Explore More: Mediterranean Marvels
Warm sun, beaches, crystal clear blue waters, and the legacies of ancient civilizations aren’t the only reasons to visit the Mediterranean. Adventure seekers can find wonders away from the swarming tourist crowds. Best of all, this adventure doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg either. A Mediterranean vacation can be remarkably affordable, and this list covers some of the Mediterranean’s finest holiday destinations.
Exploring ancient ruins in Malta
With over 6,000 years of history, Malta is home to dramatic prehistoric sites. The ruins of megalithic temples — among the oldest standing buildings in the world — are scattered around the islands. Most visitors to Malta avoid the rainy winters, although the island’s dry landscape is green and beautiful during these months. Despite their amazing age, these mysterious structures are neither as well-known nor as crowded as Greek and Roman sites elsewhere in the Mediterranean.
The island of Gozo is one of the best diving locations in the Mediterranean, with a wide variety of marine life and stark underwater caves. Sunken vessels off the coast of Gozo provide a habitat for species, including barracuda and moray eels.
Having seen the photos posted by my dear friend, Anthony after his recent honeymoon in Malta; it has rocketed up in my ‘to do’ list like you wouldn’t believe.
Wrecks and ruins in Egypt
The haunting sunken ruins of the famous pharaohs or the legendary lighthouse in Alexandria are a marvelous destination for experienced divers. Sunken sites from throughout Egypt’s history are one of the highlights of the waters off this part of the coast. There are some downsides — high silt content means low visibility— but this is a diving experience you simply can’t find anywhere else in the world. Besides, Egypt is one of the best places to get away from it all and there are plenty of cheap holidays to the country.
It goes without saying that Egypt is also a must see destination for its more easily visited ancient sites such as the Pyramids, the Valley of the Kings, and Karnak. You can read more about what makes Egypt a winner in Showdown: Egypt vs Turkey.
Rock climbing in Corsica
Corsica’s landscape is dominated by the mountains that make up two-thirds of the island’s area. The rocky terrain, filled with gorges, steep cliffs and narrow passes, is perfect for hikers, rock climbers and even mountain bikers. Serious climbers can tackle the towering cliffs of the Aiguilles de Bavella or the island’s tafoni rocks, known for their irregular, honeycombed structure. Less-demanding mountain hikes and walks offer spectacular views over the Gulf of Porto. Walking and hiking in Corsica, especially on the GR20 trail, is not for the faint hearted, though, especially during the summer storms.
Corsica isn’t just about hiking and rock climbing, though; the historic city of Ajaccio is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the warm waters offer great diving, especially around Cap Corse in the northern part of the island. Corsica is also known for its beaches, with holidaymakers staying on the shore or in bars and cafes late into the warm summer nights.
Experience the Dalmatian Coast
Although popular with European holidaymakers, the Adriatic coast has yet to achieve the same international popularity as other parts of the Mediterranean. The waters are perfect for swimming, diving and water skiing, while the historic coastal cities offer a relaxed atmosphere and beautifully-preserved old towns. Dubrovnik is rapidly becoming a hit with tourists; the smaller town of Zadar preserves a beautiful Venetian-influenced old city.
Off the coast, the Adriatic’s natural beauty is showcased in locations like Mijet Island National Park. The park features dense woodland, saltwater lakes and a 12th-century Benedictine monastery. In stark contrast to Mijet Island’s green scenery, the islands of the Kornati Archipelago are rocky and dry, their arid landscapes home to fishing cottages. When you’re done with the simplicity and isolation, the Dalmatian coast also boasts a lively nightlife.
Wherever you decide to go, remember: even a less-crowded tourist destination in the Mediterranean can still be busy, so planning your visit in advance is always a good idea.
What are your favourite parts of the Mediterranean? Is there a travel daydream in your head that involves visiting one of the Mediterranean nations?
This post was written in collaboration with Thomson.co.uk. Written by Rob Bull.
About the Author
Rob Bull is a road tripper, traveller and adventurer. He loves rock climbing, bungee jumping and sky diving, all in warm destinations.