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The busy port city of Andalusia, the Spain of gazpacho and paella, flamenco and fiesta, recaptured from the Moors of the 15th century after 800 years of conflict. Enjoy the panorama from Gibralfara Castle, and visit the Moorish Alcazaba fortress, the birthplace of Picasso, and a wine cellar to try the famous local dessert wines. Or travel to Granada, to the glorious Alhambra, whose proud 14th century palaces and exotic gardens are Spain’s finest expression of Moorish art.
The Old City is a highly preserved example of life in the Middle Ages, and the medieval architecture there has ensured its place as a UNESCO listed ‘World Natural and Historical Heritage Site’.
Lesser known than the beautiful, yet well-trodden cities of Split and Dubrovnik, Sibenik offers all of the quintessential delights than one might have come to expect from destinations situated on Croatia’s glorious Adriatic Coast.
Sibenik is situated within a deep bay, one of the best-protected harbours found anyway in the Adriatic region, and boasts spectacular surrounding landscapes, while the city itself is a sight to behold from the first moment it comes into view; typically Croatian scenes of white-washed, terracotta-topped buildings hint at the type of treasures awaiting discovery ashore.
Wander the little, steeply-angled streets and attractive squares framed by a mix of centuries-old architectural gems, shops and cafés reveal themselves; particular highlights to see-out include the impressive town hall, the churches of St Barbara and St Fran, and the piece de resistance: Cathedral Sveti Jakov. Built in the early 15th century, UNESCO-listed Sveti Jakov is considered one of Croatia’s finest and most important Renaissance-era landmarks, built from limestone and marble under the supervision of the great Croatian stone masters Juraj Dalmatinac and Nikola Firentinac.
A collection of mud banks transformed by early merchants into a commercial and cultural powerhouse, Venice remains a city unrivalled in its marriage of serenity and spectacle, legend and romance. You won’t see all of its 118 islands, 177 canals and 450 bridges, but even the briefest encounter with the haunting mood, ancient canals, radiant light and vibrant Byzantine and Renaissance inheritance of La Serenissima’s showcase of art and architecture will beguile the eye and heart alike!
Away from the tourist-packed attractions of Venice, the laidback island town of Chioggia offers a slice of authentic Venetian lifestyle with none of the hustle and bustle. With pretty canals to explore and historic architecture to admire, it’s a wonderful place to spend a relaxing day in the Adriatic sunshine.
Situated south of Venice in the Venetian Lagoon, the unpretentious Chioggia may be similar in appearance to its iconic neighbour, but represents a very different experience. The city offers a Venetian lifestyle at a slower, easier pace. The busy fishing marinas and pedestrianised alleyways lined with historic buildings and traditional terracotta-topped houses, are a delight
In the heart of Dalmatia, the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast dates back to the days of Diocletian. The old town is built around the harbour and much of the old city remains to this day. A visit to the Roman Palace of Emperor Diocletian is well worth a visit. Other notable site include the cathedral; the Temple of Jupiter; the Golden Gate; the Silver Gate; and Peristyle Square.
There’s no mistaking the past wealth and proud spirit of this ‘Jewel of the Adriatic’, perched on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. An independent city-state for 600 years until conquered by Napoleon, Dubrovnik survives, despite recent events, as one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities – a timeless architectural showpiece, whose graceful churches and cloisters, palaces and fountains, mellow Baroque facades and encircling ancient walls, all seem more stage set than reality.
Strategically situated midway between Sicily and North Africa, Malta is in every sense a Mediterranean crossroads – a tiny island with an epic and heroic history in which invasion and siege have seen the influence Romans, Phoenicians, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Crusaders and, of course, Britain all leave an enduring mark upon its cultural heritage. The16th century walled capital of Valletta with its Grand Harbour is a treasure-chest bristling with Baroque architecture, its narrow streets a tempting honeycomb of colourful shops and stalls.