Image by David Lisbona used under the Creative Commons License.

Offering the chance to see everything from chic shopping streets to ancient acropolises, the Mediterranean makes the perfect setting for a family cruise. You can choose from a range of itineraries that will take you to some of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating cities. To get your imagination into gear, here are seven of the Med’s very best cruise stop-offs.

1) Barcelona

Renowned for its striking architecture, rich culture and sumptuous cuisine, the Spanish City of Barcelona is a must-see. While there, be sure to talk a walk down the tree-lined street of Las Ramblas complete with its cafes, shops and street entertainers. Meanwhile, its Gothic quarter is the perfect place to tuck into some tapas and to check out the restaurant Els Quatre Gats, which was a favourite of Picasso’s.

2) Malaga

Down on Spain’s south coast, the historic city of Málaga is another superb cruise stop. At its heart lies a charming historic centre complete with a magnificent Gothic cathedral. The building has been nicknamed ‘La Manquita’, meaning ‘one-armed woman’ because only one of its two planned towers was constructed. The Museo Picasso is well worth a visit too.

3) Gibraltar

Affectionately called The Rock or simply Gib, Gibraltar makes a fascinating port of call and should be taken into consideration when booking cruises around the Med. This British overseas territory perched on the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula is a great location for wildlife lovers. Look out for the cheeky Barbary apes and join a whale-watching adventure out in the Strait.


4) Rome

Just a one-hour trip from the port of Civitavecchia, Rome is another highlight. From the vast Colosseum to its exclusive shopping streets, this city has something for everyone. Take a trip to Vatican City too, where you can explore the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica.

5) Dubrovnik

The Croatian City of Dubrovnik is a tourist favourite too. While in this picturesque port, you can explore its world-famous walls and visit its 17th-century cathedral. For the best views over the city, take a cable car up Srd Hill. On a clear day, you can see up to 37 miles from this vantage point.

6) Istanbul

Straddling two continents, Istanbul is an unmissable cruise stop. Highlights in this vast Turkish City include the Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern. Be sure to sample the culinary delights on offer here too. Mouth-watering dishes include everything from delicate mezes to hearty kebabs, and you can wash your food down with rak, the national drink made from grape spirit infused with aniseed.

7) Athens

Last but not least on this list, visit Athens on your seaborne adventure. Crowned by its Acropolis and featuring an impressive range of stylish shops, the Greek capital offers the perfect balance of old and new. For lively street markets and atmospheric tavernas, make your way to the medieval quarter of Plaka.

By adding destinations like these to your cruise itinerary, you can rest assured you’ll enjoy a holiday to remember in the Med.