When you think of Europe in the fall and winter, images of rainy cities and snow-covered rural landscapes come to mind, these mental images handed down from postcard descriptions both posted and orally relayed by friends and family. However, not all of Europe becomes wrapped up in layers, umbrellas aloft, with chimney smoke curling around cobbled avenues at this time of year. Indeed, the Mediterranean can be quite balmy in winter. You only have to peruse Russian literature or read tales of the destinations favored by sun-seekers from the north (think any of the Scandinavian countries). Time and time again, the Mediterranean is portrayed as the oasis of warmer weather and happier times; sought in contrast to the long stretch of wintry months ahead in their native lands (and often a gateway to even more exotic destinations, too).
From Morocco To Malta And Beyond
The Mediterranean is not just Europe, though. Flowing along Africa’s northern coastline (past Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt as well), offering delightfully exotic winter sun as it goes, this sprawling sea reaches all the way to southwestern Asia, also. Indeed, stretching a total area of 970,000 square miles, the Mediterranean is a part of the planet it could very well take a lifetime to explore fully.
Encompassing 21 nations in three continents, this area of the globe is a traveler’s dream. Aside from the tried and tested Greek islands, Italy, Spain, and Portugal (which are all wonderful and rightly adored), you might be tempted to follow the more recent trend for visiting Turkey or Croatia (though it does not actually lay along the Mediterranean proper). All, of course, are countries replete with history, evident in the architecture, the art, and the long-established cultures still alive in the people and their surviving customs today.
Of course, you do not necessarily have to choose just one island or even one country. Instead of flying across the Atlantic, many different destinations can be visited by taking one of the Mediterranean cruises widely available instead. Indeed, you could very well have fulfilled a life-long desire to ride in a Venetian gondola one day and the next found yourself in the Slovenian city of Koper, on your way to explore Croatia and all Dubrovnik has to offer. Does that not sound simply adventurous?
Pursue Your Passion
In short, when it comes to deciding upon an itinerary for a Mediterranean trip this fall or winter, pursue not just the warmest areas of winter sun, but your interests, also. Pinpoint what inspires you and leaves you craving more. It could simply be tasting the culinary delights of a Neapolitan pizza (Naples being the birthplace of the dish), or taking a cookery class so you can replicate the dish, and other Italian staples, back at home. It could also be your passion to visit as many Greek islands as you can in the space of a month. Whatever excites you, pursue your passion, and banish those winter blues this year!