Mediterranean Europe is one of the most sought after destinations in the world for a beach vacation. Not only is this region abundant in pristine beaches that are adorned by azure blue waters, it is also a kingdom of spectacular natural splendor. The islands of Mediterranean Europe glisten like specks of gold in the sunshine, beckoning tourists to their sandy shores. These islands exhibit the rustic coastal culture and offer a plethora of treasures that range from mouth watering sea food to stunning pieces of architecture. Here are some of the most mesmerizing islands of this region that you must explore to immerse in the true magnificence of the traditional heritage and to feast on the vivid shades of the greenery and the waves.
Crete in Greece
The island of Crete boasts of a landscape that displays numerous natural wonders ranging from pink sand beaches and rugged canyons to majestic cliffs that offer panoramic views. It has also preserved a large number of relics from the Minoan civilization that are displayed at the archaeological sites of Phaistos and Malia. The Palace of Knossos is yet another historical attraction that contains the ruins of a city dating back to the Bronze Age. On the other hand, the Moni Arkadiou is a 16th-century monastery whose imposing architecture stands against the clear blue skies of Crete. The region also contains various museums that narrate the tales of its fascinating history, with the Heraklion Architecture Museum being the most popular one with a collection of artifacts that span more than 5000 years.
Tenerife in Spain
The largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, Tenerife is a kingdom of white sandy beaches and luxurious resorts. However, if you dig deeper, you will realize that the heartbeat of this alluring island is a rustic and vibrant culture that dates back to the medieval times. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a bedazzling display of this local culture that is enriched with the colors of the costumes and the beats of the traditional music. The most striking landmark of the region is the bell tower of the Church of the Immaculate Conception that looms over the landscape with its imperial design. Other intriguing attractions include the Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre, a museum of archaeology and natural science, and the Auditorio de Tenerife, a building in the shape of a white wave that is the venue for various cultural events.
Capri in Italy
A delightful fusion of stunning coves, charming cafes, and mystical Roman ruins await you in Capri, one of the most breathtaking destinations in Italy. The most popular attraction of Capri is the Grotta Azzurra, a marvelous sea cave illuminated with a seemingly ethereal blue light. The Giardini di Augusto is another spot replete with natural beauty, with flowered terraces and a splendid view of the sea. The ruins of Villa Jovis and Villa San Michele di Axel Munthe exhibit the remains of some awe-inspiring old school architecture while the Certosa di San Giacomo is a 14th-century monastery decorated with some fine paintings. Although the list of places to see in Capri is endless, one spot that you must not miss is the Piazza Umberto I, which is the hub of the local culture and is adorned by a glorious clock tower.
Hvar in Croatia
The island of Hvar is famous as a party destination while spending a vacation in Croatia, thanks to its enthralling nightlife. However, this majestic island is also home to various historical treasures and enchanting scenery. The interiors of the island are draped with aromatic lavender fields and sprawling vineyards that are perfect retreats for a leisurely stroll. On the other hand, a hike to the medieval castle of Fortica offers an unbeatable view of the town and the surrounding sea. The St. Stephen’s Square is the perfect spot for soaking in the hustle and bustle of the daily activities of the locals while admiring the grand design of the St. Stephen’s Cathedral. While the serene monasteries offer some peace and quiet, the beaches are the venues for live music performances that continue till the wee hours of the night.
These magical destinations in Mediterranean Europe display the various facets of the local culture in an impressive manner. They offer a glimpse of the fine architecture, the delectable cuisine, and the geographical marvels that make this region a favorite spot for a relaxing vacation among tourists from around the globe. So, the next time you plan to visit the European shores, make sure to stop by these gorgeous locations for the complete Mediterranean experience.