Magic of the Mediterranean
Taranto is surrounded by a natural harbour so this city and seafood go hand in hand – it’s particularly well-known for oysters and mussels. The historical old town spreads…Time in port: 08:00 - 15:00
Massafra looks like a standard Italian town to the untrained eye, but on this tour you’ll see its quirky natural side. Rocky ravines slink around the outskirts, with time-worn caves studded into the craggy cliff faces. You’ll be able to poke around the hidden villages and churches that are polka-dotted along the San Marco and Madonna della Scala gorges. The latter of the two was originally known as the Valley of the Roses, due to its colourful vegetation, and you’ll still see pockets of greenery as you work your way past the cave entrances. When you’ve had your fill of the weather-worn caverns, you’ll have a portion of free time to stroll around the town before heading back to the coach.
This trip’s like a living history lesson, where you’ll get a first-hand look at Taranto’s relics and ruins. Despite its location, on the heel of Italy’s boot, there’s a Greek undercurrent to everything here. You’ll start at the archaeological museum, which is set in a former convent, and showcases ancient Greek and Roman artefacts. From here, your guide will lead you into the head-turning city centre. The Temple of Poseidon, which dates back to the sixth century BC, and the Gothic Church of San Domenico, are among the first stop-offs. You’ll see Romanesque and Baroque styles at Taranto Cathedral, and the tour’s capped off with a visit to the Castello Aragonese – a huge waterside fortress built in the 15th century. Before things wrap up, you’ll get a wedge of free time to explore the city under your own steam.
You’ll get off to a tasty start on this trip, as you tuck into local delicacies in Martina Franca. It’s right in the centre of Italy’s stiletto-like heel, and there’s a clear divide between the old and new neighbourhoods. Leaving the apartment-lined avenues of the main town behind, you’ll pass through the grand Porto Santo Stefano gateway into the maze-like Centro Storico. Follow the guide through these narrow alleys and you’ll reach Piazza Roma – a pretty, tree-lined square with a fountain in the centre. One side’s filled by Martina Franca’s most-prized building, the Palazzo Ducale, and the other leads further into the walled old town. Keep an eye out for the ornate Basilica di San Martino as the tour continues, before finishing with a spot of solo sightseeing.
As your ship cruises into Valletta, a magical skyline of soaring steeples and bulbous church domes rises to greet you. This is Malta's quintessential capital, a captivating…Time in port: 10:00 - 18:00
This driving tour takes in some of Malta’s most famous sights – everything from bomb-proof buildings to natural wonders are on the agenda. First up, you’ll set off on the coach and head for the historic city of Vittoriosa, where you’ll get to see the Church of St Lawrence, which is home to the observation tower used by Grand Master La Vallette during the siege of 1565. From here, it’s on to Marsaxlokk, Malta’s largest fishing village, where you’ll have some time to explore before getting back on the coach. Next up, you’ll drive through some tiny villages before reaching the Blue Grotto – a cluster of picturesque sea caverns on the south coast. Then, you’ll pass through the town of Girgenti, home of the Prime Minister’s summer residence, before making tracks for the Dingli Cliffs – Malta’s highest point. From here, you’ll drive through Rabat, and around the edges of Mdina, Malta’s old capital city. Lastly, there’s a stop in the town of Mosta, which is famous for its church, which was hit by a shell bomb in World War II. The bomb went through the property but, miraculously, didn’t explode.
Your tour kicks off just a short coach ride from the capital with a visit to the ‘Malta Experience’ - a spectacular show bringing to life more than 7,000 years of history, followed by a visit to the Barrakka Gardens, Valletta’s most beautiful garden with a breath-taking view of the Grand Harbour and the old towns of Senglea and Vittoriosa. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to walk the main attractions of Valletta like the exterior of the Grandmaster’s Palace, the House of Parliament and the outside of Castille Palace. You then make your way to Mdina, the ancient capital city, for a wander around the bastions and ramparts. You’ll also get the chance to go inside the beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral. Next comes Rabat, a town just outside Mdina, famous for its crafts and local trades. Here, you’ll make one last stop at the ‘Tales of the Silent City’, where you’ll get some free time to shop for take-home trinkets, before re-boarding the ship.
Set off on a cruise round Valletta’s two natural harbours. This is the ultimate chill-out experience, so just sit back with a drink and watch as you float past Malta’s capital. You’ll drift by historical forts, battlements and creeks that can only be seen from the sea. Back on dry land, you’ll have some free time for retail therapy in Sliema. You can dip in and out of boutiques selling shoes, jewellery and bastketware. Simply sit beneath a parasol and sip a cup of coffee at one of the charming cafeterias dotting the seafront or just enjoy a local ice-cream on the Sliema promenade.
You’ll feel like you’ve switched continents when you dine at this restaurant. Oriental-style lanterns and paintings are paired with a pan-Asian menu of curries and noodle dishes. You’ll pay a cover charge to eat here.
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.
Ibiza’s capital is the antidote to wild resorts like San Antonio and Playa D’en Bossa. Its old quarter has earned a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and it’shaloed…Time in port: 10:00 - 16:00
Discover a variety of Ibizan landscapes as you drive from the port into the countryside. On your first stop learn the art of pottery you’ll get to watch a demonstration from one of the craftsmen before having the chance to do some souvenir shopping, too. You’ll get a chance to visit Puig de Misa, a hilltop church which was originally built as a fort. Next up is the treasures of Ibiza - Santa Eulalia, a favourite haunt of painters, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the new promenade, lined with open-air cafes, restaurants and art galleries. From here, the tour takes you across fertile farmland, over hills, along cliffs and finally down to an unexpected placid sea. Just to let you know... you’ll get 1.5 hrs free time in Santa Eulalia. Don’t forget to bring your beach wear to enjoy the lovely beach of Santa Eulalia during your free time.
You’ll experience the best of the White Isle on this day out. It starts with a visit to the Salinas salt flats where, millennia ago, locals made a living trading what was known as ‘white gold’. The town of San Jose is up next. It’s a typically Ibizan settlement of whitewashed buildings and cobbled streets. You’ll enjoy a quick walking tour, and you’ll have some time to wander around on your own, too. Afterwards, it’s on to the famous resort of San Antonio, where you’ll be free to roam the palm-lined promenade that skirts the harbour. Swapping town for countryside, you’ll drive to San Miguel and Portinatx later on, and there’ll also be a photo stop in the bohemian village of San Carlos. The last pit stop is in Santa Eulalia. Remember to bring your camera, because you’re in for cinematic views of the island from the hilltop church of Puig de Missa.
This ticket gets you entry to Ibiza’s biggest waterpark. You’ll take a scenic drive to Aguamar, in the island’s popular resort of Playa d’en Bossa. You’ll find something for everyone at this place. If you want to swim or sunbathe, there’s a huge arc-shaped pool in the centre, with smaller paddling pools around it and a line-up of sunbeds around its edge. When you want to up the ante, the collection of slides includes an eight-lane racer, a kamikaze-style drop slide, and The Black Hole, which requires you to double up in two-person dinghies. There’s an on-site café, too, so you can refuel once you’ve worked up an appetite.
A wide, tree-lined avenue splits Almeria in half. To the west, you’ll find the Medieval buildings of the old town, while on the east side, the new town is home to boutiques…Time in port: 08:00 - 18:00
Stretched along the top of a hill and dominated by the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains, the Alhambra Palace is the stuff of fairytales. Offering up spectacular views over the beautiful Albaicin area, it’s the oldest, most impressive and best-preserved Arabic palace in the world. And it goes without saying it’s the most famous tourist attraction in the whole of Andalucia. Intricate carvings and tile work fill huge areas of the palace walls and high ceilings of its many pavilions. Outside in the patios and gardens, the use of water reflection and symmetry will leave you positively awe-struck. Don’t miss the beautiful ‘Patio of Lions’. The symbol of the Alhambra, it’s a magnificent man-made oasis which opens out to different rooms draped in fine white marble. This guided tour will take you through the Alhambra Palace and the unforgettable Generalife gardens, which bring you breathtaking views over Granada. The sheer beauty of these immaculate gardens will leave a lasting impression on you. After you’ve seen the palace, enjoy a well-earned lunch before returning to the ship.
Discover the charms of Mojacar. You’ll begin with a drive through El Desierto de Tabernas, the only semi-desert in Europe. With its weird eroded ravines, dry river beds and barren slopes, it’s one of the most geologically interesting landscapes in Europe. And the surreal lunar setting has long attracted film makers. You’ll drive through Mini-Hollywood, 7km south of Tabernas, where lots of westerns have been filmed. Next, see the village of Sorbas, a protected area of exceptional botanical interest. Then it’s on to Mojacar, where a guide will show you round this Moorish village set on a hill at the foot of the Sierra de Cabrera. Following the ancient route, you’ll arrive at the ‘Puerta de la Ciudad’, or gates of the city. From the top of the village, admire its narrow streets, ramps and quaint little squares, plus get a fantastic view of the Mediterranean coast in the distance. You’ll get some free time for a well-earned rest or a spot of retail therapy – the choice is yours.
Costa de Almeria runs along in the south-east corner of Spain, taking in the colossal Sierra Nevada mountain range and the Mediterranean Sea. On this trip, you’ll explore the region’s unspoiled countryside and tucked-away villages from the comfort of an air-conditioned coach. Your first stop will be in the whitewashed village of Alboloduy. There’ll be time to check out the traditional Andalusian architecture and to stretch your legs, before climbing back on the coach and moving on to the village of Alhama. This place is the entrance to the well-known Alpujarra region – an area famous for its Turkish baths and medicinal waters. Your guide will give you the lowdown on the history of the place as you admire the scenery. As you come to the Enix and Cortijo Las Palomas areas of the region, crane your neck to see the sky-high wind turbines that dot the landscape. Your final stop will be at a rustic farmhouse, where you’ll be offered a glass of wine or a beer to drink alongside some of the local Serrano ham and cheese. Finally, your coach will snake along the coastal road which runs through the town of Aguadulce – expect sweeping sea views as you make your way back to the port.