5 beautiful Mediterranean cities that you have to visit once in your lifetime

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Southern Europe – packed with history and home to the oldest civilisations in Europe. Little wonder that the region features some incredible coastal cities that are magnets for Mediterranean cruises and sun-seeking holidaymakers.

If you’re planning to get away from it all, whether by boat or by plane, you should learn about some of the less famous destinations to visit. Take a look at these five must-see cities which offer sea, stunning architecture, and sites of interest.

1. Palma, Majorca

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Image by Andrés Nieto Porras on Flickr, some rights reserved

Even if you’re only having a short stay in Majorca, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy in the capital, Palma. Wander the old town’s cobbled streets, shop and dine along the elegant Passeig d’es Born, or sample fresh produce and Mallorcan tapas at the Olivar Market. Admirers of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona can observe more of his handiwork in the impressive La Seu, a Gothic cathedral he helped to restore, which overlooks the old town from its hilltop perch.

2. Civitavecchia, Italy

Civitavecchia is Rome’s port, but it is more than a mere gateway to Italy’s capital for Mediterranean cruise-goers. For visitors who don’t fancy the journey into Rome, Civitavecchia’s walkable centre has many of its own sites of interest, not least the Weeping Madonna statue.

The city’s harbour is over a thousand years old, and its landmark feature is the domineering Michelangelo Fortress. Why not admire the fort while you walk along the encircling pedestrian promenade?

3. Trapani, Sicily

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Image by Stefano Costantini on Flickr, some rights reserved

Trapani, with a distinct crescent coastline, is home to another old town centre, and there is no better place than the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo to witness the city’s baroque architecture. For art enthusiasts, the Museo Regionale Pepoli is also a must-see. Housed in a former convent, this museum displays art and craft unique to Trapani, including impressive coral sculptures. For something more relaxed, a walk along the Bastione Conca promenade promises stunning sea views, particularly at sunset.

4. Sorrento, Italy

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Located on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast, Sorrento has a colourful and lively historic centre. At its heart, Piazza Tasso is bursting with cafes and restaurants. The nearby Romanesque Chiesa di San Francesco is arguably Sorrento’s most beautiful church, and next to it, at the Villa Comunale Park offers a fantastic view of Vesuvius.

The area around Sorrento is famous for its lemon groves, and you can’t leave without sampling some locally produced limoncello. Try visiting the Agruminato citrus garden on Corso Italia for a taste – you won’t regret it!

5. Ajaccio, Corsica

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Corsica’s capital city may be small, but this makes it ideal to explore on foot. Spreading out from Place Foch, Ajaccio’s old town features an elegant array of pastel-coloured buildings. Ajaccio is Napoleon Bonaparte’s birthplace, so no trip would be complete without visiting Maison Bonaparte, the house where “The Little Corporal” spent his childhood.

The Palais Fesch museum is another one of the city’s treasures. Spend an afternoon exploring the artwork, including the second largest collection of Italian paintings in France.

With so much to do and see, these picturesque destinations offer some of the best in Mediterranean city culture – so why not add one to your travel bucket list?

What places are on your must-see list? Tell us your choices below.

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