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Kayak in Mallorca, cook tapas in Barcelona & admire art in Malaga – best Spain cruise excursions

Virgin Voyages cruises to Spain will keep you endlessly entertained, whether you’re snorkelling in clear waters, hiking to the ultimate panorama or cooking up a Catalan feast.

Virgin Voyages offers a wide array of fabulous Mediterranean cruises departing from Barcelona.

We’ve rounded up some of the best Spanish highlights and top cruise excursions to help keep you on your toes (and soaking up the sun) on your next Virgin Voyages Spain cruise vacation.

So whether you’re after beach fun in Ibiza or history in Malaga, Virgin has something for you with its range of Med itineraries onboard Valiant Lady in 2022 and 2023.

Virgin Voyages Spain cruise excursions

Spain tapas

For food and drinkBarcelona

Virgin Voyages’ Mediterranean cruises all start and end in Barcelona so you have ample opportunity to explore this glorious city pre- or post-sailing, whether you’re staying up late at a beach party with locals or wandering around Gaudí’s iconic basilica La Sagrada Família.

Of course, you cannot miss the culinary scene in Barcelona and, thanks to Virgin’s post-cruise shore excursions, not only can you extend your vacation experience but you can also dive in and learn all about Catalan food and drink from the residents.

Immerse yourself in all things foodie with the Borne to Cook Class and Tour. This includes a guided tour of the medieval El Borne district before guests head to a cooking lab. Under the tutelage of a local chef, you’ll sample delicious local dishes and take part in a tapas-making competition! Jokes about the size of your chorizo sausage to yourself, please.

If booze is more your idea of fun then there’s the Cava Sparkling Wine Tour. You’ll drive to nearby Penedes, a region famous for its cellars and wineries, to taste a selection of cava – the Spanish version of champagne. You’ll find out how it’s made and even make some of your own! Just don’t sparkle so much you embarrass yourself on your flight home…

For adventure Palma de Mallorca

Virgin Voyages sails to Palma de Mallorca on both the Spanish Obsession 2022 itinerary and the French Daze and Ibiza Nights 2023 sailing. You’ll even benefit from a late-night stay on the former and an overnight stop during the latter.

Palma, as it’s generally referred to, is a huge favourite among British vacationmakers thanks to its rich history, stunning landscape and limpid waters. Yes, you can eat, drink and relax here, but why not challenge yourself to a spot of adventure?

With Virgin’s shore excursions, you can sign up to kayak the Mallorcan coast with a guide, taking in secluded bays and enchanting caves and getting up close to wonders you’d be unable to access otherwise.

Not enough of an adrenalin rush? Check out the Extreme “Coasteering” Adventure which sees you swimming, abseiling or zip-lining, climbing, rock scrambling and cliff jumping on what Virgin has dubbed an “intensely wet-and-wild adventure.” Blimey.

Palma de Mallorca beach Spain
Granada Alhambra Spain

For cultureMálaga

Sail to Málaga, on Spain’s southern coast, via Virgin’s Spanish Obsession 2022 itinerary and benefit from a late-night stay until 10pm.

Make the most of your extended time here and visit the Alhambra in nearby Granada. The walled city was built in the 13th century and is one of the best-preserved palaces of the historic Islamic world. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the palace and fortress complex is home to beautiful courtyards and fountains set against an impressive backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

For a shore excursion organized by Virgin, join the Taste of Málaga & Picasso Museum outing. Famous artist Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga in 1881 and his dedicated museum houses the maestro’s paintings, drawings, sculptures and more, dating back to 1890.

If the riot of colors and shapes of Picasso’s cubism all gets a bit much, fear not, next you’ll visit a nearby tapas bar. Tuck into three varieties of olive oil and five types of Spanish cheeses while you pretend you definitely, definitely understood the meaning behind that last painting.

For natureGibraltar

Meet the sea creatures of the deep on a Scuba Diving Expedition during your Virgin Voyages call at Gibraltar, also on the Spanish Obsession 2022 itinerary.

On this diving excursion, you’ll be accompanied by a PADI-certified dive instructor as you swim the sheltered waters brimming with marine life. You might spot boxfish, damselfish and Anthias, as well as pipefish, Atlantic Torpedo rays, octopus and cuttlefish!

If you aren’t a certified scuba diver, no biggie, you can take part in a try dive designed for beginners at a shallow, sandy bay alongside an instructor.

Of course, you can’t miss the famous Rock of Gibraltar wherever you are at this cruise port, but to really make the most of it, head to the top. You can hike up but to make things easier for yourself why not sign up to Virgin’s Rock of Gibraltar: E-Bike Tour? On your sustainable, electrically-assisted bike you can breeze to the peak to soak up the amazing scenery (rather than sweat from the trek on foot).

En route, you’ll likely meet the famed Barbary macaques – or Gibraltar monkeys as they’re commonly known. No one quite knows how these creatures first arrived in the region but there are around 300 living in the area now and they play a huge role in tourism. Just keep an eye on any snacks you’re carrying.

Spain Gibraltar monkeys
Spain Ibiza coast

For watersportsIbiza

The famous island of Ibiza can be visited on all of Virgin Voyages’ Spain cruises and includes an overnight stay so you can really make the most of the stop – maybe even hit the legendary nightclubs if you’re feeling pumped?

Ibiza isn’t just about fiestas though and there are lots of cool watersports to enjoy. For a chilled day on the water, take A Boat Tour to Snorkel, Swim, Seabob, and Sunbathe, to relish a scenic cruise out of the harbour followed by a visit to some of the best swim spots off the Ibizan coast.

Check out the marine life while snorkelling, try kayaking or grab a seabob (a jet-powered aqua scooter) should you really feel the need for speed.

Alternatively, hop on a motor yacht and head to Espalmador, an uninhabited island off Formentera, a small island just south of Ibiza. Here you can admire the gleaming white beaches, swim in clear waters or even try out stand-up paddleboarding.

As we said, no chance of you twiddling your thumbs on a Virgin Voyages cruise to Spain. What’s more, the five existing Med itineraries also take in highlights in France (from Cannes to Marseille) and Italy (from Carrara to Sardinia) so there’s plenty to keep cruisers entertained and happy. Olé!

Published 05.27.22