The Gardens of Andalucia + Tapas & Flamenco

  • Sept 17-23, 2021
  • Spain
  • Spain
  • Sept 17-23, 2021
  • 8 days / 7 nights
  • $5,250*
  • 8-12 guests

Overview

As tourists we often follow the herds. When you first go, you’ll most likely head to Barcelona or Madrid – both of which are incredible. But you haven’t seen the real Spain until you’ve ventured into awe-inspiring Andalucía. Think of white washed hillside towns, the glory and riches of Sevilla and the palace to end all palaces, Grenada’s Alhambra. Flamenco and the bullfight hail from this area. The Moors from North Africa ruled this region for 800 years and the result is a gorgeous and tantalizing mix of unique cultures and styles that is both seductive and exotic.

Highlights:

  • Clap with the Spanish Classic guitar as you watch Flamenco in a Gypsy Cave
  • Savor a Michelin level tasting menu paired with superb Spanish wines
  • Relax at an ancient Hammam (Moorish spa)
  • Shop for handmade rugs in a small village in the mountains
  • Wander through the palace and gardens of the truly awe-inspiring Alhambra
  • Lay a hand on Christopher Columbus’ tomb
  • Refresh yourself alongside the water features in the gardens of the Alcazar
  • Take a horse-drawn carriage trip of Sevilla
  • Eat tapas until you drop!
  • Explore Maria LuisaPark designed by a French landscape architect
  • Witness the magnificent Mezquita in Cordoba used as both a Catholic Church as well as a Mosque
  • Watch the a stunning sunset over the El Tajo canyon in Ronda

When you see the wonders of Grenada, Cordoba, Sevilla, Ronda, the wine region of Morilla and a village or two in the Sierra Nevada mountains, you’ll want to pinch yourself, asking “Why haven’t I been here yet?”. As we explore this wondrous region with its iconic architectural achievements, you’ll be surprised to experience the delight of the Spanish/Moorish style gardens that abound with their water features, exotic palms, orange and pomegranate trees and tiled walkways. We’ll stay in unique luxury hotels, refresh ourselves in many a flower-filled patio and nosh on tapas daily. Shopping won’t be forgotten and you’ll have the opportunity to relish not one but two dramatic and authentic Flamenco shows.

Itinerary

Day 1 – September 17th, Friday

We’ll meet in Sevilla at our hotel, the four star Hotel Pousaa del Lucerno located in the old town around 4pm on arrival day. We’ll enjoy a welcome glass of Spanish sherry before we embark on a horse-drawn buggy ride through Sevilla’s old town. After, we’ll meet up for a tapas and a wine tasting trip of the best places in town.

We’ll head back to our hotel for an early night’s rest.

Day 2 – September 18th, Saturday

Today we’ll venture out early after our sumptuous breakfast at the hotel to visit Sevilla’s famous 15th centuryCatedral de Santa María de la Sede, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world. Christopher Columbus is buried here.

After, we’ll head over to the 14th century palace which sits just across the street. The Alcazar was built for the Christian King Peter of Castile and is built on top of a former Moorish palace. The palace itself boasts a mosaic of architectural styles from Gothic to Renaissance, Romanesque to Mudéjar, all balancing together elegantly. The gardens of the palace are an absolute delight. They represent a mingling of the Spanish style infused with Muslim artistry which is what the style Mudejarrefers to.

One can trace the history of the Moors and the Christians and the resulting changes in the garden by taking a close look at the pavilion of Charles V in the Alcoba vegetable garden as well as the Grutesco Gallery and its many gardens. Water features and gorgeous Spanish tiles reign supreme. We’ll be led here by an expert.

After all our triping we will be well due for a relaxing lunch at one of Sevilla’s more beautiful courtyards.

After lunch we’ll take a leisurely walk over to Plaza de España, designed in 1929 for a Spanish-American Exhibition. We’ll stop into the small but lovely Prado de San SebastiánPark before heading to Maria LuisaPark, designed by a Frenchman, and considered one of the loveliest parks in Europe. We’ll take an afternoon bike trip with an expert stopping often to learn about the various gardens within this huge park. An ice cream afterwards might be well-earned.

We’ll head back to our hotel for some R n R or for a quick dip in our roof-top pool.

Later on this evening we’ll head to see the wild and interesting modern architectural wonder, the Seville Mushrooms where we’ll watch the sunset with a glass of wine in hand. Then, we’ll head over to Ispal, an outstanding modern Sevillian restaurant where we’ll enjoy a tasting menu paired with Spanish wines.

Day 3 – September 19th, Sunday

Today we’ll trip the Jewish quarter, Barrio Santa Cruz with a guide saving some time for shopping of course.

Next we’ll head to the Alameda,one of the oldest parks in Europe and one of the most famous in Seville. It’s perfectly located because this area is full of fun bars, restaurants, and music venues. After walking a bit, we’ll revive ourselves with a cool drink, perhaps some fresh Spanish style gazpacho (so much better than what we get at home) or some croquettas.

Around 6pm, after a rest back at our hotel, we’ll wander over to the Flamenco museum for a visit and a performance outside on the patio amongst the orange trees.

Dinner after the dance performance will be at the nearby El Traga. Here we can feast on Spanish rib-eye steak or perhaps you’ll want to try the octopus or razor clams washed down with delectable local wines.

Day 4 – September 20th, Monday

Today we’ll check out of our hotel and drive to Cordoba to visit the famous Mosque called the Mezquita used by both Muslims and Christians alike over the centuries. This is one of the most beautiful and unusual buildings in the world, revered by designer and architects dating back to 1236. After we’ll stroll around the Jewish quarter and then sit down to a relaxing wine-focused lunch in one of the quarter’s lovely patios filled with wine barrels!

On our route down to our second hotel in our final destination of Grenada, we’ll stop for a wine tasting in the hillside town of Montilla, famous for its white wines, including Sauvignon blanc which grow perfectly in the Montilla-Moriles wine region.

Before sunset we’ll arrive to our Hotel Alhambra Palace where we’ll be staying for the next two nights. You’ll find their tiled balcony with a view of the Alhambra the perfect place to have a cocktail before dinner.

Tonight after unpacking we’ll dine leisurely at our hotel.

Day 5 – September 21st, Tuesday

Today we’ll wake up and walk over to one of the most impressive architectural sites in the entire world, the Alhambra. We’ll discover the palace and its incredible gardens with a knowledgeable guide. We’ll end with lunch right on the property at the Hotel America Patio Cafe.

This afternoon will be a relaxing one after all the walking you’ve done. We’ll head to the hammam Al Haram also known as the baths of Santa Paula. There is history in these walls dating back 500 years. At this Moorish-style spa, we’ll enjoy the various baths from hot to cold, sweat it out at the steam table, get a scrub or massage and then end our wellness journey with mint tea.

After a little rest, tonight we’ll head up into the hills in the gypsy district where the Zambra style flamenco began,which some call the birthplace of Flamenco.We’lll have a meal outside on a terrace overlooking the entire city,and then see an authentic show in a cave

Day 6 – September 22nd, Wednesday

This morning we’ll take an early trip into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. We’ll stop at one of the villages talked about in the book series, “Driving Over Lemons”. Here, we can order the the Plato Alpujarreño – the Alpujarran version of a full English breakfast. While in the mountains, we’ll search for an Alpujarran Rug or two; this is where they make them. In the white villages of the Poqueria Gorge we’ll visit a chocolate shop and a folk museum.

This afternoon is devoted to shopping. We’ll hunt for some gorgeous Fajalauza ceramics and we’ll scour the old Arab neighborhood, the Albaycin, with its lovely white washed houses and narrow streets. We’ll pop into a historic church or two and checkout the ancient Arab Baths, dating back to the 11th century. Shopping and triping can be exhausting. We’ll plop down around 5 or 6for abocadillo and a glass of something refreshing and take a load off.

We’ll make an early night of it tonight to save our strength for our next day’s adventure.

Day 7 – September 23rd, Thursday

Today we’ll drive west for two hours to one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Situated on a gorge, Rhonda has been settled since the neolithic age, but what we’ll see dates back to Roman times. Here, we’ll check into the Parador right in the center of town which has the most beautiful view of the El Tajo Canyon. We’ll lunch on their terrace with a jaw-dropping view of the gorge as well as the agricultural fields in the distance.

After a short trip of town, you have free time to wander Rhonda’s charming streets and passageways and the many adorable shops. Or, you might prefer to pop back to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon at the pool.

In the late afternoon we’ll head together over to Rhonda’s historic bullring and museum dating back to 1785. It’s Spain’s most famous bullring only open to bull fights once a year and only for the best fighters in the country. Don’t worry, we won’t be seeing a bullfight, but it’s important and interesting to understand the importance this sport has had within Spanish culture. Plus the building itself is absolutely stunning.

As the sun begins to lower in the sky, we’ll install ourselves for drinks and snacks in one of the key spots in town to watch the sunset. Then we’ll head toour farewell dinner. We’ll surprise you with a gastronomic treat, and toast to a week of good friends made, glorious gardens photographed, tapas savored and Flamenco experienced.The beautiful region of Andalucía is a place that takes a hold of you. As soon as you leave, you’ll be longing to come back.

Day 8 – September 24th, Friday

Breakfast and depart for Malaga. From here you can stay for a few days at the beach or head home via train or plane back to Barcelona or Madrid where you will catch your International flight.

Trip Cost

$5,250*

*All our trips are organized and priced based on single occupancy at all the places we stay. If you’re traveling with a friend/relative, or would prefer to save some money by sharing a room, we can usually organize double occupancy and a reduction in cost.

What’s Included:

  • All lodging
  • Meals as stated including wine or beer with meals or cocktails when mentioned.
  • One hammam experience
  • Two flamenco shows
  • All guided palace and garden trips as well as bike rentals
  • All trips and tastings, carriage rides – everything stated above.

What’s not Included:

  • International airfare to and from Spain plus smaller flights or your train to Seville and back from Malaga.
  • Travel and medical insurance, a must-have for anyone over 50.
  • Additional spa treatments
  • Extra drinks beyond those provided
  • Any personal souvenirs

I’m interested, so what do I do next?

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If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for 25% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 deposit you already paid) and your place is reserved. This is non-refundable; you’re committed to the trip. The balance is due approximately 2 months before the trip.

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