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  1. Crown jewel

    The Alhambra palace in Grenada, completed in the 14th century under Muslim rule, is one of the world's greatest architectural wonders. Today, The Alhambra's famous Ismlamic architecture is one of Spain's major tourist attractions. In 2007, it was among the contenders to become one of the New Seven Wonders of the World through a massive worldwide vote. (Jose Luis Roca / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Defining lines

    Fireworks explode behind the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum in the Spanish northern Basque city of Bilbao. The museum features modern and contemporary art, and was designed by world-renowned Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. The structure is made with glass, titanium and limestone. (Rafa Rivas / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Quiet retreat

    Although Spanish convents and monasteries such as the Monasterio de San Benito de Montserrat convent outside Barcelona have traditionally opened their doors to accept pilgrims and other members of the cloth, more and more they are accepting non-religious visitors looking for spiritual reflection or a relaxing break from city life. (Cesar Rangel / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Windy city

    The town of Tarifa, located in southern Spain across from the Straits of Gibraltar, is particularly popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers due to its strong winds. Two consecutive non-windy days are rare. (Jose Luis Roca / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A taste of tradition

    Two fishmongers wait for customers at their fish and seafood shop at a market in Madrid. Traditional markets are still a part of the Spanish way of life, and many are distributed through the city. A visit to one of these markets will reveal a large selection of quality vegetables, meat and much of the traditional way of life. (Angel Diaz / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. All lined up

    Architect, artist and engineer Santiago Calatrava designed the 'L'Azud D'Or' bridge (foreground) and Principe Felipe Museum (background) of the City of Arts and Sciences complex, one of Spain's top tourist attractions, in Valencia. Visitors are encouraged to touch everything in the museum so they can learn the sciences through experience. (Heino Kalis / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Dipping into the culture

    Tourists enjoy the pool of the Costa Encantada Hotel in Lloret de Mar, Spain. The coastal town is one of the most popular holiday resorts in the Costa Brava. (Cate Gillon / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Running tradition

    Participants run ahead of Cebada Gago fighting bulls during the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. On each day of the festival six, which starts July 6 and ends at midnight on July 14, bulls are released at 8 a.m. to run from their corral through the narrow, cobbled streets of the old town over an 850-meter course. Ahead of them are the runners, who try to stay close to the bulls without falling over or being gored. (Rafa Rivas / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. An ancient art

    Famed Spanish matador Miguel Abellan gives a pass with a muleta (the red cloth) to his Conde de la Corte fighting bull during the first corrida of the 2008 San Fermin festivities in Pamplona. (Rafa Rivas / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Cultural moves

    Spanish flamenco dancer Fuensanta "La Moneta" performs on the stage during rehearsal for the show "Entre la luna y los hombres" ("Between Moon and Men") at La Zarzuela theatre in Madrid. The flamenco, which embodies a complex musical and cultural tradition and is considered a part of the Spanish culture, actually originates from Andalusia. (Ballesteros / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A sign of the times

    The architecture of the Alpujarras harkens back to when this was the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain. The villages' flat, whitewashed houses and distinctive conical chimneys are reminiscent of Berber villages in the mountains of nearby Morrocco. (Jill Kooyoomjian / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Unfinished beauty

    On March 19, 1882, work on the La Sagrada Familia cathedral was started by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, but by the end of the next year, Catalan Architect Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to finish it. He did not abandon his task until his death in 1926, when the grand church was left unfinished. Since then, different architects have worked on the cathedral to continue his original idea -- that it mirror the people who built it. (Cesar Rangel / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Liquid currency

    Ricardo Penalba prepares to taste a wine at Penalba's winery in Aranda de Duero, northern Spain. With more than 2.9 million acres planted, the country is the third largest producer of wine in the world, but the most widely planted wine-producing nation. (Felix Ordonez / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Grand headquarters

    A scenic view in downtown Madrid highlights the beauty of the Plaza de Cibeles, which features the Fountain of Cibeles and the Palacio de Comunicaciones, which was built between 1905 and 1917 as the headquarters of the post office. In 2007, it became Madrid's official city hall. (Joe Murphy / NBAE via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Square expansion

    A man looks at "The execution of Torrijos and his companions" by Antonio Gisbert at the Prado museum in Madrid. Spanish architect Rafaelo Moneo designed the sober and elegant red-brick cube-shaped expansion building that opened in 2007. (Pedro Armestre / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Tourist attraction

    Members of the Royal Guard take part in the first changing of the guard outside the Palacio Real in Madrid. Every Wednesday, the guard changes in front of the palace in an effort to boost tourism. (Pierre-philippe Marcou / AFP via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Imposing architecture

    Santa Maria del Mar is an imposing church in Barcelona. Located in the district of La Ribera, it was built between 1329 and 1383, at the height of Catalonia's maritime and mercantile preeminence. It is an outstanding example of Catalan Gothic, with a purity and unity of style that are very unusual in large mediaeval buildings. (Espai d’Imatge via Turisme de Barcelona) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Awash with history

    A scenic view of Plaza del General Torrijos shows the "Las Tres Gracias" fountain with the Alcazaba Castle in the background in Malaga. The Alcazaba was built in the 11th century and extended in the 13th and 14th centuries. It originally defended the city from pirates. (Joe Murphy / NBAE via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 3/31/2009 10:56:24 AM ET 2009-03-31T14:56:24

The deal
12-night Mediterranean cruise from 44 percent off
Luxury cruises aren’t all about fancy dinners and educational lectures, they’re also heart-pounding, adrenaline-rushing, earth-shaking fun. Luxury lines continue to combine an array of optional thrill-seeking adventures to already exciting cruise itineraries, like mountain climbing in Asia, African safaris, and most recently, Crystal Cruises “Running with the Bulls” program during the outrageous Fiesta de San Fermin in Pamplona, Spain.

The optional “Running of the Bulls” package starts at $4,959, and provides an up close experience of Spain’s notorious festival, in which thousands of people run alongside six angry bulls. It may sound a bit crazy, but people from all over the globe turn out for this event, making it very difficult to find lodging accommodations.

Crystal’s package solves this problem by including hotel stays and a balcony seat overlooking the bull-running action from a safe distance. The program also comes with guided tours, a flamenco show, daily meals, a flight from Madrid to Pamplona, and flight from Pamplona to the departure port in Barcelona. From there, the 12-night voyage onboard the Crystal Serenity begins.

The cruise departs July 16, and sails to some of the Mediterranean’s most popular ports like Rome, Florence, Dubrovnik, and more and is priced from $6,055 — that’s up to 44 percent off original rates. Plus, the cruise line is offering up to $2,000 of free onboard spending credit per cabin with its new “As You Wish” promotion. This credit can be used toward spa treatments, onboard shopping, or Crystal’s Adventure Shore Excursions.

The dollars
All prices are per person and based on double occupancy. Accommodations, entertainment, meals and all non-alcoholic beverages are covered in the cost. Government fees and taxes, as well as off-boat expenditures are extra. "Running of the Bulls" program is not included in the cost of the cruise.

The catch
Muletas not included.

ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.

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