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The Allure of the Mediterranean

Written by  Lisa Loverro

Europe-Corsica

Stretching from northern Africa, Europe and Asia, the Mediterranean Sea has often been referred to as the incubator of Western civilization. At almost 17,000 feet at its deepest point, the sea is home to many islands and exotic ports of call for cruising, relaxing and athletic adventure. From Sicily on the eastern side to Crete on the west, there are many reasons why traveling to the Mediterranean not only offers a beautiful and romantic holiday, but an adventurous one as well. From luxury cruising to adventure biking there are many ways to explore the many coastal cities and beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.

Since the sea encompasses an extremely large area, you’ll more than likely have a huge task ahead of you to determine the best spot for your client. And, while there are lots of options out there, it’s important to determine what best fits the needs of each individual to accurately plan a trip tailored for them.

Ride Like The Wind

If it’s physical activity they’re seeking, look no further than a biking adventure. It’s one of the best ways to not only explore a Mediterranean island, but also to dig deep into the local culture and stay in shape at the same time. DuVine Adventures (www.duvine.com) offers a range of biking tours - from family fun in Mallorca (Mallorca Couture Family Tour), ideal for the occasional rider, to their more ambitious tours in Corsica (Corsica Pro Series Bike Tour) for the competitive and pro biker set. There are a variety of other options offered by DuVine around the Mediterranean, so be sure to check their site for all 2014 itineraries. 

Set Sail

The best way to sample a variety of destinations in the Mediterranean, and for those clients looking to relax, cruising is the perfect fit. Flying under an Italian flag, the MSC Spendida (www.msccruisesusa.com) is a massive ship accommodating over 3,000 people, and offering 7-night cruises from April through November, sailing into many cities lying along the Mediterranean including Rome, Genoa and Barcelona. The ship also offers their “Yacht Club” option, a ship within a ship, allowing for the large cruise experience with the privacy and luxury of a smaller vessel. The MSC Yacht Club allows guests to enjoy complimentary “extras” including  signature Butler service and gourmet cuisine. Their luxury enclave offers a private club ambiance with breathtaking views from the very front of the ship, and a wealth of valuable amenities included in their pricing structure. The Yacht Club suites are located on the foredecks, with breathtaking views, a private Top Sail Lounge, swimming pool and other amenities served by an exclusive round-the-clock butler service. 

For cruising through the Greek island and Turkish coastline, Azamara Club Cruises provide a more intimate ship that perfectly fits the bill. Originally launched in 2007, Azamara accommodates up to 694 passengers, with itineraries throughout the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. In a category falling somewhere between a large-scale vessel and a boutique luxury boat, Azamara has found a niche all its own. Last year Azamara introduced a new program called AzAmazing Evening, offering each guest a complimentary onshore event. At Ephesus, for instance, all guests are treated to a private classical concert in the spectacular ruin of the Roman amphitheater. 

In addition to the allure of the region’s landscapes, cultures and various exotic cuisines, you’ll always find a warm, sunny spot perfect for their holiday. And, of course, I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the obvious romantic allure of the Mediterranean; Cleopatra Beach, Mykonos, the Amalfi Coast...need I say more?

 

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