The port city of Ajaccio on Corsicas southwest coast is the birthplace of Napoleaon Bonaparte. Stroll the pastel-painted town and appreciate its collections of Napoleonia at Maison Bonaparte and the Musee Fesch. Outside town, enjoy the islands Mediterranean vistas from a mountain walking trail.
Al-Khums has a diverse economy, mainly dealing with processing and manufacture. Among the main products are cement, processed tuna, esparto grass, soap and olive oil. It is also the market centre for agricultural products like dates and olives. Tourism is of some importance, with the famous Roman city of Leptis Magna is 3 km east. Al-Khums is excellently connected with other urban centres, being on the coastal highway that connects Tripoli with Benghazi and Cairo in Egypt. Tripoli is 100 km west. Al-Khums has a few of its Ottoman and Italian buildings left. Along the eastern part of the city, there is a popular beach.
Founded by its namesake, Alexander the Great in 332 B.C., Alexandria has been home to many historical figures, including Cleopatra, Mark Antony, Julius Caesar and Euclid. Today the city has a distinctly Mediterranean feel, perhaps a remainder of its ancient Roman connection. The charming seaside promenade, colonial buildings and wide avenues make it an exotic, romantic destination.
On Sardinia's west coast, the picturesque seaport of Alghero is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. Sample local wine and wander the narrow streets to shop for handmade woolem goods and jewelry. Nearby is a magnificent coastline with isolated beaches.
The bustling resort of Alicante serves not only as the port for Madrid, but is also one of the loveliest vacation spots along Spain's sunny Costa Blanca. The latter is primarily due to the pleasant climate. Various civilizations have flourished along these shores. Early records indicate that the city dates back to a Carthaginian settlement established in 325 BC. These settlers were followed by the Romans, who equally found the area inviting. Then the Moors ruled this region for five centuries and named the city Al-Akant. Today's name probably stems from this origin. The city's occupation by Roman and Moorish forces accounts for a notable and varied heritage. In fact, much of this cultural impact is still apparent today in numerous buildings, names and the cuisine.
Located roughly between Salerno and Sorrento, Amalfi was already an important maritime republic in the Middle Ages. In fact, the Amalfi Tables represent the oldest maritime code in the world, which were observed throughout the Mediterranean until the late 16th century. Today, Amalfi is one of the most popular resorts and stopovers along the famed Amalfi Drive, Italy's celebrated corniche that hugs the mountainous coast and carves its way through sheer rock. Opulent villas, cloaked in brilliantly colored bougainvillea, hide behind high walls and wrought-iron gates. Waves pound against the steep shoreline and tortuous bends challenge a steady stream of tourist vehicles. Around every hairpin turn spectacular scenery awaits. Spread across the slope of the steep Lattari hills, the town itself boasts a superb setting and plenty of charm. The small, inviting center features several attractions that should not be missed. Of particular note is the duomo, also known as Cathedral Sant'Andrea, a marvel of ancient Arab-Moorish architecture. The church dominates the lively piazza, full of shops and crowded with residents and tourists at any time of day. Ruggedly beautiful and enchanting Amalfi will guarantee you a delightful introduction to Italy’s famed coastline.
The Azores Islands are located in the Atlantic Ocean, about two hours flying time and 930 miles (1500 Km) from Lisbon. The origin of the name Azores was derived from the archaic Portuguese word "azures" the plural of the word blue. Some say that it was named after the goshawk bird (Acor in Portuguese). However, since such bird never existed in the Azores, most historians have concluded that this the least probable explanation.
All the way down in the south east of France along the Mediterranean, and next to the Italian border, are the Maritime Alps and the world renowned French Riviera. With 10 million visitors a year, of whom 60% are foreigners, the Cote d'Azur (French Riviera) is one of the 5 most popular destinations in the world.
Founded by Romans in the first century BC, Barcelona is the vibrant capital of Catalonian Spain. Many of the worlds finest treasures can be seen in Barcelonas museums and monuments. Romanesque and Gothic frescoes and treasures can be enjoyed at the Catalan Art Museum. Among the most treasured sites is Gaudis masterpiece, The Sagrada Familia.
Corsica’s northern capital, Bastia, is the center of commerce and industry and a thriving freight and passenger port. Commerce, more than tourism, is its main focus, providing employment for many Corsicans. Bastia’s industrial sprawl is offset by its aged charm. The presence of an overwhelming Italian character adds to the city’s attraction. Two distinct areas comprise the city:Terra Vecchia, the old quarter with its haphazard streets and flamboyant Baroque churches, and the more orderly Terra Nova, representing the administrative core of old Bastia.
The modern city of Benghazi is situated on the eastern side of the Gulf of Sirt; it is Libya’s second largest city after Tripoli. Although its history dates back to an ancient Greek settlement, today’s city is mostly a post war development and shows little of its ancient heritage. The port provides a starting point for excursions to North Africa’s famous cities of antiquity, in particular Cyrene, which is among the most important sites in Libya after Leptis Magna and Sabratha.
Bilbao, capital of Provincia de Vizcaya in northern Spain, consists of old and new sections connected by several bridges spanning the Rio Nervion. The old part of the city occupies the east bank of the river, and its modern offshoot, dating from the late 19th century, sits opposite. In 1983 a flood severely damaged the old section of Bilbao, but it has since been restored.
With its spectacular cliff-top setting, this ancient Corsican fortress-town has withstood many sieges. The 15th century steps, cut high in the rock face, are evidence of its troubled history. Today, medieval buildings crown the slopes leading to the fortress which overlooks the beautiful, multi-colored sea below.
Set on a peninsula between two arms of the Adriatic Sea, Brindisi was an important port of the Roman Empire and, later, for the East India Company. In the second century BC the Appian Way was built, linking the port to Rome, and a column near the harbor marks the end of that famous route. Here, in 71 BC, the gladiator Spartacus led thousands of rebel slaves in an unsuccessful escape. Today visitors will find Romanesque churches, a 13th century castle and, in the surrounding Apulia region, remains of ancient Messapian culture.
There´s a good bit of Italy in this French resort, which remain tained its ties to Genoa long after the rest of Corsica declared independence. The Genoese Citadel dominates the coastline; you can visit it by crossing a drawbridge. The nearby Oratoire, a Renaissance chapel containing religious art, is also worth exploring. However, the main attractions of Calvi are the gorgeous beaches and lively marina.
Once the site of a small Ligurian port and later a Roman outpost, it wasn't until the 19th century, when aristocrats began to winter in the area's mild climate, that Cannes became popular. It is said that due to the area's few natural harbors, most ancient activity took place on the Lenin Islands, just off the coast of Cannes. Consequently the history of Cannes is mixed with the history of the islands. In the 1950's, with the beginning of the film festival and a flood of stars, mass tourism transformed this quiet retreat into today's fashionable resort. Unlike other cities on the French Riviera, Cannes radiates energy. The city is centered on the old port, with a compact central part. Bordered by palm trees and flowers, La Croisette is one of the city's hottest spots and the main promenade running alongside the narrow beach. The old town, Le Suquet, where Gallo-Roman tombs were discovered, provides a medieval feeling and magnificent views of the bay from atop its hill.
Popular since Roman times when the emperors built their villas on Capri, this island is surely one of the world's most famous and beautiful spots. Visiting Capri, it is easy to see why the ancient Romans fell in love with this place 2,000 years ago - the craggy mountains, the sea caves and grottos and the brilliantly colored flowers cast a magic spell then and still capture the admiration of today's travelers. There are sleek yachts moored in the deep blue waters of the bays, and beautiful villas and tiny villages cling to steep slopes. An excellent year-round climate and a breathtaking landscape complete the picture of a storybook island.
This refreshing town on Spain's Murcia coast is a living book of history with its displays of what remains of forts, naval walls, Moorish-influenced buildings, and ruins left behind by the Romans. Small restaurants line the picturesque shores serving marinated octopus and piping hot paellas - perhaps with a glass of wine - to anyone wishing to relax aside the Mediterranean.
Where the rugged massifis of Provence come down to meet the sea, discover this lively fishing port/resort. Nearby, the spine of the mountains rises from the sea in fabulous columns called Calaques, making for some dramatic cruising.
Scenically located in the shadows of the volcanic Mount Etna, Catania is surrounded by a region rich in citrus trees, eucalyptus forests and olive groves. Tour Via dei Crociferi, where the magnificent Roman Theatre has been reconstructed.
Just across the Strait of Gibraltar, Ceuta is your portal to the Spanish community of Tetouan. Part Andalusian, part Moroccan, totally enchanting. Its medina is alluring mayhem.
For centuries the ancient port of Civitavecchia has served as the gateway to magnificent Rome. Its a city so immersed in history, you'll find yourself drifiting back to a distant time. Home of Michelangelos Sistine Chapel, Rome flourishes today as she did in her Golden Age. Experience Rome, a city of colossal ruins, majestic cathedrals and a golden past, worthy of many return visits.
Corigliano Calabro is a commune and town located in the province of Cosenza, in Calabria, southern Italy.
The history of Sardinia dates back many thousand centuries; in fact the first sure traces of human presence date back to the Lower Palaeolithic (100,000 BC), although it was only much later, in the Early Neolithic period (6,000 BC), that permanent settlements were founded. Nowadays, Sardinia is an Autonomous Region of the Italian Republic: as such, it is regulated by the Special Statute (1948) which also lists the reasons which led the Italian government to grant it a degree of autonomy.
One of Italy´s most popular summer resorts, Elba was also Napoleon´s island of exile. The town of Portoferraio, which lies along the shore of the scenic bay, is dominated by the Medici Fortress and the Molini Castle. You may shop for Tuscan handicrafts ranging from straw hats to Florentine leather goods.
In Essaouira, a peaceful coastal town on the country's central Atlantic shores, Morocco still possesses an authentic gem, its dense mass of whitewashed houses shining brightly in contrast to the blue of sea and sky, and the blue and ochre colouring of door and window frames.
Occupying both banks of the Arno River and situated at the foot of the Apennine Mountains, is Florence. Founded by Julius Caesar himself, Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance. History and art shake hands in this picturesque land where masterpieces like Michelangelo's David can be seen in the city's many museums, churches and galleries.
About one hour´s sail from Ibiza, this is the smallest of the Balearic Islands. Its slightly African flavor is reflected in the name of the main town: La Sabina. Serious swimmer and snorkelers will relish the miles of white sand beaches and clear waters. While approaching or leaving Formentera look for Espalmador, an uninhabited isle that attracts a fleet of yachts each summer.
Gabes is something as strange as the worlds only seaside oasis. While the city is not that great, exploring the two parts of the oasis, the one between the city and the sea, and the one between the city and the desert, is fascinating.
Galati is located in southeastern Romania, situated on an eminence among the marshes at the confluence of the Danube and Siret rivers. Visit their Orthodox Cathedral, botanical garden, several museums, a television tower opened to the public and offering full view of the city, the newly-restored Galati Opera House, and a a sculpture park lining a promenade along the banks of the Danube.
The Gallipoli Peninsula has a long and memorable history extending back beyond the Peleponesian Wars. Its rugged landscape and historic towns provide the backdrop to the battlefields of 1915, places of heroism and sacrifice which are of immense national significance to Turks, Australians and New Zealanders. Explore the sights of Gallipoli here.
For centuries, Genoa has been a major commercial seaport. Today, it is one of Italy's largest cities. Genoa is located in northwestern Italy, in the inner harbor of the Gulf of Genoa. This city was once home to Christopher Columbus and world-renowned violinist Niccolò Paganini. Within the city's medieval walls you can wander the caruggi (alleys) where the wealthy Genovese lived and guilds set up shop. The alleys are still home to specialty shops, Baroque and Romanesque churches and 500-year-old apartment buildings.
It stands aside compared to the other islands of the Tuscan archipelago but thanks to its geographical distance it is a very special place, perhaps unique and inimitable. Giannutri is a very small paradise , it is 500m .large and more or less 5kms long, a beautiful walk. It is the ideal place for excursions and is attended especially by ski divers charmed by its depths. In the past Giannutri had already charmed the Romans who built a port and beautiful patrician villas. The sea is still keeping wrecks of their ships.
Located at the southernmost tip of Europe, the Rock of Gibraltar is literally between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Its unique location has played a pivotal role in history, as countries fought for control over this busy seaport.
The Golfe de Porto is the home of some outstanding natural wonders. Situated at the heart of the Corsica Regional Park's maritime coastline, it is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. Ideally placed between Calvi and Ajaccio, the Porto region is perfect for exploring the extraordinary coastline and is also the ideal holiday spot if you want to explore the Corsican mountains and villages.
Golfo Stella is a great corner of Elba Island on the way from Marina di Campo to Porto Azzurro
Gozo is the second largest island of the Maltese Archipelago that consists of three islands known as Gozo, comino and mainland Malta. Millions of years ago the Maltese island were the elevated regions on a mass of land extending southwards from nearby Sicily. This continental shelf was submerged when the sea level rose during the interglacials leaving those land tips exposed in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea.
The extreme and varied micro-climates and vegetation are what have earned this lovely island, "The Small Continent." Here you will find mountains, desert land and tropical forests in amazingly close proximity; it's not at all rare to see mountain peaks of snow as you're basking in the sun on a beautiful beach.
Hvar is the longest of the Croatian islands and noted for its lush vegetation, quaint towns and fertile vineyards. A particularly rich cultural and monumental heritage complements Hvar's natural and unique beauty. Often called the Lavender Island, the name refers to the aromatic, purple plant that grows in abundance on the island's stony slopes. Today, Hvar Town is one of Croatia's most popular resorts, reputed to receive more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the country.
The Balearic Islands lie scattered in the western Mediterranean off the southeast coast of Spain. Regular ferry service connects the principal islands of the archipelago with the mainland. Through history, the three main islands, Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca, were the object of invasion by outside powers. Moorish forces arrived during the 8th century and established their hold until the disintegration of the Caliphate of Cordoba. James I of Aragon gained control over these specks of land in 1229, only to see them integrated into the independent kingdom of Mallorca in 1276. Later they were returned to the Aragonese crown. Today, invasions occur daily at airports and yacht harbors around the islands. The alluring mild climate attracts scores of northern Europeans who grow weary of cloudy days and cold temperatures. They come here to enjoy the sunshine and the beaches; at night they fill the clubs until the early morning hours. The name Ibiza has become synonymous with pleasure seeking.
L'Ile-Rousse is a commune in the Haute-Corse department of Corsica, France. Developed by Pascal Paoli in the 1760s as a "gallows to hang Calvi," the port of L'Ile Rousse simply doesn't convince as a Corsican town, its palm trees, smart shops, neat flower gardens and colossal pink seafront hotel creating an atmosphere that has more in common with the French Riviera. All roads in L'Ile Rousse lead to place Paoli, a shady square that's open to the sea and has as its focal point a fountain surmounted by a bust of "U Babbu di u Patria" (Father of the Nation), one of many local tributes to Pascal Paoli.
Ischia is a volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples. Some sights worth seeing are the Church of Soccorso (a tiny white-washed church located in the square on the Punta del Soccorso in Forio, that looks out onto the crystal clear sea), and Castello Aragonese (a castle located on a small island near Ischia Ponte). There are many wonderful beaches located here as well, namely Lido di Ischia and Cartaromana beach.
The greenest, most independent and most interesting of Croatia's 1,000 or so islands, Korcula was a favourite Greek holiday spot over 2,000 years ago. Very much a law unto itself - as you might expect from a community that resisted the sieges of centuries - Korcula town is a mini-fortress enclosed with honey-coloured stone walls that contain hidden treasures, from icons to Tiepolos, as well as architectural delights in every narrow, cobbled street.
Tunisia's capital lies at the western end of the shallow Lake Tunis, which opens to the sea at La Goulette. This is the first of a string of beach suburbs that stretches away to the north; it is here that the city's port is located. This coastal area includes the ruins of ancient Carthage and the picturesque suburb of Sidi Bou Said, places that attract more visitors than Tunis itself. As far as capital cities go, Tunis has an easy-going, unhurried air about it. It is a very liberal city by Islamic standards and certainly leading the way in Western trends for the rest of the country.
Europe's kinky over-the-knee boot has it all: popes, painters, polenta, paramours, poets, political puerility and potentates. Its three millennia of history, culture and cuisine seduce just about everyone. In Italy you can visit Roman ruins, gawk at Renaissance art, stay in tiny medieval hill towns, go skiing in the Alps, explore the canals of Venice and see more beautiful churches than you imagined could exist in one country. Naturally you can also indulge in the more elementary pleasures of enjoying good food and wine, improving your wardrobe and seeking out la dolce vita.
Larnaca, a town with an easy-going pace, has strong links to the past. In the heart of modern Larnaca one finds remains of the ancient city-kingdom of Kition, reminiscent of its glorious days. The Mycenaean Greeks fortified the town with cyclopean walls in the 12th century while the Phoenicians founded a powerful kingdom here in the 9th century.
A beautiful area with sun, lavander and cicadas, the world renowned Le Lavandou is located at the foot of the Massif des Maures in the var departement. In the heart of the Mediterranean coastal region of the south of France. With over 12km coastline, the treasures of Le lavandou are painstakingly cared for and monitored. Long, sandy beaches with small, wild inlets : a thousand little heavens are yours in total security.
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. The southern central coast is home to the port city of Limassol. The city is a convenient starting point from which to explore the island’s ancient ruins and lush scenic highlights, including miles of olive, orange and lemon groves, cherry orchards and vineyards that cling to the island’s craggy slopes. Wooded mountains create a stunning backdrop to the stretches of picture-perfect beaches rimming the coastline.
A visually spectacular panorama unfolds while cruising the Lipari Islands. By day, the scenery is rugged, and untamed...painted against a backdrop of plunging cliffs, charming hillside cottages, and active volcanoes...while after sunset, showers of red sparks and a semmingly flourescent glow light up the sky. Rising from the sea just off the coast of Sicily, the beauty of this volcanic archipelago is unforgettable.
Lisbon is a city of great character and endearing charisma. Located in a hilly region at the mouth of the Tagus, the city retains an old world flair with cobbled alleyways in Alfama, the old town. Competing with the elegant avenues of Alto where sorrowful "fado" music fills the evening air is the Chiado, Lisbons affluent shopping district.
The birthplace of the artist Modigliani, this is Tuscanys principal port, just a short jaunt from the artistic treasures of Florence. As you wander the streets and piazzas of this famous city you will encounter countless treasrues of Renaissance art and architecture.
Loinj is known by its sea tradition, its special climate which cured the first visitor of the climatic medical center in 1885. This tourist tradition was started and supported by many honorable men of this archipelago. Ambroz Harai was one of them. He did a lot for this area from the declaration of the climatic medical center (1892.) till the afforestation of not planted part of the island which is today hundreds of years old pine-tree forest. There is villa Karolina (1898.) which was built during the rule of Josef F Lovasy, Austro-Hungarian nobleman, Annunziata, a small church of Mary's announcement at the cape of the ikat bay, a place where women used to wait and prey for their husbands to return safely. The bridge which is placed at the entering to Mali Loinj, above the channel which was ditched through the narrowest part of the island, makes two separated peace's of land that are connected by the movable bridge. It makes possible for smaller boats and yachts to enter the port.
The island of Madeira is lapped by the waters of the Gulf Stream with warm comfortable summers and mild winters that make it an enchanting holiday destination all year round.
Tucked away like a precious jewel between Sousse and Sfax, this lovely port modestly conceals its prestigious and adventurous past. Proclaimed the capital of Tunisia in 921, Mahdia was long the center of a power struggle between the Caliph of Cairo and local sovereigns. Repeatedly attacked by nomads, Genoese navies, Sicilian troops, liberated by the Berbers, Mahdia became a headquarters for the pirates of Dargouth and battles with Spanish and Maltese knights. Mahdia of today is that of the fisherman mending his nets and the silk weavers in the Rue Sidi Jaber. A few kilometers from the town itself a myriad of modern first class hotels offer visitors one of the finest beaches in Tunisia.
Minorca is a beautiful unspoiled island of green pastures and white-washed villages. Stroll through the cliff-top town of Mahon, visiting one of the lovely churches, or spend a relaxing day on one of the islands pristine beaches.
A perfect setting of charm, this alluring port is located on Spains Costa del Sol amidst a profusion of exotic wildflowers in perpetual bloom. View the famous natural wood carvings of artist Pedro de Mena at the Malaga Cathedral.
In Malta, you'll explore 7000 years of history yet live passionately in the present. You'll span the millennia with an astonishing array of things to discover. And wherever you go, the Islands' scenery and architecture provide a spectacular backdrop. The colours are striking. Honey-coloured stone against the deepest of Mediterranean blues.
The chic promenades and whitewashed towns of the Costa del Sol lure yachts from around the golbe. Explore Marbella´s flower-filled streets or enjoy people-watching from a seaside cafe.
Marmaris in Turkey is one of Turkey' s premier vacation resorts, built around a sweeping natural bay at the foot of steep pine covered mountain slopes. The old town is a maze of twisting little streets and alleys with whitewashed houses in the Turkish style amid an excellent shopping bazaar.
Founded nearly 26 centuries ago, Marseilles is the oldest city in France, a mosaic of old and new with a dozen villages and eight islands, each offering a world of enchanting discoveries. At nearby Avignon, visit the magmificient Palace of the Popes and the hilltop Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde. Explore ruins of 13th century Palais Longchamps and colorful "Old Harbour" where you can browse open-air markets.
Melilla is a Spanish exclave on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, neighbouring Morocco. It was conquered by Spain in 1497. Traditionally considered part of Andalusia for historical reasons, it was administered as part of Málaga province prior to the March 14, 1995 Statute of Autonomy, and was a free port before Spain joined the European Union.
Menton lies on the Baie de Soleil, only a few miles from the Italian border on the Cote D'Azur. This aristocratic tourist town has a long promenade and a shingle beach. The 17th century fort near the quai Napoleon III is now the Art Museum Jean Cocteau and the old town has an Italianate square, Parvis St Michel, as well as several beautiful churches. Across the border you will find the Hanbury Botanical Gardens, created in 1867 by Sir Thomas Hanbury with a worldwide collection of exotic plants.
As Sicilys main gateway to continental Italy, Messina is a large and bustling port city completely rebuilt after a devasting earthquake in 1908. South of Messina, in the shadow of Mt Etna, is the beautiful resort of Taormina. Clinging to the side of a mountain, Taormina affords spectacular views at every turn. After admiring the magnificent Greek Theatre dating from the 3rd Century B.C., take a stroll along the main shopping street to appreciate the harmony of Taorminas architecture.
The original name of Milazzo was Mylai, ascribed by the Greeks who colonized it in 716 B.C.. The name changed into Milas during Arabic domination and finally in the current name. Milazzo's area has been populated since Neolithic period and later it has been occupied by Sicilian.
Monastir a city on the central shore of Tunisia, in the Sahel area. Traditionally a fishing port, Monastir is now a major tourist resort. Its population is 41,400. Located in north-eastern Tunisia, it is the capital of Monastir Governorate.
Located on the Adriatic coast halfway between Bari and Brindisi, Monopoli is a doorway to the rugged region of Puglia, renowned for its vineyards and olive orchards, and for the distinctive trulli, whitewashed stone houses with conical stone roofs.
The jewel of the French Riviera a fitting destination and one sure to please. You'll be dazzled by Monte Carlos elaborate casinos, the famous wine cellars of the Hotel de Paris and the Ephrussi-de-Rothschild Museum with its XV and XIX century treasures. An exciting stop at one of the worlds most enticing and alluring playgrounds.
Motril is your gateway to legendary Granada, the spell-binding capital of Moorish Spain. You´ll be overwhelmed by the beloved Moorish palace, the Alhambra. The Alhambra has been called man´s nearest approximation of heaven!
Naples the diva of Italy. Voluptuous, vivacious and vibrantly alive. All the marvelous sights, scents and sounds of Southern Italy are here. It's where pasta was invented and where the first pizza was tossed. And in the ashen ruins of Pompeii, see where ancient Romans came to play, only to be lost under Vesuvius fire and fury.
Synonymous for decades with the words opulence, a sophistication and wealth, the French Riviera is the jewel of the Mediterranean Sea. Walk the Promenade des Anglais which borders the sea, and rub shoulders with royalty and film stars on golden beaches. Take a trip to Monte Carlo to see million dollar yachts in the most picturesque setting of Monte Carlo´s bay.
Olbia, situated at the bottom of a deep inlet, is home to Sardinia's main harbour and tourist airport. After the collapse of the Roman empire and with subsequent vandal invasions, it fell to ruin, much like the rest of Sardinia's coastal towns. In the eleventh century, under the dominion of the Pisans settled in Gallura, it was reconstructed on its original site under the name Terranova, which remained in use until 1939. Upon becoming the bishop's see, Olbia enjoyed some rebirth with new maritime traffic and the spread of agriculture throughout the plains. However, its long economic and demographic stagnation continued until the 1800's, when city development once again called for the renewal of the harbour. Roads were then constructed leading out to the state trunk-road 131 and to the train station, and canals were built to contain the rivers directed out to sea. In the 1980's, an impetuous demographic development ensued, further contributed to by a large flow of immigration arriving from the rest of Sardinia and Italy at large, causing Olbia to jump into fourth place in Sardinia's urban hierarchy. Equipped with a small tourist harbour, a Yacht Club and surrounded by many beautiful beaches from north to south, Olbia is also a departure base for excursions to the famous tourist destinations of the north-east coast
Oran is a city in northwestern Algeria, situated on the Mediterranean coast. A popular destination here is Mt. Abdelkader: at over 375 meters above sea level, this iconic mountain preserves Oran's history. Featured at the summit are the Santa Cruz fort and Chapel of the Virgin Mary. Another fascinating site is Casbah (Citadel): the Casbah fortress located in Mers El-Kebir (army port 2 kilometers east of Oran City) was constructed during pre-colonial North Africa for defense purposes.
Palamos is located at the foot of the coastal mountains in the heart of Spain's Costa Brava region. The area's seven beaches have shorelines that range from rocky to smooth and sandy. Interesting archaeological sites include the Iberian Settlement at Castell beach, the Iberian archaeological ruins dating to 6 B.C. and the medieval castle of Sant Esteve at La Fosca beach. The 16th-century church of Santa Eugenia Villarroma is located in the town center.
Palau is located in one of the most amazing forks of the Sardinian north oriental coast. Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean and is formed by a series of mountainous massifs, hills and narrow highlands. The coasts are jagged and rocky, interspersed with marvelous beaches of very fine sand and countless inlets. The seaside landscapes, especially on the Costa Smeralda, are among the most beautiful in the world. Numerous small, enchanting islets are scattered in front of the coasts.
The capital of Sicily is situated on a crescent-shaped bay on the island's north coast. Once the intellectual capital of southern Europe, Palermo has always been at the crossroads of civilization. Due to its favorable location, Sicily's most interesting city has attracted almost every people and culture touching the Mediterranean world. Its most unique characteristic is a harmonious blend of Arab-Norman cultures mixed with Byzantine and Jewish elements, which created some unforgettable and resplendent works of art.
The largest of the Baleares Islands off Spains Mediterranean coast, Mallorca is a popular European resort. Enjoy the cosmopolitan charms of the city of Palma or use it as a base to explore Mallorcas Roman ruins, picturesque villages, beaches and spectacular caves.
The town of Poltu Quatu is located in the north-east of Sardinia. It is part of the famous Costa Smeralda that lies between the exclusive tourist destinations of Porto Cervo and Baja Sardinia. This ruggedly beautiful region stretches like a 30-mile necklace of wild and secluded coves, interspersed by extravagant villas and some eighty powder-white beaches. It is a land of twisted cork trees, glistening juniper and whispering pines, with a hint of rosemary scenting the air. Angular mountains of granite and basalt provide spectacular backdrops.
Ponza is the largest and most beautiful of the Pontine Islands, which lie off the coast of Italy near Anzio. This section of the Mediterranean has been a resort area since ancient times; Cicero had a summer palace here, and the emperors Caligula and Nero were born nearby. Ponza boasts the Chiaia di Luna beach and a magnificent shoreline indented with bays, cliffs, and grottoes.
You may have seen this charming island and not known it, for Porquerolles is favored by European filmmakers seeking tropical, South Pacific-style scenery. Its official name, Ile de Porquerolles, is almost as long as the island itself. Yet this is the largest of the Iles d´Hyeres, an archipelago in the Riviera, and a splendid getaway. Enjoy the cafes, small restaurants, and fine beaches.
Venture on an excursion from France´s Catalan city of Port Vendres to the area´s historic monuments including the Castillet, a pink Citadel; the Duputation, the former seat of the Catalan Courts; and St John Cathedral, with its bell tower and wood crucifix. The nearby town of Coulliore offers a pictursque setting overlooking the rocky bay, which attracts the many artists who gather here for inspiration.
In Portimao, a fishing port since Roman times, you can sample fresh local seafood in harborside cafes, climb among huge, oddly-shaped rocks carved by waves or journey to Sagres, where Prince Henry´s school of navigation still stands on a rocky promontory pointing toward the beckoning Atlantic.
The undisputed capital of the Emerald, Porto Cervo, is located on the isleand of Sardinia. Its port is one of the largest and best equipped in the Mediterranean and home to the famous Costa Smeralda Yacht Club, organizer of the most important and engaging of Mediterranean regattas. Visit the splendid church of "Stella Maris," which dominates the Porto Cervo coastal area with an extraordinary and beautiful view over the Yacht Club.
This small gem of a city is anchored in the peninsula of Monte Argentario, and enveloped by a blanket of beautiful sand and rock beaches. Porto Ercole is a splendid central destination that warmly welcomes tourists, and is a perfect getaway spot for those interested in traveling to nearby towns and historic sites for touring or art visits. From here, Siena, Tarquinia, San Gimignano (to name only a few of Porto Ercole's neighbors) lie directly at your fingertips.
Corsica´s wild, sensual beauty is off the beaten path of most Mediterranean cruises. The scent of the maquis -- a mixture of wild rosemary, sage and thyme -- announces Corsica´s presence even before you see its steep granite mountains rising from the sea.
With its lemon-yellow buildings, Portoferraio is among the most elegant and delightful of the old Mediterranean port towns. Beyond the capital lies an island of great natural beauty. Elba has more than fifty beaches tucked away in the many coves and bays on her 90 miles of coastline. The hills are covered with pine forests and wildflowers. The distinctive scent of maquis fills the air, and the sparkling blue waters are inviting.
Portofino is a living, breathing picture-postcard of the Italian coast. One of the most beautiful places on earth, it features colorful houses and shops along a picturesque waterfront, with lush green hills rising above. You can rub elbows with Europe's elite while strolling the streets, or sit beside them as you enjoy the priceless view and a glass of wine.
A venerable Italian village of maze-like alleys and multi-colored homes. Look: the 12th-century castle, city gate and rusticated stone tower built by the Genoese still stand. So does the church of San Pedro with its splendid view of the cliffs of the Cinque Terre - five quait old fishing villages known for their picturesque surroundings and fine wines.
Positano is situated in the Campania region of Italy, on the Amalfi Coast. Once a wealthy maritime power, it began the last century as a fishing settlement, and ended it as a popular, and rather chi-chi resort, famous for its hotels and boutiques as well as for the winding stairways that connect the town, and the towering cliffs above. Every inch of land is prized; buildings are stacked up one above the other on the steep slopes, and open areas are intensively cultivated with fruit and vegetables thriving in the fertile volcanic soil.
Fine golden sands as far as the eye can see. Calm turquoise waters. Ochre cliffs and rocks sculpted into fantastical shapes. Such is the natural beauty of Praia da Rocha, a place which inspires visitors today as It has always done.
Provence is a former Roman province and is now a region of southeastern France, located on the Mediterranean Sea adjacent to the Italian border. It is now part of the administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur. The traditional region of Provence comprises the departements of Var, Vaucluse, and Bouches-du-Rhone in addition to parts of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Alpes-Maritimes.
Puerto Banus is situated between Marbella and San Pedro (approximately 6 km from Marbella, click here for a map of Puerto Banus) and is home to some of the most impressive yachts in the world. There is a wide array of bars, restaurants and designer shops along the water-front at Muelle Rivera. As far as restaurants in Puerto Banus are concerned, you will find that dinner in Puerto Banus, though expensive, becomes a pleasure for the senses, as you will find the best restaurants and the finest kitchen here.
Puerto del Rosario is a popular spanish residencial area, with lots of things to see and do. Puerto del Rosario is also the centre of activity in Fuerteventura for many things and is a good place to visit in Fuerteventura.
On the southern part of the Istrian peninsula, at the end of the Gulf of Pula, a town of antiquity, of parks, and of summer festivals dominates. Pula, the largest city and port in Istria, a communication economic and administrative center, is an attractive place to spend a holiday for many tourists, with some 2,350 hours of sunshine a year. The history of the town is etched in every stone, which is indicated by the large number of cultural historic monuments from almost all periods of its past, of which many are an integral part of the fabric of the city.
Explore the Byzantine treasures of Ravenna including the mosaics of the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the Churches of San Vitale and Sant´ Apollinare.
Rhodes (Rhodos or Rodos in Greek), the beautiful island of roses, has a unique physical scenery that does not cease to impress its visitors. Also unique is its climate with more sunny days than any other place in Europe.With practically zero crime rate and friendly and hospitable people you'll be surprised how easy life in Rhodes can be.
This peaceful neighbor to St. Tropez is a major sailing center and popular resort of the French Riviera. There are sandy beaches, golf courses, a casino, and local spas offering seawater-based thalassotherapy. Napoleon landed here in triumph in 1799 after his victory in Egypt, and in 1814 he departed in disgrace for exile on Elba. Stroll the atmospheric old town with its 12-century Romanesque Templar's Church, fascinating museum of marine archaeology and charming maze of streets. Nearby, the coastal road leads to dramatic rock formations, tiny coves dotted with sunbathers and old Provencal towns.
The port of Salerno is the ideal starting-point for excursions to the almost legendary ancient towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum beneath the slopes of Mount Vesuvius as well as to the famous Greek temples of Paestum. Pompeii and Herculaneum were prosperous Roman towns until the 24th of August 79 AD, when the Vesuvius Pompeii with volcanic ash, and Herculaneum with a torrent of lava, sixty-five feet deep.
San Remo lies on the Mediterranean coast of western Liguria in north-western Italy. It was founded in Roman times and is now best known for being a tourist destination on the Italian Riviera. Its old town is called La Pigna and is characterized by perched houses, steep streets, covered alleys, and little squares - just a glimpse of the Medieval times. The modern town turned a village of fishermen into an elegant, world-wide famous seaside resort. Nowadays San Remo welcomes tourists and visitors all year round and entertains them with shows and numberless amusements. San Remo is famous for its Casino which was built in 1905 and is the undisputed realm of green cloth, roulette, and slot machine lovers.
All the way down in the south east of France along the Mediterranean, and next to the Italian border, are the Maritime Alps and the world renowned French Riviera. With 10 million visitors a year, of whom 60% are foreigners, the Cote d'Azur (French Riviera) is one of the 5 most popular destinations in the world.
From Santa Margherita visit Portofino one of the most photographed - and most exclusive - harbours in the Mediterranean with its magic and the look of a film set. Yet this is very much the genuine article. Nestling below the pine, olive and eucalyptus trees that dress this Ligurian peninsula lies a fabulous collection of terracotta-coloured houses, topping a line of exclusive shops and waterside watering holes. Even if fishing boats have long been replaced with luxury tenders and power boats, you won’t resist the temptation to stop and stare.
This ancient city is the gateway to the ruins of Butrint which has an impressive amphitheater where gladiators fought and Christians were offered to the lions. There are remnants of an early monastery and Christian Basilica with mosaic floors as well as fascinating inscriptions on the theater. Many eras are represented, from the original Greek settlement to paleo-Christian basilicas and a baptistry. Natural and man-made disasters emptied the city; over five centuries it became buried under silt and vegetation and only re-discovered in the early 1900s. This amazing cultural treasure with its ramparts, acropolis, agora, amphitheater, temples, public baths and private residences has been excavated and brought back to life almost intact over the past 50 years.
A part of the Italian Riviera near Genoa, Savona is a city rich in history and enterprise, largely centered around its port. A tour of the city may include a visit to "Columbus's House," a former residence of Christopher Columbus nestled in the Savona hills. Or one may visit Savona's most important monument, the Priamar, a recently-restored castle stronghold located near the port.
Situated at the Golfe du Lion in the south of France, Sete, called Ceta or Sita under the Gallo-Romans, was first known for its production of pickled fish. With the closure of the seaports of Aigues Mortes, Agde and Narbonne in the 17th century, a new port was needed to open the Languedoc onto the Mediterranean. Sete developed around the new port, becoming the country's second busiest port after Marseille..
Today, Setubal is at the heart of the Portuguese sardine industry and is famed for it’s sweet and globally acclaimed moscatel wine. Its pedestrian streets, fountains and gardens lend it a certain grace, although its still very functioning harbour certainly dominates giving it the feel of a still thriving historic town.
Cadiz is the western worlds oldest inhabited city with shores bathed by both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Tiny villages are scattered at random along golden beaches and up twisting mountain roads leading to romantic Seville. Visit Sanlucar de Barrameda where Magellan began his voyage around the world and Jerez de la Frontera, home of the worlds finest sherry.
Set high atop the Mediterranean cliffs, Sorrento is a town of extraordinary beauty that has endured as a favored resort for centuries. In addition to its own attractions, Sorrento is also known as a popular gateway to Pompeii, Italy's most celebrated classical ruins. They offer a look at the finest example of a Roman town and its way of life, presented to modern eyes by excavation.
On the eastern coast of Tunisia, two hours from the capital Tunis lies Sousse, "the pearl of the Sahel" . The mildness of its climate, its calm and beautiful coast and the hospitality of its people have long captivated those who came to conquer. Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs settled in this lovely "fertile city" each leaving their imprint and heritage. No wonder modern day visitors from all over the world find themselves at home and return again and again.
The Sailing Harbor of Saint-Florent is nestling at the foot of the Cap Corse, at the end of a Gulf which wear its name, lined-up at the west by the Desert of the Agriates. Today, it is a popular summer vacation spot for many tourists because of its proximity to the famous Patrimonio vineyards and one of the most beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean coast, Saleccia.
A useful port, being one of the major entrances to Europe's system of inland waterways. In addition, it is one of the cheapest places to over-winter in the south of France.
Adored by those who worship the sun, St. Tropez is first with the trendsetters and has been a haven for artists since the 1890´s. Travel by boat along the waterways of Port Grimaud, home of the rich and famous or stroll over miles of sandy beaches under warm, friendly skies. And remember to observe the scenic view of the Gulf of St. Tropez in all its gleaming splendor.
The Strait of Gibraltar is the strait which separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean Sea. On the northern side is Spain and Gibraltar, on the southern side Morocco and Ceuta. Its boundaries were known to antiquity as the Pillars of Hercules.
Stromboli is a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, containing one of the active volcanos in Italy. It is one of the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago north of Sicily.
French and Islamic influences merge in this fascinating old city of mosques and minarets, casbahs and modern boulevards. From the shadowy streets of the marketplace to the open vistas in the nparks above, Tangier offers a sharp, remarkable taste of Morocco.
Neighboring villages of Naxos and Taormina are in such harmony with their surroundings they almost seem carved from the hillside. Blooming jacarandas and bougainvillea grow in profusion over balconies and stone buildings built in medieval times. Palm fringed avenues wind through quiet streets and the view from Castle Mola provides a stunning look at the Ionian Sea, the town and Mt Etna.
Located in the beautiful southern Catalonia region of Spain is Tarragona, where a rich cultural and artistic heritage is celebrated. There are eight active pottery centers in Tarragona, as well as other traditional Spanish arts and crafts such as lace-making, wrought iron works, glass blowing, and wood carving.
This fortress and modern town is the principal naval base of France: the headquarters of the Mediterranean fleet, with hundreds of sailors wandering the streets. With its beautiful harbor, it's surrounded by hills and crowned by forts. A large breakwater protects it on the east, and the great peninsula of Cap Sici is on the west. Separated by the breakwater, the outer roads are known as the Grande Rade and the inner roads the Petite Rade. On the outskirts is a winter resort colony. Like Marseille, the population of Toulon has grown because of the large influx of people from North Africa, especially French-speaking Algeria which was once a part of France before it broke away.
Trapani, the ancient Drepanon, jets out into the Mediterranean sea in the shape of a sickle. The Ligny Tower, an imposing watchtower built in 1761, stands on its extreme tip and now houses the Museum of Prehistory. The best way to go get to know Trapani is looking at the ties this town has always had with the sea. Nowadays fishing provides a means of support, but in the past the Mediterranean was a source of wealth because of the coral industry. The precious coral works made by skilled craftsmen have made this town famous since the second half of the 16th century. Today this remakable and creative craft is gaining strenght again thanks to the workshops set up by young artisans, who have revived an ancient form of art that seemed to have fallen into oblivion. A collection of very fine coral works is displayed at the Pepoli Museum, inside the old Carmelite monastery. Next to this building stands the Santuario dell'Annunziata, where one can find a beautiful 14th century marble statue of the Madonna of Trapani. Walking down the streets of the oldest part of the city centre, one can easily notice the indelible marks left on Trapani's town planning and architectural styles by various civilizations.
Tripoli is Libya's capital and major port on the Mediterranean coast. Also known as Tarabalus Al-Gharb (Tripoli of the West), the city's history dates back to its founding by the Phoenicians in 1000 BC. Remains of once regal Greek and Roman cities were buried beneath Libya's sands for eons. Only in the past century, excavation works have brought to light the unbelievable splendor of Libya's artifacts of antiquity that are among the most spectacular in the Mediterranean region. The country's stunning connection to the past is also depicted in some world-class museums.
Tunis is the capital of Tunisia. Situated on a large Mediterranean gulf (the Gulf of Tunis), behind the Lake of Tunis and the port of La Goulette (Halq al Wadi), the city extends along the coastal plain and the hills that surround it. At the centre of more modern development (colonial era and post) lies the old medina. Beyond this section lie the suburbs of Carthage, La Marsa, and Sidi Bou Said.
Urbino is a gem of a renaissance city located in Italy's seldom visited Marche region.
Ustica is a small volcanic island lying off the northern coast of Sicily.
Stylish and friendly Valencia is together with Barcelona the most important city on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. While the original founding goes back to Roman times, it was the Moors who arrived in 709 AD and made Valencia prosper, thanks to a booming trade in paper, silk, leather, ceramics, glass and silver work. After Almanzor's death, the area was conquered by the legendary "El Cid" during the Christian re-conquest of Spain. Not much is left from the Roman period, but the architectural legacy of the Moors is abundant and can be seen in the remains of the old walls, the Almirante bath house and the tower, el Miguelete, which was the minaret of the old mosque.
In 1530, Charles V of Spain granted the island of Malta to the Knights of the Order of St. John. Many impressive 16th-century limestone buildings and fortifications from the Knights have endured, helping make the city of Valetta simply magnificent to experience today.
The popular seaside town of Viareggio is situated on the Tuscany coast. Viareggio and the resorts "Torre del Lago Puccini", "Lido di Camaiore", "Marina di Pietrasanta" etc. makeup about 20 kilometers of the Versilian Riviera (or Riviera della Versilia). Viareggio has most of the usual attractions of a typical Italian seaside resort. One of the highlights of the year is the famous Carnival of Viareggio that attractions may visitors from near and far.
From Villefranche, make your way via the Grand Corniche to Cannes, Nice or Monte Carlo along the Cote dAzur. Meander down a seaside promenade at dusk when the light is its softest and bright chatter spills out from sidewalk cafes.
History has left its mark on the city of Zadar, Croatia. The Roman forum is well preserved; the Venetians walls still stand as do ancient Croatian churches, monasteries and palaces; and Zadar boasts a fine collection of gold and silver. Zadar has always been outward looking and part of the Mediterranean world. It has shared agriculture, shipbuilding, shipping and trade with people of the Mediterranean.
Zakinthos, also called Zante, is one of the largest Ionian Islands located off the Western coast of Greece. Like its more well-known neighbor to the North, Corfu, the island is blessed with lush vegetation and delicate beauty. The whitewashed town greets visitors with shops and cafes, while unspoiled beaches on the Western shore tempt sun worshippers and sea bathers.