Old Town, Skopelos, Sporades Islands, Greece
The Mediterranean area is one of the cradles of civilization:
Egyptians, Phoenicians, Minoans, Greeks, and Romans are some of the
ancient cultures that inhabited the region.
In the middle ages, crusaders controlled a number of Mediterranean islands, the Turks
conquered the eastern Mediterranean; the Spanish later evicted the Arabs from the west; Italian
trading cities, particularly Venetians, colonized the central mediterannean.
In more recent times, French and British fought major land and sea
battles to gain influence.
Today, the Mediterranean islands are generally stable politically: Greece
regained its independence from the Turks in the 18th and 19th centuries; the British colonies of
Malta and Cyprus were given their independence after the second world war, but Northern Cyprus is
a separate state recognized only by Turkey; Sardinia and Sicily remain part of Italy; Corsica
has its own culture and limited autonomy but remains part of France; Spain retains the
which have considerable regional autonomy; in the east, Croatia
and its islands are becoming major travel destinations.
More about the Mediterranean islands