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Dive into Andalucia's rich and fascinating culture. This special walking tour takes you through a magnificent tapestry of people, architecture, landscape and cuisine


Activity Level: Moderate

Walking 2-15km daily

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Andalucia’s rich and fascinating culture is one of the most exciting and distinctive in all of Spain. This area was deeply influenced by more than half a millennium of Muslim rule during the Middle Ages, and this special walking tour takes you through a magnificent tapestry of people, architecture, landscape and cuisine. This is where bullfighters, beaches, flamenco, white towns, ancient palaces, tiny villages, religious processions, Picasso, tapas and sherry converge in a colourful procession of culture that is both charming and somewhat addictive.

We explore the heart of southern Spain, including the cities of Seville, Córdoba and Granada. We walk through smaller villages and ‘white towns’ to meet the locals and experience natural beauty, such as the Grazalema Natural Park declared Reserve of the Biosphere by the UNESCO. The Muslim rulers established universities and brought together the greatest achievements of all of the civilisations they had encountered. We see their stunning legacies, such as the amazing Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita in Córdoba and the Reales Alcázares in Seville.

Food & Wine

We savour authentic Andalusian cuisine, such as gazpacho, pescaito frito (fried fish), jamón from Trevélez, and some of the best tapas in Spain. And of course, indulge in the wines and sherries of the Jerez region and take a guided tour of one of the most illustrious Bodegas in Jerez.

TourDates

24 September – 8 October 2018

This tour can also be arranged as a private journey for two people or more.

How itUnfolds

DAY DAY 1: Seville

After settling into our accommodation at the Barrio de Santa Cruz, we meet for lunch before exploring the city on foot with a local guide and visit some of the city’s most well-known sites and best kept secrets.

All the romantic images of Andalucia, with its fiestas, flamenco, bullfights, brightly coloured houses and stunning Moorish architecture spring vividly to life in Seville. It is a city that has perfected the art of enjoyment and one can’t help but be part of this.

DAY DAY 2: Seville

Spend the day exploring the city independently, before we meet in the early evening for a flamenco performance at Museo de Flamenco.

DAY DAY 3: Seville – Arcos de la Frontera

Today we leave Seville and travel to Jerez de la Frontera, a journey of around one hour. A visually stunning town, Jerez de la Frontera is also known as the birthplace of sherry. We enjoy a tasting of the local speciality in one of the town’s renowned bodegas, before driving on to the town of Arcos de la Frontera for the night.

DAY DAY 4: Arcos de la Frontera – Grazalema

After a leisurely breakfast, we drive eastwards towards the spectacular Sierra de Grazalemas Natural Park, stopping in the quaint town of Ubrigue along the way. The 517 km2 protected area encompasses beautiful limestone mountain ranges, pastoral river valleys, precipitous gorges and dense woodlands. In the afternoon we arrive at Zahara de la Sierra, where we make our base for the next two nights.

DAY DAY 5: Grazalema

Walking distance: 12km

We explore the Natural Park on foot this morning, walking the scenic Goatherd’s Leap trail, which will take around four hours. Through forests of holm and gall oaks and valleys dotted with wild olive trees, we head towards a huge solitary rock cut in half by an ancient fault, where vultures nest and are observed hovering above us.

The afternoon is free to rest tired feet and enjoy the surrounds of our luxurious accommodation.

DAY DAY 6: Grazalema – Ronda

Walking distance: 11km

Another day of spectacular walking awaits. We take the Pinsapar route, through the heart of the Pinsapo forest, one of the last remaining stands of these beautiful pine trees. After a steep climb, the trail levels out and affords dramatic views over the forest, villages and valleys below.

From the end of the trail our awaiting vehicle transfers us to the town of Ronda.

DAY DAY 7: Ronda

Walking distance: 11km

Perched on the edge of the renowned El Tajo, a precipitous limestone gorge, Ronda is one of the most spectacularly situated towns in Spain. Our walk this morning, beginning in the town of Benaojan and finishing in Ronda, affords stunning views of the gorge and surrounding countryside. After enjoying a tapas lunch in Ronda, we visit the bullring, which dates back to the 1700s.

DAY DAY 8: Ronda – Granada

This morning we travel from Ronda to the famed city of Granada, a drive of around three hours. On arrival, we take a short walk to one of the ancient Cisterns before taking a walking tour of the Moorish Quarter of the Albaicin in the afternoon.

DAY DAY 9: Granada

This morning we are met by our expert guide and taken on a tour of the magnificent Alhambra, the imposing Moorish palace and fortress built in the 13th and 14th centuries by the Nazari kings.

The afternoon is free to explore the city independently, before we dine together in one of the city’s fine restaurants.

DAY DAY 10: Granada – Alpujarras

This morning we drive for around two hours to Alpujarras, a mountainous region on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Sheltered by spectacular mountain ranges, the region has historically been the last bastion of Andalucia against invaders. As a result, the area has maintained a unique and distinctive local cuisine and culture.

On arrival we enjoy a short walk in the mountains.

The Alpujarras region is renowned for its jamon and this afternoon we have the
opportunity to visit a secadero. Enjoy a tasting of some of the best ham in
Spain with a glass of local wine.

DAY DAY 11: Alpujarras

Walking distance: 12km

Today we walk the Route of the White Villages, which will take around four hours to complete. The circuit takes in three exceptionally pretty villages and one of the loveliest reaches of the mighty Poqueira Gorge. The three whitewashed villages are set in a splendid landscape of terraced slopes, sprinkled with poplar, chestnut, oak and holm oak groves, with the mighty Sierra Nevada looming above.

DAY DAY 12: Alpujarras – Zuheros

After breakfast we transfer to Zuheros in the Subbetica Natural Park, a drive of around three to four hours.

Zuheros is a white village, in the province of Cordoba, surrounded by mountains and immersed in a sea of olive trees and hollowed rocks. It is above all, a village of Islamic past; a labyrinth of streets arranged almost in a circular fashion.

On arrival into Zuheros we head into the Park and take a short, though spectacular, walk through the canyon of the Bailon River.

DAY DAY 13: Zuheros – Cordoba

We travel the short distance to Cordoba and begin exploring this extraordinary city. In 756AD, Cordoba was declared capital of the Spanish caliphate and still features the second largest mosque in the world, after the Kaaba in Mecca. Christian influences are also visible in the Alcazar and Calahorra Towers, while the old Jewish quarter is a fascinating area to wander.

DAY DAY 14: Cordoba

A visit to the Mezquita (mosque) begins our day, followed by free time to explore the city or relax at the Hammam Banos Arabes (Arab baths) for a few hours.

Our farewell dinner is a sumptuous affair at one of the city’s best restaurants.

DAY DAY 15: Cordoba – departure

We say goodbye after breakfast, when our tour ends. From here guests can make their way back to Madrid via the AVE (fast train) or continue their travels in the south.

JourneyHighlights

~ Explore the stunning Moorish architecture of the Alcazar and Alhambra
~ Discover the charm of the quintessential white villages of Andalucía
~ Marvel at the precipitous position of the stunning town of Ronda

Interested in thisJourney?

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