12 Days Andalucia Small Group Tour "Andalucia Delights"

Experience the Andalucian lifestyle with a small group of 12/14 participants only! We are excited to introduce a wonderful journey to discover Southern Spain travelling from Sevilla to intriguing Granada. From soulful flamenco and daring architectures, to delicious food and avant-garde cities, Spain could be Europe’s most exotic country. Wherever you venture you’ll discover a beguiling land with a mix of stirring and often curious traditions, live-for-the-moment hedonism and a willingness to embrace the future with a relentlessly adventurous spirit.

From Gaudi and El Greco to tapas and flamenco, this tour captures the energetic diversity of Andalucia.

Travel to Andalucia with its idyllic climate, dramatic vistas, rolling hills and mountains, lively markets, hearty cuisine, glorious art and architecture that embodies all things Spanish. From the warm hospitality of its people to the gorgeous beaches and balmy waters of the Andalucia to the medieval art cities.

Andalucia is a country of rugged landscapes, sophisticated cities, rural backwaters and sharply contrasting traditions. An extravagant scenic beauty, a multicultural crossroads with a rich history, an exuberant and richly layered culture and a traditions of food and wine that is celebrated the world over..all converge here in sunny and colorful Andalucia.

This is a land of surprises and we are excited to discover together the soul of Andalucia!

Location

Day 1: WELCOME TO SEVILLA     

Arrive in Sevilla Airport or train station and travel to the city center for a three nights stay in our central boutique hotel “CASAS DE EL ARENAL” or similar.At 6.00 pm meet your tour director for a welcome drink followed by dinner in a local restaurant.Overnight in SEVILLA

Day 2: GRANDIOSE SEVILLA & FLAMENCO EVENING                                    

Sevilla is the capital and largest city of Andalucia. Shaped by a half dozen civilizations and reborn in numerous incarnations since its founding over 2000 years ago, Sevilla has never lost its capacity to amaze.Drenched for most of the year in spirit-enriching sunlight, this is a city of feelings as much as sights with different seasons prompting vastly contrasting moods; solemn for semana santa, flirtatious for the spring fiesta, and soporific for the gasping heat of summer.A morning guided tour will reveal the city’s highlights, including the medieval Barrio de Santa Cruz “Juderia” (the Jewish Quarter) a tangle of atmospheric, winding streets and lovely plant-decked plazas perfumed with orange blossom. The main architectural highlight is the mighty Gothic CATHEDRAL, a UNESCO World Heritage site. After lunch on your own, you’ll have time to visit this splendid city at your own pace.Sevilla is also renowned as the birthplace of flamenco and Don Juan. Tonight, attend a performance of FLAMENCO before dinner on your own.Overnight in SEVILLA

Day 3: REAL ALCAZAR IN SEVILLA & PAELLA COOKERY LESSON        

After breakfast,visit the pretty Plaza de Espana, set amidst the beautiful gardens of Maria Luisa Park and the famous bridges spanning the Guadalquivir River linking the gypsy quarter of Triana with the old heart of the city. Plaza de España and the Maria Luisa Park display a collection of pavilions and buildings of the Regionalist Architecture constructed for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. Passing by the majestic banks of the Guadalquivir River, you will see the elegant Tower of Gold, built in the 12th century by the Moorish military architects to protect the prosperous harbour.We complete the introduction of Sevilla with a visit to the REAL ALCAZAR (Royal Palace) was the seat of power throughout the ages and displays an extraordinary juxtaposition and intermixing of artistic traditions in its collection of palaces, dwellings and gardens.After an included PAELLA LESSON, you’ll have time on your own to visit the sublime and romantic Real Alcazar, official Sevilla residence of Spanish royalty.Dinner is on your own this evening.Overnight in SEVILLA

Day 4: CASA DE PILATOS & SHERRY TASTING IN JEREZ                                                       

We start the day with a visit to the stunning CASA DE PILATOS, an early 16th century Golden Age palace, constructed by the Marquis of Tarifa in a mix of Italian Renaissance and Spanish Mudéjar styles. The rolling landscape between Jerez de La Frontera and the Atlantic, known as the Sherry Triangle is ideally suited to raising the grapes that the wineries of Jerez convert into extraordinary sherries and brandies. Drive to the noble city of JEREZ for a tour today of a local sherry winery followed by a guided tour of the charming historical center. Spend the next two nights in the historical hotel “CASA PALACIO MARIA LUISA” or similar. Dinner is included this evening in a local restaurant.Overnight stay in JEREZ

Day 5: CADIZ AND THE OCEAN

Our adventure takes us today to visit CADIZ, the oldest city in the Westen World. Explore with our expert guide the luminous Cádiz, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. The city, founded 3000 years ago by the Phoenicians, displays the treasures of its very ancient history: archaeological remains, mysterious sarcophagi of the old Gadir and a Roman theatre facing the Ocean. The city also collected the marine breeze of the New World, when it received the trading monopoly with the Spanish possessions in America in the 18th and 19th century. This period of prosperity is visible through the neoclassical architecture of the houses of the rich merchants, elegant squares, cafés and the mighty Cathedral dominating the gulf which has a familiar air with the Havana Bay.Lunch is included this today in a popular fishing restaurant. Return to Jerez for the evening on your own. Overnight in JEREZ

Day 6: PUEBLOS BLANCOS: SETENIL DE LAS BODEGAS & ZAHARA DE LA SIERRA         

This morning we will visit the bewitching whitewashed villages and towns of inland Andalusia. Instead of settling on Andalusia’s plains, where they would have fallen prey to bandits, some Andalusian chose to live in fortified hilltop towns and villages. These are known as pueblos blancos (white towns) because they are whitewashed in the Moorish tradition.We will visit first the tiny SETENIL DE LAS BODEGAS, hidden in a gorge of a river, where the houses-caves have rocky, mineral walls and the white town of ZAHARA DE LA SIERRA fanning out below a castle ruin declared a national monument. After some time on your own to enjoy the stunning views over the Andalusia countryside, you’ll experience a home-hosted lunch in a family tavern located in the charming main square of the village. Continue to RONDA for your next two nights at the charming “CATALONIA RONDA” or similar.Dinner is on your own. Overnight stay in RONDA

Day 7: DISCOVER ROMANTIC RONDA                               

Because of its impregnable position on a massive rocky outcrop, straddling a precipitous limestone cleft RONDA was one of the last Moorish bastions, finally falling to the Christians in 1485.The town claims one of Spain’s greatest bullfighting legacies enshrined in the tale of two pugnacious local families – the hard-bitten Romero and Ordonez clans. During your time in Ronda, you will be shown the city where remains of prehistoric settlements dating back to the Neolithic Age still exist and view the spectacular sight of Puente Nuevo (The New bridge), the tallest of the three bridges in Ronda,120 meters above the canyon floor. After visiting Spain’s oldest Bullring you will have the rest of the day on your own for more discoveries maybe visiting the archaeological museum or the stunning Arab baths. Tapas dinner is included this evening.Overnight stay in RONDA

Day 8: MALAGA, PICASSO MUSEUM & MAGICAL CORDOBA                   

Today we journey south to MALAGA on the beautiful Mediterranean Costa del Sol.Málaga was founded by Phoenicians around 770 BC and subsequently ruled by Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Moors and, since 1487, Spanish Christians. Our local guide tour will explore the old historic center and harbor and walk us through the centuries, visiting Phoenician walls, the 1st century BC Roman theater and 11th century Alcazaba, a Moorish military citadel and royal residence.Painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso, native of Málaga, is recognized as one of the most important 20th century artists. With a varied career that spanned more than 7 decades he is perhaps best known for cubism; where objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form creating a new way to view an object on canvas outside of its 2 dimensional form! Picasso is also known for his 1937 painting “Guernica” depicting his disdain for fascism and the bloody Spanish civil war. We’ll spend late morning at the Museo Picasso Málaga.Late arrival in CORDOBA, our home for the next two nights at the 17th century central hotel “LAS CASAS DE LA JUDERIA“or similar.Dinner is included this evening in a local tavern.Overnight stay in CORDOBA

Day 9: A DAY IN CORDOBA & EQUESTRIAN SHOW        

This morning our expert guide will introduce you to the history of a city which was the capital of the Baética Roman province and magnificent metropolis of the Umayyad Caliphate a thousand years ago.We will walk through the Jewish Quarter and visit the tiny Synagogue, the oldest one in Spain. Wrought ironwork decorates narrow cobbled streets, where silversmiths create fine jewelry in their workshops.You’ll continue to visit Cordoba’s Great Mosque,the MEZQUITA dating back 12 centuries, embodied the power of Islam on the Iberian peninsula.During the 16th century a cathedral was built in the heart of the reconsecrated mosque, part of which was destroyed.The rest of the day is on your own for more explorations of this beautiful town.In the evening, meet your tour guide for a visit to the EQUESTRIAN SCHOOL. Dinner is on your own. Overnight stay in CORDOBA

Day 10: OLIVE OIL MILL,PICTURE POSTCARD ZUHEROS & BEWITCHING GRANADA       

Today we head into the heart of Andalusia’s olive producing region where we’ll enjoy some olive oil tasting right from the source in a Spanish hacienda. Following this,we continue to picture-postcard hill town of ZUHEROS, in the heart of the untouched Sierras Subbeticas. Backed by dramatic limestone cliffs and the Bailon gorge, it has a Moorish Castle, great views and whitewashed streets. Lunch is included in a local hacienda located in the stunning countryside to sample some excellent local goat’s cheese and appetizers. Continue to GRANADA where you’ll spend the next two nights at the charming “HOTEL PALACIO DE LOS NAVAS” or similar. This evening join your local tour director for an orientation tour followed by dinner on your own.Overnight stay in GRANADA

Day 11: ALHAMBRA PALACES & GARDENS                    

This morning a short ride will transport to the mighty ALHAMBRA, one of Granada’s greatest sights, sprawling over a hilltop overlooking the city. A magical use of space, light, water and decoration characterizes this most sensual piece of architecture. After some time on your own for lunch, you’ll have time to discover the enchanting historical quarters of the Albayzin and the Sacromonte. From the top of the hill, you can gaze at the stunning views of a city built between a fertile plain and the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Granada at your own pace, maybe touring the Generalife, the summer palace and gardens of the sultans or visiting an ancient Arabic bath. This evening dinner is included in a local restaurant boasting great views of the ALHAMBRA PALACE. Overnight stay in GRANADA

Day 12: ADIOS ESPANA!                                                                           

Morning transfers to Granada airport or train station.