Andalucia, Spain's most southern and second largest region, was once a stronghold of the Moors. The architecture, colours, and history reflect an interesting and multicultural past. We visit the finest cities of the region, coupling the history with countryside strolls, seeing the real Spain through its villages, patios and trails.
Situated on the banks of the river Guadalquivir, and once the capital of Andalucia, Seville is where we begin our exploration. Seville has many fine buildings, amongst them the cathedral, reputedly the largest Gothic church in the world, and the Alcazar, originally built as a palace for Seville’s Muslim rulers. The rolling Sierra Morena to the north of Seville offers attractive and easy walking country in richly vegetated valleys. Here we will also find charming old fashioned villages where buildings reflect the strong Muslim influence of the past.
On to Cordoba, once the biggest city in Western Europe during the 10th century, with a booming economy and a place where Christians, Muslims and Jews lived in harmony. There are many wonderful reminders of this era: fascinating old buildings, beautiful patios and the famous Mezquita around which Cordoba is centered. We’ll have time to visit the Mezquita and explore the Jewish and Muslim quarters of the town. Cordoba’s surrounding countryside is also dotted with monuments to its Moorish past.
Granada, considered the finest city in Iberia in Moorish times, is our last classical city. Here there are narrow streets, beautiful cathedrals, churches and of course, the Alhambra, a palace fortress originally the home of the Nasrid Sultans. The Alhambra is made up of three groups of buildings, the Alcazaba, the Casa Real (Royal Palace) and the Generalife (the gardens, patios and walkways) and contains examples of the most exquisite Moorish art. During our stay we’ll have a guided visit here as well as exploring other parts of the city and into the surrounding countryside.