Also see the Greece and Turkey
The Holy Land for three major religions, Israel is a political flashpoint and cultural treasure trove.
A melting pot of Mediterranean cultures, Malta is a small country but a great destination. Between SCUBA during the day and the nightlife, you'll be sure to have a good time. Native language is Maltese, a mix of Arabic and Italian...but everybody also speaks English (with a British accent, since they were once part of the British Empire)
Places to Stay/Eat
Things to Do
- Valleta - good to see from a boat, which heads in and out of coves
- Comino & Gozo - two islands, can day trip from the main island. Comino has the perfectly clear Blue Lagoon and florescent-colored water. Gozo is one of the "top 5 places that make you happy in the world". Gozo has the "Blue Window" as well.
- Megalithic Temples -- older than the pyramids
- Rent a car--since it's a small island, it's easy to get around, and it's much faster than the bus.
- SCUBA diving
- Yacht Charter -- Several charters operate on the island. An excellent owner-operator of a skippered 40 foot sailboat suitable for two to four people is David Pizzuto with Geisha. Typical rates are around 500E a day plus provisioning and are an excellent way to see the island. You can beat the crowds to the prime spots, catch the fish that will be your dinner that evening, and take a night swim as the only people in the normally packed Blue Lagoon. On his cruise you are more friend than customer.
A short ferry ride from Spain, Morocco is perhaps one of the most interesting and accessible North African countries.
Between the hustle of Cairo and the tranquility of Sharm El-Sheikl, Egypt offers thousands of years of exciting history and the only remaining Wonder of the World (the Great Pyramids of Giza).
Door in Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia
Just across the Med from Naples (several ferry companies will take you and/or your car across), Tunisia offers beautiful beaches, ancient history, and a mix of Maghreb (North African) culture with a French accent. The easiest way to get there is via plane from Rome, but the aforementioned ferries are a better bet if you want to drive.
The capital of Tunisia, Tunis offers an amazing market district (the Souk, filled with bargains and historic mosques), the best collection of Roman mosaics anywhere (the Bardo Museum), ancient ruins (mostly around Carthage, once seat of an empire that rivaled Rome's), and scenic resort villages (such as Sidi Bou Said, a town with whitewashed walls and blue trim, not unlike a Greek village). Just outside town is the North African American Cemetery and Memorial
, where thousands of Americans who fought in the North African campaigns of World War II are commemorated.
This Roman colony is almost as well-preserved as Pompei, thanks to its arid climate. Its position, looking over a vast plain, gives it a romantic beauty unlike any other Roman ruin.
Many people travel to Southern Tunisia to experience the nomadic bedouin culture, or to stay in cave dwellings. The area served as the backdrop for Tatooine (named after a Tunisian town) in the Star Wars movies; see the Tunisia Travel Bureau's website
for more information.