Magic of Spain
You’ll feel like you’ve switched continents when you dine at this restaurant. It offers a pan-Asian selection of curries and noodle dishes, a separate sushi menu, plus bespoke dishes created by master chef Ian Pengelley exclusively for Marella Cruises. This is one of the ship's speciality restaurants, so there's a charge to dine here – plus, we recommend you make a reservation in advance.
You’ll be whisked to sunny Spain when you dine in this section of The Mediterranean, which specialises in tapas dishes for dinner. Or you can take your taste buds over to Portugal and try espetadas – meat or veg skewers – for a little extra. It's open at lunchtime, too, for light bites, like sandwiches and jacket potatoes.
The main waiter service restaurant is a good-looking place, with a gold-and-grey colour scheme and floor-to-ceiling windows. Menu-wise, you can expect traditional dishes with a modern twist.
From its impressive harbour to its streets packed with Moorish relics, Cadiz is a great introduction to Spain. One minute you can be admiring medieval walls, the next…Time in port: 08:00 - 16:00
On this trip, you’ll get to explore photogenic Cadiz, which is thought to be Europe’s oldest city. Kick things off with a short drive along the coast making a stop at Genoves Park. Stroll through the well-groomed gardens to Caleta Bay where things might look familiar. This was one of the filming locations from the James Bond blockbuster, ‘Die Another Day’. Back on the coach, you’ll arrive in the old town, called Plaza San Juan de Dios, where you’ll set off on another walking tour – this time of the city. Your guide will lead you through narrow, cobbled streets, pointing out 18th-century houses and shops, and giving you the background on sights like the Town Hall and the Cathedral. The latter dominates the entire town with its huge gold dome and baroque façade. Later, you’ll cross the busy squares of Plaza San Antonio, Plaza Mina and Plaza España, before emerging in Plaza de Las Flores, where you’ll get a small amount of free time.
The picturesque city of Cadiz is said to be the oldest in Europe, and you’ll get a whistle-stop tour of its highlights on this trip - with a few photo stops thrown in the mix. Setting off you’ll pass the town hall, a neoclassical building that was completed back in 1861. Nearby there’s also Plaza España and a couple of the towns best parks, – Park Alameda and Park Genoves – full of well-tended gardens. Following the coast, we’ll take a photo stop near Playa Caleta at Castillo Santa Catalina – an imposing, 17th-century castle. Your guide will fill you in on its history, before you’re whisked to the city’s impressive cathedral. Here, you can take some photographs of its Baroque exteriors and huge gold dome, or stop for some Spanish coffee at one of the pavement cafés that surround it. Once you’re back on the coach, there’ll be one last photo stop, where you can soak up some spectacular sea views before heading back to the port.
This driving tour will introduce you to a couple of Andalucía’s cities – ancient Cadiz, which is said to be Europe’s oldest, and pretty Jerez, which is known all over Europe for its wine bodegas. The trip gets off to a start with a panoramic drive around Cadiz’s old quarter. You’ll circle the spindly, cobbled streets, and the vast squares, so be sure to have your cameras at the ready. We'll pass the 18th-century baroque cathedral, Plaza España - where a famous monument of the Spanish Parliament stands - before making our way to Alameda Apodaca, the city’s public gardens, From here, your coach will snake inland through the green Andalucían countryside. You’ll start to see the vineyards as you reach your destination – a wine cellar in Jerez de la Frontera. Here, you’ll get to taste the region’s famous sherry wine, and learn all about the making process behind the drink.
Portugal’s electric capital stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Madrid and Barcelona. You’ll find clusters of cocktail lounges in the Bairro Alto neighbourhood.…Time in port: 08:00 - 16:00
If you want to enjoy Lisbon’s sights from the comfort of a coach, this is the trip for you. It’s a full sightseeing tour that doesn’t involve any legwork. First up is the Belem Tower, a Medieval turret that’s become a symbol of Portugal. Perched on the banks of the Tagus River, its fairytale looks disguise its original role as a fort. Moving on, you’ll stop for photos at the Discoveries Monument, created in 1960 to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator. Next, you’ll head for the spectacular Jeronimos Monastery, next, where you can capture its beautiful exteriors on camera. From here, your journey will take you past the manicured Edward VII Park and the tree-shaded Avenida da Liberdade, before you stop for a breather at the fountain-speckled Rossio Square. The final stop of the day is the enormous riverside plaza, Comercio Square. Check out its beautiful arcades, triumphal arch and statue of King Jose I before you head back to ship.
If you make only one trip from Lisbon, Sintra should be top of your list. Portuguese royalty and English nobility have long had a love affair with the place, and the thick forests and surrealist architecture are a real contrast from urban Lisbon. Your first stop is Cascais, a traditional fishing port and a bustling holiday resort. You’ll stop briefly to take some photos, before carrying on to Sintra. Take a look at the Sintra National Palace, the summer home of the Kings of Portugal for six centuries. Then, wander round the ceramic and embroidery shops that you’ll find dotted here and there. Or just pick a pretty pavement café and enjoy a cool drink in the hot sun.
This one will appeal to the romantic in you. Known as the wedding city, Obidos has got a heart-warming past. It was freed from Moorish domination back in 1148, after which the first king of Portugal embarked on a mammoth restoration project. Towers were rebuilt, the little white houses were refurbished and soon the whole place was transformed. It certainly impressed King Dinis when he visited in 1282. He presented it to his new wife, Queen Isabel, as a wedding gift. And in the centuries that followed, countless other monarchs did the same. Today, it’s one of the prettiest towns in Portugal. Its chunky Medieval walls are topped off with towers and when you step inside, you feel as if time stopped ticking centuries ago. Ancient narrow streets are lined with white-washed houses. Bougainvillea and honeysuckle drench the place in colour and scent. And tiny little shops sell all sorts of traditional crafts. Some lovely churches and chapels line your path but the real must-see is the castle. From the top, the view is phenomenal. Think proud hills and sweeping valleys freckled with the occasional windmill. We’ll take you on a guided walking tour of this romantic city, then you’ll get some free time to explore for yourself. You’ll soon see that as wedding gifts go, Obidos takes some beating.
Affectionately known as Gib or The Rock, Gibraltar is a little slice of Britain in the Mediterranean. And, just like the motherland, it’s a small stretch of land with…Time in port: 14:00 - 23:00
Discover the Rock, which rises nearly 1,400ft above sea level and is said to be one of the legendary pillars of Hercules. Gibraltar, well known as the gateway to the Mediterranean, is steeped in history. See Europa Point, the southernmost point of Gibraltar and the only Trinity Lighthouse outside Britain. You’ll also pass over the only runway in Europe that has to stop vehicles for aircraft! At the famous Gothic-style St. Michael’s Cave, marvel at the beautiful stalagtites and stalagmites sculpted through the centuries. Your leisurely tour ends with a trip to Gibraltar’s most respected residents, the ‘Barbary Apes’, a breed of tail-less and very naughty monkeys that roam free on rocky slopes. Be warned – they’ve got a penchant for cameras, handbags, hats and food!
This short trip gives you a great introduction to Gibraltar’s history, and you’ll have an exoert guide on hand to give you the lowdown on the sights. Leaving Gibraltar’s quayside behind, you’ll kick things off by heading to Europa Point, where the Trinity Lighthouse is. There’ll be a photo-stop here so you can soak up the vistas – the area looks out over the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the busy Straits of Gibraltar, the African Coastline and Spain’s Costa del Sol. From here, your coach will whisk you to the Rock of Gibraltar – the highlight of the tour. Inside, is a network of narrow tunnels that were used back in the Second World War. You’ll be given a safety briefing, before being led down into the dark, following in the soldiers’ footsteps in a conga-line. Look out for the ancient stalactites and stalagmites as you get deeper into the caves. After the tour, it’s up to you whether you want to head back to the ship, or explore Gibraltar’s town centre.
Hop aboard and cruise with us around the Bay of Gibraltar, one of the most famous bays in the world. There’s a really high concentration of dolphins in these parts and if you’re lucky you might see baby dolphins swimming close to their mothers. It’s a great opportunity to take pictures and see the Striped, Bottle-Nosed and Common dolphin, as well as seven species of whale, flying fish, turtles and sunfish in their natural habitat. Plus you get to admire the landmarks of Gibraltar all in the same morning. What more could you ask for?
Set on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol, Malaga is a Moorish delight. During the Arab occupation of Spain, the city was the principal port of the Moorish kingdom of Granada.…Time in port: 08:00 - 18:00
Explore postcard-pretty Mijas, with its whitewashed houses perched high above Fuengirola and Mijas Costa. This place offers up spectacular views of the coast and the mountains. And its web of cobbled streets overflows with geraniums, red tile roofs and archways. It goes without saying, the village has retained much of its charm and quaint traditions, one of the most unusual being the donkey-taxis! You’ll get plenty of time to wander around, browsing the craft shops and just enjoying all that lovely scenery.
Discover Malaga, capital city of the Costa del Sol and one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. It’s a city full of ancient streets, lovely villas, lush vegetation and last but not least – sunshine! You’ll start your tour with a visit to Gibralfaro, the castle that crowns the hill overlooking the city. A steep path of 150 steps connects the castle and Alcazaba, the famous 15th-century Moorish fort. From here, continue to La Manquita, a beautiful Renaisssance-style cathedral, which you’ll see from the outside. Then you’ll get some free time to browse the shops, go for a stroll and take some pictures before returning back to ship.
Marbella’s well known for its hot climate, beautiful landscape and friendly locals. On this trip, explore the best of this Spanish town. Wander its quaint narrow streets. See the colourful houses decked out with flower-festooned balconies. And browse the tempting craft shops. Have your cameras ready as you take a guided visit to the famous Naranjos Square, the City Hall and the Church of San Jacobo. Then take a drive to the millionaire’s playground that is Puerto Banus. Admire the luxury yachts and pull up a pew in one of the open-air restaurants and bars that cater for an exclusive clientele. Spend your free time, shopping for souvenirs and just strolling around this exclusive slice of Spain. If you’re lucky you might even spot a yacht belonging to the King of Saudi Arabia, a regular visitor here.
Tucked in a deep bay guarded by two cliff-top fortresses, this Spanish gem is steeped in history. In the 18th century it became a major Spanish naval base and reminders…Time in port: 08:00 - 15:00
Spend the morning admiring La Manga, a strip of white sandy beaches which, dividing two seas, creates the World’s largest swimming pool. Hence the name “Paradise between two seas”. Not a bad start for a day! While you take in this natural piece of art you’ll have time to stroll around the bars and shops before a short photo stop at the little fishing village of Cabo the Palos. Then it's off to Cartagena - being a port of cultures, it counts more than 2500 years of history. The best way to take it all in is to climb to the castle - or better take the scenic glass lift to the castle 47m high. From here you’ll enjoy the superb views of the port, the theatre and the bullring. After that you'll have some free time and your shopping can start from Calle Mayor, the very heart of the commercial centre. Enjoy!
See the famous La Manga Strip, one of the most unique places in Europe. Soak up superb views of the strip from the comfort of your coach and stop at the best viewpoint for pictures. To give you a taster of what to expect, La Manga is 21 kilometres long and 500 metres wide and translates as 'the sleeve’ in Spanish. This strip of land separates the Mediterranean Sea from the Mar Menor or ‘small sea’ - in fact, its Europe’s largest lagoon. You’ll then carry onto Cavanna beach area before taking in the highlights of Cartagena while your guide and driver do all the work. Pass by La Manga Club Complex, it’s been voted Europe’s top golf resort three times in the past four years. A final stop will be made at the Calle Mayor street for some more free time and even a local coffee called ‘Asiatic coffee’. Made from local liqueur "43", coffee, condensed milk and cinnamon, it’s a must. The Calle Mayor is the main high street, where there’s plenty of shopping opportunities before returning to the ship.
Do you consider yourself to be green fingered? Then you can’t miss a visit to the Botanical Garden of the beautiful town of Elche. Famous not only for its garden, the town is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site so expect spectacular surroundings, a wealth of monuments and bags of history. Plus it’s known as the national footwear capital of Spain! So obviously free time is included as well. Ever seen a palm tree in the shape of a seven-armed candelabra? Apart from being the biggest in Europe it’s just one of the 700 palm trees and over 500 other species of plants and flowers that awaits you at “Huerto del Cura” – Priest's Garden.