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Setting sail from Málaga
Málaga has at times had its reputation dragged down by association with the overdevelopment and high rise horrors of the Costa del Sol, which is a great shame, as there is plenty to satisfy the discerning traveller. The labyrinthine historic centre is right next to the cruise port, and has been given something of a makeover in recent years. Nowadays there are plenty of chic restaurants and bars where you can ease into the rhythms of life in southern Spain, before exploring sights including the intriguing, unfinished Gothic cathedral, and a museum devoted to Málaga's most famous son, Pablo Picasso.
Málaga closes for siesta so plan your visit to ensure you have scheduled a long relaxing lunch. Plan for an extensive tapas tasting, or great seafood a little way down the coast at El Palo.
Seville is a wonderful destination, a sophisticated and sun-kissed city on the banks of the Guadalquivir river. It’s a treat for all the senses, from the smell of orange blossom to the heart-tugging sounds of flamenco, and the highlight of the calendar is undoubtedly Semana Santa, when a spectacular Easter parade fills the streets.
The crumbling, sun-baked seafront city of Cádiz is said to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the western world, founded by the Phoenicians around 1100 BC. Although the city lacks any obvious landmarks, it’s rich in atmosphere, and plays host to one of Spain’s most colourful carnivals.
Bustling and modern, fizzing with industry and commerce, Casablanca is often overlooked in favour of Morocco’s better known tourist draws. But then this is part of its appeal: it’s an authentic and unvarnished city, and it’s also home to the spectacular modernist architecture of the Hassan II Mosque.
Marrakech is an incomparable assault on the senses, not least amongst the drummers, storytellers and snake charmers of the famous Jemaa El Fna. It’s a place to get lost in the souks, admire the astonishing architecture of the Saadian Tombs and the Koutoubia Mosque, or escape the hustle and bustle with a refreshing mint tea.
Rebuilt after a terrible earthquake in 1960, Agadir is Morocco’s most popular beach resort, and there is a relaxed European feel that sets it apart from other Moroccan cities. The beachfront promenade is lovely and the waters are clean and clear, making this a popular winter sun destination.
Canary Islands: Lanzarote
In recent years Lanzarote has begun to shake off its mass market reputation and reinvent itself as a more upmarket destination. The extraordinary volcanic landscapes and the works of local artist César Manrique give the island a unique appearance, and the understated capital, Arrecife, is well worth exploring.
Canary Islands: Santa Cruz de La Palma
The lush volcanic island of La Palma is one of the Canary Islands’ best kept secrets, a place where tourism is still low key and the beautiful scenery is unspoilt by high rise developments. Don’t miss the colourful colonial architecture of the capital, Santa Cruz, reminiscent of the Spanish Caribbean.
Arriving in Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Situated on Tenerife's north eastern shore, the island's capital is a busy port that serves mostly as a gateway to the popular south west coast and the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the island's interior. There are a few attractions in the town itself, including the tree-lined Ramblas and the strikingly modern Auditorium, designed by Santiago Calatrava, but we wouldn't advise spending too much time in Santa Cruz, particularly in summer when it can get rather crowded. Head instead for the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of San Cristobal de la Laguna, Tenerife's former capital and the prettiest town on the island.
Take the cable car to the summit of Mount Teide, for panoramic views of the Canarian archipelago – make sure you book in advance to avoid the queues.
Your home from home
A comfortable home from home, the Aegean Odyssey is the perfect size for in-depth exploration.
What we love
Providing a relaxed atmosphere the Aegean Odyssey reaches smaller bays and out of the way coves, all of which help provide a focus on the destination.
|Style||Classically elegant, but far from stuffy and formal.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Málaga
We love the Málaga Gibralfaro Parador, in the old quarter with views over the harbour.
Travel north to Granada and the Alhambra Palace, an unmissable example of Moorish architecture in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
Where to stay in Tenerife
If you are just here for a couple of nights, go for the Laguna Nivaria Hotel and Spa.
What to see in Tenerife
Visit the largest volcanic tube in Europe, the Cueva del Viento, 11 miles in a three-tiered labyrinth of tunnels.