Mediterranean – the cradle of Western civilization. From ancient Egyptian coastal towns near the estuary of Nile and Greek colonies scattered all over the coast to medieval walled cities and independent city-states that rose to a level of colonial powers and finally to modern ports that direct complex but interlinked system of naval transport and trade combined with beautiful resorts for tourists and Meccas for party lovers and music festivals – Mediterranean has it and always had it all. Many books both fictional and historical are written about this loosely defined region, but its charm somehow manages to remain unfathomable and one has to experience it for him or herself in order to sense all of its historic, poetic and mythic beauty. Here are just some of the destinations that will help you to experience and understand the significance of Mediterranean but also to enjoy its diverse and unspoiled nature!
Definitely one of the most important islands in the Mediterranean Sea since time immemorial, full of traces from the past – Greek temples and Roman theaters are sure to evoke the pictures from the classical antiquity, with its ideals, philosophy and lifestyle. Agrigento’s Valle dei Templi is home to the one of the best-preserved ancient Greek temple in the world – Temple of Concordia. Ancient Greek theater of Taormina with a stunning view of both the sea and the Mt. Etna will remain carved into your memory for many years to come. Syracuse, one of the most important ancient Greek colony, and its ruins and the archeological museum still draw tourist from around the world.
The largest island in the Balearic Islands archipelago, famous for its pristine beaches and active nightlife. More than 8 million tourists from all over the world come to Majorca every year for its amazing landscapes, wonderful mountains and tasty Mediterranean food. Mecca for 24-hour party people on the coast, it also hides its safe havens in the inland for nature lovers and people who prefer quiet conversation and long walks. No wonder it was a choice for vacation or resident place for Frédéric Chopin, Agatha Christie, George Sand and Joan Miró.
This relatively small island in the Aegean Sea, about 200 kilometers from Greek Mainland, will win over your heart even before you set foot on it. Its bright roofs and steep cliffs are well-known even among the people that have only seen them in photos. The small town is so romantic that it is almost a cliché. Beaches with volcanic pebbles, archeological excavation sites and extraordinary wines and seafood are there to make this destination dreamlike and unforgettable.
Main tourist attraction of Croatia and one of the most famous and best-preserved medieval walled cities in the world, the original Pearl of the Mediterranean, as it is often called. It has a long history of being the only direct rival of the Venetian Republic in trade and commerce on the east side of the Adriatic Sea. The significance of the city during its heyday is still noticeable in culture and literature in all West Balkan states and nations, as it was not only a port for goods, but for ideas and inventions for the hinterland. If some of the buildings and monuments look strangely familiar to you it is because the Game of Thrones crew decided to shoot some of the scenes on numerous location across the city, since its authenticity fits perfectly with the set and settings of the series. Definitely a place to visit multiple times!
What is there more to say about one of the most important cities in the history of the world and the capital of some of the most empires in the history of the West – Byzantine (also known as the Eastern Roman) Empire and the Ottoman Empire. This cosmopolitan transcontinental city, lying on both European and Asian coast, is home to 14 million residents and its charm of the East combined with Western cultural influences will seduce you instantly and you will wish to set out on a magic journey down the Silk Road. Orientalism at its finest!