The Mediterranean Sea, the last surviving arm of the prehistoric Tethys Sea, is known as a cradle of world civilisation, with the Egyptian, Greek, Phoenician and Roman Empires springing up on its shorelines. Three of the world’s great religions have histories and sacred places linked to the Holy Land that borders this sea. With an incredible diversity of countries and cultures bordering its shores, from the southern European states to northern Africa and the Near East, where to begin when exploring this amazing sea?
Jewel of the central Mediterranean is undoubtedly Sicily, with its fiery volcano of Etna and the beautiful cities of Taormina and Syracuse. From the ancient and mysterious temples at Agrigento to the volcanic island of Volcano, Sicily and its islands are a magnificent tourist destination. Then travel north to the remote, wild and utterly compelling island of Sardinia and its northern French cousin, Corsica, famous as the birthplace and destination of the exile of Napoleon Bonaparte.
In summary, the western Mediterranean is full of an enticing, captivating and truly historic selection of great islands that could keep even the most dedicated island-hopper occupied for months. The beauty and majesty of what the Romans called “mare nostrum”, or “our sea”, is as powerful today as ever.