Day 1 - Barcelona On the northeast coast of Spain, overlooking the Mediterranean, Barcelona is a vibrant port city, packed with centuries of iconic art and architecture—Gaudí and Picasso both called it home—and lined with sunny white-sand beaches. Explore the Catalan capital's tourist attractions and historic neighborhoods, Modernisme and world-renowned art museums, galleries and local crafts shops—some of which are centuries old and stock traditional Catalan wares. After you see the sights, there are lively tapas bars around every corner where you can stop for a drink, a café amb llet (Catalan for espresso with steamed milk) or a snack, no matter the hour. Green spaces for picnics, long walks and respite from the hustle and bustle are scattered throughout Barcelona's attractions: There's Gaudí's mosaic-decorated park, a neoclassical maze at the Laberint d'Horta, as well as plenty of high places (mountains, monuments and edifices) where sightseeing visitors can take in the view. A short trip from Barcelona by car or train, luxury outlets, cava wineries, a mountaintop abbey and the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean coast await.
Day 2 - Cartagena, Spain There are more than two millennia of history to embrace in this port city in Spain's southeastern Murcia region. While Cartagena is famously home to the second-largest Roman amphitheater on the Iberian Peninsula, the city is much more than just spectacular ancient ruins. In addition to Cartagena’s architecture—along with that amphitheater, there are striking Art Nouveau buildings, neoclassical churches and ultramodern edifices throughout the city—you’ll find many opportunities to shop for local and regional artisan wares. In the city, investigate the restored medieval fortress looking out on the bay from the city’s highest point. Or take a short trip by car or bus to the historic Agrupa Vicenta Mines, the remarkable palm forest at Elche and the holy city of Caravaca. And the food of sunny Murcia! Friendly tapas bars with breezy terraces invite lingering over drinks, coffee or snacks. The local restaurants offer more than typical Spanish tapas on the menu—michirones (a spicy Murcian bean stew) and local spins on paella are widely available and worth a try. Grilled octopus, fried calamari, mussels and the freshest fish are some of the tasty benefits of the city’s perch beside the sea.
Day 3 - Malaga Málaga is your chance to tour to the Moorish wonders of the Alhambra with its elaborate carvings, grand columns and delicate arches. Stalagmites and stalactites reach calcite fingers into the caverns of Nerja, near Malaga. 30,000 years ago, people lived in the shadowy recesses of these caves. In nearby Mijas, shop tables are laden with hand-made ceramics, and the people live in shuttered, whitewashed cottages.
Day 4 - Cadiz (Seville) Hanging off the southwestern edge of Spain, Cádiz is one of Andalucía’s regional capitals and a place bursting with personality. Europe’s oldest continually inhabited city, with a history stretching back 3,000 years, has fallen on hard times in recent years, but a combination of pride, good humor and stoicism keeps it on an even keel. The famous Carnival, one of Spain’s most important in the genre, is a thrilling fiesta into which Cádiz pours all its energy and ingenuity. The city’s fond nickname, la tacita de plata ("little silver cup"), alludes to its curious geography—it juts out on a long peninsula into a sheltered bay. Old town Cádiz is a warren of cobbled streets where the houses, painted white or dusty ochre, have the weather-beaten look of a place subjected to centuries of wind and salt. This ancient city has one good example of everything that matters: a great food market, a theater (the Teatro Falla, a grand Art Nouveau Moorish gem), a gorgeous cathedral, impressive fortifications and a beach—the picturesque and famous La Caleta.
Day 5 - Lisbon Find your way in the city that launched the Age of Discovery. Cross the River Tagus on its soaring suspension bridge, watched over by a colossal statue of Christ. Wander the maze of streets in the Alfama, the old Moorish quarter, dominated by the medieval Castle of St George where peacocks strut and shriek. Stroll the Baixa and refuse to leave without a pair of elegant shoes.
Day 6 - At Sea
Day 7 - Funchal, Madeira Glide down a mountainside in a giant wicker sleigh; sip a glass of Madeira wine; browse the shops for lace and colorful flowers. Funchal is anything but ordinary.
Day 8 - At Sea
Day 9 - At Sea
Day 10 - At Sea
Day 11 - At Sea
Day 12 - At Sea
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Day 14 - At Sea
Day 15 - Fort Lauderdale There is an abundance of things to see and do in the Ft. Lauderdale area: visit the newly redesigned Ft. Lauderdale Beach and cafes, stroll the historic Riverwalk, shop the luxurious stores on Las Olas Boulevard or adventure to the Everglades for an intriguing air boat excursion.
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