Southern Spain Photography Tour

A 8 day trip to Spain 
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Andalusia is Spain’s photogenic heaven with a landscape of authentic life naturally captured in beautiful settings. Moorish palaces, pueblos blancos, flamenco artists, ornate mosques, a bullfighter and a hacienda are just the start of your list of subjects, and this handcrafted tour takes you behind the scenes to offer unfiltered access to ancient monuments, untold stories, iconic performers and street-side action. Explore with your lens and with your heart as this seven-day Spain tour will bring an immersion into the Andalusian culture.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Andalusia, Cordoba, Granada, Albaycin, Pilas, Seville, Santa Cruz, Triana, Ronda

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Seville to Cordoba – Low Lit Ambiance of the Great Mosque

Le Mezquita glows under afternoon light as red and white pillars stand in unison through the prayer hall. Some shimmer, enlivened by light that comes through the domes but others are in the shadow, with the light dancing across the floor. Onwards you walk, to the cathedral element of this ancient mosque, where saints stare alongside Eastern calligraphic patterns. There are illusions here, the harmony of two religions and two styles making your photos really stand out. It’s not an easy place to take photos, but a great place to start experimenting with your guide.

Land in Seville and travel to Cordoba, where you enter Le Mezquita in the later hours of the day, just before it closes. It is quietest at this time, and when you come outside the light is soft and golden, starting to bounce off the walls with the telltale color Spain is known for. Take your time and take photos that capture the ancient atmosphere and solemnity of this early Moorish showpiece, before heading into the haphazard alcazar for some street photography. On this first day, it is best to point your camera around and experiment, getting a feel for the lighting and scenes, getting a sense of what is possible. Over the next few days, the photo taking will be more defined.

You will be staying at a small boutique hotel within Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos. Keep your camera with you at all times because there is always an opportunity here. While each day will feature important stops, it is often what happens in between that most excite a lens. Settle on a roof terrace after dusk and capture the city lights, or stroll between the tapas bars to find wafts of smoke coming from outdoor barbecue stands. As with all days on this itinerary, your hotel is chosen for its location, allowing you to walk straight out into the kinds of places you will want to photograph the most.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 2: Cordoba – Whitewashed Cordoba and Authentic Flamenco

An early start is essential on most days, especially if you are interested in architectural photography. Cordoba, like most of Andalusia, can feel like a ghost city before 9am. Nothing much happens in the morning, and you can have many streets to yourself. The early morning is also a naturally good time for photos, especially when you find yourself high on the city outskirts, gazing across Andalusia. This morning you will head to Guadalquivir River on the edge of the Old Town, and then wind back through Cordoba just as merchants and shops start opening for the day.

After a coffee stop you will explore the Patios of Cordoba, where whitewashed walls are enlivened by ornate tiles, the colors shining brightly against the white backdrop, reflecting a classic Moorish style. Special access has been arranged to Cordoba’s best patios, some of which are in private residences. After lunch you can rest, either taking a siesta or seeing more of Cordoba on your own. Pre-dusk you are back on the alcazar streets, improving the photos you took from yesterday. Head into the old Jewish quarter and some of the churches, and take in the lively scenes found around tapas terraces.

After dark, you will meet flamenco performers preparing for a show. Capture their portraits: a guitarist tuning acoustic strings, a dancer applying makeup, shoes being polished and faces breaking into emotion. Continue to take photos during the show as you live and breathe flamenco in the region where flamenco has its home. So like yesterday in the Mezquita, you will find that it is not one photo. With this photography tour, you are telling stories and creating tales through a reel of images.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Granada – Private Photos in the Alhambra and Albaycin

Sleep in a little this morning before traveling across Andalusia, stopping in the quiet old city of Jaen on route. The setting is superb with a castle hanging over the cliffs and cathedral spires stretching above the mountains. Your guide will be alongside to help you with technique and tricks as just the odd little instruction can make a difference as you experiment in this old city. Arriving in Granada you can then relax, spending the early-afternoon on a cafe terrace or rooftop, getting a feel for this old Moorish capital.

Later this afternoon you enjoy semi-private access to one of the world’s most astonishing buildings – the Alhambra. Photograph the calligraphic patterns and capture how the light shines in so expertly. Stand in awe at the detail, and then try out different angles for getting it on film. Take your camera into the gardens, pointing your lens towards reflections in the pools. This is a place where you could take a thousand photos and not get close to capturing it all. For a budding photographer, there is nowhere else like it as this semi-private access means that there are not too many other people in the complex. When you emerge it is dusk, buildings glowing red in the late light.

Photos in the Albaycin are similar to those in Cordoba’s alcazar, although perhaps a little more fanciful than the gritty street scenes of where you were yesterday. Think street sellers pushing carts laden with produce, al fresco terraces covered in tapas plates and laughing faces, small squares lit with soft yellow lanterns, narrow cobblestone lanes where each building is painted a different color and lively bars that stay open past midnight. Carry your camera through it all as you dine in the tapas bars, eating and drinking and taking photos as you go.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Granada – Photographing the Pueblos Blancos

Outside Granada, you will find tiny villages, the whitewashed pueblos blancos, literally “white villages,” that have preserved an old-world feel. Their settings are dramatic, these villages hidden in the mountains, away from medieval raiders and pirates. Wooden butcheries and bakeries stand resplendent on their streets as old men play cards as they drink brandy and coffee on cafe terraces. Shopfronts are small, but head inside and the spaces are like caves, stuffed full of local produce. White walls provide a superbly photogenic backdrop, meaning these villages have a quality of morning light you may only expect in a studio.

In a second village, you will be invited into a local home and get to photograph the locals, including older women preparing lunch. Dine with the people and enjoy hearty Andalusian fare, not anything you would find in a restaurant where they translate the menu to English. By late afternoon, you will be back in Granada and the rest of the day is left free. You will probably head out to the tapas bars – with your camera of course – or the guide can lead you to a lookout point for getting the ultimate Alhambra exterior shot, just as the sun is going down.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Pilas – Hacienda Life in Rural Andalusia

Head back west through the Andalusian mountains to Pilas. Here lies a hacienda, cut off from the world, deep in a landscape of changing colors. The hacienda is a working farm and ranch, emblematic of Spain’s functioning rural heart. Take a stroll through the olive groves for some photos and then settle into a lunch that comes exclusively from the farm. It will be later in the day when you really start snapping away. First a bullfighter in training, the cape moving elegantly as a young bull charges and charges some more with no harm comes to the bulls during this session. Capture the poetry of their dancing, bullfighter, and bull on a sandy ring. Then photograph how the horses move, with passion and energy yet such precision, such skill. Like the bullfighting, a display of horsemanship is chance to photograph culture in action, without having to share the space with other tourists.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Seville – The Most Photogenic Place in Spain

Of all of the Andalusian alcazars, it is the one in Seville that is most impressive. This was formerly a Moorish city, so it is full of intricate tiles and white walls, symmetrical patterns, and cobbled streets. Your guide will take you through the Water Gardens, Seville’s alcazar, which you may recognize as the setting for Dorne in the Game of Thrones. By now, you will have grown accustomed to how the light flickers through narrow streets and how the photos can be planned, but you must go with the flow and think on your feet. Presets are excellent, and your guide will help you tune these for your morning photography sessions.

After a siesta, there is much more to Seville to photograph with a mix of architecture, people and street-life. Walk into centuries-old churches to find the shimmer of gold and capture spires etched against the deep blue afternoon sky. Explore open-air markets where your guide helps you get portraits of traders. Head up La Giralda for the best panoramic Seville view then head to the tapas bars at dusk time, where plenty of food is accompanied by plenty of local scenes. Once more today is about the photo reel, how you pull together a series of images to tell a story about a city.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Seville – The Fabled Stories of Ronda

Your final and seventh day is spent in Ronda, the largest and most dramatic of Andalusia’s pueblos blancos. It straddles a gorge, the village a marvelous sight from below and above. Cross a bridge to navigate the old city, finding Moorish remains and Spain’s earliest bullring. But the main reason for coming here is some personal sessions with artisans. Photograph an ironworker in his workshop, bending and crafting designs that you will have seen many times on this tour. See a stained glass artisan and experiment with the colorful light. Witness how the practice of inlaying metal within metal has been kept alive. Lunch is spent at a bodega outside town, and you will be back in Seville in time for a final evening with your camera.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Seville – Departure

This morning is left free, and it may be a good time to put the camera down and walk through the alcazar with your own eyes, without thinking of the photos. You will have a farewell coffee with your guide and talk about the pictures you took and the experiences you had before being transferred to the airport for your outbound flight.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$1,915
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.