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 local knowledge.. Enjoy a tasting and talk about the local beers and Iberico ham from the owner of a local deli, offered exclusively to your group.
Marvel at the sights, sounds and smells of Andalucian country on this eight-day exploration of Spain’s south. Feast on a variety of region-specific tapas, explore historic hilltop cities and bask in the laidback and friendly atmosphere. Your highlights tour includes all the good parts of Seville, Ronda and Granada, plus ensuring you have time to explore each destination at your own pace. Whether you are after a scenic hiking opportunity, or simply time to sit back and relax with a coffee or glass of wine, Andalucia has got everyone covered. You’ll soon realise why this Spanish region is known as one of the most beautiful.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included:
Hola! Bienvenido a Sevilla. Welcome to Seville. There are no activities planned during the day, so you may arrive at any time before the important welcome meeting at 7 pm. If you do have time beforehand, take the opportunity to visit Barrio Santa Cruz – with its multicultural history, it is a great place to start. This neighbourhood was designed in medieval times to provide a shaded space from the Andalucian heat. After your welcome meeting, take an orientation walk around the close neighbourhood and then why not head out for a dinner with your group (at your own cost), where you’ll have a chance to sample some local tapas.
Have an easy morning before heading on an orientation walk with your leader. Explore the maze of narrow cobblestoned streets and sun-speckled squares in Barrio Santa Cruz and El Centro. In your free time it is recommended to visit a Catedral de Sevilla – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the third largest cathedral in the world, housing Christopher Columbus’ elevated tomb. Another great site to visit is the lovely botanical gardens in Maria Luisa Park and the incomparable Plaza de Espana. 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 (Seville locals) and soak up the ambience of the city as it comes alive after dark. The locals 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.
After breakfast, travel by private minibus to Ronda. This little town, perched on a mountaintop, is one of Spain's oldest villages, dating back to the 9th century BC. There is plenty to see and do in your free time today. Join your leader for an orientation walk, then perhaps go for a walk into the picturesque gorge or along the Puente Nuevo, 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 own adventure. 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.
Zahara de la Sierra / Grazalema / Ronda
Today you will transfer by private minibus into the hills surrounding Grazalema National Park. Your first stop is Molino El Vinculo, a traditional, family-run ‘cold’ olive oil mill. Enjoy a tour of the factory and a 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. Then it's on 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'. Your leader will take you up to the 15th-century watchtower from where you can marvel at the spectacular views over the Zahara-Gastor Resevoir and the surrounding countryside. 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, another beautiful whitewashed hamlet. Take your time to explore the winding alleys, then return back to Ronda for the evening.
Today is as clear as the blue Spanish skies in summer. You can choose your itinerary for today – your group leader will have a whole list of recommendations in Ronda and the surrounding area. Enjoy some easy scenic walks, taste the local wine, and enjoy the traditional food of the area. You are in the heart of Spain, after all, so take time to appreciate all its offerings!
After breakfast, continue to Granada by private minibus (approximately 3-4 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 to visit Granada Cathedral and 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). In the afternoon you will be taking part in an exclusive local produce tasting taking place in a small, family run delicatessen. Try local Iberian ham, different types of cheeses, jam, olive oil and other gourmet products from around Spain, including some wine. In the evening, you may want to go out on a tapas 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.
Today, visit Alhambra Palace, either in the morning or in the afternoon (depending on the time slot we managed to secure). Discover this 11th-century marvel and its dominating red fortress towers, palace decor, 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 renowned palace 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, perhaps meet up again with the group for dinner, looking back on your Andalucian experiences.
There are no activities planned for today, so you are free to leave your accommodation at any time. If you would like to stay on in Granada, we don’t blame you! Additional accommodation can be arranged when you book (subject to availability). Granada also has flight, rail and bus connections to major Spanish cities and other European hubs.