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When you hear the term “Mediterranean,” most people’s minds immediately go to images of glistening blue waters and miles of sun-kissed, golden beaches. It’s not a horrible mental picture to create, and it’ll probably make you want to pack your bags and go to the Mediterranean right now. But there’s so much more than sunshine, sand, and clear water.

Twenty-one nations make up the Mediterranean, or the Med as it is often referred to. Every nation has its own culture that sets it apart from others. Choosing the best location for your vacation might be challenging since there are so many options.

Find out more about the 5 best destinations in the Mediterranean and what makes them stand out here. Get some vacation inspiration by reading the list from the top down.

1. Malta

Mellieha, Malta

This country might be a good option if you want to spend your holiday exploring a Mediterranean country. The island nation of Malta, located in the Mediterranean Sea, has a surface area of more than 120 square miles, so all the attractions you seek will be conveniently nearby. Although it is the biggest of the Maltese islands (three inhabited ones and many more are deserted), Malta is the world’s tenth smallest nation.

Although Maltese is the official language of Malta, English is widely used and is recognized as the country’s official second language. It’s hard to believe such a little island packs so much into its offerings. Mellieha Bay, Golden Bay, and the town of Bugibba are great alternatives if you’re looking for a beach resort with nightlife. The capital city, Valletta, was founded in the 16th century and is home to several museums, large cathedrals, and public parks. Take a water taxi from Valletta port across the bay to see the amazing fortress towns known as the Three Cities.

2. Crete, Greece

Crete, Greece

Crete is the vastest of the Greek islands, where your jet will touch down. The scenery is so breathtaking that you may never want to fly again. You can engage in any of your preferred leisure activities while on vacation. Relax on a beach. There are many of them. Get out and do some adventurous things like swimming, hiking, cruising, or waterskiing. Visit the museums and monuments to learn more about Greece’s rich history and unique culture.

You can’t possibly see and do everything of interest in Crete in a week, but here are a few highlights that you shouldn’t miss. The Balos Lagoon and Elafonisi Beach, famous for their pink sand, are also must-sees. Photographers will like Chania for its picturesque Venetian Harbor, ancient city center, and breathtaking vistas. Samaria Gorge is Europe’s longest gorge trail, and hikers may also enjoy the shorter but no less breathtaking Imbros Gorge. The cuisine of Crete deserves mention as well. You must sample the native cheese, olive oil, and snails (if you’re courageous enough) while on vacation in Crete.

3. Kotor Bay, Montenegro

Kotor Bay, Montenegro

Is it important to you to spend time at the beach and in the mountains? If so, the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro may be the best place in the Mediterranean for you to visit. The beaches and magnificent mountain ranges on each side of the small harbor have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the late 1970s. Medieval villages like Kotor and Perast line the fjord-like inlet. Kotor is the bay’s biggest town; thus, it naturally attracts the most tourists from the cruise ships that dock there.

Stunning views of the town and harbor may be had from the defensive walls surrounding Kotor. Churches, a cathedral, and several cats may be found when strolling the streets. The cats serve as a symbol for the community and are allowed to wander the streets. If you’re afraid of cats or have severe allergies, you may want to skip this and go straight to Perast. Perast is a little fishing town near the islands of St. George, and Our Lady of the Rocks, revered as pilgrimage destinations due to their beautiful churches. If you follow the leisurely way around the Bay of Kotor, you will pass several little towns worth exploring.

4. Cyprus


Once you’ve arrived in this nation, you’ll not often need your passport to sightsee. If you wish to go from the south to the north of Cyprus, you can. Two distinct nations exist on what was once a single island. Greek Cypriots live in the south, whereas Turkish Cypriots call the north home. The island’s south shore is where most resorts are located since this is where the island’s greatest beaches and most popular attractions are found.

Paphos, a seaside town, is great for soaking up the history and the sun. Many beaches, ruins, and a mosaic from the Roman Empire are available. Paphos also has a vibrant nightlife. The Wreck of Zenobia, located off the coast of Larnaca, is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 diving spots on the globe. Nissi Beach is a half-kilometer of white sand bordered by azure seas that wind around Ayia Napa Bay. You will find Kyrenia and Hilarion, two Venetian strongholds, and the Roman remains of Salamis on the Turkish side of the island. The meze is a must-try for every traveler visiting Cyprus. Up to thirty tiny dishes of traditional Cypriot cuisine are served once during a typical tavern lunch.

5. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia, is a beautiful city that clings to the shore and is known for its historic fishing and nautical facilities. The ancient city is protected by massive walls. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned as the Pearl of the Mediterranean. All across the pedestrianized historic district are magnificent palaces, plazas, towers, and fountains that are great specimens of Renaissance architecture. There are three beaches in Dubrovnik; two are sandy, and one is made of pebbles. It’s a magnificent Mediterranean site, and the fact that Game of Thrones was shot there has only increased its popularity.

There’s no denying that Dubrovnik is a popular tourist hotspot, but it’s well worth the trip if you can handle the crowds. Take the crowd-pleasing cable car ride up Mount Srd to witness some of the best vistas in the Mediterranean and get some great images for your Instagram feed. The ancient city, with its terracotta-tiled rooftops, is like stepping back in time and is best explored during the cooler parts of the day. Tours of the filming locations for Game of Thrones are available to those who want to see the locations for themselves. If you don’t want to travel with a group, you may explore and discover the locations independently.

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