Southern Spain Cruise Ports
During the time I was working for a cruise line, I stopped at three of the more popular cities in the South of Spain. Here are my thoughts and recommendations for Cadiz, Malaga, and Cartagena:
I was in Cadiz on a Sunday, and this lovely port city was quite sleepy. You can see the streets were empty during my morning work. Perhaps everyone was in church? While it was an enjoyable stroll through Cadiz, options for site-seeing are limited.
If you're stopping in Cadiz, this is the day you want to consider a ship sponsored shore excursion. Especially one to Sevilla.
Malaga is another charming coastal city, and you could stay in town and check out the cathedral and castle...but most use this port as a gateway to the Costa del Sol. Ship tours include outdoorsy activities such as tours by horseback, ATVs, and hiking.
Cartagena's a great port city to explore on foot. You can walk up to the castle for great views, walk along the sea wall, and see Roman ruins. Usually there aren't many tours that would take you outside the city. There is the option of traveling to Murcia, but out of these three coastal ports for Spain, Cartagena is the most worthwhile to stay in town and explore on your own.