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Thirsk Travel Centre

***NEW FOR 2016***

On all of our tours, we now offer a free chauffeur service to and from the airport in a luxury Limousine!

Also, we are currently offering a free upgrade for entry in to the departure lounge on departure

Cruise Details

Lisbon to Monte Carlo

Spread over a string of seven hills north of the Rio Tejo (Tagus River) estuary, Lisbon presents an intriguing variety of faces to those who negotiate its switchback streets. In the oldest neighborhoods, stepped alleys whose street pattern dates back to Moorish times are lined with pastel-color houses decked with laundry; here and there, miradouros (vantage points) afford spectacular river or city views. In the grand 18th-century center, calçada à portuguesa (black-and-white mosaic cobblestone) sidewalks border wide boulevards. Elétricos (trams) clank through the streets, and blue-and-white azulejos (painted and glazed ceramic tiles) adorn churches, restaurants, and fountains.

LISBON (Portugal) Day 1

With the Atlantic Ocean on three sides, Cádiz is a bustling town that's been shaped by a variety of cultures, and has the varied architecture to prove it. Founded as Gadir by Phoenician traders in 1100 BC, Cádiz claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western world. Hannibal lived in Cádiz for a time, Julius Caesar first held public office here, and Columbus set out from here on his second voyage, after which the city became the home base of the Spanish fleet. In the 18th century, when the Guadalquivir silted up, Cádiz monopolized New World trade and became the wealthiest port in Western Europe.

Cadiz Day 3

Many tourists ignore the capital of the Costa del Sol entirely, heading straight for the beaches west of the city instead, although cruise-ship tourism now brings plenty of visitors to the city. Approaching Málaga from the airport, you'll be greeted by huge 1970s high-rises that march determinedly toward Torremolinos. But don’t give up so soon: in its center and eastern suburbs, this city of about 550,000 people is a pleasant port, with ancient streets and lovely villas amid exotic foliage. Blessed with a subtropical climate, it's covered in lush vegetation and averages some 324 days of sunshine a year. Málaga has been spruced up with restored historic buildings and some great shops, bars, and restaurants.

Malaga (Spain) Day 4

The Murcia Coast is markedly different from the surrounding coastal areas of southeastern Spain. Here you are met by the curious Mar Menor, an inland sea hemmed in by La Manga, the narrow strip of land that has beaches on either side. About 10 miles south of the Mar Menor is Cartagena, the region's principal city, which was founded by General Asdrúbal in 227 BC. Even then its natural harbor surrounded by five hills made it a busy port. It was from here that Hannibal set out in 218 BC with a mighty army and his elephants crossing the Pyrenees and the Alps before narrowly failing to destroy the Roman Republic. The Romans had their revenge in 209 BC, when they conquered Cartagena during the Second Punic War.

Cartagena Day 5 Valencia Day 6

Be dazzled by some of the finest Mediterranean gems — from Lisbon’s Old World splendour, to Barcelona’s architectural masterpieces, to Monte Carlo’s sophisticated shores. Experience the depth of Andalucian flavours and the Balearic Islands’ underwater landscapes. Discover Canne’s silver screen traditions and “The City of Porcelain”. Moorish strongholds, hidden grottoes and award-winning wines — you’ll experience it all on this unforgettable voyage.

Portimao (Portugal) Day 2

Portimão is a major fishing port, and significant investment has been poured into transforming it into an attractive cruise port as well. The city itself is spacious and has several good shopping streets—though sadly many of the more traditional retailers have closed in the wake of the global economic crisis. There is also a lovely riverside area that just begs to be strolled (lots of the coastal cruises depart from here). Don’t leave without stopping for an alfresco lunch at the Doca da Sardinha ("sardine dock") between the old bridge and the railway bridge.

The capital of Catalonia is a banquet for the senses, with its beguiling mix of ancient and modern architecture, tempting cafés and markets, and sun-drenched Mediterranean beaches. A stroll along La Rambla and through waterfront Barceloneta, as well as a tour of Gaudí's majestic Sagrada Família and his other unique creations, are part of a visit to Spain's second-largest city. Modern art museums and chic shops call for attention, too. Barcelona's vibe stays lively well into the night, when you can linger over regional wine and cuisine at buzzing tapas bars. .

Barcelona (Spain) Day 7

More than five times the size of its fellow Balearic Islands, Mallorca is shaped roughly like a saddle. The Sierra de Tramuntana, a dramatic mountain range soaring to nearly 5,000 feet, runs the length of its northwest coast, and a ridge of hills borders the southeast shores; between the two lies a great, flat plain that in early spring becomes a sea of almond blossoms, "the snow of Mallorca." The island draws more than 9 million visitors a year, many of them bound for summer vacation packages in the coastal resorts. The beaches are beautiful, but save time for the charms of the northwest and the interior: caves, bird sanctuaries, monasteries and medieval cities, local museums, outdoor cafés, and village markets.

Palma De Mallorca Day 8

Menorca, the northernmost Balearic Island, is a knobby, cliff-bound plateau with a single central hill-El Toro-from whose 1,100-foot summit you can see the whole island. Prehistoric monuments taulas (huge stone T-shapes), talayots (spiral stone cones), and navetes (stone structures shaped like overturned boats)-left by the first Neolithic settlers are everywhere on the island, rising up out of a landscape of small, tidy fields bounded by hedgerows and drystone walls.

Porto Mahon (Spain) Day 9

Backed by gentle hills and flanked to the south by the heights of the Estérel, warmed by dependable sun but kept bearable in summer by the cool breeze that blows in from the Mediterranean, Cannes is pampered with the luxurious climate that has made it one of the most popular and glamorous resorts in Europe. Its graceful curve of wave-washed sand peppered with chic restaurants and prestigious private beaches, its renowned waterfront promenade strewn with palm trees and poseurs, its status-symbol grand hotels vying for the custom of the Louis Vuitton set—this legend is, to many, the heart and soul of the Côte d'Azur.

Cannes (France) Day 10

On one of the best stretches of the Mediterranean, this classic luxury destination is one of the most sought-after addresses in the world. With all the high-rise towers you have to look hard to find the Belle Époque grace of yesteryear. But if you head to the town's great 1864 landmark Hôtel de Paris—still a veritable crossroads of the buffed and befurred Euro-gentry—or enjoy a grand bouffe at its famous Louis XV restaurant, or attend the opera, or visit the ballrooms of the casino, you may still be able to conjure up Monaco's elegant past. Prince Albert II, a political science graduate from Amherst College, traces his ancestry to Otto Canella, who was born in 1070.

Monte Carlo (Monaco) Day 10 (part 2)

Valencia is a proud city. During the Civil War, it was the last seat of the Republican Loyalist government (1935–36), holding out against Franco’s National forces until the country fell to 40 years of dictatorship. Today it represents the essence of contemporary Spain—daring design and architecture along with experimental cuisine—but remains deeply conservative and proud of its traditions. Though it faces the Mediterranean, Valencia's history and geography have been defined most significantly by the River Turia and the fertile floodplain (huerta) that surrounds it. The city has been fiercely contested ever since it was founded by the Greeks.