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Explore the Coasts of Southern Europe on a Med Cruise
A Mediterranean cruise along the coasts of Spain, France, Italy, and Greece will take you to ancient cities and historic sites that date back to the dark ages. Greek and Roman ruins stand on isolated islands that rise out of the blue water where they have stood for hundreds of years. These monuments were tributes to gods and governments, kept standing through wars, weather and natural decay so people could appreciate the efforts and passions of their predecessors. Seeing the famous ruins is just one reason to venture out on a Mediterranean cruise. There are many more.
The east coast of Spain, with its favorite cities of Barcelona and Valencia, is an embarkation area you might want to explore before your ship leaves. The beaches are legendary, dotted with resort hotels that face the sand and water. Gibraltar stands as a sentinel on the western entrance to the Mediterranean, but it is not part of Spain. It is a British Overseas Territory, and the town itself is just short of 7 square kilometers. If you visit, be sure to take a tour to see the Barberry Apes. There are around 300 of these large macaques living on the island, saved from extinction by the order of Winston Churchill. When he discovered there were only seven left alive after WWII, he ordered more shipped over from North Africa.
The French Riviera (or Côte d'Azur) is the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. It includes the glamorous beach resorts of Saint-Tropez and Cannes, and the petite principality of Monaco. Marseille, Toulon and Nice lie along this coast, along with many paths that connect the medieval stone-paved villages with the beaches and boardwalks. The weather here is exceptional, and visits to the French Riviera were once thought to bring good health. It may still be true.
Italy and Greece offer a number of well-known ports, including Rome, Venice, Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. The Italian islands of Sardinia and Sicily also attract cruise ships, along with the Spanish port of Palma de Mallorca. The Amalfi Coast on the east side of Italy has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you'll find Pompeii, Positano, and Ravello - all archeological sites. Less traveled coastlines include the Adriatic coast of Croatia, Montenegro and Albania. These make up the far eastern border of the Mediterranean.
No matter which season you choose for your Med cruise, you'll have sunny, warm days and cool water. Plan a winter getaway or a summer holiday and sail the waters of the Mediterranean, exploring the past and enjoying the present.
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