The splendours of a Venetian sunset, the rust-coloured rooftops of Croatia, the magnificent Barcelona skyline; there are so many incredible sights to see around the Mediterranean that it can be difficult to know where to begin. Today’s traveller is spoilt for choice, and with so many top Mediterranean cruise deals on offer piecing together the perfect itinerary can be a rather daunting task.

If you’re planning a Mediterranean cruise and don’t want to miss the highlights of this stunning, cultured region, we’ve picked out some of the best ports in the Mediterranean that we think should be on every cruise-goers radar.

Barcelona

If you’re going to stop at one Spanish port during your cruise itinerary, make it scenic Barcelona. Not only does it boast plenty of those golden sands and warm tides that bless popular holiday spots like Mallorca, it also hosts the unique post-modern architecture of Antoni Gaudi and a beautiful Medieval Gothic Quarter. The city will delight all your senses as you traverse the vibrant Las Ramblas, tuck into authentic tapas in a street-side cafe or visit Modernista churches like Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia.

Barcelona is included on a plethora of cruises around the Mediterranean, with cruise lines such as Marella Cruises taking the lead. Marella ports in this historic city as it makes its way through its Mediterranean Magic of Spain itinerary. Set sail onboard Marella Explorer and you’ll have the chance to test out the 10 restaurants and 10 bars onboard, as you cruise through the waters in style.

Sailings to Barcelona with Marella Cruises offer you an unforgettable selection of excursions, including a tour of all the city’s highlights. Barcelona is full of incredible architectural richness, and you’ll see it all with an experienced guide leading you. Walk through the Old Quarter, pass Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and take a drive through the famous Montjuic Gardens.

Dubrovnik

The extraordinary view of Dubrovnik as you sail into its Medieval harbour will be well worth the journey alone. After you’ve disembarked however, there’s plenty to keep you busy – from wandering the ancient city walls and sipping long drinks on the marble stone plazas to riding the cable car up the nearby hillside and looking over the stunning cityscape from another angle.

Dubrovnik is a major stop on plenty of Eastern Mediterranean cruises, visit the various places where memorable scenes were shot on a unique Game of Thrones tour through the old town, or Westeros as you may remember it.

Get your camera ready as you stand on the site of the Battle of Blackwater or take a seat in the replica King’s throne. If a combination of wine tasting and cycling sounds good, book onto the Croatian Countryside, Wine Tasting and Bike Ride shore excursion and traverse through the Konavle region filled with vineyards, olive groves and traditional villages.

Santorini

The show-piece of the Greek Islands, the steep hillsides of Santorini and distinctive, blue, dome-topped buildings feature in many a postcard. You’ll be ferried in from the ship to the small port of Skala Fira, from where you’ll take the funicular railway up to the town perched high on what remains of an age-old volcano. Whether you head to the unusual black-sand beaches or settle in for some quality fresh fish at one of the high-altitude restaurants, a stop at Santorini won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Cruise and hike to Santorini Volcano for breathtaking, panoramic views across the island and a visit to the colourful hot springs at Caldera, or casually stroll the whitewashed streets of the picturesque village of Oia.

Monte Carlo

Make a stop at Monaco on your cruise, and twinkling lights and sleek high-rises will greet you from the port of Monte Carlo, nestled in the midst of the French Riviera. Well-known for its Grand Prix motor racing (held in mid-May if you want to time it right) and the deluxe yachts which populate the harbour, Monte Carlo also offers Royal Palace apartments to explore and of course, the dazzling Grand Casino to while away a few hours on your stay.

Amalfi

Named on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its exceptional Mediterranean landscape, the southern seaport of Amalfi is one of Italy’s most striking destinations. Steep mountains covered in rich woodland tumble into the dazzling ocean with the fabled town nestled at their foot, filled with quaint piazzas, flower-covered buildings and fine restaurants. Visit hilltop Ravello for incredible coastal views, admire the 12th century Capuchin monastery and discover chic Positano with its breathtaking bay dotted with colourful fishing boats.

If you want to sample the delights of the Amalfi coast for yourself, Marella Cruises operates a number of classic Mediterranean tours which stop here. Set sail on Marella Celebration and take an excursion to the city of Sorrento along the magnificent Amalfi Drive. High on the cliff tops you’ll pass through quaint villages where you can taste locally grown lemons, artisan-made cheeses and limoncello on a food tour. Or, you can explore the interior of the Emeral Grotto on an adventurous excursion into the seaside cavern filled with stalagmites and stalactites.

Check out our latest deals and take one step closer to discovering some of the Mediterranean’s top ports.

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