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Luxury trip

THE SPLENDOUR OF AL-ANDALUS

12 days

Discover the lights of al-Andalus, the civilization that shined during centuries in the Iberian Peninsula and brought to Europe and the West marvelous fruits, in the field of sciences, philosophy, poetry and arts.

The so-called “Moorish Spain” was in fact a blend of cultures, a mosaic of ethnic and religious communities, which bequeathed to us inestimable traces.

This legacy is manifest of course in the outstanding treasures of Islamic architecture, like the Alhambra palaces, the Cordoban Great Mosque or the Sevillian old minaret “Giralda”. It equally survives in countless urban and rural landscapes of Andalusia.

It abides in the sinuous streets of villages dominated by medieval fortresses, in an intimate blossoming patio of a traditional house, in an ancient synagogue, in the shape of a bell tower, in a millenary steam bath and in the savors of the genuine local cuisine.

Our experts in heritage have designed a cultural itinerary to make you discover all these aromas, the highlights and the hidden treasures of a civilization which was a fruitful encounter between East and West.

ROAD MAP

DAY 1: GRANADA

DAY 1: GRANADA

DAY 1: GRANADA

  • Arrival in Malaga and private transfer to your preferred hotel in Granada.
  • Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Night accommodation in Granada (See our preferred luxury Granada hotels).

DAY 2 : GRANADA AND THE MAGICAL ALHAMBRA

DAY 2 : GRANADA AND THE MAGICAL ALHAMBRA

DAY 2 : GRANADA AND THE MAGICAL ALHAMBRA

  • Alhambra and Generalife private tour: Pick-up at the hotel by your guide for an unforgettable visit of the Alhambra and the Generalife. The citadel built by the sultans of the Nasrid dynasty exhibits a collection of gardens and palaces which recreates an earthly paradise. (Note: the visit time can be either in the morning or the afternoon, depending on ticket availability).
  • Discovering the Islamic Gharnata. The second half-day tour is dedicated to explore the splendorous heritage of al-Andalus in Granada. Beyond the indispensable visit of the Alhambra, we cannot ignore the Albayzín quarter (World Heritage Site of the Unesco) which marvelously keeps the structure and shape of the medieval Islamic city, in its labyrinthine streets marked with old palaces, cisterns, minarets converted to bell towers, gates and walls of the primitive citadel founded barely one thousand years ago. From the top of the hill we shall stroll to the city center, which preserves remarkable monuments, like a “hammam”, a steam bath, the Madrasa Yusufiya (ancient university), a “funduq” (caravanserai) of the 14th century and the reconstructed Alcaicería which recalls the once prosperous silk industry.
  • Second night in your Granada hotel.

DAY 3: OLIVE OIL TOUR IN A HISTORICAL MILL

DAY 3: OLIVE OIL TOUR IN A HISTORICAL MILL

DAY 3: OLIVE OIL TOUR IN A HISTORICAL MILL

  • Olive oil tour. You will learn why olive trees are vital to our culture, since Andalusia is the world´s first olive-oil producer. In a quiet and white-washed village at the feet of Sierra Nevada you will go back to time in a unique 15th century olive oil mill. The old olive mill will take you into a unique experience that will leave a great impression in all your senses. You will learn about the extraction process that gives the best quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Discover also with us all the benefits for your health and beauty involved in the using of Olive Oil.
  • Afternoon at leisure. In our Box of experiences, you will find plenty of optional ideas to enliven the rest of the day, like a genuine Flamenco show, a dinner in a villa with striking views and a private concert of Spanish guitar, etc.
  • Third night in your Granada hotel.

DAY 4: THE ROUTE OF THE CALIPHATE

DAY 4: THE ROUTE OF THE CALIPHATE

DAY 4: THE ROUTE OF THE CALIPHATE

The fourth day is devoted to the Route of the Caliphate between Granada and Córdoba, to explore wonderful small towns dominated by medieval fortresses and surrounded by hills covered by olive groves.

  • Morning: Departure from Granada. 35 miles away, Alcalá la Real boasts a mighty citadel, birthplace of poets and scholars from the Arab lineage of the Banu Said (guided tour of approximately one hour). 17 miles away, Priego appears in the middle of green orchards with its white houses, hedged by the bailey and medieval towers erected on a steep hillside. The Villa quarter keeps the aroma of the old Andalusian city with its narrow streets adorned by a myriad of blossoming flowerpots.
  • Lunch in a restaurant of Priego, to savour the local gastronomy.
  • Afternoon. The route crosses the beautiful landscapes of the Sierras Subbetica Natural Park, the charming town of Cabra, and reaches Lucena, once a beacon of Jewish culture in al-Andalus. The town houses the Moral medieval castle and churches plenty of interesting and opulent works of Andalusian Baroque. At the end of the visit, we drive to Cordoba. Check-in at the hotel.
  • Night in Cordoba.

DAY 5: CORDOBA AND THE SPLENDOR OF THE CALIPHATE

DAY 5: CORDOBA AND THE SPLENDOR OF THE CALIPHATE

DAY 5: CORDOBA AND THE SPLENDOR OF THE CALIPHATE

  • Morning: Our expert official guide will enlighten you about the history and the most important monuments of Cordoba in this tour of approximately 2 hours. It comprises the visit of the Great Mosque and Cathedral and a walk in the Judería (the old Jewish quarter), to discover flourished patios and a Synagogue of the 14th century.
  • Afternoon at your leisure. We suggest you our optional walking guided tour “The soul of Cordoba”, to discover the most beautiful houses with blossoming patios in the historical city centre.
  • Night in Cordoba.

DAY 6: THE CALIPHAL PALACES OF MADINAT AL-ZAHRA

DAY 6: THE CALIPHAL PALACES OF MADINAT AL-ZAHRA

DAY 6: THE CALIPHAL PALACES OF MADINAT AL-ZAHRA

  • Morning: Guided tour of the Palatial city of Madinat al-Zahra’ (2 h 30 approximately). The archaeological complex reveals through its gardens and the ruins of sumptuous palaces and dwellings the splendour of Cordoba during the Umayyad caliphate in the 10th century, a vision worthy of the Arabian Nights.
  • After lunch, transfer to Seville and check-in in your preferred hotel.
  • Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Optional: We have in our Box of Experiences several optional proposals to enliven the afternoon and the evening. Don’t miss an extraordinary Flamenco Show in Seville.
  • First night in Seville

DAY 7: ENCHANTING SEVILLE

DAY 7: ENCHANTING SEVILLE

DAY 7: ENCHANTING SEVILLE

  • Monumental Seville. This private guided tour constitutes an essential introduction to the multicultural identity of Seville. The Real Alcázar (Royal Palace) displays a ravishing collection of palaces and gardens of different ages. The Cathedral, the largest gothic building ever constructed, hoards treasures of art. The adjacent Santa Cruz Quarter retains in its labyrinth of passageways and blossoming patios the soul of Andalusia.
  • Afternoon at leisure.
  • Optional: We have in our Box of Experiences several optional proposals to enliven the afternoon and the evening. For lovers of art and history, we have designed two different tours: The wonders of Sevillian Art, discovering the golden age of local painting and sculpture during the 16th and 17th century, and an exclusive tour of the Aristocratic Sevillian Houses. To sample the countless flavours of local gastronomy and wines, we have designed for you a special Tapas Tour in the finest bodegas frequented by locals, accompanied by our expert guide and connoisseur.
  • Second night in your Seville hotel.

DAY 8: JEREZ, THE KASBAH AND THE HORSES

DAY 8: JEREZ, THE KASBAH AND THE HORSES

DAY 8: JEREZ, THE KASBAH AND THE HORSES

  • Transfer to Jerez de la Frontera (1 h 15 min. drive). After a tour of Monumental Jerez and its Kasbah of the 12th century, discover the deeply rooted traditions wisely preserved in this town close to the Atlantic Ocean: the breeding of the superb Andalusian horses and the elaboration of the Sherry wines. The visit to the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, will introduce you to the breeding and life of this fascinating animal. On Tuesday and Thursday, you can attend the show “How the Andalusian horses dance”, an exquisite ballet accompanied by quintessential Spanish music. Later, you can savour in a traditional cellar the subtle tastes of the sherries made in Jerez, one of the favourite wines exported to England since the 16th century.
  • Lunch
  • Transfer to your preferred hotel in Cádiz overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or in a charming white town.
  • Night accommodation.

DAY 9: ENCHANTING WHITE VILLAGES FROM ARCOS TO RONDA

DAY 9: ENCHANTING WHITE VILLAGES FROM ARCOS TO RONDA

DAY 9: ENCHANTING WHITE VILLAGES FROM ARCOS TO RONDA

  • The winding route crossing the mountain ranges of the provinces of Cádiz and Málaga is only 90 kilometers (56 miles) and discovers hidden jewels of Andalusia: a string of enchanting white villages encrusted in the verdant landscape. The tour starts in Arcos de la Frontera, incarnation of the dreamed Andalusian town, with its churches, palaces and hushed alleys perched on a cliff. The road meanders between the verdant mountains of Grazalema, feud of forests of pines, holm oaks, corn oaks and “pinsapos” (the endemic Ansalusian fir). The Grazalema hamlet lies in a valley, harmonizing cobblestone alleys, red roof tiles and immaculate houses. Zahara is another cliff-top village, with its houses packed around the castle erected on a rocky outcrop dominating a turquoise lake. Few miles away, Setenil de las Bodegas is hidden in a gorge, where the Trejo river excavated in the rock galleries converted into streets with houses-caves. The final step of this tour, wandering through the enchanting towns according to your inspiration –no binding timetable-, is Ronda, an ideal layover to overnight on these inland trails.
  • Night in Ronda.

DAY 10: CAPTIVATING RONDA

DAY 10: CAPTIVATING RONDA

DAY 10: CAPTIVATING RONDA

  • Tour of Ronda. Ronda has always captivated travelers, from the European Romantic writers of the 19th century to Ernest Hemingway or Orson Welles. Its famous bridge and the white-washed houses hang on a vertiginous gorge and dominate green pastures in the middle of a circle of mountains. This most enchanting Andalusian town grants the visitor with artistic balconies, historical mansions with blossoming patios and striking views (Mondragón Palace and the palace of the Moorish Kings). Christian and Islamic legacy seem to be interwoven in the labyrinthine winding streets, in which churches, vestiges of Mosques, a mighty walled enclosure of the 12th century and Arab Baths remarkably preserved coexist. The prestigious bullring, one of the oldest in Spain, is also a must-see visit.
  • Lunch. We suggest a traditional farm with exquisite cuisine and wonder local paella. Optional cooking class and horse riding in wonderful settings of vineyards and pastures.
  • Transfer to Marbella, on the Mediterranean coastline (62 kilometres away).
  • Night accommodation in your preferred Marbella / Costa del Sol hotel.

DAY 11: REST DAY IN THE COSTA DEL SOL

DAY 11: REST DAY IN THE COSTA DEL SOL

DAY 11: REST DAY IN THE COSTA DEL SOL

  • Enjoy a day (or optional few days) of rest in the Costa del Sol, with its sandy beaches, exclusive retreats and plenty of leisure activities. Check our Box of Experiences.
  • Optional: Private guided tour of Malaga. If you arrive in the morning, you can visit before your transfer to Granada (1 h 30 drive) the city centre of Malaga and its major points of interest –the two Alcazabas (ancient Moorish citadels overlooking the harbour, the Cathedral and the Picasso Museum-, and lunch in an excellent restaurant.
  • Second night in your Marbella Hotel.

DAY 12: DEPARTURE

DAY 12: DEPARTURE

DAY 12: DEPARTURE

  • Private transfer to Malaga international airport or train station.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION DAYS

According to your needs and interests, we can customize your trip, adding some optional experiences and extension days for a deep exploration of the customs, traditions and history of the region.

Experiences Seville

Experiences Cordoba

Experiences Granada

Experiences Marbella/Costa del Sol

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