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The best time to cruise the Mediterranean will vary depending on your particular interests and schedule. Families looking to spend a relaxing trip abroad will probably want to take advantage of summer vacation days, while a couple planning a romantic getaway may choose to cruise to the Mediterranean during shoulder season when there are fewer tourists.

Similarly, wine enthusiasts may prefer to book their cruise around peak harvest season, while beach seekers will want to cruise the Mediterranean when there’s the least chance of rain.

When is the Mediterranean cruise season?

The main Mediterranean cruise season runs from April through November each year, with June to September the peak months. But increasingly, the region is becoming a year-round destination as travelers discover the joys of “quiet season”. In these winter months, you’ll have museums and galleries virtually to yourself. Restaurants and bars remain open in port cities and the atmosphere is, if anything, more relaxed than at the height of summer.

Ports in the southern Mediterranean, including those in Israel and Egypt, enjoy bright, sunny days almost year-round. Also, bear in mind that the Canary Islands, which feature on some Mediterranean itineraries, are actually in the Atlantic, much further south, and are bathed in sunshine throughout the winter months.

Read: What to Pack for a Mediterranean Cruise

When is the best time to visit the Mediterranean to avoid crowds?

Unique landscape of Balos Lagoon in Crete, Greece

Summer has always been considered high season for travelers looking to visit the Mediterranean, and the months of July and August tend to get especially crowded at popular hot spots.

If you want to avoid the crowds as much as possible, opt for a cruise that departs during the shoulder seasons (the periods between peak and off-peak season) which run from April through May and September through November, or even consider a winter cruise, when all the main cultural attractions remain open.

If you want to increase your chances of enjoying hot, sunny weather while avoiding crowds at ports and attractions, June is also a good time to cruise the Mediterranean. Cruises in June usually see less crowds than the more popular months of July and August since school is just getting out and many families haven’t started their summer vacations yet.

When is the best time to find special offers to the Mediterranean?

Historic ruins of Parthenon Temple, Greece

Similar to those trying to avoid crowds, the best time to sail to the Mediterranean for cost savings is during the shoulder seasons (April to May and September to November), when there is a slightly higher chance of rain and cooler weather.

If you’re looking for a spontaneous getaway, look for last-minute cruises to the Mediterranean. This approach can be risky if you have your heart set on a particular date, itinerary, or stateroom category, which may sell out in advance.

Read: Best Places to Visit in September

When’s the best time to visit the Mediterranean for wine tastings?

If you want to enjoy wine tastings while in port during your Mediterranean cruise, tasting rooms are usually open for visitors during the entire cruise season. However, wine aficionados looking for a truly special time to visit the Mediterranean should book their cruise during wine harvest season in September and October, when the grapes become ripe and ready for fermentation.

Read: Best Wine Cruise Destinations

Beautiful vineyard landscape in Tuscany, Italy

During harvest time, Celebrity Cruises can arrange a wine-focused group shore excursion or private journey, where you’ll be able to tour wineries and get an in-depth look at the harvesting process, which may include an afternoon of grape picking and wine tasting.

When’s the best time to visit Mediterranean beaches?

If you are all about discovering the best beaches in the Mediterranean, you’ll want to book your cruise when the weather’s hot and the sunshine endless.

Crowded beach in Barcelona, Spain

The best time to book a cruise for perfectly warm, sunny days include the months of July and August. However, keep in mind that this is one of the more crowded times of year to visit. That being said, if you’re spending your days in port lounging on a beach chair next to gorgeous turquoise water, we’re guessing you won’t really care.

When’s the best time of year to visit the Mediterranean for families with kids?

This region of Europe is one of the most fun places to go in the summer for families, and the best time of year to visit the Mediterranean is during the school summer break.

For most schools in the United States, summer break runs from the middle of June until the end of August or the beginning of September. Many families often prefer to travel to the Mediterranean in July or during the first half of August in order to enjoy a relaxing vacation while still leaving plenty of time to make it back home and buy school supplies for the new year.

Couple carrying kids overlooking the sea

However, if you want to take a family cruise to the Mediterranean while your kids are on summer break but want to avoid going during high season, try to travel during late June (just after the school year ends) or right before the school year begins again in September.

What time of year has the best weather in the Mediterranean?

If you’re looking to avoid high temperatures while on a Mediterranean cruise vacation, then it’s best to avoid the last half of July and the entire month of August when average temperatures can reach over 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is important to keep in mind if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like the heat since many restaurants and shops don’t have air conditioning. Luckily, if you need a cool escape, you’ll always find air conditioning back on the ship.

Woman looking at Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain

Between November and April is the coolest season in the Mediterranean, when you’d be advised to pack a coat. If you’re searching for winter sun as well as the cultural pleasures of a Mediterranean cruise, choose a voyage that combines the Canary Islands with Mediterranean ports. Here, you can swim in the sea and sunbathe on the beach year-round.

The Best Time for a Mediterranean Cruise is now with Celebrity Cruises

Browse our Mediterranean cruise itineraries and find the perfect month for your cruise vacation. Book your stateroom, find airfare using Flights by Celebrity (which comes with added protection for your vacation investment and a lowest airfare guarantee), and reserve shore excursions and other onboard activities all in one convenient place.

Free Vacation Planning Services

Free Vacation Planning Services