Glimpses of the Past

With millennia of stories to tell, the Mediterranean is a living library for lovers of history. Monuments of the Roman Empire can still be found scattered throughout the region, from Israel to Spain, as can the remnants of countless other cultures that have crossed these waters.

Rome today is a thriving, bustling modern city, where you can still find some of the most famous and iconic monuments in the Western world. Day trips to the surrounding museums and cathedrals, from Pisa to Tuscany, bring you closer to history. Or you can take in Malta, which still features remnants of the many cultures that have coexisted and clashed there. In scenic Athens, the ruins of the great achievements of the ancient Greeks are on glorious display. In Tunisia, on the northern coast of Africa, you can visit the ruins of Carthage. Egypt’s port city of Alexandria is the gateway to Cairo; seeing the magnificent Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx up close far surpasses anything you may have read about them. The Port of Ashdod in Israel is an ideal hub for visits to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, considered holy ground to three of the world’s major religions.

Glamor and Nightlife

Many of the cities of the Mediterranean are equally known for their modern landmarks and for their history. Monte Carlo is a playground for the well-heeled, where you can marvel at the treasures of the House of Grimaldi, or try your luck at the casino. Barcelona has its important share of history, of course, but is also known for its tapas bars and music, and for the surreal architectural creations of native son, Antoni Gaudi. In Lisbon, you can shop, stroll and taste your way the historic Alfama district, and perhaps take in a fado performance.

Hidden Treasures of the Mediterranean

Some of the most memorable highlights along the Mediterranean Sea are not the well-known destinations, but the unexpected pleasures. Corfu's scenic countryside and beaches are perfect for lazy days, and the island’s local cuisine is a treat for the senses.

The coast of Croatia is still off the radar for many travelers, but features remarkably preserved medieval cities like Dubrovnik and even places that date back to Roman times, such as Split. There are also fantastic beaches throughout the region, including on the sun-worshipper’s island paradise, Mallorca.

Natural Wonders of the Mediterranean

Not all attractions throughout the Mediterranean are manmade. Besides the legendary beauty of the sea itself, the beaches, islands, and countryside of the region have attracted artists and other travelers for centuries.

If you are looking to pay a visit to any of those famous beaches, you will find them in abundance on Mallorca, along with pleasant hikes and delicious local delicacies. Less well known are the beaches of Corsica, France’s island which boasts a cave system and rugged terrain. Sardinia and Sicily also beckon, as do the arid desert-scapes of Algeria. In the Mediterranean, a wide variety of travel opportunities await you.

Tastes of the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean has long been famous for its food, flavored by the spice trade and its blend of diverse cultures. On a Viking cruise, you will get a chance to sample a vast, inventive range of culinary styles. You will also have the option to take cooking classes with local chefs, in order to improve your own skills, so you can bring the Mediterranean's flavors back home with you.

Tantalizing choices abound; in Naples, you will find the most traditional style of pizza, as well as their specialty, limoncello. Valencia is another standout, known for paella and local wines. From tapas tasting to vineyard tours, you will savor a bounty of flavors on your next Viking cruise.

View our Ocean Cruises on the Mediterranean Sea.