The Mediterranean Sea covers an approximate area of 2.5 million square kilometers (965,000 square miles). It is connected to the Atlantic through the strait of Gibraltar, which is only 14 km (8.7 mi) wide. The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa.
Several ancient civilizations were located around the Mediterranean shores. They were greatly influenced by their proximity to the sea. It provided routes for trade, colonization and war, as well as food (from fishing and the gathering of other seafood) for numerous communities throughout the ages. Due to the shared climate, geology, and access to the sea, cultures centered on the Mediterranean tended to have some extent of intertwined culture and history. Two of the most notable Mediterranean civilizations in classic antiquity were the Hellenic City States like Sparta and Athens and the Phoenicians, both of which extensively colonized the coastlines of the Mediterranean.
The Romans who dominated the entire Mediterranean Sea for centuries called it Mare Nostrum, " our Sea ".
The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 meters (17,280 ft) in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, and in the south by Africa.
14 countries have coastlines on the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the Mediterranean countries have a long history of tourism. Italy and France being one of the first countries to develop tourism before the Second World War.
The Amalfi Coast, Cinque Terre, city-states like Monte Carlo and Monaco in France and other Italian cities like Rimini, Viareggio and Venice have attracted tourists for more than 60 years. In later years the Balearic Islands of Ibiza and Formentera became popular with young adults. With the development of tourism in the Mediterranean, the yachting industry developed as well. Spotting luxury boats and superyachts became very common. Renting a yacht and cruising through the Aegean Sea, the Balearic Islands or the ancient coastlines of the Levant is one of the most popular charter yachting destination. To find marinas with superyachts for sale is common in and around the Mediterranean Sea. But not all yachts for sale are produced in the Mediterranean; yachts from Dubai or UAE are as common as yachts from Italian and French shipyards.