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Trails of Andalucia - Small Group: Seville to Granada

Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,270

Discover the delights of this unique region of Spain visiting the colourful cities of Seville and Granada plus spend time in the charming picturesque small town of Ronda and the Grazalema National Park. This is the home of the Alhambra and the flamenco – a great combination!


On this Europe tour, small group means small group. With an average of 10 participants, and a maximum of 16 on each departure, you’ll feel less like a tourist and more like a traveller, discovering Europe with friends at your side.


Begin your tour in historic Seville, the capital of Andalusia. The first day is at leisure. You may wish to visit some of Seville's World Heritage sites such as Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower or just wander the winding streets and the small plazas of Barrio Santa Cruz, famous for its shady narrow laneways and home to an active Jewish and Muslim community.

The next morning, enjoy a walking tour of Seville exploring the labyrinthine maze of narrow cobblestoned streets and sun-speckled squares in the Barrio Santa Cruz and El Centro situated on the banks of the Rio Guadalquivir. A highlight is a visit to Seville's magnificent Alcazar Palace, one of the country's most impressive and historic monuments. Also visit the lovely botanical gardens in Maria Luisa Park and the incomparable Plaza de Espana. The afternoon is at leisure to further explore Seville. In the evening, join the 'sevillanos' (locals) and soak up the ambiance of the city after dark. You may wish to go to a flamenco show to round off the evening.

Leave Seville and head to the beautiful Grazalema National Park visiting the splendid village of Zahara de la Sierra en route, a white-washed village clinging to the edges of a dramatic mountain range. Enjoy a guided tour through the village's narrow alleyways and walk up to a 15th century watch with spectacular views over the Zahara-Gastor Reservoir and the surrounding countryside. Also visit a traditional, family-run 'cold' olive oil mill for a demonstration and tasting. Andalusia is the world's largest producer of olive oil.

Afterwards, drive over the stunning Puerto de las Paloma (Dove Pass) road high up in the 'sierras' to the village of Grazalema. Before dinner, have a short guided orientation of the village to get a feel for this charming little place. Stay 2 nights here.

The next day is free with the option of taking a guided nature walk into the ancient forests and hilly landscapes of the Grazalema National Park. A hike explores Grazalema's upper village streets after which head out of the village to a lovely viewpoint. The rest of the walk involves following a mountainous circuit over an ancient drover's path to view native flora and fauna, including eagles, vultures, mountain goats, cattle, sheep and horses.

The following day, depart for Ronda, a picturesque small town and one of Spain's oldest towns dating back to the 9th century BC. It is perched on a plateau with dramatic views and has been linked to renowned writers such as Alexandre Dumas and Ernest Hemingway who have stayed here. Enjoy a walking tour of the old and new quarters in the morning. There is plenty to see and do in Ronda and afternoon suggestions include a walk into the picturesque gorge, a walk down a country path surrounding the town, museum visits or simply just enjoying the shopping and ambience of Ronda. Stay overnight here.

Next it’s off to the enchanting Moorish stronghold of Granada. On arrival, have a guided walking tour to the historic Christian cathedral district and witness the Moorish influence first-hand. In the evening, you will have a tapas tour of the city through some of Granada's lively squares beneath the Alhambra Palace. Later, you might want to watch a flamenco show. There are small flamenco taverns dotted all around the city. Stay 2 nights in Granada.

The following day brings a highlight of the trip with a visit to the Alhambra Palace. Dating back to the 11th century and taking its name from the Arabic for 'red castle,' the Alhambra will challenge your visual senses. The dominating red fortress towers, sumptuous palace decor, multitude of architectural styles and magnificent gardens of the 'Generalife' (literally meaning 'architect's garden') are all set against the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Inside the palace, you are free to wander around and make your own discoveries. After lunch, head deeper into Granada's Moorish 'Albaicin' quarter and traditional tea houses area. The view from this area across to the Alhambra Palace is not to be missed.

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Duration
8 Days
Prices From:
US$ 2,270

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Seville

Your trip starts today with your arrival in historic Seville. Iberian Airlines operates daily non-stop services to Seville from London, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid. Another convenient method of reaching the capital of Andalusia is by fast train (AVE), which takes less than three hours from Madrid. Whilst at your discretion, we recommend arriving and departing by train where possible within Europe due to this method of transport's minimal carbon emissions. No activities are planned during the morning or afternoon, so you may arrive at any time. Take the opportunity to explore this most flamboyant of cities whose charms lie not only in its sights and sounds, but also with its culinary temptations. You may wish to book some pre-tour accommodation and arrive a day or two early to enjoy a visit to Seville's World Heritage sites - Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower, sample Triana's nightlife and dining options, or just discover the winding streets and the small plazas of Barrio Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz District). Please make your own way to the joining hotel (details are in your travel documents), which is located in the heart of Barrio Santa Cruz - famous for its shady narrow laneways. Barrio de Santa Cruz was originally home to an active Jewish and Muslim community. This shaded warren was designed in medieval times to provide refuge from the great Andalusian heat. In the evening we meet our tour leader and fellow travelling companions at a Welcome Meeting (this is at 7pm at the reception of our hotel), where we are given a briefing of what lies ahead on our tour.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Murillos

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Location View map
  • starstar

    Hotel Murillos



    Murillo Hotel is in an excellent location, just metres away from the Giralda bell tower, Seville's Cathedral and the Reales Alcázares. The hotel was fully renovated in 2014 and now boasts 64 rooms.

    Murillo Hotel is in an excellent location, just metres away from the Giralda bell tower, Seville's Cathedral and the Reales Alcázares. The hotel was fully renovated in 2014 and now boasts 64 rooms.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Air Conditioning
    • Bicycle hire
    • Car Hire
    • Concierge
    • Dry Cleaning
    • Facilities for Disabled Guests
    • Fax/Photocopying
    • Free WiFi
    • Heating
    • Ironing Service
    • Laundry
    • Library
    • Lift
    • Luggage Storage
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Safety Deposit Box
    • Sun Terrace
    • Terrace
    • Ticket Service
    • Tour Desk
    • Vending machine

    More Details

Day 2

Seville

After breakfast this morning, we embark on a walking tour that will reveal to us many of Seville's finest sights. With the knowledge of our local leader to guide us, we explore the labyrinthine maze of narrow cobblestoned streets and sun-speckled squares in Barrio Santa Cruz and El Centro. Situated on the banks of the Rio Guadalquivir, Seville has been inhabited since Roman times before being conquered in turn by the Visigoths, Moors and lastly the Christians, who led by Fernando III, known as 'El Santo' (The Saint), captured the city in 1248. This cultural diversity is richly portrayed in Seville's architectural legacies to this day. A highlight of the morning is a visit to Seville's magnificent Alcazar Palace - one of the country's most impressive and historic monuments, as well as the lovely botanical gardens in Maria Luisa Park and the incomparable Plaza de Espana. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to further explore. We highly recommend visiting Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower (entrance fees not included). Seville Cathedral is the third largest in the world and is home to Christopher Columbus' elevated tomb. Tonight we can join the 'sevillanos' (locals) and soak up the ambiance of the city as it comes alive after dark.'Sevillanos' dine late in general and perhaps you may wish to go to a flamenco show to round off the evening. Our guide will offer us some history of this unique dance style in the world of Spanish culture and musical heritage. Ole! (3-4 hours morning urban walking + free time afternoon walking).

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 3

Seville to Grazalema

Today we transfer by private minibus to the beautiful Grazalema National Park and visit the splendid village of Zahara de la Sierra (1.5 hours) on route. The spectacular location of this white-washed village, set as it is clinging to the edges of a dramatic mountain range, makes it visible for many kilometres and it has been called a 'Moorish Eagle's Nest'. We enjoy a guided visit through the village's narrow alleyways, where we walk up to a 15th century watch tower and feast our eyes on the spectacular views over the Zahara-Gastor Resevoir and the surrounding countryside. We will also visit 'Molino El Vinculo', a traditional, family-run 'cold' olive oil mill for a demonstration and tasting. Andalusia is the world's largest producer of olive oil and the locals enjoy it with their breakfast, lunches and dinners! It is also the basis of Andalusia's most famous contribution to world gastronomy - gazpacho. It's then a short 30 minute drive over the stunning 'Puerto de las Palomas' (Dove Pass) road, high up in the 'sierras' to the actual village of Grazalema. Before dinner we will have a short guided orientation of the village to get a feel for this charming little place. (3-4 hours village walking - hills/slopes)

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Puerto de la Villa

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel Puerto de la Villa



    Located in the center of the village of Grazalema, which is named Nature Park sits this hotel, only one of its category in the area. The building is integrated into the historical center of the town, where white walls, bars and wooden doors constitute the ...

    Located in the center of the village of Grazalema, which is named Nature Park sits this hotel, only one of its category in the area.

    The building is integrated into the historical center of the town, where white walls, bars and wooden doors constitute the most typical style of southern Spain.

    Inside, contrasting the ring, olive green and cobalt walls, together with the ground clay and marble, aged wooden furniture and elegant tapestries, get a warm and welcoming atmosphere that encourages relaxation.

    Open all year, central, peaceful and charming site.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Air Conditioning
    • Coffee Shop/Cafe
    • Free Parking
    • Free WiFi
    • Gift Shop
    • Guest Laundry
    • In-Room Safe
    • Lift
    • Parking

    More Details

Day 4

Grazalema

Today is a rest day, if you wish. Alternatively you have the option of taking a nature walk into the ancient forests and hilly landscapes of the Grazalema National Park. The walk is led by your tour leader and caters to both light walkers and those seeking a more adventurous day in this region that was frequented by Romans, Moors and Bandits in years gone past. This hike begins by exploring Grazalema's upper village streets and as we head out of the village we connect to a gently sloping path, leading us up to a lovely viewpoint. From here travellers can return to the hotel for a restful afternoon and wander around the village while others may wish to carry on and explore the verdant natural areas with our tour leader. The rest of the walk involves following a mountainous circuit over an ancient drover's path where we hope to observe native flora and fauna, the likes of eagles, vultures, mountain goats, cattle, sheep and horses. Please note that today's walking distance and terrain is subject to group interest, prevailing weather and seasonal factors. (4-6 hours hill walking - subject to conditions)

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 5

Grazalema to Ronda

After breakfast we depart Grazalema for Ronda (literally meaning 'surrounded by mountains') by private minibus, where we enjoy a one-night stay in this wonderfully picturesque small town. One of Spain's oldest towns dating back to the 9th century BC, Ronda impresses with its dramatic location perched on an inland plateau at 744 metres. Lauded by many down the centuries, this most famous of the 'pueblos blancos' has attracted travellers drawn by its craggy beauty. With links to the renowned writers such as Alexandre Dumas and Ernest Hemingway, it is an ideal place to gaze out from its elevated position across to the patchwork of fields and floodplains beneath. We have an included walking tour of the old and new quarter in the morning. There is plenty to see and do in Ronda and afternoon suggestions include a walk into the picturesque gorge, a walk down a country path surrounding the town, museum visits or simply just enjoying the shopping and ambience that Ronda offers. We regroup for dinner in one of the town's lively local restaurants. (2-3 hours town walking - slopes and steps)

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Hotel Don Miguel

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Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Hotel Don Miguel



    Location, Location, Location! Don Miguel is located next to Ronda's famous New Bridge, overlooking the gorge. It has a cafe and terrace with spectacular views, and offers air-conditioned rooms with free WIFI and flat-screen TVs.

    Location, Location, Location! Don Miguel is located next to Ronda's famous New Bridge, overlooking the gorge. It has a cafe and terrace with spectacular views, and offers air-conditioned rooms with free WIFI and flat-screen TVs.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Air Conditioning
    • ATM
    • Bar
    • Bicycle hire
    • Car Hire
    • Fax/Photocopying
    • Heating
    • Lift
    • Luggage Storage
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Non-Smoking Throughout
    • Restaurant
    • Safety Deposit Box
    • Snack Bar
    • Sun Terrace
    • Terrace
    • Tour Desk
    • Vending machine

    More Details

Day 6

Ronda to Granada

After breakfast we travel onwards towards Granada by private minibus. Along the way we enjoy views of Andalusia's rich countryside and tremendous geographic diversity. After a coffee break en route, our journey takes us to the former Moorish stronghold of Granada (2.5 - 3 hours driving total). This fine city imbues the Islamic tradition and hints at the ghosts of a very different past like no other in Andalusia. It was the last Muslim-controlled city and fell to the Christians in 1492. Put quite simply, Granada is enchanting! Upon arrival in the city we walk in the historic Christian cathedral district and witness the Moorish influence first-hand. There is an opportunity to enjoy an optional self-guided tour of Granada Cathedral in the afternoon or visit the Royal Chapel which contains the tombs of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand from the early 16th century. Alternatively you can wander through the 'Alcaiceria' (old silk market area) and observe the craftworks on sale that include ceramics, marquetry and leather goods. In the evening, our guide will take you on a tapa tour of the city through some of Granada's lively squares beneath the Alhambra Palace, something that Granada knows how to do well like no other city in Spain. There is a large student population from all over Spain here, lending a youthful ambiance and vibrancy in the city which is sure to be infectious. Or we can watch more flamenco if desired, a different style to what is offered in Seville. There are small flamenco taverns dotted around the city and if there are any programs or concerts on, we may need to pay a small cover fee to enter. (4 hours urban walking - hills and slopes)

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Duaro

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Location View map
  • starstarstar

    Hotel Duaro



    Hotel Dauro is located in central Granada, 5 minutes' walk from Granada's Convention Centre. It offers a 24-hour reception and rooms with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen satellite TV.

    Hotel Dauro is located in central Granada, 5 minutes' walk from Granada's Convention Centre. It offers a 24-hour reception and rooms with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen satellite TV.

    Facilities

    • Air Conditioning
    • Baby Sitting Service
    • Concierge
    • Daily Maid Services
    • Dry Cleaning
    • Family Room
    • Fax/Photocopying
    • Heating
    • Ironing Service
    • Laundry
    • Meeting/ Banquet facilities
    • Newspapers
    • Non-Smoking Rooms
    • Shoeshine
    • Tour Desk
    • VIP Room facilities

    More Details

Day 7

Granada

A highlight of our trip this morning or afternoon (depending on our pre-booked palace entrance time) is a visit to the Alhambra Palace. Dating back to the 11th century and taking its name from the Arabic for 'red castle,' the Alhambra will challenge your visual senses with so much to entice. The dominating red fortress towers, sumptuous palace decor, multitude of architectural styles and magnificent gardens of the 'Generalife' (literally meaning 'architect's garden') are all set against the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains and compete for your eyes' attention. From the soothing pathways, fountains, impeccably maintained hedges and pools to the centuries-old defensive walls, turrets and views overlooking Granada, our visit to this peerless attraction will not disappoint. Once inside the palace you are free to wander around and make your own discoveries. After lunch, our tour leader also takes us today deeper into Granada's Moorish 'Albaicin' quarter and traditional tea houses area. The view from this area, across to the Alhambra Palace is not to be missed - a picture postcard opportunity! Tonight as it is our last night in the city, we dine in Granada in style and celebrate a week of Andalusian culture, countryside and experiences. (6 - 8 hours urban walking - slopes, hills and steps)

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Day 8

Depart Granada

Our trip ends after breakfast this morning.

Those wishing to stay on in Granada can extend their stay by arranging additional nights' accommodation at the time of booking. Iberia Airlines have daily flights to both Barcelona and Madrid from Granada airport, located 17 kilometres west of the city. There are also convenient rail options to Seville, Madrid and Barcelona available or longer (but cheaper) bus journeys to the north. One such coach company is Alsa (www.alsa.es).

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Apr 22; May 13, 27; Jun 10, 24; Aug 26; Sep 2, 9, 23, 30; Oct 21.

2018: Apr 21; May 12, 26; Jun 9, 23; Aug 25; Sep 1, 8, 22, 29; Oct 20.

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Activities as mentioned,
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners,
  • Transport by bus and private van,
  • Accommodation as mentioned in itinerary.

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Meals not included in the itinerary
  • Any optional activities listed on the day to day itinerary
  • Anything else not listed in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas if required
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals not specifically noted in the itinerary
  • Beverages unless specified
  • All international and domestic airfares and airfare taxes unless specified 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: 

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB INTREPISEV0126SG: PEAA
2 Sep 2017
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