Seville & Granada Tour: Romance in the Heart of Andalucia

A 8 day trip to Spain 
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Time slows down to a joyous and celebrated pace in Andalucia. The landscape swirls with golden prairies and verdant hillsides. On this custom tailored tour, you will uncover the spirit of luxury and the magnificent flavors of life. Historic medieval towns will charm you. The aromas of traditional cuisine are intoxicating. The opulent palaces and ancient mosques will sweep you off your feet. The passion of Spain will overtake you and show you that every step you take along the cobbled streets is majestic and utterly breathtaking. 

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General Information

Photos
View of the countryside from the pool. Photo: Courtesy Hotel Cortijo del Marqués
El Silo Suite at Hotel Cortijo del Marques. Photo: Courtesy Hotel Cortijo del Marques
El Grenario Suite at Hotel Cortijo del Marqués. Photo: Courtesy Hotel Cortijo del Marqués
Exterior view of Hotel Cortijo del Marques. Photo: Courtesy Hotel Cortijo del Marques
Dinner for two at Hotel Cortijo del Marques. Photo: Courtesy Hotel Cortijo del Marques
View of the patio from the restaurant. Photo: Courtesy Hotel Cortijo del Marqués
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Seville, Cordoba, Jerez de la Frontera, Moron de la Frontera, Granada 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Passionate Introduction

The Guadalquivir River rushes along the outskirts of Seville’s old city. The city is filled with charm and a beating heart in its history and heritage. Classic medieval buildings, from the Giralda tower to the Alcázar, decorate the historic quarter. The alleyways of Barrio Santa Cruz wind around the neighborhood like a maze that offers luscious aromas and secluded niches to hide away from the sun. A private transfer meets you at the airport and takes you to your lavish accommodations.

Your quaint boutique hotel is situated in a classic whitewashed building. The cobblestone courtyard gives you a touch of the countryside and the rooftop pool offers a view of the surrounding city. When the sun drifts beyond the city you will meet your guide in the lobby. Your guide is also a flamenco expert and will lead you through the history and steps of the treasured dance. Flamenco is filled with passion and focused on desire.

It began with just an arduous cry and developed an intoxicating rhythm and captivating dance. Each step and wave of the arm tells a different story about the song, the singer, and the dancer. You come to the flamenco show. The steps are quick and fluid. People clap quickly to create the beat. Tapas come to your table and the restaurant is filled with the luscious aromas of cocido andaluz, a dish of chickpeas and vegetables in a single hot pot.

What’s Included: dinner, transfer, accommodation

Day 2: The Classic and the Cultural

Seville maintains its wealth of history in the old quarter and displays its opulence like remembered pearls. After breakfast your private guide meets you in the lobby and escorts you to the Reales Alcazares, the Royal Palace. A quiet moat trickles around the front plaza. The complex changes colors in the sunlight, shifting from soft red to pink and, finally, to gold. The palace was constructed in the 14th century and is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. The Mudéjar architecture is gorgeous and is the reason for the Moorish embellishments along the complex.

The Alczar is a network of palaces and courtyards that create the entire complex. The Patio de las Doncellas is surrounded by an arched colonnade. A narrow pond divides the courtyard. Ovigal arches add texture and the appearance of budding roses to the colonnade. The baths of Lady Maria de Padilla are filled with rainwater tanks. The lofted ceilings are reflected in the water and the dim lighting creates a sensual ambiance in the subterranean bathhouse. The lavish décor and magnitude of the palace is inspiring and filled with endless splendor.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 3: Decadent Flavors

The flavors of the city have already captured your imagination and your taste buds, filled with a compilation of bright and rich, sweet and salty. The sunlight stretches over the historic buildings of the city. The surrounding countryside is wrapped in gold all the way to the mountainside. You meet your private guide and chef, and make your way to the local market. Feria Market is the oldest market in the city and contains two pavilions separated by a small alley. You walk into the building and find the stalls and people bustling. The aroma of fresh flowers gives way to the scent of fresh seafood and, eventually, the intoxicating fragrance of grilled prawns.

Follow your guide through the market and find the freshest ingredients for today’s class. When you arrive in the kitchen, the chef produces a recipe and guides you step by step, from sorting the various ingredients to chopping and cooking them. The aroma of onion and tomato fills the kitchen. Soon you have produced the classic Andalucian dish of chicken with almonds and saffron, along with a salt-crusted cod with lemon oil. Not only can you take the secrets of these dishes home with you but as you continue to eat them various flavors arise. The depth of taste and the lusciousness of the dish are almost overwhelming. You have unlocked a secret treasure of the city, the country, and the romance of an incredible meal.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Along the Frontier

The morning washes over the city and after breakfast you are ready to tour the nearby town of Jerez de la Frontera. A private driver takes you to the town famous for its sherry bodegas and Royal Equestrian School. The town is Andalucian at its heart and continues to produce some of the most illustrious and sought after horses in the world. The Cathedral of San Salvador harmonizes baroque, neoclassical, and gothic styles. The 17th century church became a cathedral in the 1980s. The exterior is a grand display of brick construction with supporting flying buttresses. The sweet and delicate aroma of sherry is never far away. In the warming light you visit the Royal Equestrian School located on a country estate.

The grounds are manicured, decorated with sprinkling fountains and adorned with a noble palace. Horses graze the grounds and the workshops shape and form harnesses. The music begins and handsome white horses fill the arena. They perform tricks to the soothing sounds of classical music as you gaze on. They wear royal garb, from saddle to reigns, decorated with grace. They gallop and leap to show their discipline and strength. The horses are regal in their stature and the estate grounds are joyously opulent. After a visit to the village of Arcos de la Frontera you will return to Seville for the evening.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 5: The Layers of History

Today you will wave goodbye to the radiant history and golden views of Seville. On your way to Granada you stop in the charming city of Cordoba, a city flush with ancient wine cellars, architectural majesty, and magnificent flavors of local tavernas. On the side of the Great Mosque are the streets of the old Jewish Quarter. The narrow laneways stretch out from the shadows of the ancient edifice and reward you with tranquil plazas and cold sangria.

The sounds of the Guadalquivir River fill the air but the tower of the Mezquita fills the sky. The mosque and church date back to the 8th century, and have shared the grounds for much of their existence. The modern complex was constructed in the 16th century and surrounds the original cathedral at its core. The arcade is supported by 856 columns. The arches are colored white and red, supporting the lattice-decorated metopes. Various chapels are richly decorated, including the Capilla Sagrario. The ceiling is draped in elaborate biblical murals.

The lofted ceiling creates compartments for various scenes and the walls tell the stories of Jesus’ life in colorful lifelike detail. Cordoba is filled with passion and flair. It has embraced its heritage and proudly displays its past. You continue to Granada and settle into your boutique hotel, Cortijo del Marqués, which offers tranquility and privacy in the countryside. This idyllic estate home is steeped in history, immersing guests in rich Andalusian culture.

The property dates back to the Fall of Granada when the Catholics defeated the Moors. In 1532, a Moorish landowner surrendered several thousand hectares of land to the Marquis of Mondejar, Luis Hurtado de Mendoza. Henceforth, the country estate became the Cortijo del Marqués. As a close friend of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, the Marquis played an influential role in Granada’s history. He oversaw the construction of the Cathedral of Granada and the royal palace at Alhambra. Eventually, the farmhouse was passed to a local family who constructed the 19th-century chapel and tower, giving it the appearance of a small village. In the twentieth century, the property suffered damage from the Civil War and years of abandonment until the hotel’s owners carefully restored the luxurious manor house to its former glory. Today, the details tell a fascinating story of the hotel’s past. Guests can stay in the original farmhouse or any of the accompanying buildings. The farmhouse is decorated with beautiful azulejos. The grain silo has an exposed beam ceiling. The stables still have their original troughs. Each of the 15 elegant suites and rooms retains elements of the original space. 

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, transfer, accommodation at Cortijo del Marqués

Day 6: The Palaces of the Past

You awake to views of wheat fields, olive groves, and mountains. Your leisurely morning begins with a delicious buffet of Spanish-style breakfast. Before your guide arrives to escort you to Alhambra, take time to explore Cortijo del Marqués. You’ll observe several similarities between the hotel and Granada. Like Alhambra’s fortress, the country estate was built on Roman ruins. A pair of ancient columns still stand in the hotel today. The chapel, which received its full church rights from Pope Leo XIII in 1880, is a testament to the city’s religious influences. 

Granada is a city whose past feels familiar and prevalent. Its Moorish roots continue to decorate the old quarter and the aromas of zatar and saffron keenly drift through the narrow alleyways. The Alhambra rises over Granada like a treasure. Vibrant trees emanate cypress and elm. The greenery surrounds the base of the old palace complex and makes the sandstone climb over the canopy and catch the sunlight. The red walls of the castle were constructed in the 11th century and were used as a palace stronghold since the 14th century. The structure is both graceful and exuberant. Around the Palacios Nazaríes you will find lounges that look out into the courtyard.

The square is decorated with a rectangular pool bordered by myrtles.  Cobalt blue paint continues to shine along the vault. When you enter the courtyard of the lions you will find a fountain at the center of the courtyard. Twelve marble lion statues surround the large fountain and once signified the hour by spouting water. The courtyard contains a symmetrical design but also has a jutting portico, which creates a shadow during the day and on moonlit nights. The complex is gorgeous in its grandeur and magnificent in its opulence. The palaces are endless and when you look out the antique windows you see the entire city. You find hidden niches in the Hall of Two Sisters, between the elegant calligraphy, and feel the passionate embrace of the past.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation at Cortijo del Marqués

Day 7: A Different Dish

The narrow winding streets of Granada shade the city from the sunlight. Private courtyards are filled with elm trees and the perfume of the foliage. Your guide meets you at your hotel and escorts you to the celebrated San Agustin Market for your private tour of the regional cuisine. The large street market overtakes three city blocks and is filled with fresh produce, meat, and fish. You are struck with the intoxicating colors of various spices, from yellow turmeric to pink pepper. Their vibrant hues are second only to their delectable scents. The market is flanked by streets filled with secondary stalls, from embroidered lace and fabrics to paintings of the Alhambra watching over the ancient cityscape.

Your guide picks out the ingredients for the day and explains their purpose, along with their delicate flavors. Soon you find yourself in the traditional neighbored of Albayzin, home to whitewashed walls that reflect the sunlight. Historically the district was the predominant Muslim neighborhood and today the white walls are interspersed with towering trees. In the kitchen the aromas of the afternoon are stunning. Garlic is sautéing and olive oil is being brought to a sizzle. Soon the gambas al pil-pil are ready to taste, shrimp fried in olive oil with garlic and herbs. It is an introduction to the delicious dishes of the city and the region and you feel welcomed already.

Your day of indulgence continues with an unforgettable night your hotel. On your last night in Andalusia, enjoy a stunning sunset over the sweeping countryside that surrounds Cortijo del Marqués. Afterward, adjurn to the dining room for a gourmet three-course dinner. The chef prepares creative and mouth-watering dishes with the freshest local ingredients. Friendly wait staff recommend the perfect wine pairing from their excellent list of fine Spanish wines. 

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, accommodation at Cortijo del Marqués

Day 8: Experiencing Romance

Soak up your last few rays of sun while lounging by the pool before your driver arrives to escort you from to the airport. It’s difficult to say goodbye to Cortijo del Marqués where the owners and staff provide you with your best hotel experience.

Granada is a medieval city amongst medieval cities. The streets create a labyrinth you wanted to get lost in. The Alhambra was a collection of lavish palaces you never could have dreamed of. Spain is a country filled with life, where the importance of the spirit is to experience all that living has to offer. Passion fills the table and the culture fills the soul. Romance is found around every corner and blossoms under the shade of the narrow streets. Your private transfer escorts you from your hotel to the airport. Your flight soars through the air. The farther you journey from Spain the fonder your memories become.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Price 

Your custom trip package will include accommodations, transportation within the country, guided tours and activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates