Explore majestic Moorish cities and the white villages of Andalucia, Spain.
Andalucia is one of the greatest ethnic melting-pots of the Mediterranean and the westernmost meeting place of past civilisations including the Greeks, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans. It was the sophisticated Moslem kingdom, ‘Al Andalus’, however, that gave the region its richest and most lasting cultural heritage and distinctive traditions. From the magic cities of Seville and Granada to the secret gem of Antequera and the timeless white villages of Olvera and Setenil, there is a wealth of culture to indulge in. Taking advantage of a comfortable base, Cortijo Rosario and a private minibus, your journey combines some great cultural highlights with the peace and tranquillity of the Andalusian countryside.
Your trip starts at Cortijo Rosario, located in the heart of the authentic Andalucian countryside, approximately 100 km from Malaga. The converted farmhouse is just a short walk from Algamitas, a peaceful and traditional village far from the hustle and bustle of the big towns or cities.
Today you take a half day guided walk on the trails and paths around the Cortijo. The countryside surrounding Algamitas is picture-perfect, covered with olive trees, beautiful farmland and rolling hills. During the walk your leader will give you a good overview of the rural lifestyle and traditions of this part of the world, which are largely based around the production of olive oil. The route is very flexible and can be tailored to suit changes in the weather. At lunch you will taste some tapas at one of the bars normally frequented by the local crowd. The afternoon will be spent relaxing by the pool or enjoying a drink in the lovely outdoor terrace at the Cortijo. Dinner and overnight at the Cortijo.
In the morning transfer by private minibus to the magnificent city of Seville. The day is free to sight see at your own pace. Now the capital of Andalucia, Seville was one of the first conquests of the Moors. After the fall of the Cordoba Caliphate in the 11th century, under whose direction it previously lay, it became the most powerful city in Al Andalus. Near the city centre is the evocative Giralda, an architectural masterpiece dating back to the 12th century. Originally built as a minaret for the central Mosque in Seville, this mosque was later destroyed, and it is now the bell-tower for the enormous cathedral. Close by is the magnificent Alcazar, a complex of palaces dating back from Roman times and later used by both Moorish and Christian rulers. It has fine examples of Moorish and Mudejar architecture, rivalling that of Granada’s ‘Alhambra’ and has some lovely gardens. After the Christian re-conquest Seville became the gateway to the ‘New World’; Christopher Columbus negotiated here with Queen Isabella to fund his epic voyage to the Americas. Overnight at Hotel Alcantara or similar in Seville.
Leaving Seville in the morning, travel to Olvera, one of the most scenic of the ‘pueblos blancos’ or white villages. These villages were built during Moorish times as a border between what was then ‘Al Andalus’ and Christian Spain. In Olvera you have the opportunity to visit the Arab castle, which dates back to the end of the 12th century. From here head to Seteni de las Bodegas. Built under the overhanging ledge of a gorge, Setenil is not only famous for its peculiar architecture but also for its bars, restaurants and food shops which are ranked as the best in the region. The town is also a good place to buy ceramics and local crafts. Return to the Cortijo and the rest of the afternoon is free for a dip in the pool or walks in the surrounding countryside.
A free day to explore the countryside around the farmhouse or visit Ronda or Cordoba.
Today, leave the Cortijo and transfer to the beautiful Moorish city of Granada. Here you can spend a full day exploring the wonderful heritage of the historic centre. After immersing yourselves in Granada’s history and culture by day, there is a lot to do and see at night including optional flamenco shows. Overnight at 3-star Hotel Navas or similar in Granada.
Leave Granada today and head to the historical town of Antequera, a little gem known as “the heart of Andalucia” because of its geographical location. The town’s history dates back 5,000 years, beginning with the Bronze Age and successively inhabited by many cultures including the native Iberians, Romans and the Moors, all of which have left their mark for us. After exploring the town’s highlights and great variety of monuments, enjoy a delicious lunch in a typical local restaurant. In the afternoon you will make your way to the nearby Natural Reserve of El Torcal and enjoy a short easy walk which offers stunning panoramic views of the landscape below. The karst rock formations found here are unique and among the most important in Europe. Later make your way back to the Cortijo, and enjoy a delicious farewell dinner.
End , Algamitas.
- All breakfasts and 5 dinners
- All accommodation (see below)
- All transport and listed activities
- Tour leader throughout Airport transfers
Accommodation Details – Hotels & Farmhouse
The main base for the week is Cortijo Rosario, a beautifully converted farmhouse. Situated in the heart of the romantic Andalusian countryside, the Cortijo overlooks the small village of Algamitas and is within reach of Seville and the charming town of Ronda. All rooms have en suite facilities and there is a bar, lounge, outdoor dining area as well as a lovely pool. Cortijo Rosario is renovated to a high standard whilst retaining its traditional heritage. As such, the farmhouse should not be considered a luxury villa or hotel. Towels are changed once during the week and rooms are serviced every other day. You also spend one night in Granada and one in Seville, where you stay at basic but comfortable hotels with en suite facilities located close to the historic centre. Please note that the number of single rooms is very limited and these might be actual singles or doubles for sole use depending on availability.
Images courtesy of Exodus