Archive Content

Please note: This page has been archived and its content may no longer be up-to-date. This version of the page will remain live for reference purposes as we work to update the content across our website.

© Michel Gunther / WWF

The Mediterranean – a sea surrounded by land

Cirali beach, on the Mediterranean Sea, one of the few remaining nesting sites for the loggerhead turtles.
the beauty of the Mediterranean

Facts & Figures

  • The Mediterranean Sea covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2 (965,000 sq mi).
  • Its average depth is 1,500m (4,920 ft); the deepest recorded point is 5,267m (about 3.27 miles) in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea.
  • The coastline extends for 46,000km (28,600 miles).
  • Large islands in the Med include Cyprus, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Sardinia, Corsica, Sicily and Majorca.
  • The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneanus, meaning "inland" or "in the middle of the earth".
  • More than 220 million tourists visit the region each year.
  • Less than 1% of the Sea is protected.
  • Almost 85% of its forests have disappeared.

Seas within the Sea

The Med has a number of major internationally recognized seas within it's vast area. These are: