When you think about Mediterranean countries, a lot of mental images come to mind. With peaceful shorelines bordered by stunning whitewash buildings forming villages where children play out in the street and boats pull in and out of the harbour after unloading the daily catch that you’ll be eating that evening.
Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? It is easy to see why so many tourists from all over the world flock to the various destinations in the Mediterranean, but there are so many places where everyone goes, the usual spots, however this area of the world isn’t defined by these few key locations. Exploring the best underrated and possibly even unheard of Mediterranean countries will give you everything you need to find the next dream vacation right for you.
15 Stunning Mediterranean Countries
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
There’s no denying the stunning architectural and natural beauty that seeps from every angle of the Kotor city. Nestled into the basin of the Dinaric Alps, this impressive fortified city is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which speaks for itself in terms of beauty.
With an amazing fortress offering spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding canyon, a ton of hikes and outdoor activities to get involved in, and delicious cuisine, this is sure to become one of your favorite destinations.
When you think of desirable cities in Spain, the first places that come to mind are typically Madrid or Barcelona, but just a stone’s throw south from the popular coastline city of Barcelona, you’ll find the equally stunning, but much more secluded city of Valencia.
Valencia is a haven for all tastes. If you are looking for traditional Spanish and Mediterranean culture, complete with pre-dated architecture and mouth-watering cuisine this is the place that will ensure you will never want to leave.
Even more so, there’s the stunning City of Arts and Science which is housed in one of the most spectacular buildings you will ever see. Additionally, this city boasts the beautiful Turin Gardens which snake around the city, overhung by pedestrian bridges where all manner of social activities can be enjoyed and observed.
Bordering the shores of the Dalmatian Coast, Zadar is a sight to behold, and if you are looking for sun, sea and culture, there’s no better place in the Mediterranean. Within the preserved Old Town that’s located on the peninsula, surrounded by the towering city walls, you will discover over 34 churches and other Venetian buildings which are simply beautiful.
The city itself is magical, and a true, iconic testament to what Croatia has to offer in terms of experiences. With nearby local wonders including the Sea Organ, Kornati Islands National Park and two other famous parks, what more do you need from your next Mediterranean adventure?
If you are looking for a unique experience that ticks all the boxes, Cagliari should be at the top of your bucket list. First, there’s the new half of the city which can be found at sea level on the coastline, but making your way inland and up the hill, you’ll discover a series of cragged steps and ramps that snake up the hill and throughout the older parts of the city.
From the heights of the old city, you can enjoy blissful horizons where the multi-colored buildings stand out to create an atmosphere found nowhere else in the world. While relaxation and city exploration is a must here, you’ll also find you are encouraged to sit and watch the world go by in any of the aesthetically-appealing cafes and restaurants which are sure to get your stomach rumbling.
Chances are you’ve heard of Corsica, which is an extremely popular island between France and Italy. For this reason, the island is a captivating blend of both cultures, meaning you get the atmosphere and architectural beauty of France, mixed with the food and culinary wonders of Italy, and vice versa.
There are a ton of leisure and adventure activities to be discovered here, making this island suitable for anybody. Whether you are planning on relaxing on the beach and reading the days away in the Mediterranean sun or exploring the mountains and indulging in water sports, there really is something for everybody.
Majorca might be one of the most well-known destinations from this list, but it’s definitely not in the spotlight and as such, more than worth visiting. It is known for its amazing beaches and active nightlife which has been attracting tourists since the 18th century. Experience the rich culture and amazing natural sights in this one of a kind destination.
Navagio Beach, Greece
This is an iconic beach in Greece, famous for its crystal clear and blue waters as well as pristine beaches which you can enjoy. Steep cliffs often attract adventurists as well. So, this place is just inviting you to go for a bit of adrenaline with base jumping and then just relax and enjoy the view.
This is one of the most recognizable and picturesque destinations in Italy. Everyone knows the colorful buildings but rarely does anyone knows where they came from. The answer is – Manarola, a city full of romance and great culture.
Melissani Cave, Greece
Looking for an inspiring blue water lake? You won’t find anything similar to the one in Melissani Cave in Greece. Visit this cave to experience the true beauty of sea life and this cave, carefully hidden in the rocks of this amazing country.
This island is tiny, but beautiful. The water is pure and clear, the beaches are alluring and attractive for just laying around in the sun. Enjoy the nature, rich culture and great food as well.
French Riviera, France
This is a wonderful natural retreat and a place of great historical significance. You can just stay in Nice, famous as a favorite holiday destination or in Cannes, famous for the movie stars or anywhere else – but the best thing you can do is explore the whole coast.
Greece is famous for its beautiful destinations but Santorini is definitely one of the most amazing ones. The white houses rising up the cliffs and the overall romantic setting will make you feel like you are in a movie.
There is no other place in the world like the Mediterranean countries in Croatia. Dubrovnik is full of culture, history and natural beauty. This place will offer you plenty of rest, adventure and enjoyment.
Surrounded by clear blue waters, with great weather throughout the year, it is a pure wonder Mellieha isn’t packed with tourists year round. Enjoy this wonderful undiscovered location and have fun diving. Find opportunities by clicking here.
The island of Kos is truly charming. There are all sorts of fun activities to do and you can use your free time to explore the history and the culture of this amazing place. Plus, it’s fairly undiscovered.
Although it may seem impossible to just get up and travel to these amazing Mediterranean countries, you can still save for travel without missing out on life and eventually live out your dreams and visit your dream destinations.
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About the Author: Joel Syder is cruise consultant at OriginWritings and PhD Kingdom. He enjoys helping people find their dream travel destinations as well as creating articles about things that excite him for Academicbrits, academic service.