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Andalusia embodies all the popular images of Spain: white-washed hill towns, bulls and matadors, flamenco dancers, and Moorish palaces. The birthplace of the guitar, flamenco, and tapas, Andalusia is a rich cultural region offering sun-soaked Mediterranean towns, a dramatic mountainous landscape, arid valleys dotted with gorgeous white-washed villages, and glorious historic cities, home to some of Europe’s most amazing architectural sites. Prepare to be charmed!
During the tour, you will stay in a hotel which is located in the captivating district of Seville in the authentic and picturesque Barrio de Santa Cruz. Barrio de Santa Cruz is an enchanting area of the city filled with cobbled, narrow streets, enchanting plazas, orange trees, and is centrally positioned within easy walking distance to many of the area’s main attractions. The hotel boasts a lovely traditional courtyard that can be admired from the various guestroom patios where guests can relax and enjoy the serene ambiance. Step outside the hotel and you will get to be like a Spaniard having a very late dinner in one of the tapas bars or people-watch while sipping coffee.
Arrive on your own to Seville, check in, unpack and relax. Then, the group will meet in the evening for dinner.
This morning, you will go on a walking tour in the historical center of Seville with famous landmarks like the magnificent 15th century ancient Gothic cathedral and the impressive Royal Alcazar, a Moorish fortress which is now a residence for Spanish kings. This beautiful palace is one of the oldest royal residences in Europe still in use. You will continue walking in Barrio Santa Cruz, the charming old Jewish quarter of Seville, with its narrow streets, whitewashed houses, enchanting flowered balconies, and hidden squares shaded by flowering orange trees guiding the way. After the walking tour, you will return to the hotel for some siesta before heading out for a Spanish style dinner and a tapas tour. There are more than 3000 tapas bars in Seville. You will walk through the maze of Seville’s narrow streets to the traditional tapas bars frequented by locals.
After breakfast, you will be driving to Jerez, famous for the sherry and The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Arts, which has the best breed of horses in Europe. Like the one in Vienna, The Royal Andalusian School is well known for its horse show, an equestrian ballet accompanied by Spanish music, and 18th-century-style costumes. You will stroll through the buzzing food market and walk in the narrow streets of the old town before watching the horse show. After lunch, you will have a private visit to a sherry bodega for a tasting. After some free time to explore, you will return to Seville and you will have the evening to yourself.
This morning, you will be driving to Sierra de Aracena Mountains for a memorable day in a farm, where you will have a cooking class with a charming lady. In the afternoon, you will return to Seville to freshen up before you head out for a light dinner and a Flamenco show. Flamenco is a tradition that gets close to the heart of Spain with its throbbing guitars, stamping heels, and proud passionate gestures. Your tour guide will lead you to an off-the-beaten-path club where the people of Seville go to watch Flamenco.
Today, you venture to Cordoba. As impressive and surprising Cordoba presents itself to today's visitor, it remains as impressive and surprising as it was in the past. Not many know that in the 11th century, it was one of the most important capitals in Europe. The medieval city, famed for the peaceful and prosperous coexistence of its three religious cultures (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), is also an illustration of the cultural history of the Iberian Peninsula. Cordoba today offers a cultural depth and intensity. Its artistic and historical treasures begin with the Mezquita Cathedral (mosque - cathedral) and continue through the winding whitewashed streets of the Juderia (the medieval Jewish quarter), the jasmine geranium, orange blossom filled patios, renaissance palaces, two dozen churches, and convents and hermitages built by Moorish artisans directly over former mosques. Dinner’s on your own.
The whitewashed villages of Andalusia, or Pueblos Blancos, are stunning towns perched on cliffs. The white provides a dazzling contrast to the brightly colored flowers which fill the streets and the ochres of their rocky mountain perches. You will visit Grazalema, one of the classic white villages with its immaculately-kept whitewashed houses with windows covered by wrought-iron rejas and plant pots spilling over with flowers. It's as pretty as a postcard and its setting, in the heart of the Grazalema National Park, is dramatic. What could be a better place to taste fine cheeese than in the mountains? And this is exactly what we are going to do. Also, enjoy lunch in this beautiful national park. After lunch, you will visit another spectacular white town, Zahara de la Sierra, which is located on the slopes of the Grazalema Mountains. With the azure-blue waters of the vast lake below, its Moorish castle perched on a craggy outcrop at the very top. Your final stop today will be a traditional working olive mill that produces high quality cold pressed olive oil. After a long day, you will return to Seville for a farewell dinner.
You can head home or extend your stay.
This culinary vacation will take place in Andalusia, Spain.
Please book your flight to arrive at Seville Airport (SVQ). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. For details and the cost, please contact Food N' Wine Vacations.
Please book your train to arrive at Seville train station. Transfer from and to train station is available upon request. For details and the cost, please contact Food N' Wine Vacations.