“Like Spain, I am bound to the past.”
(William S. Burroughs)
Spain has one of the most fascinating and most debated histories of any European nation. Her eight hundred years under Moorish rule are particularly in evidence in Andalucía, whose very name is Moorish in origin and from where the Caliphate was run, with Cordoba as its prized capital. Since the Reconquista, which ended in 1492 with the Moors finally forced out of Granada, the Catholic church sought to restore Spain to what it was before. The fact that over four thousand Spanish words are of Moorish origin, however, is a testament to how much of a hold this period of history has had on Spain; in this region you will have an opportunity to see how Spanish and Moorish history have combined to create one of the liveliest, friendliest and most fascinating areas of Spain to explore.
Day 1 Malaga
Fly into Malaga where we will be based for the next three nights. Check into our hotel and enjoy some relaxation, perhaps going for a wander through Malaga’s lovely old town before heading out for an evening of aperitivos and tapas, to welcome you to Spain. (D)
Day 2 Nerja Caves
This morning we head to Nerja to visit the largest caves in Europe. For those who prefer not to go in, there will be a wander through the gardens followed by coffee and juices whilst sitting on a balcony overlooking the sea. Lunch at a famous, typical paella place on the beach follows.
We then return to Malaga for a free afternoon and dinner at your leisure. (B, L)
Day 3 Andalusian Village Lunch
Today is a unique opportunity to meet the locals in a typical, small, whitewashed Andalusian town. After a walk through an olive grove, a chance to taste the local olive oil and a talk with some of the residents of the small town, we will then head off to the houses of local women where they will prepare their local cuisine for you and offer an opportunity to find out about life in small town Spain. Following lunch we then make our way back to Malaga where you will be at leisure, perhaps enjoying a wander through the old town stopping in at the Manquita (one-armed woman) Renaissance cathedral, so called because the south tower was never built. As Malaga is also Picasso’s birthplace, perhaps you could include a visit to the museum bearing his name, followed by a quick drink at his favourite bar, the Antigua Casa Guardia. The day ends in truly Spanish style, as we head out for tapas at one of Malaga’s finest tapas and wine bars. (B, L)
“There is nothing sadder than being blind in Granada.”
(Francisco de Icaza)
Day 4 Granada
Today we head over to Granada, (which means ‘pomegranate’ in Spanish), the home of the Alhambra. Upon arrival we have time to check into the hotel and enjoy some free time for lunch before an afternoon’s tour of the cathedral, Albaicín and bazaar. The tour ends with a visit to the Alhambra and is followed by drinks as the sun sets. We will have dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 5 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 go today, following 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 will learn how to make that most Spanish of dishes, paella. (B, D)
Day 6 Cordoba to Seville
Cordoba once boasted street lighting, three hundred public baths, fifty hospitals and seventy libraries and was the Caliphate, head of Moorish Spain. Today we are off to visit its greatest treasure: the Mezquita, with its 850 columns. It is this building which epitomises Spanish history, as the mosque is now also home to a church which was added after the Reconquista. Having feasted our eyes, and worked up an appetite, we head off to try Cordoba’s typical dishes for lunch. The afternoon is spent wandering the patio gardens in the Viana palace. After some free time for further exploration we then head to Seville where we check into our hotel. The evening is at leisure. (B, L)
Day 7 Seville Highlights
Today we have an all day guided tour by bike of Seville, which includes entrance to the cathedral and Alcazar.
You are then free for lunch and the afternoon is at leisure. Meet for drinks in a fabulous location and then off to dine in a local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 8 Jerez
The famous dancing Andalusian horses are on our itinerary this morning. After this we head to a bodega to enjoy lunch and a tasting of Jerez’s main claim to fame: sherry. We then return to Seville where the afternoon and evening are at your leisure. (B, L)
Day 9 Seville Flamenco Lesson
This morning, don your flamenco heels and be prepared for some foot stomping, as we are taught how to flamenco. Lunch and the rest of your day is free. Our final dinner will be at a local restaurant and is followed by a Flamenco performance. (B, D)
Day 10 Departure
It is time to say adios or, as we prefer, hasta luego, until we write our next travel story together. (B)
Included in this trip:
Accommodation & Services:
- 3 nights in Malaga, 2 nights in Granada and 4 nights in Seville.
- Centrally located, upmarket hotel.
- 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.
- We will be visiting: Malaga, Nerja, a typical Andalusian pueblo, 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:
- Flamenco performance
- horse show performance
- Alcazar and cathedral in Seville
- Patios Viana and Mezquita in Cordoba
- bullring in Ronda
Guided Tours with a difference:
- cookery lesson
- 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 Malaga and out of either Malaga or Seville.
- 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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