Mediterranean

Cultural Travel to the Mediterranean

There are few places in the world that have the beauty of the sea, as well as history that goes back eons of time, reflected in the architecture that remains. Cultural travel to the Mediterranean is one such place, and it exists in a modern world, with thousands of years of history embedded in the environment. For starters, there is Istanbul, one of the most exotic cities in the world, and a place where ancient history is everywhere in the temples, and the palaces, and the ancient mosques. A lifetime could be spent in Istanbul alone, as the aesthetic and historical architecture will bring you to your knees. If you’re looking for history and culture, and considering travel to the Mediterranean, then perhaps you should consider a cruise.

The Bosphorus

The Bosporus as seen from Nasa

 

The Bosphorus from Istanbul

The Bosporus from Istanbul perspective

I visited a family in Istanbul in 2002, and had the opportunity to see the Bosporus. The ferry is a wonderful way to see history from the water. It is really a wonderful experience to take a tour on the Bosporus.

Another remarkable city is Istanbul – not least because it sits on two continents. Straddling the mighty Bosphorus in Turkey, the city sits in both Europe and Asia and with a population of over 13
million it’s one of the largest cities in the world. This unique position has made Istanbul the centre of world trade and culture for thousands of years and a melting pot of different cultures. This is one of the reasons that the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The other reason is the amazing architecture on display; ranging from ancient Roman, through Byzantine and Ottoman eras right though to modern skyscrapers – highlights being the magnificent Hagia Sophia, once the biggest Cathedral in the world before being converted into a mosque and now a museum, and the truly stunning Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque – its buildings can hold 10,000 worshipers and its distinctive dome and striking minarets puncture the city’s skyline.

Finally on this whistle-stop tour of the Med’s best cities is Spain’s beautiful Catalonian capital Barcelona. Highlights abound in this beautiful city, no matter whether you’re looking for world-class historic, cultural or sporting thrills. Of course, no trip to Barcelona would be complete without a trip to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia – whilst a little bit of a tourist cliché these days, you won’t fail to be wowed by the amazing and intricate design. You can even climb its distinctive spires for a view of the city and an opportunity to see the ornate stonework up close – although it’s not for the faint-hearted as the spiral stairs are extremely narrow in places.

 

Cultural travel to the Mediterranean is a rich experience that is not so difficult to do. Istanbul is really full of culture and art at its finest. The museums there, and the mosques and palaces are worthy of getting on a plane to travel there. If you have never been to this part of the world, now is the time. Don’t wait until your life creates an opening. Rather, make your plans to see those places that call you, like the Mediterranean. Go here to read more.

 

 

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Think Mediterranean, Think Cultural Cruise

There is one place on earth that has a bit of everything. Think Mediterranean, think cultural cruise, think beauty, history, culture, ancient artifacts and temples. The coast of Italy has all of these ingredients plus more. There are places like Malta and Sicily, Stromboli and Lipari, and lets not forget the Amalfi coast. If you’re considering going to this land of everything, it is best to do some planning and to pin point where you would like to go. A cultural cruise can be the answer to a hassle free trip.

The Mediterranean Sea’s abundant natural beauty is augmented by the on-shore sights and laid-back lifestyle of coastal villages and cities, and if you choose an Italy cruise that includes destinations like Malta and the islands of Sicily, Lipari and Stromboli, your experience in the region will be even richer. The opportunity to see a wide variety of places will give you a more well-rounded Mediterranean experience and a glimpse into the cultural diversity of the region.

Amalfi Coast, Italy- photo by Jensen

Amalfi Coast, Italy- photo by Jensen

Amalfi Coast- Photo by Edward Brims

Are you thinking of going on a Mediterranean Cruise? Think Amalfi Coast, think Mediterranean, think Cultural Cruise. There is no better time to go. It doesn’t get better than the Amalfi coastline. Read the full article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal here.

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Cultural Travel to Beautiful Gozo

The Mediterranean  is filled with beautiful places, and cultural wonders. One such place is Gozo, which is a tiny island off the coast of Italy. Gozo is one of the least populated places in the Mediterranean, having a population of under 600 people. Cultural travel to beautiful Gozo includes every traveler’s dreams. There is extreme beauty, a traditional Carnival each year in February in the village of Nadur, and archeological wonders that include the the world’s oldest religious structures, the Ggantija temples. These neolithic structures date back 5000 years. In addition to Ggantija, there is the Xaghra Stone Circle, discovered in 1820 by John Otto Bayer, which is a burial mound with over 200,000 human body parts and bones dating back to 4100 and 3800BC.

stonecirclegozo

Stone Circle Gozo

Elizabeth Zach, in her article in the Mercury News, writes the following about Malta and Gozo:

When the ferry arrives at Mgarr Harbour on the tiny Mediterranean island of Gozo, the welcome wagon is there: tiny and adorable luzzus, the colorful Maltese fishing boats, bobbing in the water, practically winking the “protective” eyes painted on their bows.

With 30,000 inhabitants and an area you can cover easily on foot in two hours, Gozo — the mid-size of the three Maltese islands — beckons the traveler eager for a different European vacation. It is immediately inviting because it is so compact and picturesque, the layers of cultural influence and history still so apparent everywhere, the Maltese so helpful and welcoming.

 

The beauty is astounding in Gozo, as are the beaches. Whether you are going to experience the archeological wonders of Gozo, or going to experience Carnival each year, there is plenty of beauty and history to fill you to the brim. You can read more about Malta, and Gozo in Zach’s article here. Cultural travel to beautiful Gozo is waiting for you.

 

Ramla Bay Gozo

Ramla Bay Gozo

 

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