Highlights of Andalucia
8 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Seville
Hola! Welcome to Seville. There are no activities planned for during the day, so you may arrive at any time before an 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.
Day 2 Seville
Have an easy morning before heading on a walking tour of Seville's finest sights. 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. After the tour 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. 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 (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.
Day 3 Ronda
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. 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. Later on, reconnect with the rest of your group and your leader for an alternative orientation walk. 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.
Day 4 Ronda - Grazalema
Today you will transfer by private minibus to Grazalema National Park. On your way, 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 marvel at 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 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. 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. Enjoy a drink and a snack before boarding your minibus and heading back to Ronda for the evening.
Day 5 Ronda
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!
Day 6 Granada
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 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 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 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.
Day 7 Granada
Today, 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, 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, indulge in a group dinner in Granada, looking back on your Andalucian experiences.
Day 8 Granada
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.
All This Included
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.
Comfortable hotel (7 nights)
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.