The Mediterranean in the summer is hard to beat. Except, perhaps, in spring and fall “shoulder seasons”, when it’s cooler and there are fewer visitors.
The Allianz Travel Insurance team analyzed the numbers and came up with the top 5 Mediterranean cruise ports. . .
This bustling Catalan city is brimming with energy. It’s ideal for boat trips, but spontaneous sightseeing is also easy. . . think architecture, tapas bars and cafes. A spokesperson for Allianz travel insurance said: ‘From the port, take the shuttle bus into the heart of the city, where you can walk to most sights. Highlights include the Picasso Museum, Santa Maria del Mar Church, La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, and La Rambla. Shopping here is also a pleasant activity, offering everything from Spanish olives to designer clothes.”
Discover Catalan cuisine in Barre Gotic, the Gothic Quarter – salted cod salad and tomato bread are two of the local specialities.
It can be difficult to explore on a short port visit, so prioritize your wish list and hit the highlights. Our Allianz Travel Insurance spokesperson says: “The port is a short walk from the train station, where you can take the Civitavecchia Rome train for 45-80 minutes. Highlights include the Colosseum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican, but also try to escape the crowds and marvel through the intimate plazas.”
Take the time to taste real espressos and cappuccinos, authentic pizzas and ice creams.
There’s a real fairytale quality to Venice, that ancient city of domes, canals and bridges. The spokesperson clarifies: “From your boat, you can take a five-minute monorail ride to the Grand Canal or take a 30-minute express boat ride to St. Mark’s Square. Highlights include St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace and museums which house many masterpieces.”
Playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “If you want to see heaven on Earth, come to Dubrovnik, because the beauty there will leave everyone breathless.” High praise indeed. Think cobbled streets, monumental walls and fountains.
The main attractions are in the old town, and cruise ships will take guests directly there or dock at the industrial port, which is a 15-minute taxi or bus ride away.
The Allianz spokesman said: “The city’s highlights include Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque churches, as well as a menagerie of art galleries, jewelery shops and cafes. After seeing the attractions on the main street, Stradun, explore the side streets.”
“The Greek island of Santorini will enchant you with its views of whitewashed houses perched atop the cliffs, surrounded by the cobalt blue of the Aegean Sea.” Indeed, it will. Arriving on a cruise ship in Santorini and looking up was a highlight of my time in the Mediterranean. There are blue domed churches, roaming donkeys and plenty of places to eat outdoors.