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Cultural Tour in Spain

The Andalusia of legends is brought to life on this dream trip. As you explore Southern Spain and discover its hidden treasures, allow yourself to be captivated by its finest flourishing gardens and inspired by the countless fragrant orange trees that line the cobblestoned streets of Andalusia's ancient cities. Just Explore invites you to join them for this unique opportunity to visit the best selection of Moorish, Renaissance, and tropical gardens hidden in a culturally rich and historic corner of Spain

Highlights

  • Guided visits and tours including all entrance fees
  • A flamenco performance and equestrian show
  • Fluent English-speaking tour leader
  • Fluent English-speaking art historian guide
  • Skip the line access
  • All private transfers
  • Breakfasts and all meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • 7 nights accommodation

8 days with instruction
Group size: 4-12 participants
Airport transfer included: Málaga Airport
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Air-conditioned public areas
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Free Wi-Fi

Boutique Hotels

At Just Explore, they understand one of the biggest worries when booking a holiday is the standard for your hotel. That's why they only use pre-viewed character hotels with great locations to help you relax and enjoy your stay with them.

Your accommodation will be made up of 4-star boutique hotels with double or twin rooms sharing:

  • Breakfasts are included
  • All centrally located
  • Air-conditioned room
  • Ensuite bathrooms
  • 20% supplement applies for single occupancy

Program

About the Cultural Tour

This trip is a pure delight for those who find history, architecture, and art fascinating. Just Explore has designed for you a magical journey around Andalusia which will allow you to discover some of Spain’s main World Heritage Sites as well as the interesting culture.

The cultural influences that have washed over Andalusia since the first paintings were etched on cave walls are numerous: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, and Vandals. But the most influential of all were unarguably that of the Moors, who named the region “Al-Andalus” and whose eighth-century rule left an indelible imprint on the region’s culture and customs.

On these cultural excursions in Spain, you will visit many sites which represent the Arte Mudejar, a Hispanic-Muslim art only present in Andalusia and admired worldwide for its beauty and delicacy, but also stunning historic buildings from the Gothic and Renaissance times. This is just an example of the legacy you will explore together on this exciting cultural tour in Southern Spain.

Accompanied by one of the local tour directors and guided by art historian experts, you will explore and learn more about the history of extraordinary places in the region such as Granada’s legendary Alhambra Palace, Cordoba’s distinctive Mosque, and Sevilla’s majestic Cathedral, but also about hidden gems that aren’t so well-known, yet are truly masterpieces.

Places You Will Visit:

  • Granada
  • Córdoba
  • Carmona
  • Sevilla
  • Ronda
  • Málaga

Highlights:

  • Small exclusive group tour (4 to 12 people maximum)
  • Discover the main UNESCO World Heritage sites in Spain such as the Alhambra Palace in Granada, the Mosque of Córdoba, and the Gothic Cathedral in Sevilla
  • The explosion of colors in the Andalusian courtyards, the deep smell of orange blossoms on the streets, and the water silence of the fountains will make you feel in paradise
  • Enjoy some privileged spots in this land of castles, palaces, and gardens
  • Some private houses will open their gardens to you so you can meet the owners, try their food, and toast with local wines
  • Stay in character historic buildings converted into charming accommodations for a real feel of Andalusian architecture

Meals and Shows

These are included in the price:

  • 8 lunches (including wine and coffee)
  • 2 dinners (including wine and coffee)
  • Flamenco performance
  • Equestrian show

Guided Visits and Tours

All entrance fees are included:

  • Malaga - Concepcion Botanicals Gardens visit
  • Ronda - Gardens and historical city tour
  • Seville - Orientation walk + historical city tour
  • Cordoba - City tour with Viana Palace and Mosque / Cathedral
  • Portocarrero Palace - Guided tour with light lunch
  • Montilla Olive Oil and Wine - Visit, tasting, and lunch
  • Granada - Orientation walk + Alhambra and Carmen de los Martires + Albaycin walk

Summary (7 nights):

  • Start and end point: Malaga
  • 1 night in Ronda
  • 2 nights in Sevilla
  • 2 nights in Cordoba
  • 2 nights in Granada

Itinerary:

  • Start and Finish Point: Málaga
  • Transportation: Private luxury bus
  • Accommodation: 4-star boutique hotels

Day 1 (Malaga)

Morning: Meet and Greet, Concepcion Botanical Gardens

The morning time and meeting place (either Malaga Maria Zambrano railway station or Malaga airport) will be confirmed 30 days before the trip departure.

After meeting your tour leader and group, they will take you to La Concepcion Botanical Gardens, located just 6 kilometers outside the Malaga city center. These gardens are a tropical paradise with over 800 species.

After your 1-hour guided tour of the gardens with a botanic expert, you have some lunch at the coffee shop of the Botanical Gardens, they will drive you to the picturesque town of Ronda on a beautiful scenic road connecting the Mediterranean coast and the Serrania mountains.

Check-in at your dramatically located hotel in Ronda which overlooks the Tajo gorge and cliffs.

Free Evening and Welcome Dinner

After settling in your room, it’s time to relax and enjoy a nice welcome dinner with amazing views.

  • Meals included: Lunch and dinner

Day 2 (Ronda and Sevilla)

Morning: Ronda’s Gardens

After breakfast and check-out you will enjoy a lovely walk along the Alameda del Tajo: a public garden from the 19th century that houses a wonderful selection of full-grown trees typical to the Malageñoornamental gardening style. Your walk will end at the city's most famous viewpoint which offers impressive views of the imposing gorge below.

On this guided tour, you'll visit the most representative gardens in Ronda, starting with the gardens of Casa del Rey Moro: an 18th-century mansion built on Morish foundations. These gardens were constructed in 1912 by Forestier and offer excellent views of the Tajo Gorge and the surrounding mountains.

Next, you will visit the Palacio de Mondragón: a 14th-century palace that was the residence of the Moorish kings and is made up of three Mudejar courtyards that still have the original stuccowork and mosaics perfectly preserved.

Finally, you'll visit the Casa don Bosco, a modernist palace built at the beginning of the 20th century. It is worth highlighting its beautiful interior patio decorated with Nasrid flooring and a large collection of ceramics from the region; as well as its tapestries dating from the 19th century and its magnificent walnut furniture, the fireplace in its main living room is the clearest example of Ronda’s craftsmanship in the purest Castilian style. The gardens are very interesting, due to their placement, being a natural balcony onto the mountains.

Lunch (included in the price) will be served with stunning views over the bridge. You will have the opportunity to sample Ronda's fantastic local wines as well.

Afternoon: Transfer to Sevilla

After lunch, it's on to Sevilla (approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes) where you will be staying at a beautiful hotel located right in the city center.

Evening: Flamenco Show and Dinner

Flamenco venue and dinner. Your tour guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel to take you to one of the most emblematic "Tablaos" in Sevilla.

With more than 40 years of experience this "Tablao" offers the purest Flamenco you can find in Andalusia Probably the best place in Sevilla to live the excitement and duende of flamenco.

Prior to the performance, à la carte dinner with dishes of high Andalusian cuisine will be served (all drinks are included).

Towards the end of the dinner, the show will start and last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. This show features up to 15 of the most professional flamenco artists in the whole of Spain. Excitement and enjoyment are guaranteed!

  • Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 3 (Sevilla)

Morning: Sevilla Guided Tours

After breakfast, meet your local art historian guide in the lobby of the hotel to embark on a 3.5-hour guided walking tour of the historical center of Sevilla (one of the largest in Europe), including the Casa Pilatos (XV century Andalus palace and courtyards with a harmonious mixture of Mudéjar, Gothic and Renaissance styles), the Barrio de Santa Cruz (the old Jewish quarter with a labyrinth of tiny alleys and white houses with traditional Moorish courtyards), the Reales Alcazares Gardens (an active Royal residence boasting impressive gardens and fountains from the XIV century) and finally the great Cathedral (the third largest Gothic cathedral in the world).

The tour will finish at the Giralda Tower (Cathedral's bell tower), where you can walk up to the very top (104-meter high over ramps, no steps) at your own pace. Later your tour guide will meet you by the exit gate of the Cathedral for a 2-hour tapas tour, the Sevilla way!

Free Afternoon (Suggestions)

  • Murillo gardens
  • Take a magical afternoon tea experience at one of the oldest & most beautiful hotels in Sevilla (Alfonso XIII, purely Mudejar style)
  • Arabian spa
  • Shopping
  • Metropol panoramic view (the wooden mushrooms, Plaza Encarnacion)

Evening Optional Activity: Unique Feria experience Feria de Abril (Sevilla’s April fair, 14th to 20th of April 2024)

  • Private tour with a local flamenco and culinary guide (length: 4 hours)
  • Additional cost to the tour price per person: 350 EUR

This week Sevilla is celebrating its main Spring festival, its famous Feria! You could not miss this unique opportunity and they have arranged the most exclusive experience to become one of the highlights of your trip: you will live the Feria as locals do!

Your local flamenco guide together with your tour leader (2 Andalucian girls) will take you to the Arenal Fairground in a horse carriage (the distance from your hotel to the horse carriage pick-up is approximately a 10-minute walk.

Once at the fairground, you will experience the atmosphere and local vibe by getting into a couple of the public casetas (booths) where locals eat, drink, dance, and pretty much socialize. Do not be shy to dance and enjoy yourself.

It is Feria and you are in good hands! You will be sampling local tapas and drinks, such as rebujito, the typical drink of the April Fair (a mix of Manzanilla sherry and Seven Up) (all included in the price).

You’ll then head back to the hotel (approximately a 40-minute walk or taxi which the cost will not be included in the package).

Day 4 (Sevilla and Portocarrero)

Morning: Maria Luisa Park and Plaza de España (Sevilla)

After breakfast, meet your local art historian guide in the lobby of the hotel for a private guided visit to Maria Luisa Park and the spectacular Plaza de España.

After your tour, you’ll head to Portocarrero (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes), located in Palma del Rio, right in between the historic cities of Cordoba and Sevilla, by the riverbank of the Guadalquivir.

Afternoon: Portocarrero Palace - Visit, tasting, and lunch

You will enjoy a private guided tour of the Palace, courtyards, and gardens. This lovely visit will be completed with a tasting of delicious fresh orange juice from the orchards and a light lunch in the palace.

Cristina Ybarra, the current owner has her main art studio inside the Palace and she is always pleased to show and share her artwork with those discerning travelers who are interested in painting.

After this magical escape to paradise, it's on to your hotel in Cordoba (approximately 1 hour).

Evening Equestrian Show in Cordoba

Tonight you will enjoy a marvelous equestrian exhibition in which purebred Spanish horses are the main protagonists.

The stage: an emblematic and magical historical building, once the birthplace of the Andalusian Horse and now an unparalleled setting for this enchanting 1-hour equestrian show. The Royal Stables are located next to the Royal Alcázar and are just a 5-minute walk from your hotel.

After the show, you can have dinner (cost not included) at one of the local restaurants in the nearby and authentic "San Basilio" district.

Day 5 (Cordoba)

Cordoba Highlights

  • Viana Palace
  • Jewish quarter
  • The Great Mosque / Cathedral

Your local guide will pick you up at your hotel and will take you for a walking tour of approximately 3 hours to explore the nicest gardens and courtyards of Córdoba. You will first visit the Palacio de Viana in the Santa Marina neighborhood, a 17th-century manor with 13 interconnected delightful patios and gardens.

Then it’s time to explore the old town and its Jewish quarter including, of course, a guided visit to the famed Mosque / Cathedral (La Mezquita), a monumental site that encapsulates this city's identity like few other buildings can, with the layers of its beautifully complex history visibly integrated into its walls and bearing the marks of the various and diverse cultures and civilizations that helped shape this fascinating city.

Lunch will be served at a lovely patio house located in the heart of the Jewish Quarter.

Evening: Exploring San Basilio, Patios, and Flower tasting

This 2-hour experience includes a short orientation walk to explore one of the most popular areas of Cordoba, the San Basilio quarter, where you will admire the architecture and unique decoration of some of the most representative courtyards (“Patios”) declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Unesco in 2012.

Have you ever wondered what a carnation, a pansy, a Snapdragon, or a rose petal tastes like? Well, for this day, you will also have the unique opportunity of attending an amazing flower tasting to find out.

This very interesting and totally different experience makes Just Explore a pioneer in offering something like this in Andalucia. All the flowers you will be tasting are totally edible and will be paired with two excellent local wines, "sherry" style (Palo Cortado and sweet Pedro Ximenez). This experience is an absolute must-try for any flower lover visiting Cordoba in Springtime!

Day 6 (Montilla-Moriles: Smell and Taste the Andalusian Countryside)

Morning

After breakfast, you will make your way to our next destination, but before heading to Granada, you stop at a couple of interesting places in the heart of the Andalusian countryside surrounded by hundred-year-old olive groves.

The first stop is a family-run olive oil mill in Montilla where you will discover the full process of olive oil making. You will enjoy a tour of the family groves and learn about the different characteristics, culinary uses, and health benefits of olive oil followed by a tasting of two of their delicious varieties along with freshly baked bread made by the very same family!

Then it’s on to the lovely local family-run boutique winery located right in the heart of the Sierra de Montilla, a stunning rural landscape with endless vineyards and rolling hills.

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a truly passionate viticulturist who will lead you through their family vineyards, private garden, and wine cellar while telling you about the history of this recently restored ancestral property as well as the unique grape variety that grows exclusively in this region, the popular and worldwide known "Pedro Ximenez".

You will also learn about the entire process and aging system of these singular dry and sweet wines, a process that is probably the oldest in Spain.

The visit will end with a delicious tasting of some of these varieties paired with homemade lunch (included in the price) showcasing some of the region's best products.

Afternoon: Transfer to Granada

After lunch, you will be transferred to Granada (approximately a 2-hour drive).

Evening: Orientation Walk in Granada

After checking into your hotel in Granada's city center, you will have some free time to freshen up and relax before meeting up with the group and your tour guide again to go on your orientation walk of Granada’s city center (1.5 hours) so you could get the bearings and the feel of the city.

A great way to complete this evening tour would be with a tasting of some of the local tapas at some of the most emblematic taverns in town.

They invite you to join them for a fun evening to try the best food and wine (this is an optional meal that is not included in the package).

Day 7 (Granada: The Wonder of the Alhambra)

Morning: Alhambra Guided Tour

After breakfast, the tour leader will take you to the Alhambra where you will be introduced to your local art historian guide who will show you the incomparable Alhambra Palace and the Generalife gardens on a 3-hour private tour.

You will admire the greatest treasure of Moorish Spain. The Generalife is the image of how paradise is described in the Koran (“shaded, leafy garden refreshed by running water where the fortunate ones may take their rest under tall canopies”).

After the guided tour of the Alhambra, you will enjoy a nice lunch at a lovely restaurant nearby with beautiful views.

Afternoon: Carmen de los Mártires

You will visit this delightfully tranquil garden filled with palms, cypresses, and tinkling fountains. A wonderful oasis where you will spend approximately 2 hours and will take your breath away.

You will make your way downtown back to your hotel where you will have the rest of the evening free at your leisure. It is a free evening to relax or do some shopping.

Day 8 (Granada: More to Explore)

Morning: Granada Walk and Transfer to Malaga

After breakfast and check-out, you can leave your luggage at reception for a later pickup and transfer to Malaga.

This last morning, you will be taken on a short walk up to the Albaycin Moorish quarter. You will walk along the Darro River promenade and through the maze of tiny, narrow cobbled streets of the picturesque Albaycin Moorish district.

During the walk, you will stop at some of the most spectacular viewpoints to admire the legendary Alhambra Palace and take the best pictures. To say goodbye to Granada and Andalusia, you will take off the beaten path to be delighted with the incredible views and the beautiful gardens of one of the most emblematic Moorish “Carmens” in the city.

The Andalusian patios are called “Carmens” in Granada and they are little paradises hidden from the outside streets inside the Arabian style houses. There, you will stay for a nice relaxed lunch and simply admire the stunning views of the Alhambra palace in front.

After lunch, you will be transferred to Malaga either the airport, the train station, or the city center, depending on the rest of your travel plans.

End of Your Trip

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. They hope you enjoyed this small group tour with them.

If you would like to extend the duration of your trip to explore more of Andalucía and / or other regions of Spain, they will be more than happy to create a customized itinerary for the remainder of your stay.

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

Location

Starting Point: Malaga, Andalusia

The starting point of the tour is in Malaga in the province of Malaga in Andalusia, Spain.

Places You Will Visit:

  • Granada
  • Córdoba
  • Carmona
  • Sevilla
  • Ronda
  • Málaga

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Lunch
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee

Things to do (optional)

Evening Optional Activity: Unique Feria experience Feria de Abril on Day 3 (Sevilla’s April fair, 14th to 20th of April 2024)

  • Private tour with a local flamenco and culinary guide (length: 4 hours)
  • Additional cost to the tour price per person: 350 EUR

This week Sevilla is celebrating its main Spring festival, its famous Feria! You could not miss this unique opportunity and they have arranged the most exclusive experience to become one of the highlights of your trip: you will live the Feria as locals do!

Your local flamenco guide together with your tour leader (2 Andalucian girls) will take you to the Arenal Fairground in a horse carriage (the distance from your hotel to the horse carriage pick-up is approximately a 10-minute walk.

Once at the fairground, you will experience the atmosphere and local vibe by getting into a couple of the public casetas (booths) where locals eat, drink, dance, and pretty much socialize. Do not be shy to dance and enjoy yourself.

It is Feria and you are in good hands! You will be sampling local tapas and drinks, such as rebujito, the typical drink of the April Fair (a mix of Manzanilla sherry and Seven Up) (all included in the price).

You’ll then head back to the hotel (approximately a 40-minute walk or taxi which the cost will not be included in the package).

Free Afternoon on Day 3 (Suggestions):

  • Murillo gardens
  • Take a magical afternoon tea experience at one of the oldest & most beautiful hotels in Sevilla (Alfonso XIII, purely Mudejar style)
  • Arabian spa
  • Shopping
  • Metropol panoramic view (the wooden mushrooms, Plaza Encarnacion)

What's included

  • Guided visits and tours including all entrance fees
  • Flamenco performance
  • Equestrian show
  • Fluent English-speaking tour leader
  • Fluent English-speaking art historian guide
  • Skip the line access
  • Tips and gratuities
  • All private transfers
  • Breakfasts and all meals mentioned in the itinerary (8 lunches and 2 dinners)
  • 7 nights accommodation in 4-star boutique hotels

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Medical / travel insurance
  • Meals and drinks other than those mentioned in the itinerary

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Málaga Airport Airport transfer included: Málaga Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 28 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 4 participants

Availability

Arrival: Sunday October 6, 2024
Departure: Sunday October 13, 2024

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