2019 Mediterranean Wine Cruise
Ports of Call
Lisbon is Portugal’s capital and is the country’s largest city. It dates back some two centuries BC. While Lisbon has modern areas with long wide boulevards shaded with large trees, gardens and lavish residential areas, it also offers a wonderful old section that is built on its terraced hillsides. Lisbon is both ancient and modern and offers superb shopping and sightseeing.
This port city is home of numerous wine shops offering the best in Portuguese port and other wines, as well as some excellent Italian wines also. Women and men’s fashions are everywhere as are shoe stores and other leather products. Prices in Portugal are much lower than in France for the same products and many of the same stores that are in France have locations in Lisbon. If you are going to be clothes shopping, Lisbon is the place to do it.
A hike up to the remnants of St. George's Castle is well worth the investment of energy and time as the views of Lisbon are spectacular. If you have been to Lisbon before try heading out to the villages on the Atlantic Ocean. Sinta is especially beautiful and offers incredible beauty among its narrow and winding medieval streets with lots of charming shops and boutiques.
Seville (Cadiz), Spain
Located in southern Spain, Cadiz sits on a sliver of land jutting out into the bay. Almost entirely surrounded by water, Cadiz is believed to be the oldest city in Europe. Formidable walls still stand, protecting and providing Cadiz with a skyline like no other. The old quarter is composed of picturesque buildings, parks, and gardens intertwined with narrow cobblestone streets and squares.
A relaxed and easygoing city, Cadiz is easy and fun to explore. Museums, restaurants and quaint shops are plentiful. In the spring, the normaly quiet city erupts with a carnival celebration considered to be the liveliest and most important in Spain. For 10 days the streets are filled with people singing, dancing and celebrating in colorful costumes.
Beyond Cadiz, is the beautiful countryside of Andalucia and Jerez. The legendary Bodegas of Jerez produce some of the finest Sherry wine in the world and the city is also known for its magnificent horses. To the north of Cadiz is Seville, considered one of the most beautiful cities in all of Spain. This historic city is rich in architectural masterpieces. Magnificent churches, plazas, and meandering alleyways grace this spirited city.
The Malaga Port is an international seaport located in the city of Malaga, Spain. It rests on the Costa del Sol coast, along the Mediterranean, in the southern portion of Spain. An interesting fact about the Malaga port of call is that it is the oldest, continuously operating port in the country and one of the oldest in the Mediterranean. The Malaga cruise terminal is in fact, a large cruising port currently, though it also serves as a center for manufactured goods transport. In addition, a small fishing fleet operates from the port itself. It is a large port, with 10 operational wharfs. Visitors may make their way into the city of Malaga by bus or taxi.
Malaga port and the city surrounding it offers visitors a range of things to do. The beaches line the coasts and make for an ideal getaway. Tourists often visit Alcazaba, a palace in the heart of the city. There are three courtyards within, including the Patio de los Surtidores with numerous fountains. The Torre de la Armadura Mudejar is an area within the building that features a 16th century carved wooden ceiling. Throughout the Malaga port, there are fantastic locations to eat, including street side vendors. In addition, stop in La Posada de Antonio, featuring outstanding seafood dishes. El Pimpi's, Clandestino and Las Papas are also idea restaurants to visit for local, traditional cuisine. For good tapas, visit Gorkis, in the center of town. For those in the old center of
the city, Larious Street offers Café Chinitas, an excellent location for a drink and fast lunch that is inexpensive.
Lying on Spain's radiant Costa Blanca, Alicante exudes a rare beauty. Lovely Baroque buildings cluster around the historic central district. Marble plazas grace its broad waterfront boulevard, the illustrious Explanada de Espana. Pristine beaches like San Juan hug the shoreline. It's no surprise that Alicante is popular year-round. Venture to the grand Castle of Santa Barbara overlooking the city and walk from its high towers down into the dungeon. Stop for a glass of refreshing sangria in the Old Quarter. Behold the masterpieces hanging in the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts, a former 18th century palace.
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Palma de Mallorca, a major port city on the island of Mallorca and the capital of Spain's Balearic Islands, is a delightful cross between the Arabian Nights and the Renaissance, reflecting its checkered past of African and European control. It is the largest city on Mallorca, home to about 300,000 people -- a big, bustling place, with most of the tourist action in the old part of town around the Cathedral. The architecture of this ancient Mediterranean port blends Gothic, Moorish and Renaissance styles. Palma's winding streets make way to grand churches, yacht harbors, beaches, fountains and old castles. Because there is so much history, so close together, it's a perfect port to explore on foot. The snaky, narrow streets hold many surprises -- including the occasional dead end (beware of the passages around the Cathedral … you truly cannot get from here to there!).
This sun-kissed port is also an outdoors city in-season, with much pedestrian traffic and the opportunity to eat or relax outside in a myriad of settings -- some free (parks and boulevards), and some in conjunction with visits to museums and historical sites (always look for interior courtyards, extra features of older buildings). For sun worshippers, the beaches are close by and the water is wonderfully clear.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia as well as Spain’s second largest city. Dominated by Montjuic, Vallvidrera and the Tibidabo Hills, sophisticated Barcelona is rich in ancient and modern architectural and artistic treasures. Many talented artists, sculptors and architects lived here, including Picasso, Miró, Mares and Barcelona’s best-known architect, Antonio Gaudí.
Barcelona’s beginnings as a major port can be found already in Roman times. However, the most significant period was during the Middle Ages when the city's wealth equaled that of the whole Catalunya province. Splendid buildings from the Middle Ages and a unique ambiance still make Barcelona one of the most attractive cities in Europe, drawing scores of visitors to see and enjoy the sights. In addition to its medieval setting and narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter, there are magnificent avenues through the modern part of the city, which are particularly noted for their landmark buildings of Gaudí’s design.
Marseilles (Provence), France
Marseille is a vibrant, cosmopolitan port and the most populated city in the country after Paris. The craggy, mountainous interland of the Provence provides Marseille with a spectacular backdrop. It is the country's most important seaport and the largest one in the Mediterranean. The city is divided into 16 arrondissements fanning out from the Old Port. The large industrial port area virtually rubs shoulders with the intimate, picturesque old harbor, the Vieux Port. Packed with fishing boats and pleasure crafts, this is the heart of Marseille. Two fortresses guard the entrance to the harbor.
Several vantage points offer spectacular views, including the striking Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde. This prominent landmark, overlooking the city, is crowned by a monumental gilded statue of the Virgin Mary. Marseille boasts numerous fine museums that are well worth a visit. Relaxing at one of the many outside cafés or strolling through the Old Port area allows you to enjoy the unpretentious charm of this city.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
The independent principality of Monaco is famous as the playground of the Côte d’Azur. With nice beaches, elegant hotels and a vibrant nightlife, this tiny domain is a favorite haunt of the jet set. In the possession of the Grimaldi family for more than 700 years, a treaty with France guarantees Monaco’s independence as long as the principality is governed by the Grimaldis.
The fashionable enclave numbers only about 32,000 inhabitants and is smaller than New York’s Central Park, but it boasts some of the most expensive real estate in the world. In addition to its luxury hotels and beautiful beaches, Monaco is noted for its mild climate and magnificent scenery. Once an exclusive wintering stop for Europe’s aristocracy, today there are more than five million visitors annually. Of the principality’s four sections - La Condamine, Fontvieille, Monaco-Ville and Monte Carlo, the latter two rank highest on every visitor’s must-see list.