Magnificent yet forgotten, the Moors were the world’s great medieval civilization, inhabiting Spain from the eighth to 15th centuries. Immersing you in their history and design, this 13-day Spain tour through Andalusia celebrates the story of a civilization that redefined art and culture, the beauty of their monuments still inspiring the design of today. White villages, alcazars, mosques turned cathedrals, Mudejars, and Moriscos; you find charm and soul in the south of Spain.
Madrid – Arrival in Spain
Fly to Spain’s largest international airport, and spend the night in the capital at your hotel that is within walking distance of the grand Plaza Mayor (central square) and an assortment of cobblestone streets. From Madrid, it is a short journey by high-speed train to Cordoba, and the capital makes for the most convenient place to start and is a relaxed introduction to Spain. Explore at leisure, embracing your first flavors of the country, such as chocolate and churros or al fresco tapas terraces. The immersive historical tour starts tomorrow, but today is focused on relaxing and tuning your footsteps into the languid Spanish pace.
Cordoba – The Mezquita – A Centerpiece of Moorish Brilliance
Cordoba – Brilliant Remains from the Time of the Caliphate
Seville – Treasures Built upon Treasures in Vibrant Seville
Seville – Exploring the Work of the Mudejars
Arcos de la Frontera – A Parador in a Classic Pueblos Blancos
Ronda – Spectacular White Villages Untouched by Time
Malaga – Remains of the Ancient Moorish Port City
Granada – A Cathedral Castle and the Final Stronghold of the Moors
Granada – Exploring the Legacy of the Nasrid Kingdom
Day 11 - 12
Ubeda and Baeza – Brilliance of the Moriscos: Renaissance Design Enhancing Medieval Moorish Ideas
Granada – Departure
- Admire some of Europe’s finest architecture, like the Mezquita in Cordoba and Alhambra in Granada, epic legacies to the artisanal brilliance of the Moors
- Lose yourself in Cordoba, where a lot remains from the first Caliphate when the city was the most cultural on the planet
- Explore how the Mudejars added treasure upon treasure, their intricate design etched all over the city of Seville
- Compare the Mudejars to the Moriscos, who added the style of Italian Renaissance to Eastern design in the cities of Ubeda and Baeza
- Spend two days journeying through the Pueblos Blancos, charming whitewashed villages that cling to the hills, and be taken back to a time when Moorish communities battled raiders and pirates
- Discover the alcazars of Almeria and Malaga, fortresses and palaces rolled into ancient structures so iconic in design
- Become immersed in the final Moorish stronghold, with two days in Granada revealing the relics of the Nasrid Kingdom
Not much has survived from Europe’s medieval centuries. Battles were waged, innovation stalled, art was at a standstill across most of the continent. After the Greeks and the Romans came a period of seeming nothingness, before the explosion of the Renaissance and the Gothic. This interpretation of medieval Europe is one-sided, overlooking one of the greatest civilizations ever to grace the planet, the Moors. Once powerful, now mostly forgotten from world history, the Moorish realm stretched across the Iberian Peninsula (modern day Spain and Portugal). Cordoba is its beating heart, the world’s most cultural city in the 10th and 11th centuries. When their lands were taken over, their legacy continued, the Moriscos and Mudejars dictating artistic ingenuity up to the 16th century. In the 21st century, spectacular examples of Moorish culture continue to cover the southern Spanish state of Andalusia, and the experience is immersive, cities and villages hardly changed since the medieval era.
This privately guided 13-day tour celebrates the beauty and bequest of the Moors, exploring the less than subtle contrasts between the centuries, as well as the brilliant diversity of the designs. Starting with the time of the caliphate in Cordoba, the Mezquita is a mesmerizing introduction to the art, and you take a journey across the Moorish memoirs in Andalusia. Spend two days in the Pueblos Blancos (White Villages), Arcos de la Frontera and Ronda an immersion in the whitewashed style of Moors evading looters and pirates. Take in the cathedral castles of Malaga and Almeria and how the grand design is built upon what the Romans left behind.
In Seville, you spend two days exploring the legacy of the Mudejars, Islamic people of Moorish descent who stayed in Andalusia following the fall of Cordoba and the caliphate. Later, on this exclusive Spanish tour, two days in Ubeda and Baeza present the brilliance of the Moriscos, Moorish descendants who converted to Christianity, fusing influence from Renaissance Italy in their sought-after artisanal designs. Granada was the final Moorish stronghold, surviving until the year Columbus reached the New World, and two days in this labyrinthine city are an insight into the old world of the Nasrid Kingdom. Guided by a Moorish expert and afforded the time to ensure a leisurely pace, this is an illuminating journey through one of the world’s greatest cultures, and a history that deserves far more international recognition.
Extend your tour to Spain by seeing the other ways you are able to customize your Spain itinerary.
$4,051 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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