Charming Andalusia in 10 days
An experience through Andalusia enjoying its main cities and of course the small little towns which you will be able to reach easily. You will fall in love with the way of living, the culture and almost yearly around good weather, a land that is so far away from any other reality. We will visit the grandiose Seville, the intriguing Granada and Cordoba, as well as get to know the rural areas where we will get to know the real local life. This self-drive itinerary has been designed to give you the chance of deciding what you want to do and visit. We offer you some suggestions so you don’t miss out on the important highlights but the ultimate decision is yours, you will travel at your own pace. All activities that you would like to experience can be arranged in advance just let us know.
THE CONFORT OF A TRAIN
Day by Day Itinerary and suggested Accommodation
Day 1: Arrival in Seville. If your international flight arrives in Madrid we suggest reaching the Madrid Train Station and taking a high-speed train to Seville (2h30). Upon arrival in Seville, we suggest having this first day at leisure just to rest from your arrival trip.
3-night accommodation in Casas del Rey de Baeza Hotel ****
Day 2: Visit Seville. Seville is a walking city, so you just need to be ready to explore the monumental area in a charming stroll and know its highlights: the Cathedral, one of the largest in Europe, with its Giralda Tower and the magnificent Royal Alcázar. Also, do not miss visiting the Old Barrio de Santa Cruz and its narrow and picturesque streets full of charisma and history. At night, we could book a seat at one of the best flamenco shows in Spain.
Day 3: Excursion to Jerez de la Frontera. Today, we suggest taking a return train to Jerez, a stately city 1-hour south of Seville, recognized not only for its flamenco singing and its Spanish horses but also for the quality of its Sherry wines. You can enjoy a walk and visit the Alcázar and the Cathedral. Every Monday and Thursday at 12:00PM it takes place the equestrian show of the Royal Cavalry School, a unique horse spectacle worldwide. After attending the show, you can also visit some of the Sherry wineries spread across the city, and taste some varieties of this local but internationally well-known wine. During the day, you could have your lunch based in tapas in a "tabanco" or traditional tavern of Jerez. At the end of the afternoon, you could take your train back to Seville.
Day 4: Self-drive to the Whitewashed Villages. Today in the morning, you should take your rental car and drive East towards deep Andalusia, in the north of Cádiz and Málaga provinces, known as the "white villages" region. Upon arrival in Ronda, the capital of this area, you can check in your accommodation, take a walk to its main monuments like the Old Bullring or Casa Don Bosco and enjoy the breathtaking views from the Puente Nuevo. We suggest having your lunch at one of the restaurants or terraces located in the Old Town.
2-night accommodation at Parador de Ronda ****
Day 5: Explore Sierra de Grazalema. Today in the morning you can take your car and explore on your own those charming villages around the Serranía de Ronda. You can make different stopovers to live the gastronomic tradition and landscapes of this natural area of Grazalema, Zahara de la Sierra, Setenil de las Bodegas, Olvera, El Bosque, Villaluenga... and other villages where you can taste cheeses, wines, olive oil, Iberian ham...
Day 6: Self-drive to Granada and visit the city. Today, drive from Ronda to Granada (2 hours). Upon arrival in Granada, you can have free time to rest. In the afternoon, we suggest walking around the city center to know the Cathedral and Royal Chapel and the surroundings, where the Alcaicería bazaar is located. We highly suggest walking up the Albaicín Quarter streets and reach San Nicolas viewpoint to watch the sunset while enjoying your dinner overlooking the Alhambra.
2-night accommodation in Villa Oniria ****
Day 7: Visit La Alhambra. Today you could visit this stunning complex, considered one of the main monuments in Europe. Since the tickets should be usually booked months in advance, we suggest having a private guided visit with our knowledgeable local guide. If preferred, you could visit independently, on your own. Visit this magnificent complex of palaces and gardens and learn about the world of the Nasrid kings, about astrology, mathematics, design, mysticism, engineering, architecture, botany... everything comes together in the Alhambra. Enjoy this World Heritage Site, its colors and smells, which will remain forever in your memory.
Day 8: Self-drive to Córdoba. Today you will drive to the Caliphate city of Córdoba (2 hours). On the way, depending on your route you could make a stopover to visit the impressive Mota Fortress in Alcalá la Real village. Upon arrival in Córdoba, we suggest refreshing yourselves, have lunch and relax for a while before visiting Medina Azahara, an archaeological complex built by the first caliph of the city in the Umayyad period 8 km away from Cordoba. It is an authentic palatine city that preserves the remains of the Arabic essence in Andalusia. After this visit, you should drive back to Córdoba, leave the car and be ready to have your dinner.
2-night accommodation in Casas de la Judería de Córdoba ****
Day 9: Visit Córdoba. In the morning, we suggest exploring through the intricate streets of the Jewish Quarter, full of flowers in the spring months and that somehow surrounds the main monument of the city: The Great Mosque-Cathedral. World Heritage since 1984, this temple, supported by a forest of colored columns and arcades is a must for visitors to the city. During the walk, you could also enter some lush patio and the Alcázar of the Christian Kings. Do not leave Córdoba without tasting salmorejo or rabo de toro.
Day 10: Departure to Córdoba Train Station. Today you should reach the Córdoba Train Station and take a high-speed train to Madrid or to Seville where you should take your flight back home. We hope you have enjoyed your trip across Andalusia!
CITIES AND TOWNS ON THE ITINERARY
If you wish to know a bit more about the places to go
Andalusia: One of the widest regions of Spain, larger than countries like Belgium, Holland, Denmark or Austria. Its privileged location in the axis between Europe and Africa brought many different cultures throughout history and prehistory. You will feel the magic of the Arabian Nights’ tale visiting fortresses (Alcazabas), palaces (alcázares), mosques and gardens all over the region. You will be amazed by the fact that all these Moorish constructions take place nearby catholic churches and synagogues, resulting in a marvelous architectural and cultural mix. Land of culture and native region of Velázquez, Murillo and Picasso, you will fall in love with its cities and be amazed by its main monuments declared World Heritage Site. You will discover the impressive Moorish, Renaissance and, above all, Baroque architecture in the region. You will also find a diversity of landscapes and experiences and will have the opportunity to taste delicious products from local gastronomy. Andalucía is definitively a great destination which offers a good combination between history, nature, holidays and also very good gastronomy.
Seville: The Andalusian Capital, will enchant you with its impressive monuments and history. It has already been Arab, Jewish and Roman, which provides her a very rich culture. A walk by the district of Santa Cruz will lead you through the streets of the historic and artistic quarter where you will see 12th-century buildings like the Royal Citadels, the Hospital of the Venerable and the City Hall. Don’t miss the architectural and artistic heritage which includes the Cathedral, the Alcazar Arab fortress and India’s Archive. These patrimonial sites have been declared a World Heritage Site, by UNESCO.
Jerez de la Frontera: Famous for its wines, horses and for being the birthplace of flamenco. Discover its historical center, granted with the historic-artistic designation, and surrounded by old walls, where you will see the church of San Mateo and San Lucas and the Riquelme and Permantín palaces. The city is also home to the Horse Fair, a festival declared of International Tourist Interest, where horse-riding and competitions are accompanied by singing, dancing and food. Don’t miss a visit to the wine cellars and taste some exquisite wine.
Ronda: Discover one of the oldest cities of Spain, Ronda, surrounded by mountains, which gives the city its magical character. The town is divided into three distinct areas: the old part which was an ancient Arab medina; the neighborhood of San Francisco, separated by the city Walls and the Mercadillo quarter on the other side of the Guadalevin river. Crossing the Puente Nuevo (“new bridge”), you will find many restaurants offering an abundant selection of local cuisine.
Granada: Probably one of the most attractive cities in Andalucía. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain, it is also famous for its impressive Al-Andalus heritage and its unique Moorish essence, since it is the last Moorish kingdom in the Peninsula which has been reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs. That’s why you will easily find both Moorish and Christian elements in the streets of the city. Discover the eclectic cultural mix neighborhood of the Albaicín quarter. You’ll be fascinated with the splendor of the Alhambra and Gardens of Generalife, the country residence of the sultan. All these sites have been awarded the World Heritage designation. You will remember Granada for sure!
The Alhambra Palaces: A beautiful complex of monuments and gardens. The splendor of the Nasrid era, it was the largest political and aristocratic center of the Moslem West. Discover its astonish Palace and its beautiful rectangular patios and numerous fountains. You’ll be amazed by the courtyard of the Lions with its fountains, one of the most beautiful sites of the compound. Visit also the Alcazaba citadel, the oldest building and the La Vela tower which offers one of the loveliest views of the Alhambra.
Cordoba: A thousand-year-old city founded by the Romans, became the capital of Hispania Ulterior (Further Spain) and later the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate. Awarded with the World Heritage designation, the historic quarter still has the mark of the splendor of the Caliphate of Cordoba. The city of knowledge, it became one of the most cultivated and refined ones in medieval Europe. One example of this is the Great Mosque, dominating the view, with its rich details and the brilliant way it was built. After the Reconquest, a Gothic cathedral was built inside the Mosque, turned to a single architectural space. During your visit, you can also discover the Jewish Quarter with its white-washed façades adorned with tiles and grilles. Here, you can find the Plazuela de las Flores, the house of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia, and the Synagogue.
The Great Mosque: One of the largest in the world with its forest of more than one thousand columns supporting overlapping arches, today a cathedral.
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