WHAT IS THE BEST TIME FOR A MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE?
Learn more about Mediterranean cruises
Summer, fall and spring are the best times for Mediterranean cruises. Rome’s Colosseum is gorgeous in the fall. Dubrovnik comes alive in summer. A Greece cruise in spring brings warm Ionian breezes and bougainvillea bursting from windowsills. You can’t go wrong with a Mediterranean cruise any time of the cruise season, but certain months are better than others depending on what you want to experience. During winter there are few options for cruises and many places close for the season.
When is cruise season in the Mediterranean?
Mediterranean cruise season begins in spring (May) and lasts until late fall (November). There are pros and cons of each time of year to visit the Mediterranean. Often, if you visit in high season, you will have better weather and more open attractions, but thicker crowds. Shoulder season is the time right before or after high season. In terms of Mediterranean cruises, shoulder season would be spring or fall.
What is the Best Time of Year to Visit the Mediterranean?
Mediterranean cruises in Spring
Spring is a great time to visit the Mediterranean. The seas are calmer by May and the temperatures start to climb into the mid-70s, which is a great temp for open-air plazas and beaches. The crowds will be thinner, as most kids aren’t out of school yet.
Pros: You’ll have more room at major attractions, as kids are still in school and families start vacationing in June.
Cons: Depending on where you cruise, water temps may be brisk for a swim in the sapphire seas.
Mediterranean Cruises in Summer
School is out, which makes summer the best time to cruise the Mediterranean for families with tight schedules. It is also the best time for those who like it hot. Really hot. Temperatures in Spain, Italy, Greece and Croatia will be in the 90s, but the tranquil ocean waters invite a cool off. August is a popular vacation time for locals in Rome and there may be some closed shops and attractions. Summer is also peak season, so expect hordes of tourists everywhere.
Pros: A great time to hit the beaches. Sunny and dry weather.
Cons: Peak season means more tourists. In August in Italy, some shops may be closed for vacations.
Mediterranean cruises in Fall
Fall is a considered the best time to cruise the Mediterranean for cultural excursions without the crowds. September and October are part of the shoulder season, when kids go back to school and vacation prices dip. The sun won’t be quite as fierce, which makes walking the hills of Santorini or the winding streets of Rome a much more enjoyable experience. The crowds will have thinned out and you’ll have more space to enjoy popular attractions such as Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Fall harvest season means more wine festivals and Food and Wine® Tours.
Pros: Less crowds, cheaper prices, more food festivals for harvest season.
Cons: More rain showers. Some shops and restaurants close in fall, once peak season is over.
Is November a Good Time to Cruise the Mediterranean?
October and November are at the very end of the Mediterranean cruise season. Don’t expect hot, sunny beach weather but cooler temps in the 40s to low 70s Fahrenheit. Anticipate more rainy days and waves. Winter in the Mediterranean is mild, but some shops may close in preparation for the upcoming season. October and November are known for some of the best discounts and deals.
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