of course, indulge in the delicious local cuisine, such as pastizzi, a savory pastry filled with ricotta or peas, and rabbit stew, a traditional Maltese dish. With so much to see and do, Malta will leave you with unforgettable memories.