Andalucía holds a special place in the heart of lovers of Spain. Liberally endowed with reminders of the time when this was a Moorish province, Andalucía is Spain at its spiciest, a hot-blooded stew of tradition, atmosphere, and extravagant architecture.
We have put together a 12-day tour of this southern province. We’ll start in Seville, and as much as a visit to the cathedral and the Museum of Fine Arts, soaking up the character of Seville means excursions to the city’s bars, strolling the tangled alleys and absorbing the spectacle of its great churches and palaces including the Alcázar, the fortress-palace built by the Muslim conquerors from North Africa who made Seville their capital.
This is also the home of flamenco, and there is no better place to see flamenco than here, in the city of its origins. Lightning fast, passionate, hypnotic and highly stylised, flamenco was introduced by the Roma people, who migrated here in the fifteenth century. Expect passion. This is the city where Bizet chose to set “Carmen”, don’t forget. Seville is also the gateway to the whitewashed villages of Andalucía, whose sugar-cube architecture will light their own flame in your heart.
We’ll taste wines in the vineyards where they are made, walk by the sea in Cadiz, visit mountain villages and sit down to lunch with the locals. We’ll spend three nights at a lovely hotel just outside Ronda, one of the most spectacular and of all the Andalucían towns, clinging to the heights of its gorge high in the Serranía de Ronda Mountains. Ronda is ancient and noble even by the exalted standards that apply in Spain. Its Puente Nuevo, “New Bridge” opened 30 years before the First Fleet sailed into Port Jackson. Ronda is also the birthplace of bullfighting, begun in the 1770s by Pedro Romero who formulated the rules of what was then an anarchic aristocratic pursuit.
We’ll be doing plenty of exploring on foot, in the labyrinthine streets of the old cities of Andalucía, wandering past high-sided buildings with grilled windows and green gardens framed by arches, into tiny, shady squares with glimpses of tilework that recall Andalucía’s Moorish ancestry.
This tour follows on from our tour of Morocco, and those who have the time and appetite for both will find many echoes of Morocco in the art, architecture, culture and even the language of southern Spain.
As with all our tours we’ll travel slowly, the maximum group size is just 10, we’ll travel in a comfortable air-conditioned minibus and stay in small hotels with charm and character. Food is a focal point of our tours, and here there is no happier way to absorb the culture than through your taste buds – and you can add wine to the equation in the case of Andalucía.
For those who want to experience even more of Andalucía there are two optional add-ons. One is a full-day visit to a pig farm, source of the jamon for which Spain is famous. This falls before the main tour. The other is a two-day visit to Cordoba, when the main tour finishes.
Prepare to be dazzled.
Dates 29 September-10 October 2020
Download the itinerary here
Aracena & Jamon Day Trip September 28,2020
Cordoba Extension October 11-12 2020
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