Experience riveting rivieras and shores of splendour in the western Mediterranean. Málaga, the second most populous city in Andalusia and one of the oldest cities in the world, has a lineage stretching back 2,800 years. Málaga is home to some of the most spectacular architecture and is an unrivalled treasure trove of history.
Gibraltar is every bit as fascinating; a British exclave on the southern tip of Spain. With commanding views of North Africa, it’s simultaneously a melting pot of Christian, Islamic and Jewish culture and a modern financial centre – a place where British Bobbies ply their beat beneath the golden sun and the only location in Europe where monkeys roam free.
Beautiful bustling Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia captivates with effortless charm. An enchanting seaside city with boundless culture, intriguing architecture and exquisite food, Barcelona truly has something for everyone. Across the city you’ll find a mix of ingenious and whimsical creations by Gaudí and his Catalan architectural contemporaries. A visit to La Sagrada Família is a must – the temple was Gaudí’s all-consuming obsession and work began in 1882. Despite the structure remaining incomplete (it is hoped to be finished in 2026), La Sagrada Família attracts more than 4.5 million visitors a year and is the most visited monument in Spain.
In Lisbon you’ll find majestic monasteries and Gothic grandeur. Follow in the footsteps of the world’s greatest explorers as you wind your way through Lisbon’s cobblestone streets. Take in the tree-lined squares, ancient castles and colourful cityscape of Portugal’s capital city. Stroll along the historic waterfront, view medieval architecture and be enveloped by Lisbon’s artistic atmosphere.
Don’t forget the eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea, home to many captivating destinations. Istanbul is Turkey’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, with a breath taking skyline featuring magnificent Islamic architecture befitting its former status as the sea of the Ottoman Caliphate.
Or perhaps you’d prefer to explore the watery wonders of Venice, straddling 117 tiny islands. Long considered the world’s most romantic city, it’s the ultimate must-see destination. Why not consider an itinerary that includes both a luxury cruise and a journey aboard the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express?
Meanwhile, Split in Croatia is one of the most ancient cities in the region, founded in the fourth century BC as Aspálathos. Having passed through Greek, Roman and Byzantine hands, it is today a magnet for well-heeled tourists, with all the attractions to match. Croatia’s second-largest city, Split, is always buzzing and has the right balance between traditional and modernity. Head to Diocletian’s Palace, the living heart of the city and one of the most imposing ancient Roman structures in existence today.
Striking Santorini is the largest Greek island of an archipelago of the same name, the exposed remains of an enormous volcanic eruption that occurred around 3,600 years ago. Beautifully scenic and historically fascinating, it is rumoured to have inspired Plato’s Atlantis and the eruption has been suggested as the cause of the Biblical plagues. Look down on the deep blue waters of the four mile wide lagoon from an amphitheatre of whitewashed dwellings perched atop the caldera’s precipice.