Embark on a 10-day Andalusian Spring Breeze cruise from Lisbon to Barcelona aboard Sea Cloud II, starting with a picturesque approach along the River Tagus to Lisbon, where the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Torre de Belém, stands. Explore Lisbon's diverse facets, from azulejos-adorned houses to Fado music. Set sail for Cádiz, an ancient city perched on a headland. In Seville, discover Moorish splendor and Gothic marvels along the Guadalquivir River. Tangier offers cosmopolitan charm, while Tetouan and Chefchaouen promise traditional Moroccan allure. Malaga boasts Picasso's legacy and the Alcazaba fortress. Valencia blends centuries-old charm with modern marvels, and Palma in Majorca features Gaudi's influence. Conclude your journey in Barcelona, where Gothic romance meets Gaudi's whimsical architecture.
Discover Lisbon's duality: Fado's melancholy meets vibrant joie de vivre
Immerse in Tangier's cosmopolitan charm and nearby oriental magic
Witness Málaga's renaissance with the Picasso Museum and Alcazaba
Embrace Valencia's fusion of ancient heritage and avant-garde modernity
The most beautiful approach to the Portuguese capital is to travel up the River Tagus. One of the city's most famous landmarks has been greeting visitors right on the estuary since 1521 – the Torre de Belém. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and transports you back to the glory days when Portugal was a naval power. There are many landmarks, such as the facades of the houses decorated with azulejos tilework and the ancient trams that rattle through the city. But Lisbon has many different sides. Joie de vivre comes face to face with the melancholy of Fado music, winding lanes in the old city meet wide boulevards, while magnificent churches and austere monasteries show the two sides of former religious faith.
The old city of Cádiz, around 3,000 years old, has a picturesque location on a narrow headland, right by the Playa de la Caleta with its elegant beachside promenade. Visit the Andalusian capital of Seville and you will be transported back to the heyday of Moorish splendor and rule, but also the age of discovery. This town sits on the Guadalquivir River and was a center of Spanish maritime trade with the New World. Many buildings in the old town are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the splendid Moorish Alcazar fortress and the huge Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Sede. Seville is a fun-loving city that is still at the center of Andalusian culture and is considered the proud birthplace of Flamenco.
With a population of around one million, Tangier is constantly on the move: The port city west of the Strait of Gibraltar, whose cosmopolitan charm has attracted many writers, has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom for years. Those who yearn for more traditional oriental magic will find what they are looking for nearby: Tetouan, the „white dove of the Mediterranean“ with its gleaming whitewashed houses, is not far away. The lively, authentic medina is hidden behind its thick city wall. Or would you prefer even more color? Then let’s go to Chefchaouen – the facades of this charming city shine in an extremely photogenic azure blue.
Málaga has spruced itself up. In 2003, the Museo Picasso opened in a 16th-century Renaissance palace and is dedicated to the artist's extensive life's work. This historic old city invites you to take a stroll and its buildings gleam like new. Above everything towers the Alcazaba, a mighty walled fortress. The port was completely redesigned when the city was opened to the sea and you can now take a lovely stroll along the promenade. In Malaga's hinterland, you can see the most beautiful aspects of traditional Andalusia. From a distance, the typical Andalusian villages look like white dabs of paint shining out from the brown of the barren mountain landscape.
On one corner it's centuries-old and around the next totally modern – Valencia is everything all at once. Today the beautiful old town and the old silk market "La Lonja de la Seda", which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, still bear witness to the city's wealth in the Middle Ages. A brand new part of the city is situated in a drained river bed and has avant-garde buildings including a futuristic opera house, the largest aquarium in Europe, a botanical garden and a public park. Valencia is one of the few cities that has a heritage of over 2,000 years and is also so intriguingly combined with the future. And no other city in Europe can proudly make the claim that the America’s Cup has already taken place twice right on its front door.
Majorca's beautiful capital is an elegant city and its picturesque old town and architectural mix of Arab, Catalan, and Art Nouveau elements are part of its success story. In the center you will be lured by shops behind splendid facades, and cafés and bars set on beautiful squares invite you to stay a while. Not far from the sophisticated marina, you will find the dignified cathedral, affectionately known as "La Seu" for short. With pure Gothic beginnings, none other than Antonio Gaudi created part of its interior at the start of the 20th century.
Day 10: Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona revels in contrasts. Many enthuse over the beautiful elegant squares and boulevards, while others look for medieval romance in the Gothic quarter. Some love the artistic treasures in the Picasso Museum or the Joan Miró Foundation, but for most people, Barcelona is the capital of Catalan Art Nouveau and its glory is epitomized in the spectacular Palau de la Música. At every turn, you encounter the playfully opulent creations of architect Antonio Gaudi. His exuberant fantasies are evident in the numerous houses, idiosyncratic parks, and the famous uncompleted Sagrada Familia cathedral which he created.
Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.