Included in our tours are visits the following Cities or Towns in Andalucia:
|Granada: Known as the jewel of Andalucia, Granada is the City that visitors to Spain seek out and take home precious memories of. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains it nestles in a spectacular setting. It is here that the earliest signs of human habitation in Andalucia are to be found, going back more than 1 million years. Granada occupies two hills, the Albaicin and the Alhambra, which are separated by the River Darro. Granada was the last Islamic stronghold in Europe with a 246 year period of Arab rule after the rest of Islamic & Moorish Spain fell to Christian reconquest. The Nasrid dynasty built the amazing Alhambra palace which features in our tour. This is the most outstanding example of Islamic architecture surviving in the Western world and a must to see. In 1492, the Muslim kingdom of Granada finally fell to the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Ferdinand, and it became the artistic and social capital of Spain. It has a wealth of architectural styles from the Gothic through the Renaissance to the Baroque. You can spend days just wandering through the streets of the old quarter appreciating the passage of time and the variety of cultures that have existed here.|
|Seville: Situated on the river Guadalquivir, this beautiful City is elegant and sophisticated. The earliest references to a settlement on the site of present day Seville (Sevilla pronounced 'Sebeeya') are of a town called 'Tartessus', built we think by the Phoenicians around 2,800BC. It became a Carthaginian stronghold and the scene of bitter fighting with the Romans. In 207BC after defeating the Carthaginian army, Scipio Africanus left his wounded soldiers in a town he founded called Italica just to the north of modern Seville. This town was the birthplace of Roman Emperors Trajan and Hadrian. Following the Roman withdrawal there came a sucession of Germanic invaders, including the Vandals. After the Berber and Arab invasion of Andalucia, the city, it's name now Yxvillia, was second only to Cordoba in Islamic importance until it was sacked by the Vikings in 844AD. Seville has beautiful architecture and an impressive Great Mosque which now stands as the Cathedral Campanile and is one of Seville's best known monuments. Stylish and sophisticated, it's a fabulous City included in our tours.|
|Cordoba: Lying on the north bank of the river Guadalquivir, in the foothills of the Sierra Morena, is Cordoba, which was the capital of Islamic al-Andalus. Originally a Roman City, the Arabs from North Africa took over the City in 711AD and a new period of splendour began. During this period, the Great Mosque, the Mesquita, was built and has become one of the world's architectural wonders with some of the most striking examples of Islamic art in the West. Physically inside the Mesquita is a Christian Cathedral which was built in 1523 without any alterations to the Great Mosque itself. The Cathedral was not actually finished until 1766, some 250 years later. One of the most enjoyable features of visiting Cordoba is to wander through the narrow twisting alleyways and streets, finding small squares and courtyards where you can stop, have a coffee and take in the surroundings. The Jewish quarter near the Great Mosque is atmospheric to the highest degree. Cordoba is one of our favourite Cities and we enjoy visiting it over and over.|
area around Ronda was inhabited some 25,000 years ago when the
earliest inhabitants painted on the walls of the 'el Gato' (the
Cat) and 'la Pileta' (the Sink) cave systems, the grottos and galleries
of which wind for more than 5 kilometres through the surrounding
limestone hills. Ronda is breathtaking. The world famous gorge
with the fantastic 'Lord of the Rings' style Puente Nuevo (New
Bridge) spanning it, is amazing. Ronda is so spectacular we don't
need to go into too much detail about its history, rather we'll
leave you with some quotes to whet your appetite.
"I have looked everywhere for the City of my dreams and have finally found it in Ronda" Rainer Maria Rilke.
"At last we spied Ronda, it projected from the rugged mountainside as if it were itself a natural extension of the rock and, as the sun fell upon it, it seemed to be the most beautiful City in the world" Juan Goytisolo.
"The whole City and its surroundings form a perfect romantic setting" Ernest Hemmingway.And the passion that Orson Wells felt for the City long after his visit led him to decide to have his ashes scattered there.
|Malaga: The main coastal City of Andalucia and second in size to Seville in the south with a population of about half a million. The strategic position to the Mediterranean Sea has always made Malaga an attractive zone for foreign invasions. The first settlement in Malaga was made by the Phoenicians who founded the city more the 3000 years ago. The Romans created an economical and cultural center in Malaga and significant constructions such as the port of Malaga and the roman theatre were constructed. We visit the large Moorish Alcazaba, the Roman Theatre and the impressive Cathedral. Home of Pablo Picasso, there is the beautiful Picasso Museum and Picasso’s home. The botanical gardens along the seafront offer an enticing stroll and the numerous seafood restaurants and cafes and bars are well worth a visit.|
|Antequera: The small City of Antequera, local to our accommodation, is a historic Roman City and a fabulous place to wander around, look at museums and monuments. Within Antequera you will find ancient burial mounds, excavated Roman baths, a Moorish Castle, Gothic Churches, Renaissence Fountains and Baroque Bell Towers. Offering lots of bars, cafeterias and restaurants it is a wonderful place to visit, sitting at the pavement tables and watching Spanish life take place. The City is overlooked by an enormous crag of limestone, 880 metres high, called La Peña de los Enamorados, or “The Lovers’ Leap”. The name comes from a local legend about an impossible love affair between a young Christian man from Antequera and a beautiful Moorish girl from nearby Archidona, who were driven to the top of the cliff by the Moorish soldiers, where, rather than renounce their love, they chose to hurl themselves into the abyss. When you look at La Peña de los Enamorados (or 'Jump Jump' as local children call him) you will clearly see the profile of a Native American Chief looking up at the sky. Antequera also has a wonderful Golf Course in the mountains, which offers great value, so if you are a Golfer then you are welcome to extend your tour for a day or two and try it. We understand it has just become one of the professional golf course tour venues.|