The enchanting old Jewish neighbourhood of Santa Cruz makes for the perfect base in Seville. Lose yourself in the narrow cobblestone lanes and visit the stunning Alcazar. Visit the spectacular mountain-top village of Zahara de la Sierra and enjoy an olive oil tasting at a local family-run mill. Granada is a city like no other. Explore the outstanding Alhambra Palace, wander through the mythic Moorish quarter and feast on the city’s world-renowned cuisine – all with the benefit of insider knowledge. Enjoy a tasting and talk about the local beers and Iberico ham from the owner of a local deli. This little show is offered exclusively to our group.
Walk over green hills and through white villages by day and relax in the evenings as you feast on delicious local dishes, a glass or two of vino tinto and feel the emotion of flamenco and free-wheeling Andalucían life.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 2
On arrival in Seville, you will be met by a Peregrine representative and transferred to your hotel. There are no activities planned for during the day, so you may arrive at any time before your welcome meeting at 7 pm. At this meeting, your leader will give you a briefing on what lies ahead for the trip. This is followed by a short orientation walk around the neighbourhood and then included dinner where we get to sample some of the local tapas. If you have time beforehand, take the opportunity to explore this most flamboyant of cities. Barrio Santa Cruz, with its multicultural history, is a great place to start. This shaded warren was designed in medieval times to provide refuge from the great Andalusian heat.
Take an easy morning before embarking on a walking tour that reveals many of Seville's finest sights in the early afternoon. With the knowledge of your local leader to guide you, you will explore the maze of narrow cobblestoned streets and sun-speckled squares in Barrio Santa Cruz and El Centro. A highlight of the morning is a visit to Catedral de Sevilla – a UNESCO World heritage Site, the third largest cathedral in the world houses Christopher Columbus’ elevated tomb. You'll also visit the lovely botanical gardens in Maria Luisa Park and the incomparable Plaza de España. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the town. Visits to Seville's magnificent Alcazar Palace – one of the country’s most impressive and historic monuments and Giralda Tower are both highly recommended. Tonight you can join the 'Sevillanos' (locals) and soak up the ambience of the city as it comes alive after dark. 'Sevillanos' usually dine late, so embrace the local schedule. Perhaps round off your evening with an optional flamenco show; your guide will offer you some history of this unique dance style.
(Walking time: 3–4 hours, not including free time in the afternoon)
Zahara de la Sierra - Grazalema
Today you will transfer by private minibus (approximately 1.5 hours) to Grazalema National Park. En route you will stop to explore the splendid village of Zahara de la Sierra. The awesome mountain-top location of this whitewashed village makes it visible for many kilometres. It's also known as the 'Moorish Eagle's Nest'. On this leader-led tour of Zahara you will walk up to a 15th-century watchtower and feast your eyes on the spectacular views over the Zahara-Gastor Resevoir and the surrounding countryside. Also today you will visit 'Molino El Vinculo', a traditional, family-run ‘cold’ olive oil mill, and enjoy a tour of the factory and tasting. Andalucia is the world's largest producer of olive oil, and the locals enjoy it at all times of the day. It is also the basis of Andalucia's most famous contribution to world gastronomy – gazpacho. From here it's a short drive (approximately 30 minutes) over the stunning 'Puerto de las Palomas' (Dove Pass), high up in the sierras, to the village of Grazalema. Before dinner there will be a short, guided orientation of the village.
(Walking time: approximately 3–4 hours)
Today you have the option to either take a rest or go for a nature walk. This walk goes through the ancient forests and hilly landscapes of the Grazalema National Park. It caters to both light walkers and those seeking a more adventurous day. Your leader will take you through a region that was frequented by Romans, Moors and bandits in years gone by. Your hike begins with an exploration of Grazalema's upper village streets, and as you head out of the village you will connect to a gently sloping path that leads you up to a lovely viewpoint. From here, you have the choice to either return to the village to relax and unwind, or to carry on and explore the verdant natural areas with your leader. The rest of the route follows a mountainous circuit over an ancient drover’s path. Keep your eyes peeled for the likes of eagles, vultures, mountain goats, cattle, sheep and horses.
Notes: Today’s walking distance and terrain is subject to the interests of the group, as well as weather and other seasonal factors.
(Walking time: approximately 2 hours for the short walk or 3-5 hours for the full circuit depending on the pace of the group)
After breakfast, travel by private minibus from Grazalema to Ronda. This little town, perched on an inland plateau, is one of Spain's oldest villages, dating back to the 9th century BC. Take the opportunity to gaze out from its elevated position to the patchwork of fields and floodplains beneath. There is plenty to see and do in your free time today. Perhaps go for a walk into the picturesque gorge, walk along a country path surrounding the town, visit a local museum, do some shopping, or simply relax, have a coffee and enjoy the small-town atmosphere. Your leader will provide you with a map and will point out their favourite hotspots before you set off on your self-orientation adventure where you can choose how to spend your free time. Later on, reconnect with the rest of your group and your leader for an alternative orientation walk and insight in to local living in Ronda.Your stay today is in perfectly located Hotel Don Miguel. Being placed in the heart of the historic part of Ronda, on the edge of the gorge, it makes it ideal place to watch the world go by from your hotel room and wake up to a beautiful sunrise in the morning. In the evening, you might like to enjoy some tapas and a glass of crisp Spanish beer in one of Ronda's lively local eateries.
(Walking time: approximately 2 hours excluding free time activities)
After breakfast, continue to Granada by private minibus (approximately 3 hours). Along the way you will take in views of Andalucia’s rich and diverse landscapes. In Spring, you may still see snow on the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the distance as you approach Granada. Arrive in the city and walk through the historic Christian cathedral district to witness the Moorish influence first-hand. In the afternoon, there is the option of a self-guided tour of Granada Cathedral, and to visit the Royal Chapel (which contains the tombs of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand from the early 16th century). Alternatively you can wander through the 'Alcaiceria' (old silk market area) and observe the craftworks on sale that include ceramics, marquetry and leather goods. Also in the afternoon you will be taking part in an exclusive local produce tasting tour taking place in a small, family run delicatessen. You can expect to try different types of cheeses, hams and wine during this delicious tasting. In the evening, you may want to go out on a tapa tour of the city, through some of Granada’s lively squares beneath the Alhambra Palace. Granada does this style of food like no other city in Spain. Alternatively, head to one of the small flamenco taverns around the city and see how the art form here differs from Seville's version.
(Walking time: approximately 4 hours)
Granada - Alhambra Palace
Today you will visit Alhambra Palace, either in the morning or in the afternoon (depending on when you are booked for). Discover this 11th-century marvel and its dominating red fortress towers, sumptuous palace decor, multitude of architectural styles and magnificent gardens. It's all set against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. With fountains, impeccably maintained hedges and pools, centuries-old defensive walls, turrets, and views overlooking Granada, this unparalleled attraction will not disappoint. After lunch, your leader will take you deeper into Granada’s Moorish 'Albaicin' quarter and to the area of traditional tea houses. The view from this area across to the Alhambra Palace is not to be missed. Tonight you will join your group to dine in Granada in style as you look back on a week of Andalucian experiences.
(Walking time: approximately 6–8 hours)
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to stay on in Granada, additional accommodation can be arranged when you book this trip (subject to availability). Iberia Airlines have daily flights to both Barcelona and Madrid from Granada airport, which is located 17 kilometres west of the city. There are also convenient rail options to Seville, Madrid and Barcelona. A cheaper (but longer) option is to take a bus north.