8 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise on Vision of the Seas from Barcelona, Spain Cartagena, Spain Lighthouse
The 8 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise from Barcelona, Spain visits Sete, France; Provence (Toulon), France; Ajaccio, Corsica; Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy; Palma De Mallorca, Spain; Cartagena, Spain; Valencia, Spain; Barcelona, Spain. Explore our cruise itineraries and choose from a variety of rooms depending on your needs and budget. Start planning your next cruise vacation by selecting a destination and departure port.
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8 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise
Itinerary Overview
Explore Vision of the Seas
Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain
Day 2 - Sete, France
Day 3 - Provence (Toulon), France
Day 4 - Ajaccio, Corsica
Day 5 - Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy
Day 6 - Palma De Mallorca, Spain
Day 7 - Cartagena, Spain
Day 8 - Valencia, Spain
Day 9 - Barcelona, Spain
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Cartagena, Spain Lighthouse
Cartagena, Spain Lighthouse by the Coast
This is your

8 Night Western Mediterranean Cruise

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
Barcelona, Spain
Onboard
Vision of the Seas
Day Port
1
Barcelona, Spain
Departs at 5:00 PM
2
Sete, France
From 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
3
Provence (Toulon), France
From 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
4
Ajaccio, Corsica
Tendered from 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
5
Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy
From 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
6
Palma De Mallorca, Spain
From 10:45 AM - 7:00 PM
7
Cartagena, Spain
From 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
8
Valencia, Spain
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9
Barcelona, Spain
Arrives at 6:00 AM
*Port sequence may vary by sailing date.
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Your ship Vision of the Seas

Your ship
Vision of the Seas
View Itinerary
Vision of the Seas, Side View, Caribbean Cruise Destinations
Side View of Vision of the Seas Cruise Ship Visiting Puerto Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico
Get to know
Vision of the Seas
You'll gain a new perspective of adventure onboard Vision of the Seas®, and we don't just mean the views at the top of the Rock Climbing Wall. From classic sips at R Bar to disco dancing in Boogie Wonderland, this ship is a spectacle to behold.

ALL-AROUND AMAZING

Spend your sea days catching a movie on the poolside screen or learning how to flambé with a seasoned chef in a culinary class. Or get top-notch views on the Rock Climbing Wall, then visit Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Center. With so much to do onboard, adventure is always in sight.

TASTEBUD TRAILBLAZING

Grab a classic cocktail at the retro-inspired R Bar then chow down on select steakhouse faves at Chop's Grille℠. For a Far East feast, head to Izumi. And get ready for an elevated epicurean experience at Chef's Table.

CASTING CALL

Magic happens when the curtain goes up onboard Vision of the Seas®. We're talking peace, love and disco beats in Boogie Wonderland, show tunes galore in Broadway Rhythm & Rhyme, and guest entertainers that know how to rock your vacation with stellar performances.

Day 1: Barcelona, Spain

Day 1
Barcelona
Spain
View Itinerary
Spain Barcelona La Sagrada Couple
La Sagrada Couple Walking
Things to do in
Barcelona
Departs at 5:00 PM
It’s easy to see why Barcelona is the most-visited city in Spain. As the capital of the country’s Catalonia region, this cityscape’s cultural mosaic pieces together a 2,000-year-old hodgepodge of sun-drenched beaches, cutting edge architecture, and a world-renowned dining and drinking scene. Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí left his modernist handprint all over the city, while medieval treasures linger in historic Gothic Quarter squares. Get lost in the whimsical gardens of Park Güell or savor a chef-led Catalan cooking class. Browse art collections dedicated to Picasso and Miro— or ride a cable car to the top of Montjuïc Hill, relishing citywide views along the way.
Spain Barcelona La Sagrada Familia Interior
La Sagrada Familia Interior Colorful

SKY HIGH DELIGHTS

Get an up-close glimpse of La Sagrada Família, a cathedral masterwork designed by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Marvel at its sky-piercing spires and then step inside to admire intricate mosaics, Montjuïc stone pillars and the Nativity façade. You can even climb to the tippy-top of the spires for panoramic city views.
Spain Barcelona Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach at Sunset

SEAS THE DAY

With seven beaches spanning more than two miles of Mediterranean coastline, Barcelona’s harborfront is known for some of the world’s best sun-seeking and on-the-sea adventures. Lounge along the shore, kayak deep blue waters— or charter a fishing trip for the chance to reel in tuna, swordfish or Mediterranean spearfish.
Barcelona, Spain La Rambla Shops
Street view of La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, with shops lining the street

IN THE MIX

Take a stroll along La Rambla’s pedestrian boulevard to experience the city’s pure essence. Souvenir shops, street artists, flower stalls, sidewalk cafes and Catalan folk sardana dancers set a lively scene. Its marvelous centerpiece, La Catedral, dates from the 1200s— and its tower delivers sweeping views of medieval Barcelona.
Spain Barcelona Sparkling Cava Wine
Couple Enjoying the Local Sparkling Cava Wine

LOCAL CUISINE

Barcelona has mastered the art of eating. Many restaurants serve up creative nueva cocina española, while waterfront spots dish out seafood paella and multi-course lunch menus include a glass of sparkling cava wine. For a taste of Catalan cooking, try pa amb tomàquet (tomato-topped bread). Or nibble on Spanish tapas (bite-sized appetizers) around the bar like a local, with house-made vermouth in hand.
Spain Barcelona Local Fresh Market Shopping
Couple Strolling Through the Fresh Local Market

SHOPPING

You could spend hours checking out the markets of Barcelona for high-quality leatherwear, jewelry, old books and unique housewares. Passeig de Gràcia and Barcelona Shopping Line are two popular retail promenades— and the Gothic Quarter is home to dozens of family-owned shops that sell textiles, stationery, decorative ceramic tiles and earthenware kitchenware.

Day 2: Sete, France

Day 2
Sete
France
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Sete, France, Theater de la Mer
Theater de la Mer on the coast of Sete, France
Things to do in
Sete
From 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Think France's Mediterranean coast is all about fancy yachts and glamorous movie stars? The port town of Sete will make you think again. Understated and unpretentious, Sete sits along the coast of France's laid-back Occitanie region. No matter how long your stop in Sete lasts, a stroll through this humble harbor will feel like hitting the most satisfying reset button with your Sete cruise. Once you've taken in Sete's charming port and canal-filled Old Town, hike to the view point at Mont St.-Clair, or sit down at the shore for a lunch of oysters harvested from nearby Thau Lagoon.
Sete, France, Royal Canal
The Royal Canal in Sete, France

Quays and Canals

The most striking feature of central Sete is the system of canals that crisscross its old town. You'll find shops, kiosks and museums on the quays jutting out into the water. Start at the broad Canal Royal, built in the 17th century during the reign of King Louis XIV.
Insider tip
Sete's lack of mass tourism is charming, but it also means people here are less likely to speak English and not as accustomed to assisting tourists as those in, say, Cannes or Marseilles.
Sete, France, Pristine beach
A pristine beach in Sete, France

Be a Beach Bum

Easily accesible from town center, Sete's beaches offer fine white sand and sprawling vistas. Lazaret beach is the closest to town center. Other popular spots include the long Plage des Quilles and the smaller Plage de la Corniche, located along a scenic oceanfront boulevard.
Insider tip
If you happen to be visiting Sete in late August, check out Fete de Saint Louis, a festival dedicated to the local pastime of water jousting.
Sete, France, Coastal graveyard
A coastal graveyard overlooking the ocean in Sete, France

Drop-Dead Gorgeous

Why not do something a little strange while in Sete? Less than 30 minutes by foot from the port, the Cimetiere Marin offers a captivating duality: gorgeous ocean views in contrast with rows of graves dating back to the 1600s.
Sete, France, Half Dozen Oysters
A white plate with a half dozen oysters on ice

Local Cuisine

Seafood is the specialty in Sete, especially oysters and mussels, which live in the Thau Lagoon just offshore. Feeling adventurous? Try bourride de lotte a la Setois, a monkfish stew, or la tielle Setoise, a flaky-crust octopus pie. The best-loved restaurants are located conveniently near the port.
Sete, France, Lavender Soaps
An assortment of lavender soaps in France

Shopping

If you're looking for a quirky souvenir, visit the unique Bad George's shop in the heart of the Old Town, where you can find distinctive Sete-themed t-shirts, tote bags and more. Cruise to Sete, France to shop for traditional south-of-France souvenirs, including soaps scented with local lavender, at Le Pavois Setois near Corniche Beach.

Day 3: Provence, France

Day 3
Provence
Toulon, France
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Provence (Toulon), France, Liberty Square
Liberty Square in Toulon, France,
Things to do in
Provence
From 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Situated on the French Riviera, Toulon is more about small-town charm and natural beauty than glitz and glamor. As you pull into the city's huge natural harbor, you'll see towering Mont Faron — after you dock, take the 6-minute cable car ride to the summit, where you'll be greeted to sweeping views of the Mediterranean and the city below. Cruise to Provence to stroll down the Cours Lafayette and take in the smells of oregano, thyme and freshly baked pastries from the local street vendors. Then, explore the city's naval heritage — it's been the French Navy's base for over 500 years — at the Musee de la Marine, or take a boat tour of the Rade de Toulon, the city's military harbor.
Provence (Toulon), France, Panoramic view
Panoramic view of Toulon, France

Such Great Heights

Mont Faron offers incredible views combined with deep history. Take the cable car to the top and explore the various forts and towers before trekking through the nature. There's also a zoo located at the summit. If you decide to drive up, just know that the road is one of the most challenging stages of the Tour Mediterranean cycling race.
Insider tip
Boule, the French version of bocce, is extremely popular here — join a game in one of the many courts found in Toulon.
Provence (Toulon), France, Fort Faron
Exterior walls on Fort Faron in France

Military Might

Musee Memorial du Debarquement, at the top of Mont Faron, commemorates the Allied invasion of the Provence coast. This military museum is filled with maps, models, photography, uniforms, equipment and anything else to do with military might. You can buy a combined ticket with the cable car.
Insider tip
Keep an eye out for great public art, including the Card Gamer's sculpture in Raimu Square.
Provence (Toulon), France, Harbor
The Toulon harbor in France

Cliffs and Coastline

Beyond the harbor, you'll find a wonderful series of coastal walking paths that take you from east to west in style. The Sentier des Couaniers was laid in the early 19th century to assist customs officials in catching smugglers. Follow the trails into hidden coves and onto natural terraces and cliffs overlooking the sea.
Provence (Toulon), France, Ham and cheese crouton
Soft cheese with ham on a crouton

Local Cuisine

Toulon's street markets are the best place to discover the local delicacies. Cours Lafayette is a lengthy pedestrian street that stretches right down to the harbor and is open every day except Monday — pick up ingredients for a simple picnic lunch of fresh figs, local olives and fromage de chevre (goat cheese). During your cruise to Provence, snack on socca, the Provencal wood-fired chickpea pancake with olive oil and sea salt, with a glass of crisp white wine.
Provence (Toulon), France, Dried lavender
Dried lavender hanging in Provence, France

Shopping

For a small city, Toulon has some great shopping opportunities. There's a large mall, but for more unique shopping, try the Old Town and Rue Jean-Jaures — keep an eye out for local herbes de provence and dried lavender for your home. If vintage is your thing, head to Noush, a treasure trove of carefully selected fashions, such as silk scarves and leather purses, shoes and belts.

Day 4: Ajaccio, Corsica

Day 4
Ajaccio
Corsica
View Itinerary
Ajaccio, Corsica Coastal Citadel
A coastal citadel and beach in Ajaccio, Corsica
Things to do in
Ajaccio
Tendered from 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Located just south of France on the island of Corsica, Ajaccio is rich in history and astonishing views, all set in the sun-drenched Mediterranean climate. Napoleon is Corsica's most recognizable historical personality — when you're strolling through town, make sure to visit the Maison Bonaparte Napoleon's family home and a historical museum. Stop in the beautiful Baroque-style Notre Dame Cathedral, where Napoleon was baptized. Here, you'll also find important artwork by Tintoretto and Delacroix. Cruise to Corsica and hop on Le Petit Train, or "the little train," for a tour of town. For a taste of nature, head out to the Calanques de Piana, a range of dramatic red-rock cliffs.
Ajaccio, Corsica Napoleon Bonaparte Statue
A statue of Napoleon Bonaparte in Ajaccio, Corsica

See Napoleon's Roots

Discover the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Napoleon Museum, built on the site of home where he was born. You'll come away with insight into the childhood of one of the most pivotal political figures of the 19th century.
Insider tip
Take the charming Little Train to explore Ajaccio and the surrounding area. You'll get guided historic tour in the old town and a visit to view the stunning Iles Sanguinaires.
Ajaccio, Corsica Colorful Homes
Colorful homes on a street in Ajaccio, Corsica

Old-Town Charm

Head to Place Foch to enjoy the vibrant and colorful atmosphere of the old town. Take in the laid-back approach to life at one of the picturesque cafes as you people watch and savor one of the local wines from Ajaccio.
Insider tip
Stroll over to visit the Citadelle. Although off-limits to the public, you can continue walking and enjoy the views from the lovely promenade along the beach.
Ajaccio, Corsica Coastal View From Cliff
Coastal view in Corsica from cliff

Naturally Adventurous

Looking for outdoor exploration? Check out the Calanques de Piana, a series of red-rock cliffs overlooking the pristine ocean. Cruise to Corsica and drive out to Scandola Nature reserve for views of stunning rock formations, caves and wildlife, including eagles.
Ajaccio, Corsica Boar Stew
A bowl of boar stew in Ajaccio, Corsica

Local Cuisine

Corsica is an epicurean's dream — a unique microcosm that offers the best ingredients from both land and sea. Try the signature civet de sanglier, a hearty stew made with wild boar. Don't miss langostine with sun-ripened vegetables, and enjoy flavorful cheese from the mountains along with the specialty cured meats. Wash it all down with a glass of Corsican red wine.
Ajaccio, Corsica Craft Jewlery
Assorted craft jewelry

Shopping

Corsica is home to one of the largest coral shops in the world, La Maison du Corail, which offers a splendid selection of jewelry. The island also produces local honey as well as olive oil and jams; pick some up at the small shops in the old town. Artisan workshops offer handcrafted items in leather and glass. You can also find boutique shops offering designer brands, and the rope bags typical of Corsica.

Day 5: Sardinia, Italy

Day 5
Sardinia
Cagliari, Italy
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Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy, View Of City From Sea
Coastal view of the city of Cagliari in Sardinia
Things to do in
Sardinia
From 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Cagliari, the capital of the Italian island of Sardinia, is situated high upon hills that offer a panoramic view of the Golfo degli Angeli — the Gulf of Angels. Walk along Poetto beach, with its soft sand and clear water, or visit the urban park of Molentargius with its flamingos, wetlands and magnificent birds. Cruise to Sardinia, Italy to peruse the local architectural sites: See Bastione di Saint Remy with its breathtaking terrace and Torre dell'Elefante, a medieval tower with a 360-degree view of the city. And don't forget to take a meditative stroll through the lavish interior of the 13th-century Cagliari Cathedral.
Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy, Poetto Beach
Poetto Beach in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy.

Sink Into Soft Sand

One of the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia, palm tree-lined Poetto gives you a chance to relax as you take in the views and a swim in the crystal waters. Small cafes and bars dot the beach — once you're all sunned out, sip a Sardinian mirto, an herbal liqueur, and mingle with the locals.
Insider tip
The port is located right in the city, which makes it easy to reach the main sites — they're all within walking distance.
Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy, View Of Sea From Saint Remy Bastion
View of the sea from the Saint Remy Bastion in Cagliari, Sardinia

Go Column-Hopping

The Bastione of St. Remy invites you to walk through its columns into the 19th-century fortifications. Enjoy an espresso or gelato as you gaze at the panorama. Then, climb atop the Torre dell'Elefante for fantastic views of the rolling hills.
Insider tip
Sardinia has a Mediterranean climate, so the weather is generally pleasant with mild winters and hot, dry summers.
Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy, Flamingo
A flamingo at Molentargius Park in Sardinia, Italy

Flamingos Galore

A short 15-minute drive or 40-minute bus ride on Linea 6 from the Regina Margherita Hotel takes you to Molentargius-Saline Nature Park, an oasis just outside the city. Here, you'll find stunning natural views of flamingos. You can also spot the local ducks, chickens, and gulls with Italy cruises to Sardinia.
Insider tip
To reach the Poetto beach, it takes about 15 minutes by cab or 25 on the Linea PF bus.
Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy, Pasta With Tomato Sauce And Sausage
Pasta with tomato sauce and sausage on a white plate

Local Cuisine

Sardinian cuisine is unique from that of Italy. Sample thin, crisp carasau bread and the distinctive saffron-spiced malloreddus gnocchi. Savor the Tyrrenhian's bountyin the form of Sardinian seafood stew — packed with flavorful clams, lobster and squid — and pasta alla trabaccolara, made with white fish, herbs and lots of garlic. And don't miss pabassinas, a small pastry dense with walnuts, almonds and raisins and spiced with orange zest and cinnamon.
Sardinia (Cagliari), Italy, Wooden Mask
A traditional Sardinian wooden mask

Shopping

The crafts found in Sardinia reflect its unique culture. Craftspeople pass down techniques from generation to generation, from colorful embroidered silk to filigree gold and silver, hand-painted ceramics, and traditional wooden masks. The Marina area is where you'll find most of Cagliari's shops and boutiques.

Day 6: Palma De Mallorca, Spain

Day 6
Palma De Mallorca
Spain
View Itinerary
Palma De Mallorca, Spain, Cityscape
The Palma de Mallorca, Spain cityscape with La Seu cathedral towering over the city
Things to do in
Palma De Mallorca
From 10:45 AM - 7:00 PM
The Spanish island of Mallorca offers towering mountains and dramatic cliffs rising over clear, blue water — but its hidden gem is Palma de Mallorca, the island's capital and largest city, where you'll find quaint historic streets, Gothic castles and gastronomic delights. Cruise to Palma de Mallorca and check out one-of-a-kind Palma Cathedral: The 14th-century Gothic spires of exterior contrast the modernist interior designed by in the early 1900s by Gaudi. See the circular courtyard and Arab-inspired arches of Castell de Bellver, and take in the fresh scent of the miles of pine forest that surround it. Or rent bikes and pedal east to Palma Beach, where you can soak in the sun on the white sands and clear waves.
Palma De Mallorca, Spain, La Seu Cathedral and Almudaina castle
La Seu cathedral and Almudaina castle

Castles and Cathedrals

Palma de Mallorca's historic places look like something out of "Game of Thrones." Whether you traipse through the courtyard of 14th-century Bellver Castle or say your prayers inside Gothic Palma Cathedral, Palma de Mallorca can transport you back to medieval times. Your can also see the city's unique Arab influence dating back to the 10th-century Moorish conquest at spots like the Arab Baths.
Insider tip
If you're more interested in ocean time than historic sites, book a boat tour to see the coastline of Mallorca from the sunlit waves.
Palma De Mallorca, Spain, Cala Llombards beach
People enjoying Cala Llombards beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Get Your Beach On

It's no surprise that Palma de Mallorca is home to some of the world's best beaches — what's astonishing is just how clear blue the water is at Cala Llombards, or how the warm, golden sands of Playa El Arenal will make you wish you never had to leave. No wonder so many red and yellow umbrellas dot the sands here.
Insider tip
Hours of operation for the Palma cathedral vary by season so be sure to check before you arrive.
Palma De Mallorca, Spain, Cuevas del Drach
The Cuevas del Drach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Explore a Dragon's Lair

Head to Porto Cristo on the east side of the island, where you'll find the Cuevas del Drach — the dragon caves. While no actual dragons have been spotted here, the stalactites and stalagmites of this ancient underground cave make it easy to imagine. You can even take a violin-serenaded boat ride on the cave's underground lake during your cruise.
Palma De Mallorca, Spain, Tombet dish
A bowl of tombet, a traditional vegetable dish

Local Cuisine

Mallorca is technically part of Spain, but Palma de Mallorca's cuisine is a world unto itself. Savor tombet, a vegetarian stew with sweet potatoes and carrots that's Mallorca's take on ratatouille. Cruise to Palma de Mallorca to sample the eclectic coca mallorquina, a kind of crunchy flatbread pizza with an olive oil-rich crust topped with roasted red peppers.
Palma De Mallorca, Spain, Straw bag market
A straw bag market in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Shopping

Palma's premier shopping is to be had in the Passeig de Born neighborhood. Shop here for upscale brands like Mulberry and Zara. Then, head to Jaume III and Sant Miquel streets for boutiques specializing in fine local goods: Choose a necklace or earrings made with world-famous Mallorcan pearls, try on a pair of handmaid Menorquina sandals, or marvel at handicrafts like colorful pottery and traditional straw bags.

Day 7: Cartagena, Spain

Day 7
Cartagena
Spain
View Itinerary
Cartagena, Spain, City Hall
City hall in Cartagena, Spain
Things to do in
Cartagena
From 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Cartagena greets you with its ancient Mediterranean port on Spain's southeastern coast. Originally governed by the Carthaginians and subsequently by the Romans, Arabs and Castilians, this pedestrian-friendly city is a history buff's dream port. Visit the 2,000-year-old Roman Theatre and the attached museum, where you'll find an ancient altar to Jupiter and a statue of Apollo. Then, check out the late 19th-century modernist architecture of Cartagena's historic center. Cruises to Cartagena, Spain allow you to stroll down blue-marble-tiled pedestrian-only Calle Mayor. Or take the 30-minute drive to the Batteria de Castillitos, a medieval-style fortress situated among the picturesque mountain landscape.
Cartagena, Spain Roman Theater
Couple Walking Through Spain's Roman Theater

Roman Holiday

Check out Cartagena's ancient Roman Theater — built in the first century A.D. and only uncovered in 1987, it's since been reconstructed. Duck into its museum, which passes beneath a palace and a church before it reaches the theater.
Insider tip
Spanish shops close for siesta between 2 and 5 p.m., and restaurants from about 4 p.m. until around 8 p.m.
Cartagena, Spain, Castle of Cartagena
The Castle of Cartagena in Cartagena, Spain

Castle on the Hill

The 18th-century castle called Concepcion Castle sits on a hill facing Cartagena. Walk uphill to visit the castle and its history center, or catch the lift at Calle Gisbert for amazing panoramic views en route.
Insider tip
Try Asiatico, a common Cartagena coffee drink with condensed milk, brandy, the Spanish liqueur Licor 43, cinnamon and lemon zest.
Cartagena, Spain Historic Buildings
Cartagena, Spain Historic Buildings Intricate Details

The New Within the Old

For all its ancient allure, Cartagena also has Modernist architecture, which you can see along the Calle Mayor area. One example is the home of Cervantes, designed by a local Cartagena architect. Check out the Casino, the Gran Hotel and the railway station for more examples of this exuberantly gaudy style with your Spain Cruise.
Insider tip
Don't confuse Cartagena, Spain, and Cartagena, Colombia, while planning your trip!
Spain Cartagena Paella Local Cuisine
Chef Making Traditional Spanish Paella

Local Cuisine

In Cartagena, you'll find authentic Mediterranean dishes featuring fresh-caught seafood, like lightly tempura-battered fried squid. Red prawns from the Mar Menor lagoon and fig bread are local delicacies. Explore off the main tourist streets and hit a tapas bar for tasty fare such as Serrano ham, toasted Cartagena almonds and cracked local olives.
Spain Cartagena Local Artisan Ceramics
Spain Cartagena Local Artisan Ceramics Shopping

Shopping

The clean, pedestrians-only shopping street Calle Mayor is an easy walk from the port and has the high-street stores of England and Spain. An El Corte Ingles department store and restaurants are housed in gorgeous buildings. Look for ceramics and leather goods in interesting boutiques and shops when you cruise to Cartagena, Spain.

Day 8: Valencia, Spain

Day 8
Valencia
Spain
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Valencia, Spain, Aerial beach view
Aerial beach view in Valencia, Spain
Things to do in
Valencia
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Spain's third largest city, Valencia offers a little bit of everything, from historic sites and bustling city squares to placid beaches. Soak up the sun at Malvarrosa Beach along the urban seafront, or head to El Saler for a more remote beach experience surrounded by white-sand dunes and pine trees. Cruise to Valencia and get your culture fix at Gothic Valencia Cathedral, and see the 15th-century renaissance paintings housed in its interior. Head to Plaza de la Reina in the city's old town and do some people-watching over a fresh glass of horchata, a classic Valencia beverage made from almond milk with cinnamon and spices, or take a picnic lunch of fresh pears and local cheese to the quiet Turia Gardens.
Valencia, Spain, Cathedral
Close up view of a cathedral in Valencia, Spain

Get Gothic

Architecture lovers will fall in love with the Old Town of Valencia. The winding lanes are filled with a mix of Gothic and Baroque architecture, including the Cathedral and Plaza del Virgen. Grab your camera and climb the 207 steps of the 13th-century Cathedral bell tower for a stunning view of the city to the countryside and the sea.
Insider tip
The city center is very walkable, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes to make the most of your day.
Valencia, Spain, City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

Arts and Carafe

Venture outside of the Old Town and over to the City of Arts and Sciences. Spend a few hours admiring the modern design of the futuristic buildings by Santiago Calatrava. Check out the Oceanografic Aquarium, home to a wide variety of sharks, belugas and walruses. Afterward, relax outside in the sunshine and beautiful gardens.
Insider tip
Prefer to see the city on two wheels? Bicycles are very easy to rent all around Valencia.
Valencia, Spain, Central Market
Central Market in Valencia, Spain

Go to Market

One of Europe's longest-running food markets, Central Market is the place to go to sample Valencia's seasonal produce, such as artichokes and pears. To beat the crowds, head here early in the morning to enjoy a warm espresso while you shop. Once properly caffeinated, watch as locals do their daily shopping and admire the stained-glass domes and mosaic details.
Valencia, Spain, Paella
A Valencian paella being served

Local Cuisine

In Valencia, you'll find plenty of tapas to sample, but you can't leave without enjoying paella. The classic Spanish dish has its roots in this seaside city, where it's usually served up with rabbit, chicken, asparagus and local snails. If you prefer pasta over rice, go in for fideua, a hearty dish of pan-fried noodles piled with local seafood like squid, shrimp or monkfish.
Valencia, Spain, Hand held fan
A woman holding a fan in Spain

Shopping

Head to the Old Town of Valencia during your cruise to find some of the best shops offering handmade fans, embroidered silk shawls and Lladro porcelain. If you happen to end up in the city on the weekend, browse the stalls at the flea market in Plaza Redonda.

Day 9: Barcelona, Spain

Day 9
Barcelona
Spain
View Itinerary
Barcelona, Spain Park Guell
View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
Things to do in
Barcelona
Arrives at 6:00 AM
It’s easy to see why Barcelona is the most-visited city in Spain. As the capital of the country’s Catalonia region, this cityscape’s cultural mosaic pieces together a 2,000-year-old hodgepodge of sun-drenched beaches, cutting edge architecture, and a world-renowned dining and drinking scene. Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí left his modernist handprint all over the city, while medieval treasures linger in historic Gothic Quarter squares. Get lost in the whimsical gardens of Park Güell or savor a chef-led Catalan cooking class. Browse art collections dedicated to Picasso and Miro— or ride a cable car to the top of Montjuïc Hill, relishing citywide views along the way.
Spain Barcelona La Sagrada Familia Interior
La Sagrada Familia Interior Colorful

SKY HIGH DELIGHTS

Get an up-close glimpse of La Sagrada Família, a cathedral masterwork designed by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Marvel at its sky-piercing spires and then step inside to admire intricate mosaics, Montjuïc stone pillars and the Nativity façade. You can even climb to the tippy-top of the spires for panoramic city views.
Spain Barcelona Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach at Sunset

SEAS THE DAY

With seven beaches spanning more than two miles of Mediterranean coastline, Barcelona’s harborfront is known for some of the world’s best sun-seeking and on-the-sea adventures. Lounge along the shore, kayak deep blue waters— or charter a fishing trip for the chance to reel in tuna, swordfish or Mediterranean spearfish.
Barcelona, Spain La Rambla Shops
Street view of La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain, with shops lining the street

IN THE MIX

Take a stroll along La Rambla’s pedestrian boulevard to experience the city’s pure essence. Souvenir shops, street artists, flower stalls, sidewalk cafes and Catalan folk sardana dancers set a lively scene. Its marvelous centerpiece, La Catedral, dates from the 1200s— and its tower delivers sweeping views of medieval Barcelona.
Spain Barcelona Sparkling Cava Wine
Couple Enjoying the Local Sparkling Cava Wine

LOCAL CUISINE

Barcelona has mastered the art of eating. Many restaurants serve up creative nueva cocina española, while waterfront spots dish out seafood paella and multi-course lunch menus include a glass of sparkling cava wine. For a taste of Catalan cooking, try pa amb tomàquet (tomato-topped bread). Or nibble on Spanish tapas (bite-sized appetizers) around the bar like a local, with house-made vermouth in hand.
Spain Barcelona Local Fresh Market Shopping
Couple Strolling Through the Fresh Local Market

SHOPPING

You could spend hours checking out the markets of Barcelona for high-quality leatherwear, jewelry, old books and unique housewares. Passeig de Gràcia and Barcelona Shopping Line are two popular retail promenades— and the Gothic Quarter is home to dozens of family-owned shops that sell textiles, stationery, decorative ceramic tiles and earthenware kitchenware.

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