From the sprawling beaches of Spain and the ancient cities of Italy – a cruise of the Mediterranean can open your eyes to some of the most beautiful locales that Europe has to offer.

You can see some of the continent’s most fascinating architecture in Rome and Barcelona, and spend a day under the sun on warming white sands and in turquoise waters. You’ll explore bustling cobbled streets and eat a vibrant mix of exquisite western Mediterranean cuisines. Here we bring you 5 of the best Western Mediterranean cruise ports.


Colourful Barcelona is a haven for sun-seekers and culture-buffs – you’ll find a vibrant mix of restaurants, beaches, nightclubs and architecture. If you’re fan of modernist architecture then you should take a tour of Gaudi’s works – start at the Parc Guell in Gracia, the Sagrada Familia in the Eixample side of town and the houses La Oedrera/ Casa Mila and La Casa Bastllo which are both also in Eixample.

The most vital of these for any Gaudi enthusiast is the La Sagrada Familia – the building’s height and intricate style provides a breathtaking visage that has impressed tourists for decades, despite that fact that even still to this day it remains unfinished.

You’ll find hand shaped columns that offer a skeletal, natural appearance and you’ll be in awe at the sheer scope and grandeur of the building. National Geographic named Barcelona as the number one beach city in the entire world and you’ll find lengths of white sand beaches that stretch into the deep topaz seas – though hit the beach early if you want a good spot.


Florence is quite simply stunning. The rooftops of the various churches, palaces and cathedrals create an incredible skyline that spans Gothic, Renaissance, Neoclassical and Romanesque architecture. While below, the streets are cobbled and intertwined with alleys and busy pedestrian zones. Florence’s restaurants come in many shapes and sizes from quaint family owned eateries to busy restaurant-cum-galleries.

Try a Florentine steak and a glass of Tuscan wine after a day exploring the sites, though if you prefer a more hands-on approach – then take a cooking class to learn all about Tuscan cuisine and how to make a perfect Tuscan meal.

If you don’t mind heading out of the main city then climb the hill to the Piazzale Michangelo for incredible views out over the skyline, which is especially beautiful at night. Don’t miss the vibrant Ponte Vecchio – the only bridge in Florence to survive WW2 – which is lined with traditional jewellery shops and pretty views down the Arno river.


Rome of course needs very little introduction – once the self-proclaimed caput-mundi (capital of the world) and home to the astonishing Colosseum and the extraordinary Roman Forum and a vast list of other sites and attractions.

Dotted between the ruins you’ll find beautiful Baroque churches and enchanting classical statues and you’ll stumble across incredible works of art from the likes of Raphael and Michelangelo, and in the back alleys, a mixture of bars and restaurants just waiting to be discovered.

When the mood to explore overcomes you – you should search the historic squares and palazzi and find designer bars and local markets – or just stick to the Roman sites that are abundant around the city.

Take a day to explore the Vatican and walk the streets of Vatican city to cast your eye over St. Peter’s Basilica – which dominates the skyline. To round off your Rome experience you should do as the Romans do and eat al fresco on one of the city’s historic piazza.


Portugal’s colourful capital offers travellers the chance to explore vast Gothic Cathedrals, quaint museums and beautiful monasteries at a decelerated rate. Wonder the narrow lanes and backstreets to discover lines of bars and restaurants, clubs that go on ‘till dawn and public baths where locals share their weekly gossip.

Enjoy the village life in the old-quarters of the city or head to the hill-top district of Bairro Alto to indulge in your choice of restaurants and nightclubs.

For those of you in need of a little beachside relaxation – head to the suburbs of Cascais or Estoril which are just 20 minutes from the city-centre and haven of pristine sandy beaches and inviting blue waters. If the mood takes you can try your hand at a little jet-skiing or surfing.


Seville is the capital of Andalusia and is filled with awe-inspiring architecture, which spans from Gothic to Islamic and Roman to Renaissance. It is the heart of Andalusian traditions such as flamenco and bull-fighting and has some of the best Tapas available in all of southern Spain.

Be sure to take a trip trip to Seville’s 15th century cathedral, which is one of the largest in the world, La Giralda – a minaret tower now used as the bell tower of the Cathedral and the extravagant Real Alcázar Palace – which, built in the Moorish style, has a beautiful collection of lavish rooms, idyllic gardens and many secrets to be uncovered.

Visit during easter to witness the sombre celebrations of Semana Santa which sees processions of thousands of people take to the streets with religious icons and effigies of Christ on the cross. For something a little more upbeat – take in a traditional Flamenco show and taste a local Manzanilla wine which is said to taste of chamomile tea.

That just about rounds up our favourite Western Mediterranean cruise ports. Tell us about yours below….

Thanks Emma