Spain (Canary Islands, Cadiz, Malaga, & Valencia)

Park Promenade Malaga Spain
Beautiful Park Promenade - Malaga, Spain
School Girls Malaga Spain
School Girls - Malaga, Spain
Playa de la Malagueta Malaga Spain
Playa de la Malagueta 
- Malaga, Spain
Pat Dunlap Paella Pans Valencia Spain
Pat with Paella Pans - Valencia, Spain
Cafe Valencia Spain
Cafe - Valencia, Spain
Beautiful Streets Malaga Spain
Beautiful Streets - Malaga, Spain

Restaurant Cadiz Spain
Restaurant - Cadiz, Spain
Black Sand Beach Playa Jardin Tenerife Canary Islands Spain
Black Sand Beach (Playa Jardin)
- Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Tapa Menu Malaga Spain
Tapa (Tape) Menu - Malaga, Spain
Spain (Canary Islands, Cadiz, Malaga, & Valencia) (4/11-16/2011) - After 7 days at sea on our trans-Atlantic Ocean crossing on a Royal Caribbean cruise, our ship made four stops in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea along the Spanish coast.

We stopped at Malaga (see photos). What a beautiful city - Malaga is the kind of place we could live in! It was lovely to walk around Malaga's beautiful streets with it's upscale shops, restaurants, and apartments in a beautiful old historical quarter. There is a wonderful park promenade running along the town that we walked to the local beach (Playa de la Malagueta) - see photos.  

In additional to all this, Malaga is famous for being the birthplace of Picasso and its Moorish castles (Castillo de Gibralfaro and Alcazaba).

Malaga is the southernmost large city in Europe with a population of a little over half million. Located on Spain's Costa del Sol, Malaga has a subtropical-mediterranean climate enjoying one of the warmest winters in Europe. It's history spans about 2,800 years making Malaga one of the oldest cities in Europe.

We first made landfall at Tenerife, the largest of the seven Canary Islands about 100 miles off shore from Morocco. The Canary Islands are a territory of Spain with a population of 2.1 million, hosting about 5 million tourists (many British) every year coming for the sunny black-sand beaches, resorts, lively nightlife, and the second largest Carnival in the world. 

The Canary Island's main island of Tenerife is a diverse island with forests, mountains, and a volcano. We took a bus to Tenerife's old harbor of Puerto de La Cruz, had lunch in the central Compostelana Plaza, and walked on the black sand beach of Playa Jardin (see photos). The ocean water in the Canary Islands was still a bit cool this early in the season when we visited in April. 

Our next stop in Spain was picturesque Cadiz, said to be one of the oldest cities in western Europe founded about 3,000 years ago. Columbus departed from Cadiz on two voyages of discovery of the Americas. Cadiz became the wealthiest port in Western Europe from the gold and silver imports. We had visited Cadiz before on our journeys so we took a ferry to Puerto de Santa Maria, an old fishing town.

Our final stop on our cruise was Valencia (see photo), the third largest city in Spain and birthplace of the Spanish dish paella! Valencia hosted the 2007 and 2010 America’s Cup sailing race. We wandered Valencia’s attractive old town visiting the central food market (Mercado Central), cathedral, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Lonja (the old silk market). Valencia is where rice was first cultivated in Spain in the 8th century and therefore not surprisingly, the birthplace of paella.

Please see our other 3 posts about interesting Spain:

San Sebastian, Spain

Pamplona (Running of the Bulls), Spain

Ibiza, Cadiz, & Almeria, Spain

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