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.
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