Cruising Western Mediterranean in the Mediterranean Season presents us with our largest and most exciting no-fly summer season. All these fantastic port stops are sunshine that can be sailed to and from. However, there are ships that case themselves at home ports like Malaga, who offer these ports without the two-day sail from Southampton to Gibraltar, rounding Portugal which can be a little choppy. For those of you new to causing, enjoy these guides and help us add more destination guides and cruise tips, as well as find useful information in our section for those new to cruising. If you are looking for the Ports between Southampton and Gibraltar, they are under our British Channel to Gibraltar menu. Look here for the Canary Islands to North Africa.

Med Ports of France  Med Ports of Spain  Ports of the Adriatic  Ports of Italy  Cruise Ports of Turkey  Ports of Greece and Greek Islands Ports of the Far Eastern Mediterranean  Cruise Ports of the Black Sea   Cruise Ports of Suez, Red Sea and Western India

ISLANDS of the WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN plus Gibraltar, Tunisia and Spanish Morocco

Gibraltar
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Monkeys or supermarket? If you are walking into town, see our film if you don’t want to miss the glass blowing.

The Rock of Gibraltar

The Rock is not easy or straightforward. It is vast and the features are spread out.

Special Crime Writers @ Sea Festival. Crime writers Robert Daws & Stuart St Paul in the Straits of Gibraltar.

Jean interviews crime writers Robert Daws and Stuart St Paul, who between them have worked on most major British television shows and quite a few A-list movies.

Gibraltar. Free Glass Blowing demonstration.

Whilst many cruisers rush off to

Eating out in Spain, La Cabana in Sotogrande

Sotogrande is not far from Gibraltar and worth a thought

Sotogrande and Torreguadiaro are the Beverly Hills of the Costa del Sol

Owned by the rich sherry producers

Duquesa, Sabinillas, La Castillo on the Costa Del Sol

All of these villages

Ceuta
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The Marinid Walls of Ceuta, a walled city that was constructed by the Berbers Marinid dynasty in 13th century.  Beaches and monuments, a square, a house with dragons on the roof, and two churches. There will be tours, but we haven’t found them. It sounds like a beach day, but the beach is not sand, it is granules of rocks. On second thoughts, a relaxing walk around the El Conjunto Monumental de las Murallas Reales. The less welcome is the Africans trying to escape poverty and using it as a migrating station to Europe.

Algiers
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A big capital city of over 3 million. The modern French side is full of thriving industry, the older Muslim city is more traditional. The beaches at Zeralda are clean light sand with gentle waves. There is a replica nomad settlement. The Turquoise Coast has many beaches to choose from.

Oran
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Fort Santa Cruz on Mount Murdjadjo, is an old Ottoman citadel which was rebuilt by the Spanish. Oran is a port city in northwest Algeria, it features the Chapelle Santa Cruz, built after a cholera epidemic. The 18th-century Pacha Mosque with an octagonal minaret is in the Turkish old town. Nearby, Kasr El Bey is an Ottoman palace. Oran is known for rai folk music that dates back to the 1920s. Singers of Raï are called cheb.

Tunisia
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The Romans all but destroyed Carthage. There are both Arab and Roman remains nearby. Wonderful stories mixed with the aroma, music and spicey food that you can see on a walking tour of the city. This port is mainly used by the MSC OPERA but the SAGA Spirit of Adventure stopped here in 2022 when its Black Sea program was changed. Our FB Film. https://www.facebook.com/dorischats/videos/354151463372810

El Berka Souk, Tunis. The easy trip by shuttle bus.

Souk El Berka is an Arab market in Tunis full of atmosphere.

What to do in Tunis, Tunisa

If the locals are trying to sell something, it is because it is an attraction.  Some good, some manufactured. By looking at the tours offered locally you can research

Sousse
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The Romans did a lot of damage in this area, so you have layers of history.

What to do in Sousse, Tunisia on the Mediterranean

If the locals are trying to sell something, it is because it is an attraction.  Some good, some manufactured. By looking at the tours offered locally you can research

Valletta
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Malta is the Hollywood of the Mediterranean. It offers sea water tanks or inlets in bays. There is a Popeye Village, and the usual…. It is a home port for many ships who fly cruise to the Eastern Med.

VALETTA, Malta – available TOURS

Valletta is the main port and capital of Malta, an island almost mid-Mediterranean.

The Crusades and the Knights Templar route to the Black Sea

History tells us that the purpose of the Crusades was to recover Jerusalem

Malta – VALLETTA WALKING GUIDE – Map – tourist brochure

If you are interested in why Malta is the Hollywood of the Mediterranean

Flying into Malta to meet a ship, this is how it is likely to play out

I can so remember being excited by the phrase Fly-Drive. I remember it being new and exciting, but now it seems like an effort. Fly-Cruise is so much easier

Malta Street Art and Statues

Malta is being transformed. Everywhere there seems to be

Valletta – St John’s Co-Cathedral, St Paul Shipwreck Church & Valletta’s first church

What lies between the Holy Lands and Rome, answer, Malta.

Easy and cheap, panoramic Malta by public bus

Malta can be a long day in port, so make the most of it and travel.

Popeye Village – Malta – a living breathes film location

Many report that this is a great day out

Mġarr
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Mgarr is a small island off Malta

MGARR, Gozo, Malta – available TOURS

Mġarr in the North of Malta is better situated for Popeye Village than Valletta.

Popeye Village – Malta – a living breathes film location

Many report that this is a great day out

An archipelago off eastern Spain, in the Mediterranean. The four largest are Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera. Many of the smaller islets are near to the bigger ones and can be accessed on day boat trips. Spain’s emergency telephone number, 112, applies here.

Mallorca (Majorca), the largest and a home port for many ships in the summer, has for many years been a favourite holiday island of the British. Whether the capital of Palma or the stone-built village of Pollença on the other side, there is something for everyone. The Balearic Islands are in the Mediterranean and belong to Spain. They use the EURO.

It’s known for beach resorts, nightlife, sheltered coves, Roman and Moorish remains, and art galleries. See our film of the capital, Palma with the Moorish Almudaina royal palace and 13th-century Santa María Cathedral.

Menorca may be small, but don’t discount it. Azamara and others cruise there.

Ibiza is the disco centre of the world, some say. Jean’s buddy James Blunt has a house there. See here films.

Palma de Mallorca
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Tours available in Majorca

As always tours and their description show what the locals are proud of and wish to show.

Almudaina Palace, Palma Majorca

Originally a Muslim palace “Zuda”, was converted to gothic style in 1309 under James II.

Santa Maria Cathedral, Palma Majorca

The light bursting through the Gaudi glass makes the 7 Euro approx entry worth it.

Palma Majorca – Port Guide and what to see

Palma is the capital of the largest Balearic Island Majorca.

Alcúdia
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Alcúdia is a town in the north of Mallorca (Majorca). It has fantastic beaches, which include the busy Platja d’Alcúdia and Platja de Muro on Alcúdia Bay.

For sightseeing; the neo-Gothic Sant Jaume church is built into the walled town’s restored medieval walls. Enjoy the food and wine in the narrow streets with buildings that are centuries-old.

Ibiza Town
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It is a good walk into town, so not one that might challenge especially if you are heading for Dalt Vila is the old town with cobbled streets, just above the new town. Take a taxi if you wish to avoid the walk, but the walk is worth it, past the two Roman statues on the way in.

Menorca
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What to do in Menorca, an island in the Mediterranean

If the locals are trying to sell something, it is because it is an attraction.  Some good, some manufactured. By looking at the tours offered locally you can research

An island famous for being the birthplace of the first female head of INTERPOL and where Napoleon spent some of his childhood. Also for many mafia stories.

Arrondissement d'Ajaccio
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A slightly annoying thing about Ajaccio (“AY-YA-CHO”) is to pronounce it correctly or they get a little annoyed. If they do, through a Welsh town at them!

AJACCIO Guide

Our ship stopped at Corsica as an unexpected added bonus

Arrondissement de Bastia
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Corsica.

Bonifacio
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Hapag Llyod’s Europa 2, Seadream and Star Clippers use this smaller port.

Star Clippers explore the West Mediterranean

What better way to explore the western Mediterranean than on a ship with sails

MS Europa 2 – the highest rated cruise ship in the world !!

MS Europa 2 is operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, a German-based arm or TUI

Calvi
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Star Clippers use this port.

STAR CLIPPERS

I guess I should do this while I could still climb the mainstay. For more than 30 years now

Corbara
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Star Clippers use this port.

Porto-Vecchio
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Normally a tender into the town’s small port. Some ships stop at the nearby Palombiaggia beach. Azamara use this port.

AZAMARA & OCEANIA CLUB CRUISES chat group on Facebook

When we sailed into Bequia, I thought little of how special it was. Mega ships did not

Propriano
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The Marella Voyager has plans to visit this port when joining the fleet.

MARELLA VOYAGER – ship tour of the Mein Schiff ship about to move to Marella

Be the first to see the Marella Voyager.

Saint-Florent
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Hapag Lloyd Europa 2 gets in here.

MS Europa 2 – the highest rated cruise ship in the world !!

MS Europa 2 is operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, a German-based arm or TUI

Island of the Godfather …. The pope ordered Sicily to be taken from the Arabs. Palermo fell in 1071 and resulted in all Sicily coming under Norman rule. The pope promised Richard II the position as King for his efforts and he was crowned in the name of God for his conquering the island. The church on the hill has a mosaic of him being crowned by Christ himself rather than the pope, his agent on earth.

Catania
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GREETER – the people who love to show you their city.

What is GREETER? Simply, it is an organisation of wonderful people who will greet you in their own town, city, or port.

Porto Empedocle
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Porto Empedocle is a town named after Empedocles, a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of the city of Akragas.

Giardini-Naxos
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Giardini Naxos is a seaside resort strung along a wide bay below the famous mountainside resort Taormina on the eastern coast of Sicily. It has a tender pier.

Naxos – available TOURS

 Naxos, Greek Island in the South Aegean, is the largest of the Cyclades island group.

NAXOS, GREEK ISLAND

 Naxos, Greek Island in the South Aegean, is the largest of the Cyclades island group.

Messina
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The 12th century, Messina Cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake in 1908. The building was rebuilt between 1920 to 1929 using some pieces from the old cathedral. It is seen more than visited as many ships pass it in the strait but never stop.

Messina Strait, sail through by P&O Aurora R717.

The Strait of Messina (Stretto di Messina) is the narrow passage

Cruisers guide to Messina in Sicily

Some ships dock at Messina (but mainly ferries)

Province of Palermo
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Palermo has a lot to offer. A huge city, with lots or Arab-Norman history.

Palermo Cathedral. Diocesan Museum. Plus the bakery @ Santa Caterina.

The Cathedral of Palermo is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

No Mafia – Sicilian Walking Tour and Museum by anti-mafia league

The NO MAFIA MEMORIAL museum in Palermo explains the movement against the murdering mafia bullies by those who lived in terror.

Palermo, Sicily. Walking guide to the historic city.

Between Eastern Med and Western Med routes, Palermo sits at the foot of Monte Pellegrino at the heart of a large natural harbour, offering a complex history.

What to do in Palermo, Sicily on the Mediterranean

There are a lot of local tours. There is a lot to see.

Fincantieri – ship builders

Fincantieri S.p.A. is an Italian shipbuilding company based in Trieste, Italy.

Syracuse
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Siracuse or Syracuse was home to Archimedes. An important Greek town and the theatre still stands and is in use. An easy port to walk.

Syracuse or Siracusa in Sicily. Walking Guide.

It is a city on the Ionian coast of Sicily, Italy. The ship could not dock closer.

What to do in Syracuse, Sicily in the Mediterranean

If the locals are trying to sell something, it is because it is an attraction.  Some good, some manufactured. By looking at the tours offered locally you can research

Province of Trapani
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Alghero
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The Enchanted Princess gets to this port. Large ships tender, smaller ships like the SeaDream may be able to dock.

Provincia di Cagliari
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As much as we love old towns and exploring, this is one stop where we prefer the beach. See the films.

What to do in Cagliari, Sardinia in the Mediterranean

Cagliari is an ancient city with origins that date back to the Phoenician Karalis, developed on a settlement traced back to the third millennium BCE.

Cagliari – BEACH option is good. Public bus is easy.

The beach gives the town a more than good run for its money.

Cruisers guide to Cagliari, Sardinia

Sardinia is renowned for having a population who live to be

Olbia
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Tours available in Majorca

As always tours and their description show what the locals are proud of and wish to show.

Almudaina Palace, Palma Majorca

Originally a Muslim palace “Zuda”, was converted to gothic style in 1309 under James II.

Santa Maria Cathedral, Palma Majorca

The light bursting through the Gaudi glass makes the 7 Euro approx entry worth it.

Palma Majorca – Port Guide and what to see

Palma is the capital of the largest Balearic Island Majorca.