Route: Crete Athens Sorrento Catania Rome La Spezia Nice Montpellier Barcelona Palma
Duration: 35 nights
Transport: Spend 5 amazing weeks crossing 10 of our favourite sun-drenched cities on our this Mediterranean interrailing route! This route is 36 days long, involving 32 nights in your accommodation and 3 spent on night ferries.
Sustainability: This trip only creates 223 kg of carbon emissions! To fly the same route would cost 1190.
Reviews: All independent reviews
If you’re a sun worshipper & culture vulture with a passion for the Mediterranean lifestyle then this is the ideal getaway for you! Got a study or career break coming up? Our 5 week option gives you plenty of time to travel Europe by train; see the best of Greece and Italy, Southern France and Spain all in one go. With 2 – 4 nights in each destination you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in each city and have time spare for a few day trips.
Really want to top up your tan? Check out the 6 week version!
Span sun-drenched Southern Europe with a route that ties four hot nations together – Greece, Italy, France and Spain. Taking this route around the Mediterranean you’ll travel all the way from Crete to Palma – not bad for 5 weeks’ work! No matter how long you travel for, the only difficulty will be in deciding whether to explore the city or sun yourself on the beach first!
Start your trip off in beach-beautiful Crete, Greece’s largest island! With everything it has to offer, you might never want to leave; with white sandy beaches to lounge on, the White Mountains to hike and eerie caves to explore, you’ll have more than enough to fill your 3 nights here! This is even without mentioning the oodles of mythology and rich history that there is to delve into…
Working your way across Greece, you’ll reach the capital of Athens. This stunning city is so full to the brim with historical and archaeological sites that you probably won’t see everything during your stay, but it’ll show you just how much another trip would be worth it! Be sure to follow the locals to an authentic taverna to sink a silky wine or refreshing beer, all soaked up with a mezze platter.
Carry on to Sorrento for rugged coastlines peppered with sandy beaches and the occasional ethereal cove to explore. Here, you’ll find plenty of Insta-worthy views, tasty traditional dishes, and mind-blowingly good limoncello to sip on… and that’s without even mentioning the lively nightlife! With 4 nights here you’ll easily have time to take a quick trip to Pompeii or Mount Vesuvius, too!
Next up, is the beautiful ancient Sicilian port city of Catania, nestled at the foot of the imposing Mount Etna. Explore its stunning religious sites and fascinating museums for a welcome escape from the sun, or, if you can handle the heat, round off your days here lounging on its beautiful golden beaches and sampling the delicious seafood specialties on offer by the coast.
Then head to Rome, the Eternal City, and marvel at the ancient monuments which still stand majestic amongst the centuries-old streets, fancifully furnished with sophisticated cafes and piazzas. Enjoy authentic Italian espresso and tuck into some well-deserved cicchetti before sampling the city’s lively nightlife.
Next up, you’ll spend a couple of days in the picturesque port town of La Spezia. Not only is this a quaint town in its own right, but it’s also the perfect hub to take a day trip to Cinque Terre! If you do decide to head there, be sure to take advantage of the chance to take in the bright and colourful higgledy-piggledy houses climbing the craggy seaside cliffs of each town.
Then you’ll make your way to the glittering French Riviera. You’ll stay in Nice where a twilight stroll along the Promenade Des Anglais is a must! Rub shoulders with celebrities whilst dining al fresco and breathing in the sea air by the golden city beach. If you have time for a day trip make sure to stop off in Monaco! If you’re feeling lucky, flash your cash alongside the filthy rich at the famous Monte Carlo Casino. Who knows, you might even take them to the cleaners!
A short train ride away, Montpellier will be next on your agenda! We reckon that this could be the French Riviera’s most cosmopolitan city, with lively and friendly locals and a cultural melting pot of French influence with a feel for Spain and a taste of North Africa.
Soon after, you’ll arrive in Barcelona and discover Gaudi’s cakebread architectural style permeating the city. The Sagrada Familia is also a majestic bucket-list sight to behold, before spending the day popping into the boutiques and bars on the side-streets off Las Ramblas. Once you’ve reached culture overload, Barca will take care of your night on the town with plenty of clubs to see your through until the morning.
To round off your trip you’ll take a night ferry to the balmy paradise of Palma, Mallorca! Enjoy laidback island life here and get a load of this little island’s abundant natural beauty; from ethereal caves to unspoiled sandy beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to see and do to end your 5 week adventure with a bang!
With a wealth of natural beauty, Crete is so varied in things to see and do that you’ll never be stuck for ideas! Beaches, mountains, forests and ruins define its landmarks, whilst the locals’ laidback lifestyle reflect its relaxed atmosphere.
Explore the creepily beautiful Psychro Cave, the supposed birthplace of Zeus
Hike the dramatic White Mountains and their protected forest
Hit up Elafonisi beach for pink sands and awesome surf!
Night Ferry to Athens – 10 hours
Both historic and modern, edgy and traditional, Athens is famous as the capital of the Ancient world. Here you’ll find iconic structures like the Parthenon, the Acropolis and the Temple of Poseidon, but also a wealth of great coffee houses, delicious restaurants and buzzing bar scene. This is a truly young city, with a big student population – and the vibrant atmosphere that comes with it.
Head to the top of Fillopapou hill, overlooking the Acropolis for the best photo opportunities
Explore famous Greek sites – the Parthenon, the Theatre of Dionysos and the Temple of Poseidon among many others
Drink Greek wine and cocktails al-fresco at one of Athen’s many bars and enjoy the vibrant nightlife
Overnight Travel to Sorrento – 26 hours
(Bus to Patras, Night Ferry to Bari, Train to Naples & Ferry to Sorrento)
Famous for its golden sandy beaches and mouthwateringly good limoncello, Sorrento is the perfect place to unwind and get a taste of that dolce vita. With a couple of nights here, be sure to take a tour of the beautiful cloisters and cathedrals before popping to a liqueur tasting to cool off!
Go beach-hopping around the beautifully rugged coastline
Get a taste of the city’s famously good limoncello
Take a load off by getting lost in the city’s cloisters and gardens
Ferry to Naples & Train to Catania – 9 hours
This ancient and quaint port city perched on the eastern coast of Sicily, lies beneath the imposing and breath-taking Mount Etna. With old-world architecture and charm, incredible locally sourced seafood, and breezy open-air bars by the sea, what more could you ask for?
Visit and even hike up Mount Etna if you’re brave!
Head to Castello Ursino to get your fill of the city’s history
Take a tour around any of the many art galleries dotted around the city
Train to Rome – 10 hours
Home to endless culture, stunning architecture and buzzing nightlife, Rome is one of the classic quintessentially European hubs to tick off your travel checklist. Take in the unreal food, fascinating culture and laidback lifestyle!
Marvel at the ruins of the Roman Forum
See the world-famous Colosseum
Try real Italian coffee, gelato and pizza
Train to La Spezia – 4.5 hours
This little port city focuses most of its culture around the sea, with plenty of interesting museums by the sea, specialty seafood restaurants serving up fresh dishes, and of course, quaint neighbouring seaside villages to explore. A short train ride away from Cinque Terre, it’s also the perfect base for a day trip!
Explore the colourful cliffside towns of Cinque Terre with ease from here
Take in the city’s imposing Castello di San Giorgio
Lounge by the sea in any of the laidback open-air bars!
Trains to Nice – 5.5 hours
Nice is effortlessly charming, with French Riviera sophistication and some of the best food and wine in Europe. Check out the quirky art museums, laze on the star-studded beaches, or take a trip to Monaco or Cannes from here!
Explore the old-world town of Nice
See the sunset from the Promenade des Anglais
Take a sightseeing cruise of the Cote d’Azur
Trains to Montpellier – 5.5 hours
Popular with students and shopaholics alike, highly cosmopolitan Montpellier is a massively underrated city. Full to the brim with cultural wonders, have a browse of its modern galleries and boutiques, wander around the gorgeous botanical garden and get a flavour of the great nightlife!
Admire the ornate architecture of the Antigone district
Shop until you drop!
Get to know the rich foodie and bar scene
Train to Barcelona – 3.5 hours
It may not be the capital city, but Barcelona sure is one of Spain’s main cultural hubs and is definitely not to be missed! Home to amazing art, surreal architecture and vibrant Catalan culture, you won’t be disappointed to know that the nightlife scene and food are just as incredible.
See the Picasso Museum in the Gothic Quarter
Spot Gaudi’s distinctive architecture in Parc Guell
Crawl the bars around Las Ramblas
Night Ferry to Palma – 8 hours
Despite the development of its resorts, Palma remains beautifully unspoilt in many coastal areas, with golden sandy beaches and clear blue seas to dip into. The stunning collection of coves and inlets that surrounding this sleepy island are the perfect place to unwind, unless you’d prefer to get a taste of Mallorca’s world-famous island parties, of course!
Explore the whitewashed hill towns
Pick from the range of waterside chill-out spots
Party at Ibiza’s sister club Mallorca Rocks
You can arrange a flight to Chania International Airport and a flight home from Palma de Mallorca Airport, whilst we take care of the transport in between your cities!
Alternatively, if you’d like to start or end your trip elsewhere, just request a custom route and we’ll work with you to create your perfect personalised route!