Spain Cruising: What to See and Do in the Best Ports
Cruise to Spain and discover the nation’s most fascinating secrets and mysteries at the port cities. Spain cruising will change your views on Europe.
You may have already experienced the Mediterranean cruise. You have sailed Europe’s most visited cities, Barcelona, Rome and Venice. This time you are looking for something different.
If so, you are in the right place.
Barcelona is one of the most important cruise ports in Europe. Many cruise lines depart from Barcelona and sail to the ports in France and Italy.
However, Spain is not only Barcelona.
Spain offers beautiful historic sites and architecture. The cities represent themselves as whole artworks. You can also find amazing nature landscapes within a half-hour by rental car.
It is not surprising that Spain cruise has become quickly one of the popular destinations in the Mediterranean cruise. Spain’s most popular destinations can visit from the cruise ports.
In this article, you will find one of Spain’s best ports and the destinations. Save money and time by planning a cruise vacation in advance and explore one of the greatest places in the world. Plan ahead and organise your trip Spain cruising will make your vacation something truly amazing!
Cruise to Spain
Explore the best of Spain on the Mediterranean cruise. Spain cruise has become quickly one of the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean cruises. Cruising in Spain means you are having one of the best European cruises.
Cruising provides you with much values for a vacation in comparison to land travel. Accommodations, meals and daily activities are all included. You also do not need to waste your time for transfers.
Cruising to Spain is the best way to discover the nation’s distinctive culture, history and natural landscapes. Spanish culture varies depending on the region. That is truly fascinating:
Barcelona is located in the Catalonia regions. This Europe’s glorious city is filled with a cosmopolitan flavour. The highlight of the city is the Sagrada Família church and other modernist landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí. Modern arts are also covered at Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró feature.
Once you left Barcelona and approach to the Andalusia region, you will notice each city of Spain has a different personality and history. The Moorish influence suddenly becomes dominant in the city landscapes. Muslim influence can be found in architecture and archaeological sites.
In Seville, visit the Royal Alcazar Palace and find the Moorish architecture. You can also compare it with the spectacular Gothic cathedrals of European influence. Attend the authentic Flamenco shows in the expression of Andalusia.
History in Spain is so deep. You can also find Spain’s Moorish influence and Roman heritage not only in Seville but in Málaga. The Alcazaba is a palatial fortification in Málaga, Spain. It was built by the Hammudid dynasty in the early 11th century.
Valencia goes a sort of in the middle. The city’s iconic architecture, City of the Arts and Sciences, is totally modern in its expression. On the contrary, Valentia Cathedral has preserved Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical modifications in architectural styles. Newness and old are beautifully blended in the city landscapes.
There’s no question that Mallorca is one of the most popular resorts in Europe. Mallorca has everything for a vacation. The city offers more than 260 beaches, gorgeous shopping streets, spectacular historic buildings and preserved old town. You can easily rent a car and discover amazing natural landscapes.
Cruise to Spain and discover the hidden gem of the Mediterranean. You will never feel less by sailing the port cities and the Balearic Islands.
Spain Cruise Itineraries
Cruises in Spain is one of the most popular routes in the Western Mediterranean cruises. Sailing from Barcelona is popular. These cruising often sail mainly to France, Monaco and Italy. Cruises to Spain and Portugal are also popular in the Mediterranean cruises. Or some cruise lines have cruises to Morocco and Canary Islands.
If you desire to combine both Western and Eastern Mediterranean cruises, that is indeed very possible. Many cruise lines depart from Barcelona and visit:
- The western coast of Italy including Rome via Monte Carlo, Naples and Palermo.
- Then sailing to Venice and Dubrovnik of the Adriatic Sea is the most common route.
The Mediterranean cruises often range from 7 to 14 nights in length. Many cruise lines offer 24 nights and more and some of them include transatlantic cruises from US to Europe.
Cruising Spain and Portugal
Sailing from Barcelona to Lisbon is a common route in cruising Spain and Portugal. Spain and Portugal are geographically next to each other. They have distinguished landscapes, culture, traditions and history.
In cruises to Spain and Portugal, you will find the great beaches of Portimao, in the southern region of the Algarve before you arrive in Spain. Windstar Cruises offer excellent cruises in Spain and Portugal
Spain Cruise Port Map
Departure Ports for Spain Cruise
Find out your departure port transfer information and port accommodation guide. Save money and time by planning your trip in advance.
Pro Tips: for the cruise from the USA, Canada, Australia and Asia, the easiest departure port to arrive and transfer is Barcelona. The second easiest is in Venice and Southampton. You need to transfer Rome to Civitavecchia and it is pretty stressful if you did not prepare in advance. But staying in Rome before you cruise the Western Mediterranean is incredibly special!
Best time to cruise Spain
The climate in the Mediterranean is mild and stable throughout the season. It rarely rains and is dried. This is the reason why the Mediterranean is one of the most visited places for the Summer vacation in Europe.
The season of Spain cruise is from April to October. The high season is from the end of July to August. When the children’s schools are off in July and August, the cruise rates become the highest.
- The best months to cruise Spain are May, September and October.
- The cruise ports are more relaxed and fewer tourists.
- The temperature is milder than the hottest of August.
- The cruise price becomes more reasonable.
You can find out more details at an on the best time for cruising the Mediterranean.
Best Cruise Lines for Spain Only Cruise
Luxury cruise lines offer Spain only cruises. Over night stays are also included in the itinerary.
Departing from Barcelona and sailing to Cartagena, Granada, Malaga, Seville (Cadiz), and Lisbon for 9-night cruising. One overnight stay at Seville (Cadiz) is included. (source)
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Departing from Barcelona and sailing the Atlantic Ocean, Arrecife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Arrecife (Lanzarote), Tangier, Cartagena and Valencia, for 10-night cruising. (source)
Many mainstream cruise lines serve the Mediterranean cruise but are less providing Spain only cruises.
Best Cruise Ports in Spain
The best ports of Spain cruise are selected as Seville (Cadiz), Malaga, Valencia, Barcelona and Palm de Mallorca. Each port has distinct feels and characters. Discover the hidden gems of the Mediterranean.
1. Seville (Cadiz)
Bullfighting, flamenco and fiesta are a part of cultural life among the locals in Seville. Seville is the final resting place of Christopher Columbus.
Seville is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. The city has much to offer cruisers. Seville is the capital of the Andalusia region. The depth of the city’s history can be remarkable in the architecture and landmarks:
- Find one of the world’s largest Gothic cathedrals, Seville Cathedral.
- Seville Real Alcazar is the royal palace and garden complex. It is a stunning mix of Islamic and Christian elements. This 14th-century building is a Moorish-inspired architecture of non-Islamic buildings.
- Plaza de Encarnacion is the world’s largest wooden contemporary architecture
Seville is also famous for flamenco, produced a number of flamenco dancers, in the early 20th century.
How to go to Seville
The city of Seville is easily accessible from the port in Cadiz. It takes less than 2 hours by train and is about one and half hour by car.
Seville Things to Do
- Plaza de España – a semi-circular plaza built in 1929. The iconic Seville Gothic architecture.
- Real Alcázar – the oldest functioning royal palace in Europe and the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Seville Cathedral – Seville’s most important cathedral and is the 3rd largest Gothic church in Europe.
- La Giralda – a bell-tower right next-door to the Cathedral
- Museo de Bellas Artes – the masterpieces of Goya, Velázquez, El Greco and Murillo are preserved.
- Attend a Flamenco show – don’t leave Seville without attending flamenco shows, Andalucia’s powerful dance form.
- Torre del Oro – a historic tower with a naval museum inside
- Plaza de Encarnacion – the icon of Serville’s contemporary architecture
Located in the Andalusia region, Málaga is the capital of the Málaga Province. The city is knowns as the birthplace of the 20th-century iconic artist, Pablo Picasso. Málaga is the largest city on the Costa del Sol, known as its luxury hotels and resorts.
You can find Málaga’s Moorish and Roman heritage at the Alcazaba, an 11th-century cathedral, and Gibralfaro. These two citadels are creating the dominant landscapes in the central Málaga. The fascinating archaeological remains can be observed from the hilltop Moorish remnants.
Málaga beaches are also well known among European visitors for a Summer vacation.
Málaga Things to Do
- The Finca de la Concepción – one of the most beautiful gardens in Spain, collecting exquisite orchids, lotuses, water lilies, palm trees and bamboos.
- La Arana (the Spider) – a coastal area famous for its prehistoric caves and shelters.
- La Alcazaba – Malaga’s Moorish and Roman heritage
- Castillo de Gibralfaro – the landmark of Malaga, located at the hilltop fortress looms above the city
- Malaga Cathedral – more than 150 years to build, a mixture of renaissance and baroque in style.
- Museo Picasso Málaga and Picasso’s Málaga – celebrating the 20th-century iconic artist, Pulo Picasso.
- Nerja Caves – a vast natural cathedral. The Stone-Age Europeans lived in the caves 25,000 years ago
Valencia is Spain’s third largest city. The city is located within 3 hours to Madrid and 4 hours to Barcelona by train. This beautiful and yet charming city offers a combination of old and new as well as science and arts. Totally different elements are mixed together and that creates a dynamic atmosphere of the city.
City of the Arts and Sciences is the iconic modern architecture of Valencia. The building combines Europe’s largest aquarium building.
On the contrary, Valencia Cathedral is beautiful Gothic architecture. The building is mashing up with Baroque and Romanesque styles. It had been under the long construction period, dating from the 13th century. You will find many 15th-century architectures. The beautiful mansions and places are dominating the city landscapes.
Valencia Things to Do
- La Lonja de la Seda – late-15th-century building, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Valencia Cathedral – with renaissance, baroque and neoclassical modifications built from the 13th century to 16th century
- El Miguelete – a bell tower of Valencia Cathedral built in 1381. Go 270 steps up and find the spectacular view of the city
- City of the Arts and Sciences – spectacular modern architecutre, the iconic building of Valencia
- Oceanogràfic – one of the largest aquarium in Europe, located inside the City of the Arts and Sciences
- Jardín del Turia – the Valencia park, the most inviting attractions in Valencia
- Valencia Paella – the most famous Spanish dish, paella is originated from Valencia.
Barcelona is one of the largest cruise departure ports for the Western Mediterranean cruises. A majority of mainstream and luxury cruise lines begin sailing from Barcelona. It is a great idea to stay over Europe’s one of the most visited cities and explore its treasures and heritages before you set sail.
Barcelona has received much international attention since it hosted the 1992 Olympic game. International visitors are increasing. The hotel price dramatically increases dues to its popularity. You will find the huge price differences before and after April. You need to book your accommodation in Barcelona near its cruise port in advance, at least 3 months before.
Barcelona airport and cruise port transfers are one of the easiest among the cruise ports in Europe. Find out more details at Barcelona Cruise Port.
Barcelona What to Do
For the architecture of Antoni Gaudí:
- Sagrada Familia – the UNESCO World Heritage
- Casa Batlló – Antoni Gaudí Modernist Museum
- Park Güell – you need to book in advance
- Casa Milà – La Pedrera
Find the masterpiece of Spanish grandmasters in central Barcelona:
- Fundació Joan Miró – in Sans
- Museu Picasso – in Gothic Quarter
- MACBA. Museu d’Art Contemporani – in Gothic Quarter
- Catalan Music Palace – in Gothic Quarter
The highlights of the city:
- Barcelona Gothic Quarter – the historic town of Barcelona
- Montjuïc Castle and Magic Fountain
- Las Ramblas – the most famous street in Barcelona
- Camp Nou – Barcelona Stadium
- Barceloneta Beach
5. Palma de Mallorca
Palma de Mallorca is the largest island of the Balearic Islands. Mallorca is one of the most popular destinations for a holiday in Spain. Spanish royal families also visit for a vacation. Mallorca is a mecca for stunning beaches and amazing natural landscapes. You can also enjoy beautiful Mediterranean cuisine.
Many cruise lines include Mallorca as an itinerary and docks at a port city Palma de Mallorca. Palma de Mallorca offers so many to cruisers. You can access beautiful beaches which are numbered more than 200 around Mallorca. Find nature landscapes by renting a car. The streets and architecture also tell you the history of the city.
Mallorca Things to Do
- Palma Cathedral – called as La Seu, a spectacular Catalan Gothic cathedral that overlooks the harbour of Palma
- Rent a Car and find to Sa Calobra – Spain’s most dangerous road with a lot of twists but beautiful
- Santa Maria Cathedral – admire a view of the city from the top of the Cathedral
- Admire The Views from Mirador Es Colomer
- Visit Coves dels Hams and Coves del Drach – Palma has a lot of caves. They are well known.
- The Palacio Real de La Almudaina – known as the Alcazar, the Moorish fortified palace
- Port de Soller – a beautiful harbour surrounded by a residential district
- Colonnade of Bellver castle – the 13th castle, one of the highlights of Mallorca
- Palacio Real de La Almudaina
- Caló des Moro and Platja de Muro – spectacular beach surrounded rocks and deep blue water
- Cala Figuera – a beautiful fishing village, serving restaurants and cafes
- Sa Dragonera and Cap de Formentor – the natural park of the coast of Mallorca
Tips for Cruise to Spain
- Port cities I introduced in this article is one of the most popular destinations in Spain. Buy the entry ticket for the galleries, museums and historical sites in advance. You do not need to waste your time for queues.
- Spain is rather dried and much less humidity. You might feel not so hot but actually, the sunlight is strong. Wear sunscreen cream not only at a beach but sightseeing and town walking excursions.
- Be hydrated and keep a water bottle with you. It is the Mediterranean and is Spain. It is hot outside and dried. Bring a water bottle wherever you go. You will also need some snacks at a beach.
- Unfortunately, pickpocket is well known in Spain. It is a big business and even includes children. Keep eye on your possessions. Put wallet and other important things not into a pocket but into a shoulder bag.
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