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Hidden Gems in the Mediterranean

By HarryWednesday 20th August 2014

Olympia, Katakolon, Greece The Archaeological Site of Olympia – Katakolon, Greece Image by flickr user L.C. Nøttaasen

If you have a Mediterranean holiday planned for the summer, or are looking forward to one next year, then you've got plenty to be getting excited about! There is more than meets the eye, when it comes to the Med. Not only are there big, vibrant cities such as Barcelona, Rome and Athens, but there are also loads of intriguing smaller destinations just waiting to be discovered! So take a look at our handy guide to some of the hidden gems in the Mediterranean, as well as a couple of highlights from the amazing shore excursions on offer.

 Katakolon, Greece

Katakolon is a pretty little seaside town, which makes for a charming port of call whether you simply want to lounge on a beach and relax, or venture further afield to explore more of the fascinating history of the area. One of the most historically and culturally significant sites in the world is just a short journey away; the ancient site of Olympia. On our Ancient Olympia and Archaeological Museum excursion, you will journey back in time to 776BC and the site of the very first Olympic Games in honour of the god Zeus. Take a tour of the ancient ruins, where the Olympic flame is still lit every four years, and learn more about the impressive history in the museum at the site where you can also see the vast collection of excavated artefacts. Finish the day off with a spot of shopping during your free time in the modern town of Olympia, where you can pick up a couple of souvenirs to remember your visit!

Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia A panoramo of the city - Split, Croatia Image by flickr user Elena The second largest city in Croatia after the capital Dubrovnik, Split is the place to be if you want to really experience Dalmatian life at its best. A walk through the city’s streets is constantly surprising. One minute you’ll be gazing in wonder at the ancient ruins, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Diocletian’s Palace in the old town; the next moment, you will have turned a corner to find a chic, modern bar buzzing with vibrant city life. One of the best ways to make the most of your time, and see as much as possible of this charming city is by taking a guided tour. One of the shore excursions we offer in Split, Best of Split & Its Countryside, will show you around the most important sites in the Old Town, and a gallery housing the works of Croatian sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic. You will then be taken on a scenic drive along the Dalmatian coast to the town of Omis, where pirates once lived – which is a great way to get the kids inspired by history!

Vigo, Spain

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela – Vigo, Spain Image by flickr user bernavazqueze Since the Middle Ages, Vigo has been an important port town, and is the gateway to the stunning Galician countryside. But before you head out of town, take some time to explore the ‘Casco Vello’, or Old Town, which is full of charming little streets and curious buildings and churches. One of the most unforgettable tours of the surrounding area is our Santiago de Compostela tour. Enjoy a scenic tour of the beautiful Galician countryside, as you journey towards the main attraction of the region. Gaze in wonder at the beautiful Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, and discover just what makes this site so special, attracting great pilgrimages of worshipers of the Catholic faith. You will also get plenty of free time to explore the site for yourself, at your leisure.

 Discover the Mediterranean

If these incredible destinations have got you feeling inspired, why not take a look at what else we have to offer on our Destinations page. Tell us where you’re most looking forward to visiting in the comments below!

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