Motril became the latest member of an exclusive grouping of global ports, considered the gateway to regions of such cultural significance as to warrant a visit from the fabled Peace Boat.
An historic liner carrying more than 1,000 passengers, which has toured the world for decades promoting human rights and cultural dialogue, the Peace Boat chose Motril as its only Spanish destination this year, docking on May 18.
The day-long stopover allowed the diverse entourage to explore Axarquia’s most beautiful sites, with an imperial fleet of 25 buses taking the adventurers to Nerja, recently announced Spain’s most charming coastal town, and gorgeous neighbour Frigliana.
Representing an international non-governmental organisation formed in Japan in order to bring the country back into the family of nations after decades of isolation spurred by the Second World War, the Peace Boat is currently on its 91st global voyage, having departed from Yokohama in April and set to return to Kobe in July.
Over the years the Peace Boat has raised awareness and funds for landmine and chemical weapons victims, and even endured a grenade attack launched by Somali pirates in 2010.
With plenty of time to prepare, Motril’s local authorities were quick to capitalise on the influx of guests and organised a stunning variety of cultural activities and a craft market for them to enjoy.
Although the Peace Boat has now set sail for Lisbon, preparing for a long voyage to the Americas, its appearance paid a fitting tribute to Axarquia’s well-deserved place in an elite list of global attractions.
Local residents will be well aware that one day simply isn’t enough time to explore the region, and given Nerja and Frigiliana’s charm will have left its mark on the Peace Boat, it’s likely some passengers will soon return for more.