"How lazily the sun goes down in Granada, it hides beneath the water, it conceals the Alhambra!" –Ernest Hemingway

The Essence of Andalucía

The Trip

Southern Spain–the land of flamenco, bullfighting, dancing horses and tapas–presents us with every image of classic Spain. Granada's fairy-tale Alhambra palace, Córdoba's Mezquita and Sevilla's Alcázar recall the kingdoms of Al-Andalus; the narrow streets of the various Jewish quarters and the white Moorish villages spread across the region continue to seduce us. And the food, that delicious commingling of Moorish and Iberian influences served up on tiny plates and eaten while standing at bars, whispers of centuries of inherited craft.

8 days / 7 nights

Trip starts Sevilla and ends in Madrid

2 nights Sevilla; 1 night Córdoba; 3 nights Granada; 1 night Madrid

Highlights

  • The art of tapas in Sevilla
  • Iberian ham tour
  • Córdoba and the Mezquita
  • Tour of the Moorish Alhambra palace
  • Albaicín walking tour
  • Flamenco performance in Granada
  • Cooking class in the country
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Interesting

Sevilla has more cafés and bars per capita than almost any other city in the world.

Cordoba's Mezquita was converted into a cathedral when the Christians reconquered the city from the Moors.

Andalucía produces the world's majority of olive oil.

Spain's prized jamón ibérico de Jabugo comes from near Sevilla.

Sherry, called jerez in Spanish, comes from the city of Jerez, the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda or the town of El Puerto de Sant María, all deep in the province of Cádiz. 

Itinerary

The Essence of Andalucía

Day 1 – Arrive in Sevilla. Guided walking tour through historic Sevilla: Visit the Alcázar, a Moorish-built palace and the Gothic cathedral – the third-largest church in the world – whose bell tower affords magnificent panoramic views of the city. Tapas tour with a Sevilla resident very knowledgeable about Andalucia’s food and wine. Discover the tapas bars for which Sevilla is so famous. Tapas "bar hopping" normally involves visiting a number of bars, trying the specialty in each.

Day 2 – Private Iberian ham tour. Visit the dehesa where the acorn-fed Iberian pigs are raised– the ultimate traditional, sustainable, and low-impact agricultural system. Sample the ham at the farm, continue on to Aracena for lunch.

Day 3 – High-speed train to Córdoba, once the most populous city in the world, the intellectual center of Europe, and the capital of an Islamic caliphate. Private walking tour of the old city including the charming streets of the Judería and the Mezquita–an 8th-century Moorish mosque with a 13th-century Christian Cathedral within it. Tapas lunch. In the evening spend time in the beautiful arabic baths, or attend a classic Andalusian equestrian show in the Royal Stables before dinner in a Michelin star restaurant serving modernized Andalusian cuisine.

Day 4 – Train to Granada, the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain. Private guided visit of the Alhambra–the palace of the rulers of the Kingdom of Granada. Enjoy dinner in a highly regarded traditional restaurant.

Day 5 – Guided walking tour of the Albaicín neighborhood–the one-time Moorish quarter of Granada and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Traditional tapas lunch.  Authentic Spanish flamenco music and dance await you tonight when you attend a flamenco show in one of Granada’s lesser-known traditional flamenco venues where flamenco is more spontaneous. You're sure to hear music that will astound you–exactly who and what depends on which artists are performing that evening. Dinner included.

Day 6 – Tapas Cooking Class in the Lecrin Valley outside Granada at a finca (country house) Lunch either in the beautifully designed house or on the sun-terrace overlooking the Valley and a ruined Arab castle. After lunch your guide will take you an olive farm where you will walk amid olive groves, visit a fascinating 15th century olive oil mill and taste a selection of extra virgin oils in a specialist shop.

Day 7 – Take the train to Madrid. Free afternoon to visit specialty food shops, the Retiro Park or the world class museums like the Prado, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen. Tapas guide takes you on an exploration of the current tapas scene in Madrid. Traditional tapas, avant-garde tapas, minimalist tapas–take your pick.

Day 8 – Transfer to the Madrid airport for your onward flight.


See More Andalucía Trips


Customize The Trip

Customize this trip to match your interests and dates. We can add days and activities, or swap out those tours that interest you less. Call us to talk about your interests.

Extend Your Journey

Spend more days in Madrid exploring the villages outside the capital: Segovia, Toledo, Ávila, Salamanca

From Granada travel to the Unesco World Heritage and Renaissance-jewel cities of Úbeda and Baeza.