The Island of Madeira with Spain & Portugal
Although shorter, this rewarding sailing still manages to pack in four enthralling destinations, where a wealth of remarkable sights and incredible experiences await. The stylish Spanish city of La Coruña is the perfect place to start, boasting an array of architectural highlights, famous landmarks and inviting beaches. Within the city’s historic heart you’ll discover the cultural hub of Maria Pita Square and the charming Ciudad Vieja old quarter; while the seafront promenade is ideal for a relaxing stroll. You could also stop by the ancient Tower of Hercules, or head out of the city altogether and take a tour to the spectacular Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Balmoral will then sail to Leixões, gateway to Oporto. It is well worth taking the short journey into Portugal’s second city to admire the pastel-fronted houses, neo-classic structures and impressive fortress-like cathedral found with the UNESCO-listed historic centre. You’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing river cruise along the picturesque Douro River, before sampling the city’s local tipples at one of the famous port wine cellars. [ReadMore]
Fabulous Funchal will be your starting point for an unforgettable exploration of Macaronesia’s gorgeous ‘garden island’, Madeira. Enchanting gardens such as the Monte Palace Tropical Garden and the unique levada walking trails – which present breathtaking views of the island’s unspoilt landscapes – are yours to explore in the spring sunshine at your leisure or on a guided tour. Alternatively visit the island’s pretty villages, including Câmara de Lobos; or marvel at striking vistas from atop Cabo Girão – one of the world’s highest sea cliffs. Finally, after spending Good Friday at sea as you head back to the Portuguese mainland, you’ll visit the vibrant capital, Lisbon. Explore on foot, via the tram, or even hitch a ride on a tuk tuk to take in highlights such as Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. Or, if you’d prefer to take the weight off your feet, why not watch the city go by at one of the lovely art-nouveau cafés; or visit Pasteis de Belém to sample one of the world-famous egg pastries. To cap it all off, Easter Sunday and Monday will be spent relaxing and enjoying the festivities on board your ship before disembarking in Southampton.