As k anyone booking a Mediterranean cruise where they’re hoping to visit and Venice is likely to be close to the top of the list. The City of Bridges is one of the true wonders of the world; an early-modern canal town built around a series of waterways and narrow streets. With all the charms of the finest Italian cities and a fair few of its own to boot, it is an incredibly popular tourism spot, and many cruises call at its port including those operated by MSC .
But what people may not know is that it is also a great base from which to explore the rest of the region. Sure, you can get to Venice on cruises leaving from UK ports like Southampton. However, there are places further on in your journey that will be much easier to reach if you fly to Venice first and sail from there. The city has so much to offer, that this way you’ll also get longer to spend here before embarking on your cruise around the Mediterranean. Venice can be thought of as a gateway to a diverse range of destinations. Read on to discover the kinds of places you can visit on cruises from Venice.
The Croatian Coastline
Croatia’s Adriatic coast has been something of a revelation to the travel industry in recent years, with many discovering along its sand-lined beaches the kind of exquisite summer sun that they might not necessarily expect when considering eastern Europe, despite it’s position where the Mediterranean is at its most sheltered. Two of the undisputed gems are Dubrovnik and Split, resort towns offering beautiful beaches, warm waters and plenty of great parties. There’s a selection of great restaurants, bars and nightclubs if you have the opportunity to spend a night here.
The Greek Islands
The Greek Islands can proudly claim to be the birthplace of western civilisation. Here, thousands of years ago, the Greek elders wrestled with political and philosophical concepts that have shaped Europe and beyond – democracy, celebrity and equality among them. While they may not always have practiced what they preached (the great democracy of Athens was built on slave labour and women were distinctly second class), you can learn more about these ideals and the competing viewpoints of the various city states that populated these islands cruising along them.
Straddling the divide between east and west, Turkey has always presented a rich set of treasures to wondering travellers, boasting a mix of Western influences infused with Middle Eastern heritage and traditions. This inherent amalgamation of flavours is nowhere more apparent than in Istanbul, a city that literally sits in two continents – divided down the middle by the Bosphorus river, an aquatic artery that has sustained it with vitality in the form of visiting trade ships for thousands of years.
This is a city that at various points could proudly claim to be the greatest in the world, and it was – then under the name Constantinople – the seat of the late Roman empire, which led over time to the equally resplendent Byzantine empire. You can still see the treasures of this age in the form of the impressive Hagia Sophia, which was built in tribute to the great emperor Justinian and was the world’s largest cathedral for over 1, 000 years. There’s so much to take in here that everyone should visit Turkey’s most important city at least once.