You can blame the flamenco music, the sunshine or the Sherry wine. Whatever the reason, Andalusia gives you permission to indulge in the pleasures of life. As you stroll through the ancient cobblestone streets, listen for the lilting melodies of classical guitar, played purely for enjoyment. Breathe in the fragrant aroma of orange blossoms flourishing in courtyards of almost every city. On this special Spain bike tour, you will experience the romance of Andalusia and explore its natural beauty....
Seville – Welcome to Spain
Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will greet you and provide a private transfer to your hotel. Once you settle into your hotel, you may begin exploring Seville at your own pace. This beguiling city fascinates the visitor with its elegance, romance, and history. Seville oozes with culture and the legacy of her past is evident in every building. The Cathedral and Alcázar are imbued with Moorish influence. Even after being recovered by Christian Conquistadors, these monuments display the flamboyant beauty of Mudéjar design. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the city and take in the wonderful ambiance. This evening, your tour group will get acquainted over a glass of wine and a festive welcome dinner.
Seville – Explore this Elegant Andalusian City
Today you are free to explore the highlights of Seville. Spend some time admiring the awe-inspiring cathedral, the world’s largest Gothic church. The cathedral was converted from the original grand mosque and its iconic La Giralda tower was the original mosque’s minaret. Inside the cathedral, you’ll find a treasure trove of monumental sculptures, including the monument to Christopher Columbus. Another incredible sight is the Capilla Mayor, the main chapel with its breathtaking gilded altarpiece depicting 1,000 biblical characters. Next visit the Real Alcázar, the old Moorish palace, to see a wonderful example of splendid Islamic artistry. The intricate geometric and swirling arabesque patterns are remarkable. Then enjoy a pleasant walk through the gardens; you might relax in one of the patios. To truly immerse yourself in the essence of Seville, you must explore the Barrio de Santa Cruz, once Seville’s old Jewish quarter, and today a fashionable neighborhood. Meander around to find the lovely courtyards lined with blossoming orange trees. Get lost in the maze of narrow streets and alleys as you stumble upon ancient palaces, churches that were once synagogues with intriguing hidden passageways.
Carmona – Travel from Seville to Carmona
This morning, a coach will pick you up from your hotel in Seville for a scenic drive to your next destination. Located in the countryside outside of Seville, Carmona is a picturesque ancient walled town that is well worth visiting for a few days. With its fragrant orange trees and graceful church spires, Carmona welcomes the visitor into a peaceful world of beauty and elegance. The town’s 15th-century tower was built to imitate Seville's La Giralda tower. The history of Carmona dates back to Roman times, and you can still visit the remains of an amphitheater and an amazingly well-preserved necropolis with visible family emblems from the 2nd century B.C. Then walk through the impressive fortified gateway to enter the medieval part of town. Wander around the narrow streets of this historic town and admire the Mudéjar (Andalusian Moorish style) churches and exquisite Renaissance mansions. Like many places in Andalusia, Carmona has a grand Gothic cathedral that was built on the site of a former mosque.
In the afternoon, you’ll have free time to enjoy an al fresco lunch in the town square before returning to your hotel. You’ll be staying at a luxurious hotel with an outdoor swimming pool. Spend the afternoon relaxing or take a dip in the pool. Later in the afternoon, you’ll have a chance to go bike riding in the unspoiled countryside that surrounds the town of Carmona. This evening for dinner, you’ll enjoy a traditional meal of authentic Andalusian cuisine.
Palma del Rio – Scenic Drive to Palma del Rio
As you make your way to the village of Palma del Rio, the beautiful Andalusian landscape unfolds before you. Enjoy the scenic drive through quiet country roads graced with olive trees and surrounded by golden fields of wheat. Depending on the time of year, you may see a profusion of colorful wildflowers. The journey takes less than an hour. By the early afternoon, you’ll arrive at Palma del Rio, an ancient little town in a peaceful setting. Settle into your lodgings, a charming luxury hotel that was converted from the 14th-century Monasterio de San Francisco (Fray Junípero Serra lived at this monastery in the 14th century before he left for the New World to establish the missions of California). In this idyllic location, you’ll enjoy the tranquility of the country and are sure to have a restful night’s sleep. This evening, you’ll be treated to a delicious dinner at the hotel’s elegant restaurant. Be sure to sample the regional specialties, such as bacalao (codfish) or gazpacho (cold tomato soup).
Cordoba – Travel from Palma del Rio to Córdoba
This morning, you’ll travel from Palma del Rio to Córdoba along the Guadalquivir River, the lifeblood of the Andalusian plains. Along the way, you'll stop to visit the stunning Castillo de Almodóvar, perched on top of a monolithic hill above the town of Almodóvar. From the castle, you can take in spectacular views of the entire Guadalquivir Valley. After continuing on a short drive, you’ll arrive in the magnificent city of Córdoba. You’ll be staying right in the heart of the historic town in La Judería, the old Jewish Quarter. You'll spend two nights at a hotel overlooking the city’s emblematic 8th-century mosque, La Mezquita. This grand building is the only medieval mosque in existence. At one time, under the Moorish rule, Córdoba was the world's center of culture and learning. Now this lovely city is renowned, not only for its exotic history, but also for its lively fiestas, flower-bedecked patios and gourmet restaurants.
Cordoba – Guided Tour of La Mezquita
Today you’ll enjoy a guided tour of La Mezquita, the Grand Mosque during the Moorish era. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Mezquita is one of the grandest Islamic monuments of all time. Wander through the building’s ancient “forest” of onyx and jasper columns, while admiring the sumptuous elegance of Moorish architecture. In 1523, the Christian rulers of Córdoba turned the mosque into a cathedral but kept most of the original foundation and design elements. No other site in Spain so magnificently exhibits the fantastic mixture of culture that continues to define Andalusia to this day. The rest of the day is at your leisure to visit other sights, soak up the city’s lively atmosphere, or do some shopping. This evening, you will enjoy tapas at Córdoba's most famous tapas bar. Later tonight, you could also visit a tablao Flamenco (typical performance venue) to see authentic Flamenco dance.
Baena – Travel through the Montilla-Moriles Wine Country
In the morning, you’ll transfer to the charming town of Espejo, on the quiet country roads surrounded by olive groves and vineyards of Montilla-Moriles wine country. This region is known for its fine wine that is similar to Sherry wine. In the afternoon, you’ll visit the renowned Núñez de Prado Oil Mill in the town of Baena, where olive oil is still produced in the traditional way. Tonight you’ll be staying in a renovated 16th-century house just across the park from the olive oil mill. This boutique hotel was once an elegant private mansion and was only recently converted into a luxury hotel with all the modern amenities.
Priego – Bicycle Ride to the Andalusian Village of Priego
This morning, you’ll hop on your bikes and set out for a half-day of cycling in the Sierras Subbéticas, a national park in the remote unspoiled southern Córdoba province. This land of deep valleys and rugged hills provides spectacular scenery for your ride. You’ll cycle along the “Rails for Trails” system, which uses old train tracks converted into smooth surfaces for bike trails. After your invigorating bicycle ride, you’ll arrive at your destination of Priego and check into your hotel. Situated in the hills around Priego, the hotel is designed in the traditional Andalusian style with rose gardens and airy courtyards at the center of each building. The hotel features a large outdoor pool and patio area with expansive views of the Las Sierras Subbéticas Mountains and the surrounding countryside. Tonight you’ll enjoy a leisurely evening at the hotel including a gourmet meal of Andalusian specialties for dinner.
Montefrio – Visit a Pueblos Blancos Village in the Granada Province
Today you’ll drive south to visit one of the Pueblos Blancos, the typical whitewashed villages of Andalusia. Your destination is the village of Montefrío, located in a very wild and remote northern Granada province that is part of the Sierras Subbéticas Mountains. The drive to this village is often considered to be the most beautiful ride of this entire itinerary. There is almost no traffic and the scenery is glorious. Alternatively, you may choose to have a driver take you there so that you can relax and enjoy the views. You’ll drive past hills and valleys, and finally olive groves. Then you’ll arrive at your inviting accommodations located just outside the historic town of Montefrío and occupying a converted 19th-century olive oil mill. The modernized rooms have rustic Andalusian-style decor and traditional tiled floors. Montefrío is spectacularly situated between two rocky outcrops, each crowned with a lovely church. This area also has many prehistoric caves with paintings and carvings.
Granada – Bicycle Ride from Montefrío to Granada
Today’s bicycle ride will be more gentle than the previous one. The route this morning takes you through lush green fields of asparagus dotted with wildflowers. Look out for the colorful butterflies that are fluttering about in the spring and summer. You’ll ride through numerous picturesque Andalusian villages with sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, a scene that beckons you on to glorious Granada. Once you reach Granada, you’ll check into your luxurious hotel located in the city’s historic center near the cathedral. The location is close enough to reach the Alhambra Palace on foot. It’s a pleasant walk from the Plaza Nueva entering at the Puerta de las Granadas (Gate of the Pomegranates) and continuing through the tree-lined avenues of the Alhambra.
Granada – Guided Tour of the Alhambra Palace
Today you’ll have a chance to explore the legendary city of Granada, the last bastion of the Moors. The day begins with a guided tour of the breathtaking Alhambra Palace, the fortress of the final Moorish Caliph, Boabdil. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the world’s best-preserved Islamic monuments and is a testimony to the grandeur of the Moorish kingdom of Andalusia. After your tour, you’ll have plenty of time to visit Granada's other sights, go shopping, or spend time at an outdoor cafe. This evening you’ll celebrate the conclusion of your fabulous adventures with good wine and Andalusian cuisine. Enjoy a wonderful meal at one of Granada's most famous restaurants, the former haunt of great literary figures including Federico García Lorca.
Granada – Depart to Home
Unless you choose to extend your tour for a few more days in Granada, the tour concludes today after breakfast at your hotel. You’ll be provided a private transfer to the airport in time for your return flight home.
- Visit Andalusia’s monumental highlights: Seville, Córdoba, Granada
- Immerse yourself in the culture: enjoy the tapas, siestas and festivals
- Watch Flamenco dance in a tablao flamenco, typical performance venue
- Tour a historic olive oil mill and see the traditional production process
- Enjoy a guided tour of the breathtakingly exquisite Alhambra Palace
- Take in the splendor of La Mezquita, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Cycle Washington Irving’s trail through the quaint villages of Al Andalus
Spend nine magical nights under the spell of Andalusia. In the timeless land of the ancient Moors, escape to a place of romance and enchantment. Ancient castles, shady olive groves and sunny whitewashed villages beckon you. Seductive Flamenco, tiled patios and magnificent cathedrals exemplify the region’s splendor.
You’ll visit the ageless monuments to the Moors’ splendid culture, including the magnificent mosque in Córdoba and in Granada, the unearthly Alhambra Palace in Granada. Seville has a special charm all its own, and you’ll be swept away by the beauty of her awe-inspiring cathedral and lovely Alcázar palace.
The tour includes luxurious 4-star accommodations in historic locations: a monastery, an elegant palace, a charming 16th-century house. You may take this tour in April during Spain’s Semana Santa (Holy Week), when Andalusia is at its most colorful. May is the traditional Fiesta de los Patios in Córdoba, when all the houses in Córdoba's old town burst into bloom and compete for “the most beautiful patio” award!
After exploring Andalusia’s cities, you’ll get out into off-the-beaten-track destinations in the countryside of Las Sierras Subbéticas Mountain Range. Enjoy bicycle expeditions to Andalusia’s pristine rural locations, only well-known to Spaniards. The cluster of picturesque mountain villages called "Los Pueblos Blancos," (whitewashed villages) welcome you with wonderful views of the landscape and authentic local culture.
$2,875 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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