The aim of the present review is to examine current scientific knowledge on the association between the Mediterranean diet and diabetes mellitus (mostly type 2 diabetes). A definition of the Mediterranean diet and the tools widely used to evaluate adherence to this traditional diet (Mediterranean diet indices) are briefly presented. The review focuses on epidemiological data linking adherence to the Mediterranean diet with the risk of diabetes development, as well as evidence from interventional studies assessing the effect of the Mediterranean diet on diabetes control and the management of diabetes-related complications. The above mentioned data are explored on the basis of evaluating the Mediterranean diet as a whole dietary pattern, rather than focusing on the effect of its individual components. Possible protective mechanisms of the Mediterranean diet against diabetes are also briefly discussed.