It’s not just the Mediterranean Sea you know?
The Medditerranean Sea and the Subdivisions
It wasn’t until I started thinking about an Italian holiday this summer that I realised that different parts of what I thought was just the Mediterranean Sea have different names. Our final destination is Pietra Ligure which is on the Ligurian Sea. I am going to publish a write up in the motorhome rental section of MotorhomeFreedom.com when I get back so do look over there towards the end of 2014 for some photos, videos etc. It’s true that on a holiday in Rhodes many years ago I was aware than on the east side of the island was the Mediterranean Sea and on the west side was the Aegean Sea, but I didn’t think that much about it to be honest. I was however aware that the two seas looked different though. One day we went down to the most southern point of Rhodes to a lovely place called Prassonissi.
Prassonissi is a small island which is connected by a strip of sand to Rhodes in the summer time when the water levels are low. When Prassonissi becomes a Peninsula rather than island it becomes a haven for windsurfers and sunbathers. Having the sea on either side of the beach is wonderful. The day I was there the Mediterranean was as flat as pond with people swimming, suba diving and generally having a superb beach holiday. On the other side of the beach is the Aegean Sea that was rough and choppy with the windsurfers having a fantastic time. So what are these other ‘seas’ then? Well they are actually subdivisions of the Mediterranean Sea according to the IHO which is the Internation Hydrographic Organization. So let’s look at them starting at the very west of the Meditteranean.
The Strait of Gibraltar
Between The Rock of Gibraltar (which is actually crown property of the UK) and Morocco is a small strait of water which is just less than nine miles wide at its narrowest point. It is very important shipping route between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The Strait of Gibraltar extends slightly to the west where it meets the Atlantic.
The Alboran Sea
Between Spain and Morocco to the east of the Strait of Gibraltar is the Alboran Sea. The Alboran sea has the biggest population of bottlenose dolphins in the western Mediterranean.
The Balearic Sea
Between mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, Minorca and Formentera is the Balearic Sea. This is one of my favourite parts of the World and definitely my favourite part of Spain.
The Ligurian Sea
North of Corsica, between Corsica and Italy is the Ligurian Sea. This is the sea that prompted me to write this article as I am going to Liguria this summer on my motorhome holiday.
The Tyrrhenian Sea
The Tyrrhenian Sea is somewhere I really want to go! It’s enclosed by Sardinia, the Italian peninsula and the island of Sicily. If you are into your volcanoes like me, this is the place to go. You will be able to see Stromboli and of course the magnificent Etna. A stunning part of the World, but sadly just a little too far for this summer’s trip.
The Ionian Sea
This is between Italy, Albania and Greece. This is the part of the Mediterranean that is underneath the ‘foot’ of Italy
The Adriatic Sea
This is the almost rectangular area between Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania. The only one of these countries that I have visited so far is Italy. I have yet to explore the east coast of Italy, so this will be a fun adventure for the future. At the moment I am tied to school holidays and I have been told that July and August is NOT the time to go, unless you love crowded beaches!
The Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea is between Greece and Turkey and possibly my favourite part of the Mediterranean. I have loved ever single Greek island I have ever been to and a sunset across the Aegean has never disappointed me.