Travel to Granada for an in-depth look at two Moorish icons: the 14th-century Alhambra fortress-palace and the historic Albaicin quarter, where the Moors once resided.
Boarding your coach at the pier, you'll enjoy a one-hour scenic drive inland to Granada, a high-altitude city nestled at the base of the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains. Although Granada charms in many ways, its highlight remains the incomparable Alhambra, the finest example of Moorish architecture in Spain.
Even the approach is magnificent, as the Alhambra's red walls and towers rise imposingly out of a forest. Inside the huge complex, you'll find a citadel known as the Alcazaba and the Palacios Nazaries, the palatial residences. The majority of the original architecture has been preserved, but you'll also see evidence of later additions by Christian conquerors that built a church, convent and Renaissance palace. The Alhambra was not a single static construction, but rather the result of an evolution, successive reforms and extensions. Walking through the seemingly endless rooms and courtyards here is an unforgettable experience, as the Alhambra complex is adorned with richly colored mosaics, ornamental columns and romantic archways. Built as a paradise for the sultans, the gardens are phenomenal, as well.
Following your visit, you'll enjoy a traditional Andalusian lunch before driving to the Albaicin, an ancient Moorish neighborhood of winding streets and whitewashed houses that faces the Alhambra. Like the Alhambra, it's a World Heritage Site with an enthralling atmosphere. Meandering about, you may see the remains of an Arab bath complex, some original Moorish homes and plenty of unique stores selling handmade merchandise such as ceramics, hammered metal ware and exquisite leather goods. Afterwards, you'll drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes nearly 3 hours of moderate to strenuous walking. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary. For port calls of fewer than 9 hours, the visit to the Albaicin quarter will be substituted with a panoramic drive of the city and the tour's total duration will be 7 hours.