Cruise the Iberian Peninsula
We planned a trip to Spain and Portugal for a multi-generational family. Their journey began in Barcelona where they marveled at the architectural wonders of Gaudi including La Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell. Leisure time was spent strolling the tree-lined boulevard of Las Ramblas to the seaport to view the statue of Columbus looking out to the sea. Along the way, the family enjoyed exquisite Spanish wines and tapas while dining al fresco. One of the special dishes along the way was a stop for clams cataplana.
In Barcelona, they boarded the Oceania Nautica for a cruise to Lisbon. Oceania is known as a foodies cruise where all the specialty restaurants are included with never an upcharge, a rarity among cruise ships.
One of the ports of call was Malaga. We arranged for the family to experience a full day to Granada to visit the Alhambra, the summer palace of the Moorish Emir. On the way, luscious olive groves stretched for miles in every direction. Upon reaching Granada, the group toured the Generalife and its amazing gardens. Lunch at the Parador San Francisco on the grounds of the Alhambra was a special treat which we arranged.
Next stop was Gibraltar. The group rode the cable car to the “Top of the Rock” with its incredible views of the city, the Spanish countryside and Morocco across the straits. They were able to watch the Barbary apes cavort. Gibraltar is the only place in Europe where the apes still run wild. Another rare sight is watching the traffic stop so planes can land at Gibraltar airport which contains one runway on a small strip of land that marks the border between Spain and British Gibraltar.
The cruise made its way to Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal where we reserved a vintage Volkswagen convertible for a very unique way to tour the city. The city’s steep hills and warm climate made a perfect set up for riding in a convertible. The family also made its way to Fatima to visit the shrine and witness the miracle apparition of 1917 of the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary. And a wonderful end to an amazing family vacation.