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29th June, 2020

Iconic ports of the Mediterranean - part one

You don’t need to travel far to find paradise. The Mediterranean region, with its rich history and unrivalled natural beauty is the perfect destination for discovering countless historical and natural sights, relaxing at the beach, exploring the exceptional cuisine and so much more.

The versatility of this region is attractive to visitors with hundreds of millions of tourists visiting the Mediterranean every year. Find out what places you could visit aboard our beautiful boutique ships Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure. Our experienced Explore Ashore team has prepared a range of unique and must-see experiences so continue reading to find out what our 2021 cruises to The Med have to offer.

Gibraltar

The British enclave of Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and is recognised historically as the southernmost point of Europe. The Strait of Gibraltar is a channel connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Gibraltar is a small country as it only covers an area of just over six square kilometres, however, it certainly has more than its fair share of tourist attractions.

Experience Gibraltar in different way as we take you on a 20-minute drive around the Bay of Gibraltar, to the edge of a Natural Cork Forest Park. Here you can visit a typical Andalusian farmhouse dating from 1797 with a patio and old barns. This building is part of a family-run cork and cattle farm. Your guide will show you how the cork bark is harvested from the oak trees, a centuries-old method to create the perfect cork bottle-stopper. You will get to enjoy some local refreshments afterwards.

Malaga

The Cathedral in Malaga

Malaga, also known as Pablo Picasso's birthplace and the gateway to the Spanish Costa del Sol, offers an impressive number of museums and monuments, including the 11th-century Alcazaba fort.

Enjoy the contrasts of Malaga’s old town and modern areas by taking a scenic drive, that will pass viewpoints, the bull ring, rose gardens, fantastic neo-classical architecture of the old post office and Malaga’s early 19th century lighthouse. For an authentic experience, discover the country life and participate in the preparation of one of Spain’s most typical dishes. Travel into the heart of the, where you arrive at the farm of Juanito Orange, who will take you for a walk through the plantation, explaining interesting facts about his work whist relaying humorous anecdotes!

Mahón

Pretty Cala Galdana Bay in Minorca

Mahón is the capital of the Spanish island of Minorca. It’s known for its British-style Georgian houses and sheltered harbour, the second biggest natural harbour in the world. Mahón not only offers beautiful views, but also eclectic architecture reflecting the island’s diverse occupations. While small enough to easily cover on foot, there’s plenty to see, do, and explore in and around this historic city.

We will take you to the South coast to visit one of the most beautiful Menorcan beaches, Cala Galdana, the always calm, clear blue sea waters and the immaculate horse-shoe shaped bay set in dramatic limestone cove. The next visit will take you to Son Martorellet, where you will attend a show demo with Minorcan horses, where riders bring their horse onto their rear legs accompanied by live traditional music.

Valletta

The dome of the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel dominates Valletta’s skyline

Valletta is the tiny capital of the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. The foundation of this walled city dates back to the 1500s. Today, it’s known for museums, palaces and grand churches.

Embark on an exploration of the medieval Mdina and Mosta - Malta's old capital, Mdina is a living medieval city. Stroll through the city's magical streets and enjoy the fantastic view from the bastions. Visit the cathedral also. A short drive brings you to Mosta. Mosta's dome is the fourth-largest unsupported dome in the world. During World War II, a bomb pierced the dome and landed, unexploded, in the church.

Alternatively, join an optional excursion of Valletta on a harbour cruise, which is, undoubtedly, the best way to admire one of the most beautiful ports in Europe. View the magnificent fortifications and learn about Malta's fascinating history and sieges.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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