Your Mediterranean Sea Adventure

There are few places that have had a profound effect on the future of mankind and the development of modern civilization like the region we now know as the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean Sea is pivotal in the evolution of this region and its prominence in western culture. This intercontinental sea has been essential to humankind and supporting the development of modern civilization for almost 6 million years.

History of the Mediterranean Sea Region

Area of the Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea formed due to the movement of the earth's plates. About 250 million years ago, the ancient landmass of Pangaea broke apart, and a vast ocean, the Tethys, evolved around its middle. When Europe and Africa began drifting towards each other, it made this ocean smaller, ultimately creating the Mediterranean Sea we can see on a wood map today.

This evolution is how the Mediterranean Sea was named. The term "Mediterranean" means "inland" in Latin (medius, middle + terra, land or earth). The sea formed between the land, originating as an ocean and evolving into one of the modern world's most prominent shipping routes and hubs.

The Mediterranean Sea separates Europe from Africa and borders over 21 countries and islands. An intricately detailed wood map will reveal the surprising depths of the basin and highlight the thousands of miles of shoreline. This massive sea covers almost 1 million square miles and is almost entirely enclosed by land.

Examine the Mediterranean Sea on a Wood Map

Look closely at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea on a high-quality wood map, and you will see the Straits of Gibraltar artfully etched into the shoreline. The Straits are a narrow opening only 9 miles wide, between the Iberian Peninsula in Europe and Morocco in Africa, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

The depth of the great basin is intricately etched in the bathymetry of a high-quality wood map, revealing an average depth of 4,900 feet and its deepest point of 3.27 miles at the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. The Mediterranean Sea is relatively shallow at the Straits of Gibraltar, creating an underwater sill that is etched in detail on a high-quality wood map, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean.

The history of the Mediterranean region is pivotal for merchants and travelers of ancient times. Shipping and trade routes were crucial to facilitating cultures and developing societies. The Roman Empire maintained dominance over the Mediterranean Sea for centuries.

What Countries Border the Mediterranean Sea?

Mediterranean Sea Wood Chart

Trace the shoreline on an intricately etched wood map and discover the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Follow the shoreline of the wood map clockwise to find Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, and Morocco, among others along the immediate coastline and not far inland. There are also island countries in the Mediterranean Sea.

5 Largest Islands in the Mediterranean Sea

  • Sicily
  • Sardinia
  • Cyprus
  • Corsica
  • Crete
Italy 3-D Nautical Wood Chart

There are over 3,000 islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The sea itself is made up of many other subdivisions of seas that are all much smaller, including the most well-known seas that can be found in detail on a wood map, like the Alboran Sea, the Balearic Sea, the Ligurian Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Adriatic Sea, and the Aegean Sea. While there are tens of millions of people who live on the mainland of the Mediterranean, an additional 15 million people live on the islands located within the Mediterranean.

Because this massive body of water is primarily land-locked, the region enjoys consistent water levels with calm, soothing waters rather than tides. The calmer waters also result in nutrients being held to the bottom, allowing sunlight to disperse and scatter, giving the sea its beautiful, clear-blue appearance. In addition, the Mediterranean Sea has a lower salinity due to its limited connection to the Atlantic Ocean in Western Europe, creating a hospitable environment for many marine creatures.

What Marine Creatures Live in the Mediterranean Sea?

The Mediterranean Sea is a hotspot for many sea creatures. Over 17,000 species originate in this region, including 47 species of sharks. However, a shark sighting is a rare event. Many notable creatures call this region home, in addition to the sharks and rays.

Marine Life in the Mediterranean Sea

  • Whales
  • Dolphins
  • Porpoises
  • Loggerhead and green sea turtles
  • Monk seals
Fish in the Mediterranean Sea

The Mediterranean Sea is a world-class destination for divers. There are hundreds of remarkable diving sites that feature shipwrecks and subtropical wildlife. Beginners and experienced divers alike will marvel at submerged statues, caves, and even a German hydroplane that sank during World War II. Explore the bathymetry on a wood map and be amazed at what can be revealed in the depths and shallows of this great sea.

For a modern marvel, explore the wreckage of the MS Zenobia, located off the coast of Cyprus. Known as The Zen, this vessel sunk on her maiden voyage in 1980. Swim through the maze of hallways or sit in the cabins of cars and trucks that still sit on the ferry, silent and submerged, while the deepest end of the vessel lies submerged in the seabed.

What Animals Live in the Mediterranean Region?

Due to deforestation that’s been occurring in the region for thousands of years, there is limited wildlife near the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean climate is temperate, marked by mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers, which affect wildlife and the areas they inhabit. From the forests and mountains to the dry deserts, a few species call the basin home. 

Animals of the Mediterranean Region

  • Iberian lynx
  • Barbary macaque
  • Barbary leopard

Whether you intend to explore the countryside or follow the coastline seen on your wood map as you explore the region surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, there is much to see and do. Experience the warmth of the hot, dry summers or the romance of the mild, rainy winters. The Mediterranean region is the perfect year-round vacation destination.

Where to Stay Near the Mediterranean Sea

Village of Cirali Blue Bay in the Mediterranean

Coastal towns and medieval cities populate the coastlines of the Mediterranean Sea, each one more beautiful than the next. You will not need to look far to find quaint European hospitality and awe-inspiring architecture. You will marvel at the intricate blending of ancient and modern, which offers sports enthusiasts, beach-goers, and history buffs year-round accommodations celebrating the nautical destination known as The Med.

Top Accommodations Near the Mediterranean Sea

With 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, creating an itinerary will take some planning. Each country offers unique opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture and celebrate the people of the many villages, towns, and hamlets you will explore. There is an abundance of things to do, and you will not want to miss a single experience.

What to do Near the Mediterranean Sea

The coastline, rich history, culture, heritage, and mild climate make the Mediterranean region a very trendy vacation destination. The Med is home to endlessly breathtaking landscapes, blue water, and ancient architecture. The photo opportunities alone can fill each day, but you may also want to consider visiting some of the more popular tourist destinations.

5 Top Tourist Destinations Near the Mediterranean Sea

  1. Deya, Mallorca
  2. Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy
  3. Torre del Pirata, Ibiza
  4. Tuscany, Italy
  5. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Deya, Mallorca
    Village in Deya, Mallorca

    Nestled in the Tramuntana Mountains is the quaint village of Deya. Seemingly untouched by time, this best-kept secret is surrounded by olive groves and the glistening of the clear blue sea. Come to enjoy the pristine beaches and stay for the vibrant nightlife. Deya is a hidden gem waiting for you in the lush green mountains.

    Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy

      Follow the footpaths through this string of five ancient fishing villages perched on the clifftops above the sea. Romantic and colorful, this village is car-free with buildings and coastal tunnels that have sustained these villagers for hundreds of years. Allow yourself to be embraced by the locals and immerse yourself in the culture and tradition of the ancient fishing villages. 

      Torre del Pirata, Ibiza

        The island of Ibiza inspires more than nightlife and a dazzling club scene. The Torre del Pirata is an abandoned watchtower on the south coast of Ibiza. For hundreds of years, it has inspired artists and writers with its unparalleled views out to sea. Inspiration comes in all forms, and in Ibiza, there are plenty of opportunities to be inspired by the sea!

        Tuscany, Italy

          If there were ever a top tourist destination that needed no introduction, it would be Tuscany! The peaceful, rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside are idyllic enough to be featured in tourism brochures and postcards and inspire women seeking romance to flock to Tuscany after its leading role in Under the Tuscan Sun. So, lose yourself in the endless vineyards, olive groves, and medieval villages - the scenic splendor will not disappoint.

          Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
            Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

            Is this a national park or a glimpse into heaven itself? Take in all 16 lakes connected by spectacular waterfalls, wander the wooden footbridge, and gaze into the crystal-clear pools of water. At the same time, butterflies flutter nearby, and the sound of gentle, cascading waters soothe the last of your senses. Yet even after you have experienced it for yourself, you will question it was real. 

            As you explore the Mediterranean region, you will fall in love with the quaint pastel-colored villages, seemingly stacked up the side of a cliff, perched over the pristine blue waters of the sea. Commemorate your travels to this undeniably exotic region with an exquisitely detailed wood map. You will fully appreciate the points of interest etched into Baltic birch that recreate your road trip along the meandering countryside, soaking in every moment in this intoxicating location. 

            What to Eat Near the Mediterranean Sea

            The Mediterranean region is known for a diet that is considered part of its intangible culture but instantly identifiable. While the traditional foods of the Mediterranean nations might be prepared differently, they are foods that share many similar characteristics. As a result, several foods are traditionally associated with Mediterranean countries.

            Foods of the Mediterranean Diet

            Popular Mediterranean foods
            • Fruits
            • Vegetables
            • Nuts
            • Fish
            • Light on meat and dairy

            The Mediterranean diet is about more than just food. The way each item is produced, prepared, and eaten may differ throughout the Mediterranean countries. Nevertheless, maintaining traditional methods of growing and cooking food is incredibly important to the local culture and remains an essential component of the Mediterranean diet.

            Popular Crops of the Mediterranean Sea Region

            • Olives
            • Grapes
            • Oranges
            • Tangerines 

            Even more important than the food items themselves, eating together is a foundational part of the local cultural landscape. Bringing people together and welcoming them into your home is as meaningful to the diet as the ingredients that are chosen. Communities throughout the Mediterranean Sea basin value this tradition above all.

            Shopping in the Mediterranean Sea Region

            It has been said that there is no better shopping in the world than can be found in the Mediterranean! Mixed within the ancient architecture, you will find modern structures that offer elegant, upscale shopping in the heart of Rome. In the Old Port section of Barcelona, you will be treated to the gleaming new addition of a modern shopping center complete with a fitness center and cinema.

            From hand-crafted gifts created by local artisans in the many ancient villages to sizable metropolitan shopping malls featuring the hottest names in fashion, the opportunities to shop 'til you drop are abundant in the Mediterranean. Naturally, you will be tempted to bring home a souvenir for every person you know, and your options will practically be endless. So, buy an extra suitcase or be prepared to send a few treasures home by mail! 

            Celebrate Your Vacation with a Wood Map

            Portion of a map of the Mediterranean Sea

            The Mediterranean Sea is a top bucket-list destination for seasoned travelers and those who hope to travel one day. The breathtaking landscapes, ancient architecture, food, people, and vibrant culture will stay with you for a lifetime. Or was it all a dream? An expertly etched wood map is the perfect reminder that your adventure, and all that you experienced, are indeed real.

            The roadways and points of interest that are intricately etched into the high-quality birch wood map will bring a smile as you follow the topography of the land and remember the vistas, the villagers, and the energy of each locale. The bathymetry of the sea basin and the numerous inlets, straits, and rivers will intrigue you as you recall the perfectly calm, crystal-blue sea and the pristine beaches along the endless miles of shoreline. Each evening, the water lapped the shore, covering your feet in clean, clear water and connecting you ever so gently with the earth.

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