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The Iberian Peninsula played host to numerous civilisations of the ancient world including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths and Moors; all of whom have left mark on Spain. Alongside the numerous and well-preserved ruins of antiquity are the equally impressive castles, palaces and cathedrals of Medieval Spain. A unique theme of your visit will be the fascinating blend of Moorish influences throughout Andalusia with the distinctly European architecture and culture of Christian Spain. 

Historic Ciutadella

Mahon, Spain
Half Day Cobbled Streets
The city known as Vella i Bella (“Old and Beautiful”) has witnessed numerous occupiers throughout history. Its delightful old quarter was originally fortified in the Moorish tradition and converges upon the Plaça dés Born, where this guided walking tour begins.

The city known as Vella i Bella (“Old and Beautiful”) has witnessed numerous occupiers throughout history. Its delightful old quarter was originally fortified in the Moorish tradition and converges upon the Plaça dés Born, where this guided walking tour begins.

At the centre of the square is a large obelisk built in the 19th-century to commemorate one of the darkest moments in the city’s history, “the Year of Misfortune”, when thousands of people were either slaughtered or enslaved by Turkish invaders. At the base of the obelisk is a Latin inscription that reads: “For families and for our homeland, here we resisted until death in the year of 1558”.

The distinctive Town Hall stands on the site of an old Moorish fortress and is sympathetic to its predecessor, with arched porches and ornamental castellations. The 17th-century neoclassical palaces of Salort, Vivó and Torre Saura are ancestral homes of noble families who remain part of island society to this day.

Not far from the Plaça dés Born is the Catalan-Gothic Roman Catholic Cathedral which was commissioned by King Alfonso III in 1287. The nearby Roser Church is another excellent example of a more Churrigueresque (Baroque) façade. The beautiful arcade of Ses Voltes is one of the most famous pedestrian streets in the city and is notable for its porched walkways and handicraft shops. Here you may also spot an unusual bronze of a lamb, alluding to the city’s lively Festival of Saint Joan, when a young ram is carried through the city to symbolise Saint John the Baptist’s recognition of Jesus as the Son of God.

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Island Highlights

Mahon, Spain
Half Day Significant Steps
Menorca’s highest peak, Monte Toro, has been a place of pilgrimage since the 13th-century, when a bull is said to have led a group of monks to a cave containing an image of the Virgin Mary.

Menorca’s highest peak, Monte Toro, has been a place of pilgrimage since the 13th-century, when a bull is said to have led a group of monks to a cave containing an image of the Virgin Mary. Near the summit of the mountain is a 17th-century church known as the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Toro, which is maintained by an order of nuns and is open to visitors. In front of the sanctuary is a magnificent Statue of The Sacred Heart featuring a memorial dedicated to the people of Menorca who died during the two wars between Spain and Morocco. Monte Toro is visible from anywhere on the island, so the views from the top are truly breathtaking.

Continuing to the coast, Fornells is a charming fishing village at the mouth of an impressive natural harbour. During the 16th-century it became an attractive target for Barbary pirates, forcing a series of coastal defences to be built with varying degrees of success. In 1782 the largest of these, Sant Antoni Castle, was dismantled, but its ruins remain on the waterfront. British occupation in the 19th-century led to the construction of yet another watchtower, which today remains completely intact and is open to the public. Fornells is also renowned for its excellent seafood and has a marina full of traditional Menorcan fishing boats named “llauts”.

The final stop on the tour is the extraordinary model fishing village of Binibeca, which was built in 1972 by the architect Antoni Sintes and has been carefully designed to recreate an authentic island settlement of whitewashed houses, cobbled streets and narrow passages.

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Palma City Highlights

Palma, Spain
Half Day Significant Steps
A masterpiece of aesthetic design and strategic defence, Bellver Castle in Palma stands atop a verdant hill overlooking Mallorca’s capital city, where it remains the only circular castle ever built in Spain. Looking out across the Bay of Palma from this remarkable perspective, you will easily be able to see why Bellver means “beautiful view’.

A masterpiece of aesthetic design and strategic defence, Bellver Castle in Palma stands atop a verdant hill overlooking Mallorca’s capital city, where it remains the only circular castle ever built in Spain. Looking out across the Bay of Palma from this remarkable perspective, you will easily be able to see why Bellver means “beautiful view’.

 

The castle was constructed by King James II in 1310 but was seldom used by the royal family. During the Napoleonic era it was converted into a prison for enemies of the state, some of whom carved graffiti into the stonework that is still visible on the upper levels. Your guided tour of this marvellous citadel also includes the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat, located on the ground floor of the castle, which houses classical sculptures and Arabian pottery acquired during the 18th-century alongside rooms dedicated to the history of Palma.

 

You will then be driven to the old quarter of the city for a visit to the breathtaking Roman Catholic Cathedral, more commonly known as “La Seu”. This magnificent example of Catalan-Gothic design was inspired by Notre Dame in Paris but exceeds its French cousin in size and scope. La Seu has one of the world’s largest stain glass windows, measuring nearly twelve metres across and containing over 1,200 pieces of glass. It also features flourishes added by Antoni Gaudí during the early 20th-century, when he was briefly involved in its restoration.

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Scenic Palma and Valldemossa

Palma, Spain
Half Day Uphill SectionsWinding road
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearics and a popular destination for fun seekers, but there is so much more to the island than beaches, bars and nightclubs. The cosmopolitan capital of Palma de Mallorca holds its own against any city on the Spanish mainland and is packed with fascinating history.

Mallorca is the largest of the Balearics and a popular destination for fun seekers, but there is so much more to the island than beaches, bars and nightclubs. The cosmopolitan capital of Palma de Mallorca holds its own against any city on the Spanish mainland and is packed with fascinating history.

A guided driving tour is the perfect way to include all the major landmarks, from the magnificent flying buttresses of the Catalan-Gothic Cathedral to the Royal Palace of La Almudaina. As you pass through the maze of sandstone streets in the Moorish old quarter to the flamboyant flower-stalls of the tree-lined La Rambla boulevard, the layout of the city comes alive with a rich variety of outstanding architecture.

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Palma behind, the tour then transports you through pine forests and olive groves to the idyllic mountain town of Valldemossa, where Frédéric Chopin and the French author George Sand sojourned together from 1838 to 1839, a season that later inspired her novel, “A Winter in Majorca”.

Your time in Valldemossa includes a tour of the Carthusian Monastery where Chopin and Sand stayed, followed by a delightful piano recital of Chopin’s music. Returning to the outskirts of the capital, you will then see the only circular fortress in Spain, the 14th-century Bellver Castle. This fairytale fortress sits at the centre of a hillside forest overlooking the city and has stunning views in all directions, including across the Bay of Palma.

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Historic Soller Railway

Palma, Spain
Half Day Significant StepsUphill Sections
The narrow-gauge Ferrocarril de Sóller railway has connected the city of Palma with Sollér for over a hundred years. This delightful line features vintage carriages adorned with authentic burnished wood and brass fittings, making it a wonderful way to see some of the Mallorcan countryside.

The narrow-gauge Ferrocarril de Sóller railway has connected the city of Palma with Sollér for over a hundred years. This delightful line features vintage carriages adorned with authentic burnished wood and brass fittings, making it a wonderful way to see some of the Mallorcan countryside. Following a panoramic drive through Palma, your journey begins at the station of Son Reus and takes about fifty minutes to reach the picturesque “orange” town of Sollér, seventeen miles to the north.

 

Along the way the route passes fairytale villages and orange groves, stops at peaceful waystations and crosses spectacular viaducts, including the eight metre high arches of the Cinq Pons. There’s also the extraordinary Túnel Major, which cuts through the Alfàbia Mountains for nearly two miles and is an astonishing feat of Fin de siècle engineering.

 

Arriving in Sollér, this charming hillside town is filled with marvellous architectural attractions, including the Art Nouveau Casa de la Vila and the mediaeval Iglesia de San Bartolomé. Partially rebuilt during the 17th-century, this remarkable parish church received a new façade in 1904, designed by the Catalan modernist Joan Rubió, who was a keen admirer of Antoni Gaudí.

 

After exploring the town at leisure, you may like to return to Sollér Station in time to visit another attraction that is often missed. Just inside the main entrance you will find a lovely museum containing ceramics by Picasso, as well as lithographs and paintings by Joan Miró.

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Panoramic Malaga and Picasso Museum

Malaga, Spain
Half Day
Departing from the pier this tour will show you the major coastal city of Andalusia: Málaga. Take a panoramic drive and pass by some outstanding structures, parks and gardens. Before returning to the pier enjoy some free time.

Departing from the pier this tour will show you the major coastal city of Andalusia: Malaga. Although Malaga may at first appear a little austere, the historic city centre is charming with its majestic, unfinished Gothic cathedral, surrounded by traditional balconied buildings, narrow pedestrian streets and some of the best tapas bars in the province. In recent years, the city has heavily invested in its culture and heritage with new museums. Malaga is a joy to stroll around, with a skyline that reflects the city’s eclectic character; church spires jostle for space with russet-red tiled roofs and lofty apartment buildings while, like a grand old dame, the 11th-century Gibralfaro Castle sits grandly and provides the best view of all.

Take a panoramic drive and pass by some outstanding structures of Mudejar and Gothic architecture, parks, gardens and the city's bullring before reaching the famous Gibralfaro Castle for a short exterior visit and photo stop. Your next stop will be the Picasso Museum, which is located in the Buenavista Palace. This historical building boasts classical characteristics of 16th century Andalusian architecture, whereby Renaissance and Mudejar elements are mixed. The collection inside the museum gathers together paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramic and graphic works of this unique artist throughout his life. This enviable collection of 204 works, 155 donated and 49 loaned to the museum by Christine Ruiz-Picasso (wife of Paul, Picasso’s eldest son) and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso (his grandson), includes some wonderful paintings of the family, including the heartfelt Paulo con gorro blanco (Paulo with a white cap), a portrait of Picasso’s eldest son painted in the 1920s. Don’t miss the Phoenician, Roman, Islamic and Renaissance archaeological remains in the museum’s basement, discovered during construction works. After the visit, enjoy some free time before returning to the pier.

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UNESCO World Heritage Site

Granada & Alhambra Palace Tour

Malaga, Spain
Full Day Extensive WalkingLunch IncludedCobbled StreetsSignificant Steps
The Alhambra was a palace, a fortress and home of the Nasrid Sultans. The Nasrid Dynasty (1238-1492), was the last Islamic sultanate in the Iberian Peninsula and the Nasrid Sultans chose this site for their court as it was the ideal place from which to keep watch over the capital of their kingdom and the surrounding area.

"Everything here appears calculated to inspire kind and happy feelings, for everything is delicate and beautiful. The very light falls tenderly from above, through the lantern of a dome tinted and wrought as if by fairy hands." Washington Irving, Tales of the Alhambra.

Leave the port of Malaga and drive through the wonderful landscape of Andalusia passing endless fields of olive trees and picturesque villages. Your journey takes you to one of the most magical places in the world and the most outstanding symbol of Moorish heritage in Spain, the Alhambra. The Alhambra was a palace, a fortress and home of the Nasrid Sultans. The Nasrid Dynasty (1238-1492), was the last Islamic sultanate in the Iberian Peninsula and the Nasrid Sultans chose this site for their court as it was the ideal place from which to keep watch over the capital of their kingdom and the surrounding area. From the beginning of the 13th century, the original fortress grew into a huge walled site that was clearly intended to be both a palace and court.

Within this gradual change, different stages of development, grandeur and decadence can clearly be seen through the various works of art and buildings erected over the years. The Alhambra was not a single construction, but rather the result of an evolution of successive reforms and extensions. Your guide will take you inside the “Alqala hamra”, meaning "red castle" where you will be able to visit the Nazaries Palaces with intricately carved stucco walls, knotted ceilings, elaborate honeycomb vaulting, and beautiful courtyards; “Serallo”, the official residence of the Sultan and the Harem, which surrounds the famous "Patio de los Leones," with its fountains feeding water through the mouths of 12 lions (representing months of the year), and many other wonderful sites within the fortress.

Continuing on, the tour will visit the “Generalife Palace” which was build as the summer paradise for the Sultans of Granada. Its lovely terraces, grottoes, flowerbeds and fabulous fountains will make you feel the glamour of the Moorish inhabitants. After taking in all of these wonderful sites you will enjoy a traditional lunch at a local restaurant. Finally, and to round the day off, there’s a panoramic tour around the city of Granada before returning to Malaga.

Note: The price of this excursion already allows a credit for the unused half day excursion

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Panoramic Malaga

Malaga, Spain
Half Day
Take a panoramic drive and pass by some outstanding structures of Mudejar and Gothic architecture, parks, gardens and the city's bullring before reaching the famous Gibralfaro Castle for a short exterior visit and photo stop. Before returning to the pier enjoy some free time.

Take a panoramic drive and pass by some outstanding structures of Mudejar and Gothic architecture, parks, gardens and the city's bullring before reaching the famous Gibralfaro Castle for a short exterior visit and photo stop. Before returning to the pier enjoy some free time.

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Jerez and Sherry Tasting

Cadiz, Spain
Half day
Cadiz has clung to Spain’s Atlantic coast for over 4,000 years and in this time its influence has been felt far and wide. The city has long been considered a bridge between Europe and Africa and was the gateway to the Americas during the age of discovery.

Cadiz has clung to Spain’s Atlantic coast for over 4,000 years and in this time its influence has been felt far and wide. The city has long been considered a bridge between Europe and Africa and was the gateway to the Americas during the age of discovery.

The old city is immensely intriguing – a cluster of narrow streets opening on to charming small squares. You will appreciate the atmosphere and history of Cadiz during a drive through the city from the delightful ancient seaport, passing the 18th century baroque cathedral, then around the old part of the city with its splendid views over the bay. You will see the Plaza Espana and the gardens where the famous monument of Las Cortes (Spanish Parliament) of 1812 is situated. Then you will continue to the Moorish-style Alameda de Apodaca Gardens, a reminder of their occupancy in past centuries. The cathedral with its famous towering golden domes acts as a landmark against the Cadiz skyline, and the famous composer Manuel de Falla is buried here.

After this, you will drive inland to the historic town of Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez is home to dozens of sherry companies, and a visit will be made to the well-known Bodega Gonzalez Byass, which produces some of the most delicious sherry in the world. Here, the ageold process of blending is explained and then you will be invited to sample various types of the fortified wine in the unique atmosphere of the cellars.

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Cadiz City Highlights

Cadiz, Spain
Half Day Extensive Walking
Enjoy the picturesque views of the seaport as you make your way to the old quarter of Cadiz. Here you will see the most beautiful monuments of Cadiz. Start by passing the tobacco factory built in 1741, which now serves as the Congress building,

Enjoy the picturesque views of the seaport as you make your way to the old quarter of Cadiz. Here you will see the most beautiful monuments of Cadiz. Start by passing the tobacco factory built in 1741, which now serves as the Congress building, Santo Domingo Church, and the old Royal Prison. Then carry on to the ancient Phoenician port of La Caleta, and the Santa Catalina Fortress. Finished in the seventeenth century, Santa Catalina was part of a series of fortifications designed to protect Cadiz from the English after Sir Francis Drake had successfully breached the harbour in 1587 in an attack that became known as “singeing the King of Spain’s beard”. You'll continue towards the San Carlos Gate for a tour of the old town. Among its many historical monuments, El Populo's stone gates were there to bid Christopher Columbus goodbye as he left the Cadiz harbour on his second trip in 1493. Afterwards, you will visit the Cathedral of Cadiz and the Diocesan Museum. It took 116 years to complete this 18th century Baroque and neo-classical Cathedral. You then head to the picturesque Plaza Flores, and the Plaza de Espana with its massive monument commemorating the meeting of the Cortes, Spain’s first representative national assembly, in 1810-12.

 

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UNESCO World Heritage Site

Cordoba

Seville, Spain
Full day Extensive WalkingLunch Included
In its history, Cordoba has been both a capital of a Roman province and capital of the Arab state of Al-Andalus. A great cultural reference point in Europe, this ancient city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains a mixture of wonderful buildings, monuments and artefacts that are a reminder of the cultures that have settled it throughout history.

In its history, Cordoba has been both a capital of a Roman province and capital of the Arab state of Al-Andalus. A great cultural reference point in Europe, this ancient city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains a mixture of wonderful buildings, monuments and artefacts that are a reminder of the cultures that have settled it throughout history. It has been estimated that in the 10th century Cordoba was the most populous city in the world, and today it is a moderately sized city with a population of about 330,000.

The historic quarter of Cordoba is a beautiful network of small streets, alleys, squares and whitewashed courtyards arranged around the Mezquita, which reflects the city's prominent place in the Islamic world during medieval times. You will visit the most famous and inspiring monuments of the city, including the Roman Bridge and the famous Great Mosque, a building that was considered a wonder of the medieval world by both Muslims and Christians. The building is most notable for its giant arches with over 1,000 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously. When Cordoba was re-conquered from the Moors in 1236 by King Ferdinand III of Castile, the mosque became a Catholic church.

Another highlight is the old Jewish quarter. You will have the opportunity to visit the ancient market, now transformed to artisan market, and walk through the well known “Calle de las Flores” or “street of flowers”, a beautiful example of a typical Andalusian street decorated with plants and flowers. Before heading to lunch, you will have some time at leisure to explore the city independently

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Seville City Highlights

Seville, Spain
Half Day Cobbled Streets
Seville is a beautiful and romantic place. Legend has it this Andalusian city was founded 3,000 years ago by Hercules and it is also said to be the birthplace of flamenco. Your tour will, we trust, give you a flavour of this intoxicating place.

Seville is a beautiful and romantic place. Legend has it this Andalusian city was founded 3,000 years ago by Hercules and it is also said to be the birthplace of flamenco. Your tour will, we trust, give you a flavour of this intoxicating place. Admire the exterior of the spectacular fifteenth-century Cathedral of Seville which is the third largest in Europe and one of the last built in the Gothic style. It stands on the site of the great 12th-century Almohad mosque, with the mosque’s minaret (the Giralda) still towering beside it.  It has been said that if heaven does exist then it probably looks like Seville’s Royal Palace Alcazar. A building existed on this site as early as 913 but the main construction was carried out in the early fourteenth century with the sublime Mudejar Palacio de Don Pedro being completed in 1366. The Alcazar is a functioning royal palace and some of the Upper Royal Quarters are still used by the Spanish royal family. Finally, stroll through the Old Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz with its labyrinth of narrow streets and lovely Moorish courtyards. 

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Santiago de Compostela

Vigo, Spain
Full Day Extensive Walking
Vigo, the Gateway to the Atlantic, is a great combination of ancient history, beautiful beaches and a modern cosmopolitan outlook. This Galician city also has a proud heritage. Vigo was where the Roman Empire met the ocean and, in the 19th century, it became the main transatlantic departure point for a nation.

Vigo, the Gateway to the Atlantic, is a great combination of ancient history, beautiful beaches and a modern cosmopolitan outlook. This Galician city also has a proud heritage. Vigo was where the Roman Empire met the ocean and, in the 19th century, it became the main transatlantic departure point for a nation.

Leave Vigo by road for Santiago de Compostela one of the most important places in Catholicism, because it is reputed to be the place where St James, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, is buried.

On arrival, enjoy a guided tour of Obradoiro Square. Named after the workmen who built the Cathedral, this square sits in front of the main entrance of the Cathedral on its northern façade.

Facing the Cathedral is the Palacio de Rajoy that was built in the eighteenth century to house the choirboys and a seminary for priests. It was later used as a prison and is now the Town Hall. Facing the Cathedral is the Hostal dos Reis Catolicos that was built as a hospital for pilgrims during the reign of the Catholic kings in the XV century and today is one of the most beautiful buildings combining different styles such as Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque.

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is the reputed burial-place of Saint James, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, and it has been a place of pilgrimage on the Way of St James since the early Middle Ages. What we see today is actually the fourth church to stand on this spot. The lavish baroque façade facing Praza do Obradoiro was erected in the 18th century, replacing the weather-damaged Romanesque one. This is the cathedral's main entrance, but owing to repair work on the towers and interior, it's likely to be closed until about 2021. In the meantime, most people enter through the south door on Praza das Praterias.

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Leisurely Sightseeing of Vigo

Vigo, Spain
Half Day
On this leisurely visit to Vigo, you will enjoy some panoramic views over the Galician countryside and across the bay that is peppered with numerous mussel farms as your tour winds through the city to La Guia Hill.

On this leisurely visit to Vigo, you will enjoy some panoramic views over the Galician countryside and across the bay that is peppered with numerous mussel farms as your tour winds through the city to La Guia Hill.

Here your guide will give more information on the fountains, monuments and statues of Plaza de Espana and Plaza de America that feature some of the most outstanding examples of their kind in Spain, including the bronze Fishermen and the Statue of the Wild Horses.

Then in the 17th century Castrelos Park, you will have free time to explore the French style gardens, located within the grounds of a 17th-century palace that has recently been restored to become the Quinones de Leon Municipal Museum.

A stop will then be made at the 19th-century Galician country manor of Pazo Los Escudos. Now a 5-star exclusive hotel, the manor houses a fabulous collection of family coats of arms of Galicia, dating between the 15th and 19th-centuries. Then sit back and enjoy a selection of typical Spanish tapas, with wine and other refreshments, and marvel at the magnificent vistas.

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Santiago de Compostela

La Coruna, Spain
Full Day Extensive WalkingLunch Included
Vigo, the Gateway to the Atlantic, is a great combination of ancient history, beautiful beaches and a modern cosmopolitan outlook. This Galician city also has a proud heritage. Vigo was where the Roman Empire met the ocean and, in the 19th century, it became the main transatlantic departure point for a nation.

Leave La Coruna by road for Santiago de Compostela, one of the most important places in Catholicism, because it is reputed to be the place where St James, one of the twelve Apostles of Christ, is buried. On arrival, enjoy a guided tour of Obradoiro Square.

Named after the workmen who built the Cathedral, this square sits in front of the main entrance of the Cathedral on its northern façade. Facing the Cathedral is the Palacio de Rajoy that was built in the eighteenth century to house the choirboys and a seminary for priests. It was later used as a prison and is now the Town Hall.

Facing the Cathedral is the Hostal dos Reis Catolicos that was built as a hospital for pilgrims during the reign of the Catholic kings in the XV century and today is one of the most beautiful buildings combining different styles such as Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela has been a place of pilgrimage on the Way of St James since the early Middle Ages.

What we see today is actually the fourth church to stand on this spot. The lavish baroque façade facing Praza do Obradoiro was erected in the 18th century, replacing the weather-damaged Romanesque one. This is the cathedral's main entrance, but owing to repair work on the towers and interior, it's likely to be closed until about 2021. In the meantime, most people enter through the south door on Praza das Praterias.

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A taste of La Coruna

La Coruna, Spain
Half Day Cobbled Streets
Settled in Roman times, La Coruna grew into an important port that saw off the attentions of Sir Francis Drake in the sixteenth century and went on to be the gateway through which thousands of Galicians travelled on their way to a new life in America. Begin with a visit to the Town Hall in the Plaza Maria Pita.

Settled in Roman times, La Coruna grew into an important port that saw off the attentions of Sir Francis Drake in the sixteenth century and went on to be the gateway through which thousands of Galicians travelled on their way to a new life in America. Begin with a visit to the Town Hall in the Plaza Maria Pita.

La Coruna's main plaza takes its name from the town's heroine, Maria Pita who came to fame as a result of her role in Sir Francis Drake's attack in 1589. Continue on foot to visit the old part of the city, which contains most of the city’s historical monuments. Then drive along La Coruna’s waterfront boulevard, and visit the Archaeological Museum located at the Castle of San Anton.

Close by is the Tower of Hercules, an ancient Roman Lighthouse, almost 1,900-years-old and standing 185 feet (57 meters) high. The Tower of Hercules is unique as it is the only lighthouse of Greco-Roman antiquity to have retained a measure of structural integrity and functional continuity and it still remains working nowadays.

Finally, enjoy an appetiser or a drink in La Coruna before returning to the pier.

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Valencia City Tour

Valencia, Spain
Half Day Cobbled Streets

Few cities are able to combine so harmoniously the remains from an ancient history with the most modern, avant-garde buildings as well as Valencia. You will visit both the historical centre and the most modern part of the city. Start by viewing the most outstanding monuments in the city including the fourteenth century church of the Knights Templar, the North Station, a modernist building designed by the architect Demetrio Ribes and inaugurated in 1917, and the Serranos and Quart Towers the only two doors that were conserved from the old wall that protected Valencia for 500 years.

Continue to the Central Market (for an outside visit), Lonja (old silk exchange) – this building is one of the best examples of civic Gothic architecture, a work of great beauty by Pere Compte. For years Round Square has been used as a market and meeting place. Nowadays it is the scene of some fantastic handicraft stalls and souvenir shops.

Steeped in history, the main Cathedral in Valencia's Plaza de la Virgen was built on the site of a former Roman temple and Muslim mosque. You will also see the exterior of the Basilica and the Generalitat Palace, which is a flamboyant Gothic building dating from 1421 that was the seat of the Valencian Government. In the most modern part of the city the highlight is the new landmark of Valencia, the City of Arts & Sciences, the largest cultural-educational complex in Europe.

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Panoramic Valencia

Valencia, Spain
Half Day

Valencia is Spain’s third largest city and this panoramic drive will showcase its outstanding place in the nation’s architectural and cultural history. Columbus market is a Modernist gem, heavily inspired by Gaudi, while the Plaza de la Virgen is one of the oldest squares in Valencia, dating back to Roman times. The Plaza de Toros, or Bullring, was built between 1850 and 1859 and follows the neoclassical Roman civic style of architecture, featuring a polygon shape and nearly four hundred external arches.

Next to the Bullring is the city’s main railway station, the Estacio del Nord, with its stunning Modernist façade in the Sezesion Vienesa style. Built between 1906 and 1917, by Valencian architect Demetrio Ribes, its decorations include many elements of Valencian culture, from oranges and traditional houses to women dressed in customary attire. Passing Valencia’s City Hall, there will be a photo-stop and some free time at the Cathedral, which, like many other structures of its kind on the Spanish peninsula, is an intriguing synthesis of Roman, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.

You will be driven to the old silk exchange of La Lonja, the Central Market, and the impressive Gothic-styled Serranos and Quart Towers, remnants of the city’s old defensive structures, before The City of the Arts and Sciences completes the tour. One of the “12 Treasures of Spain”, this complex is also the most popular destination in the city.

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Barcino: The Roman City

Barcelona, Spain
Half Day Significant Steps
Descend to a unique underground museum for a glimpse of everyday life in Barcino, as Roman Barcelona was called.

Descend to a unique underground museum for a glimpse of everyday life in Barcino, as Roman Barcelona was called. Hidden under the medieval buildings and squares of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter is a town of far greater antiquity.

Roman troops arrived here during the Punic Wars (264 to 146BC) and remained for over 600 years, putting their imprint on the language, law and culture. Not all of the ancient colony is underground. Sections of the original walls, towers and gates can be seen en route to Plaza Ramon Berenguer and Plaza Nova, where an aqueduct and main road once connected Barcino with the rest of the Empire.

View the Forum with its remains of a 1st century temple to Caesar Augustus. Then take an elevator to get an in-depth look at daily life in Roman times. Visit one of Europe's largest underground archaeological sites at the Barcelona City History Museum. Stroll metal walkways through workaday Barcino with its laundry, dye shop, salted fish factory and wine shop to get a slice of life – 20 centuries ago.

Collections of objects found at the digs include Roman portraits, mosaics, Roman and Hebrew inscriptions, as well as the utensils of daily life. Emerge from this tour with an enriched understanding of Roman influence and appreciation of Barcelona's antiquity.

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UNESCO World Heritage Site

Gaudí's Golden Works

Barcelona, Spain
Half Day Significant Steps
With undulating façades, fantastic designs and daring innovations, Barcelona's early 20th century Modernist buildings are famed, especially those by Antoni Gaudí, many designated World Heritage Sites.

Antoni Gaudi's work is admired by architects around the World as being one of the most unique and distinctive architectural styles. His work has greatly influenced the face of Barcelona’s architecture and you will see stunning examples of Gaudi's work all around the city centre.

Departing from the pier, you will start with a brief panoramic drive to the Sagrada Familia (outside visit), Gaudi’s most emblematic work and the greatest example of his genius. This famous structure has become a symbol of Barcelona all over the world. Next, you will head to Passeig de Gracia, the famous boulevard where Gaudi’s houses of La Pedrera and Casa Batllo are located.

The present Casa Batllo is a result of a total refurbishment of an old previous conventional house built in 1877. Some people regard Casa Batllo as a building that embodies a unique fusion of art, architecture and design. It is celebrated for its visual solutions and its creative use of materials and colour. Casa Batllo has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage list since July 2005. After your tour of the interior, you take a short walk to La Pedrera for a photo stop. Once you arrive, you will look in vain for straight lines and admire the sumptuous curves of the façade, the wrought iron balconies with forms of plants, the paintings on the ceilings of the foyers, and much more.

Before returning to the ship – time permitting – you will have the chance to admire the Olympic Stadium while enjoying a panoramic drive through the Montjuic Mountain.

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Barcelona: Velasquez to Miro

Barcelona, Spain
Half Day
Barcelona is an art historian’s dream destination as its galleries contain some of the greatest works of art ever created. Your tour will start, however, with a drive towards the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona’s oldest neighbourhood.

Barcelona is an art historian’s dream destination as its galleries contain some of the greatest works of art ever created. Your tour will start, however, with a drive towards the Gothic Quarter, Barcelona’s oldest neighbourhood.

Take a stroll through the maze of streets and after a photostop at the Gothic Cathedral, continue your drive towards the Montjuic mountain. This site was selected for several venues during Barcelona’s 1992 Summer Olympics and hosts spaces like the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic Ring and other sporting facilities. You will then head to the National Art Museum of Catalunya (MNAC).

The MNAC is housed in the fabulous National Palace of Montjuic, a spectacular building with wonderful views over Barcelona. Here you will have the opportunity to gain an extraordinary insight into the development of Catalonia’s – and some of Europe’s – finest artists over the centuries.

The gallery’s most famous works date from the 16th to 18th centuries, and include paintings by El Greco, Velazquez, Rubens and other masterpieces from the Spanish Golden Age. The collection also includes a wide range of styles of the 19th and 20th centuries, from Neoclassicism to Avant-gardes of the 1950s. There are artworks by Fortuny, Casas, Rusinol, Gaudi, Picasso and Miro.

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Panoramic Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain
Half Day Extensive Walking
As soon as you enter the city you will find yourself immersed in Barcelona’s history. The imposing Columbus Monument, at nearly two hundred-feet-tall, serves as a reminder that Christopher Columbus reported from Barcelona to Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand V after his first trip to the new continent; while the Arc de Triomf, designed by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, stands as a similar testament to the 1888 Barcelona World Fair.

As soon as you enter the city you will find yourself immersed in Barcelona’s history. The imposing Columbus Monument, at nearly two hundred-feet-tall, serves as a reminder that Christopher Columbus reported from Barcelona to Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand V after his first trip to the new continent; while the Arc de Triomf, designed by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, stands as a similar testament to the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. Ciutadella Park, once the site of a citadel protecting the city, is today home to the Zoo and Museum of Natural Science, and boasts a beautiful fountain also dating back to the Universal Exposition.

A true highlight comes just a few blocks later, with a photo-stop at Antonio Gaudi’s masterpiece, Sagrada Familia. Work on the temple began in 1884 and although it remains unfinished, its profuse decoration and striking originality is a unique and breath-taking sight that towers over the downtown area. The Passeig de Gracia – a wide boulevard connecting the Gothic Quarter to the quarter of Gracia – is lined with exquisite Art Nouveau buildings including Gaudi’s Casa Batllo and Casa Mila, where you will pass by on your way to the Olympic Ring and Stadium, on the hill of Montjuic, before a final stop at one of Barcelona’s best viewpoints on your way back to Aegean Odyssey.

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UNESCO World Heritage Site

Highlights of Cordoba

Seville, Spain
Full Day Extensive WalkingLunch IncludedCobbled Streets

In its history, Cordoba has been both a capital of a Roman province and capital of the Arab state of Al-Andalus. A great cultural reference point in Europe, this ancient city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains a mixture of wonderful buildings, monuments and artefacts that are a reminder of the cultures that have settled it throughout history. It has been estimated that in the 10th century Cordoba was the most populous city in the world, and today it is a moderately sized city with a population of about 330,000.

The historic quarter of Cordoba is a beautiful network of small streets, alleys, squares and whitewashed courtyards arranged around the Mezquita, which reflects the city's prominent place in the Islamic world during medieval times. You will visit the most famous and inspiring monuments of the city, including the Roman Bridge and the famous Great Mosque, a building that was considered a wonder of the medieval world by both Muslims and Christians. The building is most notable for its giant arches with over 1,000 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously. When Cordoba was re-conquered from the Moors in 1236 by King Ferdinand III of Castile, the mosque became a Catholic church.

Another highlight is the old Jewish quarter. You will have the opportunity to visit the ancient market, now transformed to artisan market, and walk through the well known “Calle de las Flores” or “street of flowers”, a beautiful example of a typical Andalusian street decorated with plants and flowers. Before heading to lunch, you will have some time at leisure to explore the city independently.

Note: The price of this excursion already allows a credit for the unused half day excursion’

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Northern Lanzarote

Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Half Day

Lanzarote is different, not only compared to the other Canary islands, but to everything else on this planet. On this tour you will visit Haria with its gorgeous views over the valley of 1,000 palm trees: a green oasis in the midst of Lanzarote's arid landscape. Afterwards you will travel to the village of Maguez where the Volcan de La Corona (Volcano of the Crown) rises up before you. Continuing with the tour you will reach the town of Ye with the Mirador Del Rio.

It stands 479 metres high up on the top of the Famara Massive allowing for a magnificent view of the small group of islands and islets to the north of Lanzarote, known as the "Archipielago Chinijo" (The Tiny Archipielago).

Then on to the “Jameos del Agua” cave, the last stop on the route. This remarkable space is the result of volcanic activity and was decorated by the famous artist Cesar Manrique. The journey back passes by the wood loose cultivating lands near the villages of Mala and Guatiza.

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Lanzarote’s Natural World

Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Half Day Significant Steps

This trip takes you deep into the National Park Timanfaya to the famous Fire Mountains of Lanzarote. The unique landscape and amazing geological features have made Timanfaya one of the most important national parks in Spain. The absence of wildlife creates an apparent calm and silence.

It is hard to imagine how a volcanic eruption would be like, but the land is still bubbling beneath the surface and you will be amazed by the craters and the active volcanoes. During the tour you will enjoy the recorded testimony from a well-known priest from Yaiza who lived through an eruption that affected a great part of the south of the island. This volcanic event occurred on September 1st, 1730 and is known locally as the “Big Bang”.

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Around La Palma

La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
Half Day

La Palma is one of the most verdant of the Canary Islands, offering the opportunity to experience truly unspoiled nature. From the lush forests in the north to the desert landscapes of the south and the serene pine forests of the Parque Nacional de la Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma is a naturalists dream. From the port of Santa Cruz you will head to the village of El Paso which is situated in the Parque Nacional and surrounded by the mountains that form the Caldera de Taburiente.

The city of El Paso is situated on the mountain road connecting Los Llanos and Tazacorte with the capital and it is from this that it gets its name (El Paso or the pass). It belonged to the jurisdiction of the Valle de Aridane until 1837 when it got its independence. El Paso was given the official title of villa in 1878 and of city in 1910. Before leaving El Paso we will visit the Silk Museum. Not far from El Paso is our next stop: La Glorieta Square, a mosaic designed by the local artist Luis Morera, and built after Gaudi’s Park Güell in Barcelona. The stunning design depicts the flora and fauna of La Palma.

In the small town of Fuencaliente you can enjoy some free time before returning to the ship. Here you will find some cafes and bars as well as an interesting 18th century church.

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Caldera de Taburiente

La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
Half Day Extensive WalkingUphill Sections

It is but a short drive to reach the Santuario Virgen de Las Nieves, the Patron Saint of the island. This 17th-century church sits in a tranquil spot surrounded by trees and gardens. Inside is a fabulously ornate interior with myriad sculptures, crystal chandeliers and the Virgin Mary surrounded by a glittering altar. This 14th-century statue is the island’s oldest religious relic and every five years it features in a grand procession through Santa Cruz.

From here the journey will take you to the viewpoint known as the Mirador de la Cumbrecita. From there you will be astonished by the amazing views over the Caldera de Taburiente, a huge crater 8km in diameter with a circumference of almost 20km, which is one of the oldest National Parks in Spain. You will enjoy a guided walking tour (approx. one hour in duration) around the crater edge.

Before returning to the pier you will call at the viewpoint of La Concepcion to appreciate the amazing views over La Palma and its harbour.

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Highlights of Gran Canaria

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain
Half Day

The dramatic geological features of Gran Canaria are breathtaking as you start with a drive up to the volcanic crater of Bandama, an extinct volcano rising nearly 580 metres above sea level, where you will have the opportunity to enjoy the panoramic views over a unique landscape.
After a short photostop, the drive continues to the village of Teror, whose striking site on a plateau 575 metres above sea level has earned it the name of "the village in the air". Here, your guide will show you the most interesting colonial-style buildings culminating with an outside view of the basilica dedicated to the Virgen del Pino (Virgin of the Pine), which attracts a ceaseless stream of pilgrims.

Our next stop is the town of Arucas, a district that offers important architectural and urban assets. The city centre, declared a site of historic-artistic interest, is a place that visitors must not fail to see.
The Parish Church of San Juan Bautista is the leading architectural and social monument in the city. Built entirely in Arucas stone by local master masons, it dates from 1909 and, as well as the wealth of carved stone columns, there are also some beautiful stained glass windows that are the work of Canary Island painter Cristobal Hernandez de Quintana.

The tour continues to the Casa y Jardín de la Marquesa -the Marquise’s Palace and Gardens. This is an interesting architectural and natural site that belongs to the Marquise of Arucas. The house was built in 1880 and the spacious Romantic-style gardens around the house can also be visited. You will also have the opportunity of taste the famous Banana liquor before returning to the pier.

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