The Northern Mediterranean – a place of opportunities!
The Northern shores of the Mediterranean sea is home to some of the most stunning scenery Europe has to offer. From the beautiful shore lines of the French Riviera to the meandering coastal roads and sleep villages of the Amalfi Coast. When travelling in such a varied place with so many wonderful opportunities, different foods and amazing people, it is important to make the most of however much time you have in such a stunning area. As travel restrictions are eased across Europe, here are some simple tips on how to make the most of your travels!
The Northern Mediterranean is easy to travel around – make the most of it!
Europe, being as relatively small and connected as it is, is extremely easy to travel around in. There are a multitude of ways to get from the east coast of Spain to the southern islands of Greece that can also help you stop along all the amazing places along the way.
Trains are almost certainly your best bet, being both economically and environmentally friendly. They also allow you to stop at multiple cities along the Northern Mediterranean coastline and soak up all the sights this beautiful region has to offer. Inter-railing is almost certainly your best bet, where companies such as Interrail Eurail come up with pre-made itineraries. A quick search and you can see here a Northern Mediterranean pass that stretches from the heat of Valencia to the ancient steps of Rome, with ten other stops along the way.
For those with more cash, a cruise around the coastal cities of the Northern Mediterranean shoreline may be suitable. There are plenty of cruises, visiting a variety of different Mediterranean cities on offer. Cruises, whilst being more expensive, are a way of making the travel aspect much more relaxing. Websites such as TripAdvisor are great for searching a range of cruises at range of prices, yet all still offering the quintessential cruise experience. You simply sleep on a luxurious ship and wake up in a new beautiful destination!
Car hire can also be utilised, but would require some more work and less relaxation time, as whilst drives between destinations may be relatively short, they can sometimes be stressful on foreign roads. AutoEurope give great options on car hire, where a car can be picked up from one location and dropped off at an entirely different location in a different country. The freedom for any travelling using this experience will be unparalleled, allowing you to explore regions at your own leisure.
Immerse yourself in the region
The Northern Mediterranean has a multitude of different cultures. From the Spanish beach resorts and the fine food and wine of Southern France, to the history of Italy and the scenic islands of Greece. To make the most of your travels in such a diverse region of Europe, it is essential to immerse yourself in the local communities.
Websites such as Airbnb are a great way of immersing yourself in the culture and also a cheap way of finding accommodation. Airbnb allow you to stay in a local community, where you can fully immerse yourself in that particular region, often away from the tourist traps of mainstream hotels and resorts. This would allow yourself to become truly immersed in the traditional foods and activities of the place, and bring you closer to the way of life of the local people.
Couchsurfing is also a great way of meeting locals, where a network of travellers have signed up to let people experience their city. All you have to do is simply search the city, or cities, you wish to visit in the Northern Mediterranean and browse the local couches available. What better way to experience a local culture than living under the same roof as native people!
Staying in such accommodation would also go hand in hand with inter-railing, where they are much happier for you to book for short periods compared with larger hotels and resorts.
Find offers to enhance your experience of the local life
In a destination as sought after as the Northern Mediterranean, there is no shortage of activities to enhance your experience. Tours around the may historic destinations are plenty, but maybe it would be best to go off the beaten track and look for more local tours. In this case, do not worry about the language barrier. Apps such as MyJuno and their phrasebook are a great way of helping you understand the native language of the tour you may find yourself on.
The site ToursByLocals is a perfect place to look for tours that may be slightly off the beaten track and enjoyed more by the Mediterranean people than tourists.
Another great way of experiencing the local culture of the Northern Mediterranean is to sample the local cuisine. When I visited the Greek island of Santorini, there was an incredible tour that allowed us to sample the wine that was made on the island, along with local and Greek foods. Simple tours like this can be both fun and cheap if you look in the right place. Websites such as EatingEurope are simple to use and give you plenty of options of amazing food tours around the North Mediterranean.
Make if fun!
Travelling with friends is a great way of ensuring you have the best experience during your time in the Northern Mediterranean. Yet, however you wish to travel, it is essential you enjoy yourself! Do what makes you and your friends happy and enjoy all the fine things this splendid region of the world has to offer!