Call now 01246 819 819 to book
Show sea days
According to the popular 1960 beach movie, Fort Lauderdale is “where the boys are.” The city’s reputation as America’s Spring Break capital, however, has been replaced with the more favorable image of a prime family tourist destination, attracting more than 10 million visitors annually. The most popular beach resort in Florida is even more rightly famed as the “Yachting Capital of the World,” with more than 40,000 registered crafts calling its waters home. The city also prides itself on being the “Venice of America” with more than 300 miles of navigable waterways. Fort Lauderdale boasts world-class theaters, museums, sightseeing, and shopping.
The capital of Madeira is named after the fennel (funcha) that once flowered there in profusion. The largest island in the Madeira Archipelago was discovered in 1419 by Portuguese explorers venturing south into the Atlantic. The island is nearly equidistant from Lisbon and the African coast, and its unique geographical position allowed Madeira to play a pivotal role in European discovery. Seamen such as Christopher Columbus gained knowledge and experience plying the routes of the island’s sugar trade. When sugar declined, the island’s famed wines continued to provide a robust trade. By the late 18th century, Madeira’s mild climate, rocky peaks, and lush valleys provided a winter haven to Europe’s aristocrats. Visitors still flock to the island today, drawn by its scenery and its weather.
Funchal is noted for its superb hand-embroidery and wicker ware, both Madeira specialties. The island, of course, is also noted for its superb wines: they are perhaps the world’s most complex and long lasting wines.
Mention Spain and the images that inevitably spring to mind are images of Andalusia – shadows falling across the bullring, the staccato rhythms of flamenco, the waft of orange blossoms from a Moorish garden. Cadiz is your gateway to this storied land and the city of Seville. Visit Seville’s massive Alcazar fortress, modeled on the legendary Alhambra Palace of Granada. See the city’s cathedral, a 15th-century Gothic masterwork that boasts a Moorish patio, fountain and minaret. Seville is also the legendary home of Don Juan, Bizet’s Carmen and Rossini’s Barber of Seville.
Cadiz is one’s of Europe’s oldest inhabited cities, dating from 1100 B.C., and your gateway to Seville and Andalusia.
One of Spain’s oldest cities, Malaga has been inhabited since the time of the Phoenicians, who called it Malaka. A city of narrow streets, whitewashed houses, churches and sunny plazas, Malaga offers an idealized image of Spain. Andalusia’s main port is also your gateway to the resorts of the Costa del Sol. No visit to Malaga would be complete without a trip to Granada and a tour of the fabled Alhambra.
Malaga was the chief port for the Kingdom of Granada, the last stronghold of Moorish Spain. The city fell to Ferdinand and Isabelle in 1487. The re-conquest of Spain ended with the fall of Grenada in 1492, the year Columbus discovered the New World.
Cartagena is an ancient port – the city served as Hannibal’s Spanish headquarters during the 2nd Punic War with Rome. The city remained a major trading port under the Romans and the Moors. Today, Cartagena is Spain’s principal naval establishment and the site of an annual international maritime festival. The city is also your gateway to the Costa Calida, a region that boasts some of Spain’s mildest weather along with 175 miles of beaches.
Palma is the capital city of the island of Mallorca, which is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands. The city is tucked into the protected Bay of Palma, creating an impressive view from the Mediterranean Sea with its imposing Gothic Cathedral towering above the old town and remnants of medieval walls that testify to its ancient history. Mallorca has a varied history, from the Roman occupation in the 2nd century to Moorish control from the 9th to the 13th century. Later reconquered by the Spanish kings, it rose to wealth and power due to its strategic position along the seagoing trade routes between Africa and Europe.
Today, Palma is the largest city, and also the main tourist area, with beaches on either side of the city that overflow with resort hotels. If you venture beyond these environs, the island’s natural beauty abounds, and life continues in a predictably underdeveloped atmosphere of simplicity. This aspect has long been an attraction for writers, painters and musicians that find inspiration here.
Two main languages are spoken on Mallorca – Castilian Spanish and the Balearic dialects of Catalan – hence the different versions of names and spellings throughout the Balearic Islands.
The largest port on the Mediterranean, Marseille is France’s second largest city and a virtual melting pot of peoples and cultures. It is also a place of striking contrasts, from the fishing boats and pleasure craft of the picturesque Vieux Port to the modern Canebiere. Dominating the harbor is the infamous Chateau d’If, the rocky prison from which Alexandre Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo escaped. Marseille is also your gateway to Provence. Explore the countryside around Arles and Avignon, immortalized in the canvases of Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso.
In 1811, Napoleon Bonaparte – then Napoleon I, Emperor of the French – made Corsica a department of France. He also moved the capital from Bastia to his hometown of Ajaccio.
The capital of Corsica, Ajaccio is the island’s largest town (although we know that the capital of Corsica is Paris, and Ajaccio & Bastia are roughly the same size) – and the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. One can stroll past the cathedral where the future emperor was baptized–the Casa Bonaparte is a museum devoted to the imperial glory. But Corsica is also the “scented isle” – a place of dramatic shoreline cliffs, small coves, and golden beaches. The island interior consists of stony mountains carpeted in macchia, a low, thick, chaparral comprised of aromatic Corsican mint, rock roses, and myrtle. Everywhere you’ll discover traces of the island’s long and colorful history, from medieval walled towns to seaside villages guarded by 16th-century towers. Though the island has been part of France since the late 18th century, Corsica retains its own distinct culture and flavor.
The Rock crouches over the sea like an ancient stone beast, looking Sphinx-like to Africa. Beneath the white cliffs of this natural fortress grows a profusion of palm, pine, and cypress. No fewer than 600 varieties of flowers thrive here, some not found anywhere else on Earth. Gibraltar’s stunning setting is matched by its history – five countries have battled for 13 centuries to control the passage between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The result made for a cultural melting pot. Veiled Moroccan women in caftans and vacationing Englishmen and Spaniards stroll along the narrow, steep lanes. The locals revert to a liquid Spanish when talking among themselves. And visitors to a 15th-century cathedral pass through a blue-tiled courtyard, once part of a 13th-century mosque.
The 1992 Summer Olympics revealed to the world what Europeans and seasoned travelers already knew – Barcelona is one of the world’s greatest treasures. Vibrant and earthy, commercial and cultural, this city of two million residents is the capital of Spain’s autonomous region of Catalonia. Stroll along the wide, tree-lined promenades of Las Ramblas and marvel at the spires of Gaudi’s Basilica La Sagrada Familia. Or visit the former Olympic Ring on the hill of Montjuic – also home to world-class parks, fountains and museums. Barcelona, which nurtured such artistic giants as Picasso, Dali, Miro and Casals, is definitely a traveler’s paradise.
Searching for the latest prices…