Goes Ashore in Europe:
to see & things to do
of the highlights of the one hundred mile drive to Granada from the
port of Málaga is the beautiful countryside. Orange and lemon
groves surround country homes in this hilly and rocky region of
small mountains. Olives, wheat, and wine are the main agricultural
products. Almond and mulberry trees are abundant and barley and rye
are also cultivated in the area.
Granada, the astonishing snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain peaks,
site of Europe’s southernmost ski resort, are visible before the
whitewashing buildings of the city come into view.
rich historical ambiance of Granada and the Alhambra are a must-see
but it’s not recommended to try visiting them independent of a
ship’s tour due to the one hundred mile distance and strict
regulations for admission into the protected area of the Alhambra.
two and a half hour ride is almost complete as you enter the walls
surrounding the architectural marvel that is the Alhambra. From
fortress to Moorish summer palace of sultans and the royal families
of Spain, the Alhambra is the oldest and best preserved of the 14th
century palaces. From the stucco designs carved in the Arabic
language to the intricate tile mosaics and carved wood ceilings, the
Alhambra is a feast for the senses with elaborate pools and lovingly
tended gardens. A visionary oasis, the Harem courtyard contains a
fountain, which was the gift of the Jewish people. The twelve lions
surrounding it represent the twelve tribes of Israel and the water
is the most important element in the Alhambra—the symbol of life.
It’s a setting worthy of the tales of The One Thousand and One
two-hour walk through the formal gardens and palace buildings of the
Alhambra is strenuous and ramps for the mobility impaired are
limited. With seven to eight thousand visitors a day, it’s the
second most visited site in Spain and is quite cold in winter and
very hot in the summer. The rich historical ambiance of Granada and
the Alhambra are a must-see but it’s not recommended to try
visiting them independent of a ship’s tour due to the distance and
strict regulations for admission into the protected area of the
is so enticing that Queen Isabel decreed the Gothic Flamboyant style
Chapel Royal should be built there as the final resting place for
her and her husband, King Ferdinand. Emperor Carlos V built his
serenely majestic palace on the grounds of the Alhambra in the late
1500s and it stands today as the finest example of a Renaissance
palace outside Italy.
isn’t a shopping spot, although there are gift shops inside the
Alhambra where post cards, books, and typical souvenirs are sold. Vendors
in the parking lot beckon tourists to buy shawls and tablecloths of
questionable value and workmanship.
to Mediterranean Ports