The magnificent Mediterranean coastlines, modern cities, and historic neighborhoods offer sensational experiences and the following outlines the top five things to do there.
You can trace back the origins of the Roman Empire at ancient archeological sites, witness priceless works of art at evocative exhibits, lounge on the lavish white-sand beaches of the Mediterranean’s pristine islands, and choose from a collection of culinary experiences to sample regional delicacies from one country to the next.
In this article, we share the top five things to do in the Mediterranean and examples of how and where to relish these experiences.
Travelers can unravel the history of the Roman Empire and its rise to power at archeological sites, crumbling ruins, and ancient artifacts preserved across Italy and scattered throughout the Mediterranean.
The most notable odes to Roman civilization are found in the capital of Italy, Rome, but nods to Roman rule can also be found in countries like Greece and France.
During your vacation in the Mediterranean, you will stand on the battlefields where Roman soldiers crossed swords with opposing armies, in churches where priests practiced ancient Roman Catholic traditions, and in libraries where philosophers pondered their insightful theories.
Iconic Roman Sites: The Colosseum, Italy • Pont du Gard, France • Capua Amphitheatre, Italy • Pula Arena, Croatia • Arènes d'Arles, France
Europe is home to the greatest works of art and a trip to the Mediterranean would be incomplete without visiting the evocative art museums and emblematic galleries found in Italy, Rome, France, and beyond.
From the Louvre Museum to the Museo Nacional del Prado, your Mediterranean vacation can take you to see the iconic works of Leonardo da Vinci, Francisco Goya, Diego Velázquez, and more.
You will see their visionary creations up close, analyzing every brushstroke and surveying the incredible compositions, as each meticulous piece evokes distinct emotions.
Where to See Evocative Art: Louvre Museum • Prado Museum • Uffizi Gallery • Acropolis Museum • Accademia Gallery
Beyond history and culture, the Mediterranean is one of the best beach destinations. Regal resort towns pepper the sparkling coastlines, from Amalfi to the Iberian Peninsula, the Greek islands, and beyond.
Portofino is a splendid retreat on the Italian Riviera, Cassis is a charming fishing village neighboring Nice in France, and Naxos is the greenest Greek island on the Aegean Sea.
Each resort town offers travelers a chance to discern the distinct differences between the Mediterranean countries, from the culture to cuisine. Yet one thing remains the same, every beach is breathtaking.
Best Mediterranean Coastal Destinations: Dubrovnik, Croatia • Venice, Italy • Santorini, Greece • Barcelona, Spain • Valencia, Spain
Besides beautiful beaches where travelers can sink their toes into the soft, pearl-white sand and swim in the crystal-clear seas, the Mediterranean boasts magnificent patches of wilderness, with trails zigzagging to spectacular lookout points.
Atop rolling hills, limestone cliffs, and lofty overhangs you can capture surreal scenic photography of the land and seascapes for which the Mediterranean is famous. Even the cities are photogenic, showcasing the storied beauty of their medieval neighborhoods like never before from towering vantage points.
Best Mediterranean Lookout Points: Oia Castle, Santorini • Sa Foradada, Mallorca • Walls of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik • Tibidabo viewpoint, Barcelona • Old Venetian Harbour of Chania, Crete
Mediterranean cuisine is as delicious as it is healthy, using a selection of locally grown fruit and vegetables paired with tender meats and freshly caught seafood.
Each region of the Mediterranean is known for its own specialties, meaning a culinary adventure presents new dishes with distinct flavors in every major city or little town you visit.
During your trip, you can fine dine at award-winning restaurants, eat like the locals at modest establishments, and savor the sensational textures and flavors of authentic regional delicacies.
Best Dishes to Try: Paella Valenciana, Spain • Naples Pizza, Italy • Boeuf Bourguignon, France • Strukli, Croatia • Taramasalata, Greece
Explore the Mediterranean to uncover the origins of the Roman Empire, sample sensational regional seafood during vacation, and relax on the postcard-perfect beaches of islands in the Adriatic, Aegean, and Balearic seas with customizable tours from our Mediterranean vacation packages.
To learn more, see our Mediterranean travel guide, in which we share information about what to expect, itinerary ideas, and more on the best places to visit.