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See the best of the Med in these under-the-radar ports

See the best of the Med in these under-the-radar ports

Cruising in the Mediterranean is like eating at a buffet in two ways. Firstly, it is a smorgasbord of varied and wonderful destinations, and you can pick and choose itineraries to settle on a holiday that suits you down to the ground. The second is in a more literal sense, in that it will likely involve an actual, plentiful buffet from which you can pick and choose delicious morsels to make a meal which suits your tastes exactly. Both of these make cruising the gorgeous Mediterranean an absolute delight of a holiday. Feast all of your senses when you embark on a voyage in this special part of the world.

Many cruise lines offer itineraries in the Mediterranean, from big American names like Princess and Royal Caribbean to local lines such as MSC.

To go into your Mediterranean cruise planning fully informed of what’s available, we have put together a list of little-known Mediterranean cruise gems. These unforgettable destinations are all unique, each with a fascinating history and incredible natural attractions. Take a look at our Mediterranean cruise deals and discover an adventure which ticks all your boxes.

Kotor, Montenegro

A woman sits perched on a rock watching ships coming and going in the port of Kotor, Montenegro below

For an atmospheric cruise port that looks like something out of a travel brochure from the moment you approach it, find a cruise that visits Kotor in the small country of Montenegro. Ships sail in through narrow channels and across the Bay of Kotor, where mountains slope down to meet the ocean. The medieval town centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a beautiful historic place where old meets new, filled with small cafés, restaurants and shops in which you can easily while a day away. Shore tours can take you to some scenic viewpoints outside the city or elsewhere in the small, unique Balkan nation of Montenegro.

This week-long Greece and Croatia Cruise with Royal Caribbean calls in to Kotor.

Valletta, Malta

View of busy and beautiful Valletta, Malta from the water in the Mediterranean

Another small country and its beautiful historic city. Valletta on the island nation of Malta is limited in area but packs a big punch, with one of the most concentrated and engaging historic areas in the world. The approach by cruise ship will offer an opportunity to take in the stunning city walls, old buildings and natural harbour, and once you step ashore, there is no end of things to do. Browse some museums, take a ferry across to the three cities, or just gaze upon the gorgeous place from the comfort of an eatery or café. Malta is a compact country, so should you choose to embark on a shore excursion, you can see a lot of it.

See Valletta with NCL on their 11-night Mediterranean and Adriatic Cruise from Rome.

Katakolon, Greece

Ruins in Olympia, near Katakolo, Greece

Also known as Katakolo, this Grecian port is a charming small town and the gateway to Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Many who arrive head out on tours to explore the ruins and accompanying museums of that hallowed spot, and it’s a memorable and fascinating excursion with great significance, especially for sports and athletics fans. If you’d rather spend a low-key day in Katakolon itself, wandering the waterfront, perusing the fishing boats and enjoying the mouth-watering treats for which Greece is so well-known, we highly recommend that too. Beaches stretch into the distance on either side of Katakolon, offering that Greek Isle experience on the mainland should you wish to spend a day enjoying the sun, sand and turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.

Holland America has a 12-night Mediterranean Romance Cruise which calls in to Katakolon.

Bari, Italy

Dusk envelops the small fishing boats and ancient structures at Giovinazzo in Bari, Italy

Serving up just as much Mediterranean goodness but with a more Latin flavour is Bari on Italy’s Adriatic coast. This town has a lot of history but also a lot of youthful life to it, its boulevards pumping both day and night with entertainment and places to enjoy food, drink and just being alive and on holiday. Try a little Cucina Barese - the local cuisine - in a trattoria. A frequent destination for shore excursions from Bari is Alberobello which is famous for its unique and visually stunning trullo buildings with conical roofs. Another great spot to visit is the caves of Castellana, a spectacular natural formation which will appeal to anyone with a passing interest in geology - or anyone who just likes to look at very cool things!

Visit Bari on this Mediterranean Cruise by MSC departing Venice.

Alcudia, Spain

Palm trees line the city gate of Alcudia, Spain

The port of Alcudia is a slow-paced introduction to the Spanish Balearic island of Mallorca, on the opposite coast to big and bustling Palma. A few kilometres inland from the port is the town itself, ringed with medieval walls which hide a gorgeous and charming warren of narrow lanes, plazas, stone masonry and many eateries and bars with that irresistible, laidback Spanish vibe. You can also enjoy the beach and various watersports, or take a shore excursion to visit the Roman ruins of Pollentia or even across to Palma. For a little nature, take a walk in the nearby S’Albufera Natural Park which has many kilometres of trails and is home to some fascinating wildlife.

The Azamara Journey stops at Alcudia on this 9-night Tapas, Wine and Golf Cruise.

 

Wherever you choose to go, we know your cruise will be an incredible and memorable adventure. Ready to visit these and other amazing places? Take a look at our Mediterranean cruise deals.

From party cruises in the Baltic to a classy Cunard voyage, I’ve been lucky enough to experience the full spectrum of cruise life. Onboard you’ll probably find me by the pool with a doorstop sized book in one hand and a mojito in the other, or sampling an array of delicious foods.

Check out our great cruise deals

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