In the west part of the Mediterranean between Spain and Algeria, you'll find the island of Ibiza, which is legendary for its electronic music. Dance the night away and sip cocktails at one of the glamorous nightclubs, but don't forget to explore the island by day, too. Highlights include the old town of Dalt Vila and the medieval fortress, the Castell de Eivissa, and the whitewashed villages of Santa Agnes and Santa Gertrudis.
After all that, you'll need some serious relaxation, so why not pamper yourself with a true VIP spa day? There are plenty of opulent spas to choose from on the island, many of which are located inside the five-star hotels. At the luxurious countryside Atzaró Spa, you can enjoy the sauna and hammam, book various massages and beauty treatments, use the gym and attend yoga classes.
If you're traveling a little more to the east during your Mediterranean cruise, you'll arrive at the intriguing, mountainous and sparsely populated French island of Corsica. Corsica has its own character, cuisine and language, and you'll soon notice there's a lot to discover here. Being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, Corsica is rich in history.
You can learn a lot about Corsica with a private walking tour. There's plenty of wild nature to explore, dazzling green valleys and dense forests. I highly recommend making a stop at the extraordinary orange Calanques de Piana cliffs on the west coast of Corsica, where there are several well-marked walking trails.
Be sure to visit the charming inland town of Corte with its impressive fortress and cobbled alleys. This town offers views straight out of a painting. Take the steps to the top of the Belvedere for a bird's-eye view of the historical churches, colorful architecture and surrounding nature.
South of Corsica, you'll arrive at the Italian island of Sardinia, the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily. It's one of the five so-called global Blue Zones, places where people live longer and healthier than anywhere else. You'll want to stay as long as possible when you see the island's beautiful white sandy beaches, rocky coastlines, mountain scenery, and charming historic towns and villages. And you'll be canceling your return trip home when you taste the rich food and sip the first-class wine.
An exclusive wine tour to selected wine cellars — taking a day or even an entire week — is a great way to discover the different types of wines produced in Sardinia. These include the Cannonau (the local name for Grenache), Vermentino and Carignano (also known as Carignan). You can also taste other exciting grape varieties and wine styles and, of course, enjoy the unique Sardinian cuisine, while doing some sightseeing in between.
The beautiful island of Sicily is in the middle of the Mediterranean located in the utmost south of Italy. This island offers breathtaking beaches and rough nature; you can also visit picturesque towns and villages, where you find traces of many different cultures. The intriguing history of Sicily can also be experienced in the delicious cuisine, which features fresh ingredients like couscous, shellfish, tuna, pistachios, ricotta, and citrus fruits.
The 11,014-foot (3,357 meters) Mount Etna on the island's east coast, the largest active volcano in Europe, is one of the highlights here. There's no better way to see its impressive beauty than from above. Several companies offer helicopter tours that give you spectacular views of the summit craters — smoke plumes and lava fountains surrounded by a black and yellow landscape with orange groves and pine forests.
A bit farther south, in the direction of North Africa, the wonderful sunny island state of Malta has all the ingredients for a memorable holiday. Explore the capital, Valletta, built by the Knights of St. John in the 16th century, and hike around the fortress-like hilltop towns of Mdina and Victoria and the village of Gozo with its many impressive churches. Malta, of course, has superb beaches to relax on and brilliant waters perfect for snorkeling. At night, you can immerse yourself in the bustling nightlife.
If you're looking for an exclusive experience, Xara Palace Relais & Châteaux, located in a restored 17th-century palace inside the medieval city walls of Mdina will offer that and more. The hotel has only 17 suites and guestrooms, and each private terrace boasts the most amazing views of the Maltese countryside.
It's time to join the jet-set to Hvar, one of the most popular islands in the south of Croatia, known for its luxurious hotels, fancy restaurants, and legendary beach club scene. This is also the country's sunniest island (2,724 sunny hours each year), so it makes for a perfect destination on your Mediterranean cruise.
Head to the exclusive Beach Club Hvar to spend a perfect day at the beach, relaxing on a waterfront bed. Then, indulge in a spa or massage treatment before you enjoy exquisite dining. Another great choice is the Laganini Beach Bar & Restaurant where you can sunbathe while sipping some heavenly cocktails after a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear Adriatic Sea. Or, pick some fresh-caught seafood or other gourmet dishes paired with aromatic wines, then head for the beach bars where you can dance until the sun comes up.
You can easily spend your entire vacation at these lavish beach clubs, but don't forget to also explore Hvar town and see the interior with its lilac lavender fields, vineyards, old villages, and pretty isolated coves. If you have the time, you won't regret a trip to the pristine Pakleni Islands either.
South of Hvar, you'll arrive at another stunning island on the Dalmatian Coast, Korčula, Croatia. Said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo, this small fortified town is also known as "Little Dubrovnik."
Step onboard a private yacht excursion to discover the island with its pine forests, secluded coves, and pebbly beaches. Or sail a little farther across the azure blue sea to the gorgeous Lastovo Archipelago Nature Park, where you can also visit the ex-Yugoslav military submarine tunnel.
To the east is the quiet, densely forested Mljet National Park. During your trip, enjoy a swim, go snorkeling and perhaps try stand-up paddleboarding. Many excursions also offer a three-course Mediterranean lunch served onboard.
When you think luxury, you think of Mykonos, Greece. This glamorous Greek island in the middle of the Aegean Sea is known for its pretty whitewashed churches, monasteries, flour mills, fantastic golden sand beaches, and especially, its many wild parties.
Before you join the fashionable crowds at one of the epic all-night beach parties, discover the mouthwatering Mykonian gastronomy. Make sure to try some of the dishes that are unique to the island, like the spicy kopanisti cheese, made with fresh cow and goat milk. It goes well with ouzo, the Greek anise-flavored aperitif, or a bottle of local white wine. For a tremendous culinary Greek experience, you won't regret going to the legendary restaurants Sea Satin, Remezzo, Koursaros or La Maison de Katrin.
Santorini, known as Thera in Greek, is of captivating beauty. The whitewashed villages, surrounded by the dark volcanic rocks, multi-colored cliffs, and turquoise sea, make it a photographer's paradise.
Why not take advantage of these idyllic surroundings on this mythical Greek island and get some good shots of yourself or perhaps your loved one or family too? You can book an excursion with a professional photographer who knows all the best spots for incredible photo ops.
You can stroll from the capital, Fira, to the villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli. Or travel farther to charming Oia to watch the sunset. No less picturesque is the landscape on the Nea Kameni island, with its caves and churches, and the island of Palia Kameni, with its sulfurous hot springs.
If your Mediterranean cruise brings you to the half-Turkish, half-Greek island of Cyprus, rejoice. Cyprus is known for its sun-soaked sandy beaches, fascinating history, old harbor towns, and jaw-dropping nature. It's also a great destination if you'd like to go shopping to add some opulent items to your wardrobe.
So, spend some days relaxing at the seaside, exploring the rural interior, trying the local cuisine, and then head to the country's main towns, like Nicosia, Limassol, Ayia Napa, and Paphos. Here, you'll find both high street and high-end fashion, so look out for the designer boutiques and the modern malls with plenty of favorite European and British clothing brands and famous fashion houses. Looking for something more unique? Then head to the shops that offer clothing by local, independent, and cutting-edge designers, including Anna Koumoushi, Fani Xenophontos, and Joanna Louca.