Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Almeria, Malaga
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Andalusia dances to the mysterious rhythm of flamenco, the atmosphere cloaked in tradition and expressionism. Sublime landscapes swirl like a vibrant dancer, ancient World Heritage towns are bathed in ballads of Spanish guitar, and the heartbeat of a culture spills from ambient juergas and tablaos. Including dance classes, music lessons, and nightly performances in historic venues, this 10-night tour uses flamenco to explore the romance and charm of Spain's most soulful region.
Seville – Passionate Flamenco Jamming in Triana District
Impromptu singing and improvised guitar have cascaded from Seville's taverns for over 200 years, the tones embodying the city's permanent atmosphere of fiesta. Legendary styles were born in these hubs of enthusiasm and dozens of bars continue the tradition of its tangos, rumbas, and sevillanas. Your driver guide greets you at Seville Airport for a short transfer to your hotel. Relax and reenergize, the streets of Seville immediately luring you into an energetic ambiance as you wander at leisure. In the late afternoon, your flamenco guide takes you on a tour through Triana District. Start in El Zurraque, where hundreds of photos adorn the walls of legendary flamenco bars. Rounds of traditional tapas are served as you soak up avenues doused in indelible charm. Move onto La Alameda de Hercules Avenue, each building a nod to old-world Spain and memoirs to the great 19th century performers.
As your guide provides an overview of flamenco and its eclectic styles, you move to El Altozano, the home of flamenco and an ode to dreams about iconic Spain. You've got a prime table at Casa de Anselma, one of flamenco's most famous venues. The guitarist plucks gently, slowly increasing his volume as a lone tenor voice sings of love and loss. A dancer emerges, her dress twirling and her body flowing as if lost in a trance. There are barely 150 in the audience, helping to maximize the feeling of intimacy as the music continues hour after hour. Flamenco is a social occasion. During the breaks between performances you're served a fabulous array of tapas as laughter fills the tavern.
Seville – Discovering the History of Flamenco and Fandangos
In the morning light, Seville is bathed in a blanket of red. Cafe terraces emerge from the shadows, their facades shimmering across broad squares. The cathedral spires peek above scarlet roof tiles and provide an historic start to today's tour. Light pours through biblical scenes made of stained glass, illuminating Gothic walls and shining onto steps leading to Christopher Columbus's crypt. Next you visit the Alcazar, a complex of 13th century allure that's always iconically photogenic. Lounge on a terrace and indulge in the view, before visiting Seville's third UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old city archive. Enjoy a local lunch before heading into the rolling valleys of rural Andalusia.
This afternoon is all about the history of flamenco, starting in the village of Utrera, home to the world's first ever flamenco festival. Impromptu performances fill the village square with song and the ambiance is one of being lost in time. Continue to Jerez de la Frontera and the Andalusia Flamenco Centre, packed full of sounds and artwork celebrating the local art form. Both Jerez de la Frontera and Utrera host numerous summer flamenco festivals which can be incorporated into this itinerary dependent on your vacation dates. Of course, flamenco is most alive in the historic venues. Tonight's performance is at Lagar de Tio Parilla, a tiny bar that combines great food with distinctive cantina songs.
Seville – Flamenco Dancing Class in the Feisty City
Flamenco dancers move like a blur, giving off an impression of one continuous movement as they twirl to the music. With a Spanish guitarist providing the serenade, today is spent learning the basics of flamenco dance. The full-day dance class takes place in the Triana neighborhood, tutored by a former professional dancer. Flamenco is about fun and improvisation. There's no stiff moves or exacting steps to learn; the day is about feeling the rhythm and allowing your body to flow. It's about melting into the sounds of the guitar and losing yourself to a soulful serenity. Lunch will be included. For this evening's entertainment, enjoy a table at one of the bars on Betis Street, taking in a very modern and expressive form of flamenco.
Cordoba – Exoticism and Fandangoes in Ancient Cordoba
Cordoba's cityscape glimpses at the exotic. Minarets rise above the old fortress walls, a mosque dome shines as church bells chime, and the relics of the East are sprinkled amongst the memoirs to Rome. You take a break from flamenco today, enjoying time at leisure to explore the mystical streets of this living World Heritage city. Almost every facade dates from the 7th to 13th century, and the old town's size is ideal for peaceful exploring. While the Great Mosque of Cordoba leaves the most elaborate memories of Moorish times, duck into the alleyways and there's always something transported from a faraway land.
In the early evening you take a short drive to Puenta Genil, a town that epitomizes the gypsy folk side to flamenco music. It's here that fandangos dominate the stage, bringing unusual dances and melodies to the mountain air. Tonight's performance is by the Zangano Folk Group, their act charting the development of flamenco and local fandango over five centuries. Hear the tempo increase and watch the dancing change as you journey through the ages, each century complimented by a food course and a glass of wine.
Cordoba – A Sublime Concert and Learning the Spanish Guitar
Cordoba's charms are ever-impressive on a relaxed morning. Take it slow and continue your wanderings around the old town, seemingly hundreds of terraces beckoning you forward. Your Cordoba flamenco tour starts in the early afternoon at Casa Santos, a famous tavern filled with posters and paintings, and serving quite possibly the finest Spanish omelette on the planet. Now it's time to play. Jose Reyes Maldonado's guitar workshop bursts with odes to the greats and the sporadic 12 beat plucking of flamenco. Take a one hour Spanish guitar lesson inside the historic walls. The lesson is tailored to your experience (or lack of). For budding guitarists, this part of the itinerary can be expanded and it's possible to have multiple Spanish guitar lessons.
The evening flamenco performances have so far been of the traditional and local variety, taking place in small atmospheric venues with scents of history. Tonight's is different. First see the virtuoso performances of Plaza de la Corrdera and watch the Las Tendillas clock tick seven, the hour marked by a Juan Serrano guitar seguiriyas rather than a chiming bell. Now enter the ornate Gran Teatro Theatre, a vast concert hall alive with the classical flamenco performance. With over a dozen performers on stage, the music flutters and flickers amidst countless tones. This venue is a classic royal music hall, full of velvet and lavish seats. It's the grandest of Andalusia's flamenco venues.
Granada – Renaissance History and Gipsy Dances in the Mountains of Granada
In the mountains of Grenada lies Spain's Renaissance history. Ubeda's pastel tones line streets that spill along the hillside. Occasionally there's a gap, an open space where history once stood. But such a gap only serves to elevate what remains. Graceful roofs slope towards Vazquez de Molina Square, four palaces and two churches facing each other over a square of terraces. Baeza is equally resplendent, such a concoction of 16th century architecture in such a tiny Spanish town. In the late afternoon you drive to nearby Granada, capital of the region and proud displayer of Andalusian history.
Tonight's flamenco is unusual in the extreme. Wander into the Sacromonte Caves, traditional home of local gypsies who developed an emotional style of flamenco favored for weddings. Some guess that this style has been practiced since Moorish towns, meaning almost a thousand years of musical history lives in these caves. Enjoy dinner at Restaurant Flamenco Cave before a succession of vivid dresses twirl and dozens of dancers offer one of Andalusia's most authentic performances. Expect the tangos to continue well into the night.
Granada – Boutique Wine Tasting and Andalusia's Oldest Flamenco Hall
Granada's rows of vines cascade across rugged valleys, the grapes emanating from historic estates with centuries of history. Today is spent on a full day wine tour, visiting three or four of Granada's finest wine estates and farmhouses. The landscape is more lunar than Spanish, the sunbaked slopes ideal for creating sweet and fortified wines. This is where the country's sherry is produced. The tour will be geared towards your personal tastes and includes a lavish lunch banquet at one of Granada's oldest wineries. Another historic treat greets you back in Granada. Pena de la Plateria is the oldest flamenco club still in existence, and it continues to draw excited crowds every night of the week.
Almeria – Relaxing in Coastal Almeria
Today you reach Spain's coastline, the whitewashed houses of Almeria standing above a harbor of enchantment. Climb the steps to the town's fortress and gaze across the Alboran Sea to Morocco, allowing the eye to wander across the palms to the welcoming beach. The rest of the day is at your leisure and your chauffeur can transfer you to a number of tranquil beaches either side of Almeria. This Eastern region of Andalusia is home to improvised guitar and you hear the strumming in the city's numerous squares. While eating fresh fish and chips and soaking up the salty air, tonight's flamenco is one of public expressionism that gives the city its indelible air of fiesta.
Malaga – Faster Beats on the Andalusian Coastline
Continue the journey along the coast, a succession of coastal villages making for potential stops as you head west towards Algeciras. Malaga is a sprawling city, the flamenco neighborhood of El Palo hidden amongst modernity. Get closer and the marengo songs are whistled by fishermen along a harbor of al fresco dining. Enjoy a local lunch before visiting a shrine to Malaga's flamenco, the Pena Juan Breva. Now converted to a museum, this venue illustrates the working class roots of flamenco. It's an art form sung on the ships and danced in the fields, a social outlet born out of challenging circumstances, much like the development of blues music in the plantations of Southern America.
As the guitar thrashes away and the dancers stamp to the beat, you can hear a frustration and energy to the flamenco here. Five, six, seven, and down the feet stamp on eight as the guitar whips into a frenzy and the performers pour with sweat. After the graceful beauty of Seville and Cordoba, tonight's flamenco performance is more like a rock gig, the performers collapsing in exhaustion as the tavern voices their approval. Singers and guitarists playing here are usually those who have the highest visibility and fame outside the Andalusian region.
Seville – In the Footsteps of a Legend
A quiet day to finish, starting in coastal Algeciras and a unique walking tour tracing the life of Paco de Lucia, one of the all time legends of Andalusian flamenco. With an expert guide offering the chronicles, de Lucia offers a means of discovering a seaside town lost in time and forgotten by the world. Continuing the same theme, you trace a journey along the coast and then through the mountains of Cadiz, taking the Bajani route and connecting tiny villages built from medieval stone. Squares are named after local heroes, posters fill cafes, and statuesque busts remember the legends who wowed what are now deserted towns. Stopping at half a dozen villages, today immerses you in the Spain of the 18th century; one of crumbling farmhouses and churches perched far above the valley. Complete the vacation where you started, in Seville's Triana, where your guide can book a prime table at any of the district's historic flamenco taverns.
Seville – Departure
The melodies of guitar continue to ring through your mind as you're transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
- Enjoy live flamenco performances in Andalusia's most historic music venues, including everything from atmospheric taverns to dazzling concert halls
- Learn the art of flamenco with a dancing class in historic Triana and a music lesson in a famous master's Spanish guitar shop
- Spend three days in the passionate city of Seville, exploring World Heritage Sites and soaking up the colorful history of Andalusia
- Flamenco is an improvised art form and the villages of Andalusia roll to its impromptu beat, enabling you to delve deep into the heart of traditional Spain
- Settle into the exotic charms of Cordoba, a World Heritage city with its foundations in half a dozen ancient civilizations
- Explore the rich diversity of Andalusia with wine tasting, tapas tours, mountain escapes, dramatic fortresses, quaint coastal villages, and Renaissance palaces
- Get serenaded with personal performances from some of Andalusia's finest flamenco musicians, their hypnotic ballads played in traditional villages lost in the mountains
Flamenco was born in the villages and taverns of Andalusia, its passionate rhythm coming to be symbolic of the region. Spanish guitars flutter across tables of tapas and enthusiastic chatter. Dancers elegantly swirl in vibrant dresses, responding to improvised songs of romance as the music spills onto streets of tradition and intrigue. There's a distinct beat here, one with indelibly Spanish flavors yet idiosyncratic tones. Andalusia is the Spain of travel reverie, full of fiestas, passion, and old-world charm. It's also a country within a country, home to a distinct culture that's personified by the live flamenco that inhabits village streets and city squares. Flamenco is an improvised art form developed over three centuries in Andalusia. Spanish guitar and soulful singing fills venues with harmonic rhythms, while virtuoso dancers add mysterious visuals on stage.
This handcrafted and hands-on tour explores the art of flamenco, incorporating music classes, performances from renowned masters, and nightly tables at the region's most historic music venues. By delving into the heart of the art form you discover the soul of Andalusia. Explore ancient walled cities with an exotic edge. Taste fine wine in mountain villages unspoiled for centuries. Visit off-the-beaten-track suburbs where Andalusian culture is displayed in uninhibited glory. Immerse yourself in mysterious architecture, absorbing everything from Moorish relics to Renaissance palaces, and fortressed towns to glittering cathedrals. Heritage and culture is all around as flamenco provides a paradigm to experience the real Andalusia.
It all starts in Seville, flamenco's traditional home and an ongoing hub of live performances and atmospheric streets. Explore the city's UNESCO sites, enjoy the best tables at the city's finest venues, and learn how to dance flamenco with a day of lessons. Nights four and five are spent in ancient Cordoba, an exotic walled city with an eclectic style. While Seville brings the fiesta and the passion, Cordoba exudes soulful tones and the mysterious rhythm of centuries past. During these first five days you take day trips into small surrounding villages, discovering the history of flamenco and listening to masters strum Spanish guitar.
Throughout this itinerary, all transfers are in a luxury sedan with a qualified driver guide passionate about flamenco. Days six to ten take you across Andalusia, the region's finest attractions blurring together like an uninterrupted cante chico. Go wine tasting at historic farms, learn guitar in a famous guitar shop, discover Spain's earliest Renaissance architecture, and wander the mesmerizing alleys of fortressed towns. And this is just a sample of days six and seven. Head to the coast and its all fast strumming and enthusiastic songs, yet hear graceful tones in cute mountain villages. The tour finishes back in Seville, where there's an opportunity to be serenaded on stage or to join the artists in performing.
Like all Zicasso itineraries, every aspect of this tour is fully customizable. One potential add on is to enjoy a few days or even a week of flamenco dancing or music classes, something that's possible in both Seville and small coastal villages.
$4,395 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.
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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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