“I would sooner be a foreigner in Spain than in most countries. How easy it is to make friends there!”
As Orwell wrote, the Spaniards are famous for their friendly disposition; nowhere could this be more true than in Andalucía, a people whom I imagine Hemingway had in mind when talking of how the Spanish like to ‘delay the day’ by getting up and staying up late; the Andalusians are known as the revellers of Spain. Orwell also famously wrote ‘Homage to Catalonia’ in the province where we begin our tour, and it is here that you can experience the famous fet diferencial, differentiating fact, for which the Catalans are well-known. We will learn about what separates these territories, but also what joins them, and all Spaniards, namely a love of food, wine, fiestas and football.
“A fountain of courtesy, a shelter of strangers…a reciprocator of firm friendship, a city unique in its location and beauty.”
(Cervantes, ‘Don Quixote’)
Day 1 Barcelona
Upon arrival into Barcelona airport, you will be whisked away to your hotel to enjoy some relaxation before a typical aperitivo. This evening, enjoy a traditional Catalan meal. (D)
Day 2 Barcelona Highlights
This morning we have a guided walk through the Born neighbourhood, stopping off for a food tasting on our way, before wandering down to Barceloneta, the neighbourhood by the sea. There we will sip on a typical aperitif of Cava. We will then take a cable car across the harbour of Barcelona and up Montjuic, Barcelona’s iconic hill that overlooks the city. There we will toast the view with a glass or two of wine and dine on a typical tapas lunch. In the afternoon we head out to the Torre Bellesguard, Gaudí’s forgotten masterpiece in Barcelona. We continue our tour of the city with a visit to the Sagrada Familia. The evening is at leisure. (B, L)
Day 3 Montserrat & Cava Wine Tasting
Today we head out to Montserrat, the ‘sawn-off’ mountain situated just outside Barcelona. Here there is the opportunity to listen to the celebrated boys’ choir as well as either enjoying a walk through the national park, having taken the funicular or, alternatively, visiting the wonderful art gallery with pieces by Caravaggio, Picasso, Miró and Dalí among many other notable names. In the afternoon we are off to a Cava vineyard for a wine tasting with a light, late lunch to absorb the alcohol. We return to Barcelona and head out for dinner at a typical local restaurant. (B, L, D)
Day 4 Catalan Cookery Class
Today we can all dream of following in the footsteps of Ferran Addrià, the famous Catalan chef and former proprietor of the three-Michelin-starred Elbulli, as we don our chef’s hats and learn how to make some typically Spanish dishes. The day begins with a visit to the famous Boqueríamarket to pick up our ingredients, before returning to the cookery school to prepare a late lunch. The rest of the afternoon and evening is at your leisure. (B, L)
Day 5 Seville by High-Speed Train & a Flamenco Lesson
Today we catch the high-speed AVE train to Seville. Upon arrival we have some time to settle into our hotel before heading out for a Flamenco dance class. Then we set off on that most Andalusian of activities, a tapas tour around the city, followed by a Flamenco performance by the experts. (B, D)
Day 6 Seville Highlights
This morning comprises a guided tour of Seville, stopping for churros con chocolate on the way. The afternoon is at leisure for further exploration. In the evening we enjoy drinks in one of Seville’s most spectacular settings followed by dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 7 Jerez and Sherry Tasting
Today we head off to Jerez de la Frontera to watch a display by the famous Andalusian horses. We then head for lunch and a ‘must-do’ sherry tasting at one of the bodegas for which Jerez is famous. We return to Seville in the late afternoon and the evening is at leisure. (B, L)
Day 8 Cordoba to Granada
Cordoba once boasted street lighting, three hundred public baths, fifty hospitals and seventy libraries and was the Caliphate, head of Moorish Spain. It is here that we head to visit its greatest treasure, the Mezquita, with its 850 columns. This building epitomises Spanish history, as the mosque is now also home to a church which was added after the Reconquista. The historic centre Is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Having feasted our eyes and worked up an appetite, we shall taste Cordoba’s typical dishes for lunch. There will be some free time before the afternoon is spent wandering the patio gardens in the Viana palace. We then head to Granada where we check into our hotel and enjoy our first meal there. (B, L, D)
Day 9 Granada
We get up for a morning visit of the city named after a pomegranate, including a visit to the Alhambra. There will then be free time to explore the town at your own pace before learning how to make that most Spanish of dishes, the paella and then, provided our efforts pay off, we eat it! (B, D)
Day 10 Ronda
“I have sought everywhere the city of my dreams, and I have finally found it in Ronda” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
It is in the footsteps of other famous writers that we follow today, tracing Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway to one of their favourite places: Ronda. From its spectacular ravine to its lovely little streets and famous bullring, it isn’t hard to see why it attracted so many, and continues to do so. There will be free time for lunch and for a wander, before heading back to Granada. This evening we have our final dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 11 Departure
It is time to say Hasta luego, until the next time! (B)
Accommodation & Services:
- 4 nights in Barcelona, 3 nights in Seville and 3 nights in Granada.
- Centrally located, upmarket hotels.
- The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (Dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
- Transfers to and from the airport.
- Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
- All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
- Visiting: Barcelona, Montserrat, Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Ronda.
Food & Beverages:
- Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
- When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
- Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.
Entrances & Tickets:
- Torre Bellesguard
- Sagrada Familia
- either Funicular up to Saint Joan or Entrance to the art gallery in Montserrat (there isn’t time to do both)
- Flamenco performance
- horse show performance in Jerez
- Alcazar and cathedral in Seville
- Patios Viana and Mezquita in Cordoba
- bullring in Ronda.
Guided Tours with a difference:
- cable car across the old marina (Port Vell) of Barcelona (for those with a fear of heights we will provide taxis instead)
- 2 cookery lessons
- Cava tasting
- Jerez tasting
- aperitivi tasting
- Flamenco lesson
- a surprise (we are all children at heart, after all)
NOT INCLUDED IN THIS TRIP:
- Flights not included. I would suggest flying into Barcelona and out of Malaga.
- Travel insurance.
- Visas, where applicable (Please note: US and Canadian nationals do not require Visas when travelling to Europe).
There are no ‘optionals’ for sale. Everything you have in the itinerary is included in the total cost.
Please note that in booking a trip with me, you are also contributing to charities which support young people in education. The charity I currently give to is the Malala Fund: www.malala.org , whose mission it is to help the 130 million girls worldwide, who are currently unable to access education.
Customised itinerary designed by Lucy Loves Travel Ltd.
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