The Mediterranean is one of the world's most=loved cruise regions - close enough to be a viable ex-UK option but far enough away that it represents a massive change in weather and scenery. You by no means have to enjoy this sun-dappled region from the decks of a cruise ship, though. A plethora of tours (escorted and self-led) will allow you to discover Italy, France, Spain, Greece and more, as you hop from country to country with ease. Or, opt to go deeper under the skin of any of these countries with a dedicated tour of its best sights.
Sail away on a Mediterranean cruise to popular lands of beauty and wonder. Your cruise ship will take you on a journey to the well-travelled ports, hidden gems and everywhere in between. What better way to see some of the world's greatest beaches and museums than by a luxury cruise?
Toulon, France has unexpected charm and is all the better for not being a major tourist destination, as you can wander through the cobbled streets of its delightful old town untroubled by crowds. Look out for the superb maritime and art museums, the magnificent Romanesque cathedral and Le Marche, where fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables are bought to market every day.
In Italy, the list of fascinating cities is seemingly endless. Rome has been the focal point for many of the world's greatest artists, architects, rulers and philosophers. Naples is a lively, working port city along the Amalfi Coast. Its modern skyline is dominated by the heights of the not-too-distant Mount Vesuvius. Don't miss out on Pompeii as she tells her story through excavated baths, villas and theatres. The enchanting city of Venice is an intricate web of tiny islands and canals. In this intimate setting, gondoliers serenade, delicate bridges lead to winding cobblestone streets and glorious renaissance architecture forms a fairy-tale backdrop.
Part of the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is a dazzling destination filled with whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches, and beautiful beaches set against an equally striking blue sky. Corfu is dotted with cypress and olive trees, and the air is perfumed with the scent of orange and lemon groves. Santorini, one of the Mediterranean's chief pin-ups, has one of the most dramatic backdrops of cliffs, sea and sky in the world. The island was not always crescent-shaped as it is today. A volcanic eruption during the Bronze Age caused the middle of this once-circular island to sink, leaving an enormous sea-filled crater flanked by mammoth cliffs. This cataclysmic event is the reason for many of the island's remarkable features, from its black-sand beaches and exquisite wines, to its fascinating archaeological sites.