You’ve settled on the magical Med for your cruise holiday – now, when should you go? The Mediterranean – comprising approximately 20 countries in Southern Europe and North Africa – is a year-round destination but is perhaps best enjoyed via cruise during the spring and summer months. Certainly, if you’re seeking optimal weather and long hours of sunlight, this is the best time to go. On the other hand, fall and winter are reasonable alternatives if you’d like to avoid the crowds and save money. Let’s take a look at the benefits of each cruise season in the Mediterranean.
Cruising the Mediterranean in Spring
[Celebrity Solstice sailing in Mediterranean]
When spring has sprung in the Mediterranean, the sparkling seas welcome many luxury cruise lines around April. The region awakens from its winter slumber, and a breath of fresh air takes over the coast. This is the time to taste the first Greek wines of the season and for sightseeing before the throngs of summer tourists arrive. There are flowers everywhere, from fields of lavender to oleander and geraniums blooming on balconies. Seasonal produce stars on the plates at local restaurants. Local shops reopen after their winter break, eager to welcome in visitors and share regional wares and delicacies.
Cruising the Mediterranean in Summer
Starting in May and June, the Mediterranean shines. And while that’s no secret, there are ways to navigate the tourist crowd and carve out a more intimate, memorable voyage. If you’re sailing after April, you might consider a smaller ship or a more off-the-beaten-path destination. Or you may choose to enhance your experience with a Pura Vida Distinctive Voyage, full of extra amenities, perks, and private events. July and August are typically the busiest months of the year, so consider early or late summer for a quieter experience.
Summer brings a palette of bright colors to the region, from fuchsia bougainvillea against Santorini’s white-walled architecture to the lush emerald hills of Italy. Mid-summer boasts the best weather of the year, perfect for gelato, crisp white wine, or a dip in the turquoise ocean. Communities are vibrant and alive at this time of year, showcasing their full wealth of character and offerings.
Cruising the Mediterranean in Fall
[visit the Delos Ruins in Mykonos- Mediterranean Cruise]
Savor the late summer and early fall in the Mediterranean, when the weather is still – mostly – lovely, and the densest crowds have left the area to return to work and school. Cruise prices typically drop around this time, as well. The Western Mediterranean still boasts comfortable temperatures, which will continue to drop the farther you get into the fall. That said, even in October, you may see daytime highs in the upper 60s and 70s. Very pleasant for sightseeing and alfresco meals on the Mediterranean coastline.
Cruising the Mediterranean in Winter
[Mallorca landscape at night]
If you’d like to sail the Mediterranean in January or February, set your sights on voyages from Barcelona to Tenerife, Palma de Mallorca, and other Spain and Italy ports. Many Europeans escape the doldrums of winter and vacation in the Canary Islands around this time, so take a page from their book and join them – you’ll avoid the typical winter tourist crowds in the Caribbean and save money by traveling in the off-peak months.
[Sardinia beach – Mediterranean Cruise]
Overall, when to cruise the Mediterranean depends on your threshold for crowds and your comfort with varying temperatures. If you need to be assured gorgeous, hot, sunny days, opt for July and August. If you don’t mind a little rain and want to join European vacationers in their favorite vacation spots, consider mid-winter and veer toward the Spanish coastline and Canary Islands. Eager to travel after a long winter? Cruise in the springtime and visit more southern destinations and Sardinia, Corsica, Malta, Morocco, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. Whenever you sail, we promise, the marvelous Mediterranean won’t disappoint.
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