Best cruise ports in the Eastern Mediterranean
For many people, the Mediterranean is one of the world’s dream destinations thanks to cliff side coastal villages, cosmopolitan cities with historic sites, and a “dolce vita” ambiance that extends beyond Italy. The Mediterranean Sea is located in southwest Europe and its region extends from the shores of Croatia to the southern coast of Spain. I’ve been on a number of cruises around the Western Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Caribbean and Middle East. I haven’t seen it all but I can confidently say I’ve seen a fair few cruise ports around the world. For this post I want to bring to you a compilation of the best cruise ports in the Mediterranean but I have decided to divide them in two lists according their location, I mean the Western Mediterranean Ports and the Eastern Mediterraean Ports. Here are the Eastern Ports, enjoy and let me know your thoughts!
Dubrovnik is a personal favourite destination of mine. Located along the Dalmatian coast it’s the perfect location if you’re looking for an interesting historical Old Town, matched with stunning beaches with clear turquoise water. I visited Dubrovnik on several occasions, both on cruise and not, and it’s easily one of my favourite cities in Croatia. The most famous attraction in Dubrovnik is the walk on the Old Town walls, which takes around 2-3 hours depending on how many stops you do to take photos. Dubrovnik is also the set of Game of Thrones (anyone recognised it as Kings Landing?) and you will find a number of Game of Thrones walking tours going on around the Old Town. Add to that fun sunset kayaking tours, a cable car with epic views over Dubrovnik, beautiful beaches and great food, and you have one of the best cruise ports in the Mediterranean!
Another popular cruise destination in Croatia is Split. Similarly to Dubrovnik it is also blessed with a dramatic coastline, white sand and turquoise water beaches, and a historical Old Town. Somewhat smaller than Dubrovnik the Old Town of Split will take less time to visit than in Dubrovnik, giving you more time to visit the surroundings areas. Split is particularly famous as a great destination from which to go on day trips to Krka National Park, where you can go swimming in Krka waterfalls, Omis, where you can go zip lining in the Cetina canyon, and to Hvar and the surrounding islands. If you’re looking for a city that will really add a touch of variety to your Mediterranean cruise, Split is the one.
For many cruises that visit the eastern Mediterranean Venice is the highlight of the trip, and rightly so. The famous Italian city with its romantic canals, dreamy gondola rides and beautiful architecture makes every traveller that visits it fall in love. Venice is built on more than 100 islands, all connected by canals. The city centre of Venice is entirely pedestrian, since there are no roads, there are no cars either! It’s the perfect destination to walk around the canals and get lost amongst the Renaissance and Gothic palaces. Visiting Venice by cruise can be especially magical once you set off from the harbour, and cruise past the outskirts of Venice. From the bridge of your cruise ship you’ll be able to see Piazza San Marco and the other highlights of Venice as you sail past.
Kotor in Montenegro was one of my favourite places I visited during a cruise, which I had not expected to love that much. The Old Town of Kotor (picture also on the top) is surrounded by fjord-like mountains, with stunning views over the town and cruise boats anchored in the middle of the fjords. Everything from the natural landscape to the historical old town feels like you’ve stepped into another time and another world. And the beauty doesn’t end when you leave Kotor, as you leave the port you still have a fair amount of time spent cruising in the fjords before you’re back in open sea.