Journey to the Alhambra Palace via Silversea Cruises

Journey to the Alhambra Palace via Silversea Cruises

Port: Malaga, Spain

Today Silver Spirit called on Malaga, Spain. I could have elected to stay in town and explore but instead  I wanted to make the trek to Grenada to experience the history of one of Spain’s most famous attractions The Alhambra.

Getting to Granada

A trek to The Alhambra is a big investment in time so if a 9-hour excursion seems long I would suggest choosing another port adventure. However, if you love architecture and history, then this is a must-do for sure.

Cruise passengers selecting this excursion should prepare for a long drive. With that said, the long drive should be treated like a mini-tour because their is a lot to discover about the Andalusian countryside. Our guide told us about olive trees, olive trees, olive oil production, almonds, and acorn-feed pigs.

A one-way ride from the pier is 80-miles and will take about an hour and a half. Wear walking shoes, dress in layers and eat breakfast before you leave the ship.  A word to the wise, either print out a map before you go on the shore excursion or plan to buy a guide book. For some reason, maps for the property were not available to groups.

The Alhambra

Considered one of the must sees in Spain, a pilgrimage to the Alhambra is recommended for people that like architecture and  history. According to Wikipedia, the name of the Alhambra means  al-Qalʻat al-Ḥamrāʼ, which translates to  the red fortress”. Although a lot of the original pigments have faded with time, I would agree that the overall effect is redish.


Detail of the plaster work found throughout the Alhambra fortress.

Located amidst the low foothills of the Sierra Nevada the Alhambra and the surrounding area in Granada rose to fame when the Moors transferred the seat of their diminishing dominions to this city.  There are 5 main sections to the compound and due to time constraints to get back to the ship, not all buildings are on the tour.

We saw the Justice GateAlcazaba, Palace of Carlos V, Puerto de la Justica, and the Generalife complex. Sadly we did not make it to the Royal Palace (Nasrid Palaces), which was a disappointment and a modification to our original plan. At the end of the tour I did feel like I got enough information to consider myself  proficient to answer general questions about the structures onsite.



Cruise passengers will love walking around the landscaped pathways to the Generalife, site of the Moorish rulers’ summer palace. Its location on higher ground made it a pleasant and cool retreat. The gardens are renowned for their terraced flowerbeds, fountains and spectacular views of the city.

Fountains in the Patio de la Acequia courtyard

A narrow aqueduct runs through the center of the patio bordered by two rows of fountain jets. This goes without saying, “don’t drink the water.”

Generalife, the Summer Palace of the Sultan.

Begun in 1238 by the Moorish ruler Ibn el-Ahmer, the fortified hilltop complex became a world-renowned center of art and culture.

Walls and Turrets

In the day (14th century), there were once 30 towers at the Alhambra. Today, visitors will be able to see 22 towers that are still standing, most of them can entered and explored.

Vela Tower at The Alhambra.


Pre-cruise tip: if you want to make it to the top of the lookout tower (think amazing views), do some training before your journey. Making your way to the top requires navigating some uneven steps that are steep.

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