With crisp, blue waters, and hospitable weather, the Mediterranean Sea has been vital to many civilizations for thousands of years. Located between North Africa and southern Europe, and closed off to the east by West Asia, the Mediterranean opens up to the Atlantic ocean in the west. Because of its proximity to dozens of cultures, the Mediterranean Sea has hosted hundreds of important trade routes for centuries, and allowed for interaction between the peoples of the region. In fact, the history of the entire Mediterranean region along the sea is that of the founding of Western civilization and other modern societies. For example, the ancient Greeks are a well known civilization that heavily incorporated the Mediterranean in day to day survival and legendary tales.
Geographically speaking, the Mediterranean Sea is almost entirely landlocked, aside from the Strait of Gibraltar, and because of this, tides are very limited. The Mediterranean Sea experiences a great deal of evaporation, with lower water levels on its east end. Summers in the Mediterranean are warm and dry; the warmest months of the year heat up to nearly 80°F. Winters are often mild with rainy days, as the average temperature during the winter months rarely drops far below freezing.
The Mediterranean Sea has been internationally recognized for its ecological importance and physical beauty. Main crops in the Mediterranean include olives, grapes, cork, oranges and tangerines. Wildlife, such as sea turtles, monk seals, sting rays and schools of fish flourish throughout the sea and provide vital resources. Trademark blue, warm waters, exotic beaches and proximity to historic regions have made the Mediterranean Sea a popular destination for travelers to enjoy and explore. The Mediterranean Sea is surrounded by many notable nations, including France, Italy, Israel, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt and the aforementioned Greece.
Tourism is a major factor in the economies along the Mediterranean Sea. Because of the sea's ideal qualities, many travelers make sure to stop by. Accounting for a staggering 30% of tourist world wide, the Mediterranean Sea attracts nearly 250 million visitors in a year alone. Due to this, there are thousands of options when vacationing along the Mediterranean Sea.
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