Andalusia along the Guadalquivir on a deluxe cruise

Cruises on Spain’s Guadalquivir river are a fantastic way to discover Andalusia, the most southern province in Spain. Traditions, food and flamenco characterise this region, which is the ideal destination for sun and sea lovers and those looking to discover a passionate, exotic location. Travelling in Andalusia means diving into a colourful cultural environement, full of warm, welcoming people.

The name Guadalquivir comes from Oued el-Kabir, which means ‘great valley’ or ‘great river’ in Arabic. It is 602 km long and runs from the Sierra de Cazorla down to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Cadiz, near Sanlucar de Berrameda.

The Guadalquivir flows though Andalusia from East to West, with contrasting landscapes along the way, including snow-topped sierras, deserts reminiscent of Westerns, and sun-drenched white sand beaches. You could admire the Guadalquivir on foot, walking along its banks. However, discovering the river from the perspective of a ship is a truly worthwile experience. Sailing on board the MS La Belle de Cadix, a wonderful 5-anchor, 3-deck river boat, you will fully appreciate the wonderful ever changing landscapes, while unpacking only once.

The MS Belle de Cadix has 88 cabins for 176 passengers. Each cabin has a wet room fitted with a shower, a flatscreen TV, a hairdryer, a safe and a radio. The ship is fully air-conditionned and has free wifi. The lounge is very spacious with a dancefloor and a bar, a piano bar, and a terrace at the back of the ship. The sun deck at the top of the ship has sun loungers for you to enjoy the scenery unfurling in front of your eyes.

Andalusia houses an array of incredible treasures: palaces, gardens and towns of stunning beauty that have been exceptionally well preserved over time. Andalusia was under muslim rule for seven centuries before being taken over by the Spanish in 1492, which explains its wonderful of mix of artistic and cultural heritage. It has a very distinctive identity that was shaped by the various occupants over the centuries.

Seville is the fourth-largest city in Spain and is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Palace of the Alcazar, an amazing blend of architectural styles, and the cathedral of Notre Dame of Seville: it is one of the biggest Cathedral in the world.

Situated on the banks of the Guadalquivir, the town of Corboba has a strong Middle-Eastern feel. The Mezquita, its magnificent Cathedral-Mosque, is nothing less than a masterpiece of art history. A Roman temple, which was turned into a church, then a mosque in which a cathedral was built, the Mezquita is a major site in Moorish architecture. With its 850 pillars supporing red and white stone arches, it cannot be mistaken for any other monument.

Cadiz is located on the Costa de la Luz. The town was built on a rock surrouned by the sea. Founded 3,000 years ago by the Phoenicians, Cadiz is the most ancient city in the West. Called the Tacita de Plata or the ‘small silver cup’ in Spanish, visitors fall in love with it instantly, for its small winding streets, lovely squares decorated with colourful flowers and great wall leading directly to the ocean.

Find out more about CroisiEurope Guadalquivir River Cruises.

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