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Valletta is the capital of Malta. This remarkable fortified city with its massive bastions followed the most advanced Renaissance ideas in town planning, with streets laid straight on a grid looking over the Grand Harbour. Outside the 'City Gate' is the famous Triton Fountain. 'City Gate' has public buses and vendors selling soft drinks and all sorts of traditional fresh Maltese bread and sweets. Freedom Square shows an extraordinary capital with buildings of fine architecture of different tastes and styles ranging from the Mannerism to Baroque to Rococo to Neoclassicism. Valletta is a fascinating city for wandering around looking at what used to be the Knight's own cathedrals and Auberges. The city's backbone is Republic Street, which runs straight through the city center to Fort St. Elmo. Valletta has several narrow, steep side streets decorated with traditional Maltese pastel colored balconies and a statue on almost every street corner. There are plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants to choose from.
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As Sardinia's capital, Cagliari is both a thriving modern city and a fine example of the varied history of this Italian island. Explore the Roman amphitheater, Spanish townhouses, and Pisan watchtowers. Antiquities from the native Nuraghi culture and from the Phoenician era onward are well-displayed in the National Archaeological Museum.
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Mahon is a town known since antiquity for its natural harbor. Its coastline includes beautiful natural coves, rocky cliffs, and long beaches. Menorca is an open-air museum with archaeological remains giving evidence of Mediterranean cultures of thousands of years ago. Traces of English rule remain, especially in the design of tall houses with sash windows overlooking the harbor. Watersports are most popular of the wide range of leisure activities available. Sail boat rentals are available at numerous beaches and a golf course is located in Son Park. Menorca was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1993 - an acknowledgement of the island's environmental importance and artistic and cultural heritage. Santa Maria Church, located in Plaza de la Constitucion, was founded in 1287 and rebuilt in neo-classical style in the 18th century. Its 19th-century organ is one of the world’s largest, with 3,004 pipes. Sa Mesquida and Cala del Pilar are the two best beaches.
The Balearics are comprised of 16 islands; the three principal ones are Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca. Lying just 60 miles off the Spanish mainland, the islands’ lush and rugged landscape combined with an extremely mild, sunny climate prove irresistible. The Balearics boast cosmopolitan resorts with lively nightlife and plenty of sports activities. Palma de Majorca is the capital of the archipelago. A cosmopolitan city with sophisticated shops and restaurants, it also offers buildings of spectacular Moorish and gothic architecture. Museo de Mallorca housed in the Palacio Ayamans boasts an interesting collection of Moorish, medieval and 18th- to 19th-century art. Those who wish to explore the northern end of the island will enjoy the dramatic land and seascape of Cabo Formentor at the end of a long, narrow peninsula. A winding road with magnificent views leads to the luxury Hotel Formentor, beautifully situated above the bay. The lighthouse of Cabo Formentor is the most northerly point on Majorca.
Ibiza, often called the White Island for its typical architecture, became a major center of touristical attraction during the 1960s, being then famous for its "Hippie-Culture" and nudist beaches. Today Ibiza has offerings for families and older visitors, but there are the young ones who are attracted by the island's rollicking nightlife, which already starts in the afternoon, at the beaches and in the center of town, to continue until dawn in the numerous discotheques. Behind the beaches and in the island's interior, is a pure and simple Mediterranean culture, and remains of populations which inhabited Ibiza thousands of years ago, as for instance the famous wall-paintings of Ses Fontelles.
Today Spain's major commercial port and naval base, Cartagena lies on the coast of Murcia, its great indented bay guarded by rocky promontories, each topped by a fort. The city contains the remains of old walls, a castle constructed probably in Carthaginian times, and a church that was formerly a 13th-century cathedral. Attractive promenades extend along the harbour, while to the northeast is the famous beach and watersports resort area of the lagoon-like Mar Menor.
Located beneath the coastal hills of the sun-warmed shores of the Andalusian coast, midway between Malaga and Almeria, ancient Motril is a seaport and thriving beach resort that has drawn Phoenicians, Romans and Moors during its long history. Visit beautiful churches, Carchuna Fortress and the 16th century Casa de la Palma. This Andalusian city is gateway to Granada and the famed Alhambra, located inland at the foothills of the former capital to the Caliphs and Almoravids, which is 40 miles away.
Malaga is a popular holiday destination - known as the birthplace of Picasso and for sweet Malaga dessert wines from vineyards outside of town. Points of interest include impressive Gothic architecture, remains of a Moorish castle and interesting museums. Malaga is a popular starting point for trips to Granada and resorts along Costa del Sol. Splendid Granada and famed Alhambra are the region’s most outstanding attractions. Magnificent Moorish palaces and fortifications contrast sharply with Christian churches from Spain’s 1492 Reconquest era. Ronda's incredible location affording spectacular views over the valley and distant hills. Malaga Fine Arts Museum holds works by Spanish artists of the 16th to 20th centuries and by artists from Malaga, including Picasso. Marbella, which has been favored by the rich and famous, is a very popular holiday and yachting resort destination. One of the first resorts of the Costa del Sol, Torremolinos has luxury hotels, busy plazas and shopping streets, a lively art scene, a Wax Museum created by Madame Tussaud, and a glitzy casino.
Itinerary subject to change without notice. Please confirm itinerary at time of booking.
Rates are cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy. Government fees/taxes additional for all guests. Rates are subject to availability and may change without notice. Restrictions may apply. Fuel surcharges may apply. Please ask your travel counselor for details.
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