Cumulatively, the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea have a coastline of about 29,000 miles in length. The sea can be subdivided into different individual seas including the Aegean Sea, the Libyan Sea, the Levantine Sea, the Ionian Sea, the Alboran Sea, the Sea of Sicily, and the Adriatic Sea. The countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea are also classified into three different groups based on their respective coastline’s location on the Mediterranean Sea. In this regards, the groups are the Levantine Group found in the east of the sea, the European countries found in the north of the sea, and the Northern African countries found in the southern part of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Northern African Countries
As the name suggests, the countries found in this group are all situated in Africa. The group is comprised of five countries, which are Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt. Libya’s coastline is the longest of them, stretching over 1,100 miles.
Libya and Morocco
Libya’s coastline stretches about 1,100 miles in length. The coastal strip is relatively narrow and links the country’s northern highland steppe to the Mediterranean Sea. The coastline is segmented into two; that of Eastern Libya and Western Libya. The Mediterranean coastline on Western Libya is predominantly made up of lagoons, coastal oases, and sandy beaches. Eastern Libya’s coastline has fewer coastal oases and is primarily composed of sandy beaches. Morocco’s Mediterranean coast represents the westernmost edge of the Northern African coast. The coastline features the Strait of Gibraltar that marks the link between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Egypt and Tunisia
Egypt’s northern coast borders the Mediterranean Sea and is 650 miles in length. The coastline starts at the Sinai Peninsula and moves east to the Egypt-Libya border near the town of Sallum. A prominent geographical feature is the Marmarika Plateau found on the eastern edges of the coastline. The coastline is home to the largest city in the Mediterranean, Alexandria which has a population of 4.54 million people. Tunisia’s coastline along the Mediterranean Sea is 750 miles in length, and starts at the country’s border with Libya and moves west to the Algeria-Tunisia border. Part of the country’s coastal strip is found along the Gulf of Gabes. The largest city found in the coastline is Izmir, with a population of over 2.85 million people.
The entire length of Algeria’s coastline is 650 miles long and it is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea. The coastline easternmost edge lies at the Tunisia-Algeria border while the westernmost edge is found at the country’s border with Morocco. The most prominent geographical feature along the coastline is the Atlas Mountains, a mountain range that separates the Sahara Desert in the south, from the Mediterranean Sea. The country’s capital city, Algiers is the largest coastal settlement on Algeria’s coastline, with a population of over 3.4 million people.
The Levantine Countries
The Levantine countries are all found in the Middle-East and include Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Syria. This section of the Mediterranean coast is the shortest, as the coastline is relatively straight.
Israel and Palestine
Palestine and Israel also have a coastline on the Levantine Coast. The Israeli Mediterranean coastline is known as the country’s coastal plain. The coastal plain stretches 116 miles in length and is geographically distinct from other surrounding regions. The coastline is segmented into three different coastal plains; the Southern, the Northern, the Carmel, and the Central coastal plains. More than 50% of the country’s total population resides along Israel’s Mediterranean coastline, estimated to number over 4.32 million people. The nation’s largest city, Tel Aviv is among the major cities in Israel found along the coastline.
Lebanon, Cyprus, and Syria
The northernmost tip of Lebanon’s Mediterranean coastline is marked by the Lebanon-Syria border while its southernmost tip is found at the Lebanon-Israel border. Most of the country’s economy revolves around activities of the coastline. The coastal strip is unusually narrow and is four miles at its widest point. Syria’s coastline also features along the Levantine Coast. The coastline which starts at the country’s border with Turkey and extends to the Lebanon-Syria border is 110 miles in length. The Al-Ansariyyah Mountains are highest points of the predominantly flat coastline. Cyprus’ coastline is 402.6 miles in length.
The European Countries
The group is the largest, as it is made up of the highest number of countries; 13 countries in total. Greece is a constituent country of the group and has the longest coastline of any country in the Mediterranean.
Gibraltar and Spain
The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar represents the westernmost edge of the European Mediterranean coast. Spain’s coastline along the Mediterranean Sea is among the longest, as it stretches about 1,000 miles in length. The Spanish coastline along the Mediterranean starts at the Gibraltar-Spain border and extends west to the France-Spain border. Barcelona is the largest Spanish city found along Spain’s Mediterranean coastline, with a population of 1.6 million inhabitants.
France and Monaco
France has a long coastline on the Mediterranean Sea. The coastline is made up of two regions; Languedoc and the French Riviera. The Languedoc coastal region features pristine sandy beaches that are popular tourist attractions. The coastal region is also home to the ports of Marseilles and Fos, key ports in the Mediterranean shipping industry. The coastline along the French Riviera is rocky but also has several beaches, many of them being pebble and shingle beaches. The French Riviera boasts of having many of France’s top coastal resorts including Cannes and Nice. Monaco, an enclave nation surrounded by the French Riviera, also has a short coastline on the Mediterranean Sea.
Greece and Turkey
Greece’s coastline is 8,498 miles in length. The heavily indented coastline is the longest in the region. The coastline also encompasses those of the numerous Greece islands. Of the ten largest islands found in the Mediterranean Sea, five of them are in Greece. The island of Crete is the largest of Greece’s Mediterranean islands. Some of the major cities found on the coastline are Thessaloniki, Piraeus, and Athens. The easternmost edge of the European coast is Turkey’s coastline. Turkey’s entire 4,500-mile long coastline (the second-longest in the region) is found on the Mediterranean Sea.
Other European Countries
Other European countries with a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea are Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania.