Explore the very best of this stunning destination
From the heart of cultural Andalucía, explore the very best this stunning destination has to offer, including the historic streets of vibrant Seville and the overwhelming beauty of Granada's UNESCO-listed Alhambra.
We begin our Andalucían adventure with a flight to Malaga. On arrival we transfer to our hotel for the next seven nights, the spectacular 4-Star Parador de Antequera. This modern oasis is set within luscious rolling parkland in the centre of the city. Tonight dinner is served in the hotel.
Enjoy your first day in Spain at leisure, getting to know your new surroundings. The hotel in which you stay is one of the highlights of this tour. As its name suggests, your accommodation in Antequera is a 'parador', a type of luxury hotel unique to Spain.
Unlike other paradors, the Parador de Anteuera is found in a sophisticated modern building set amongst green parklands against a back drop of Andalucían hills and the Antequera plain. The rooms are tastefully designed, and the outdoor swimming pool is the perfect place to enjoy the Southern Spanish sun, depending on the weather.
Today we enjoy an excursion to stunning Seville, a sun-baked city that, legend has it, was founded by Hercules. Seductive and sophisticated, Seville is a quintessentially Spanish city. Flamenco, fiestas and carnivals thrive in this wonderful city, as do its many striking monuments, each one a reminder of Seville's colourful past.
Beginning as a Roman settlement, Seville has been under the control of the Roman Empire, Moorish invaders and Spanish royalty throughout the years. Each civilisation has left its own indelible mark on the city, be it in the swirl of a flamenco dress or the religious grandeur of the Cathedral. Another chapter to the city's history can be found on every street corner, every buzzing square and in each tapas bar.
We are treated to a tour of the city's sights during our time here. A particular highlight is the resplendent Plaza de España at the heart of the city. While the design recalls both Moorish Mudéjar and Renaissance architecture, the square and central building are both far more modern, having been initially constructed for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition. The scale of this square is enormous, and the many tiled alcoves are based on the various provinces of Spain.
Today is a free day and you might like to soak up Antequera's incredible architecture on a gentle stroll.
Antequera is a fine example of a Spanish medieval town, with many of the older buildings left intact. Like many other Andalucian cities, Antequera is a complicated mix of different cultures. This has produced a superb collection of monuments including recently excavated Roman baths and an impressive 19th century bullring.
Today we embark on an excursion to Cordoba, a famous ancient city that was once the largest metropolis in Western Europe. In many ways Cordoba is a perfect example of a historic Spanish city. Sand coloured buildings jostle with Renaissance era town houses, while the various plazas throughout the city offer an excellent snapshot into the people who call this place home. During the day, these squares become filled with the social Spanish population as they enjoy tapas in the cafés and restaurants whose tables stretch out over the marble tiles. It is not hard to imagine these plazas, through the ages, hosting Romans, Moors and Spanish alike.
On arrival, we take a guided tour of the city's main attractions, including the famous 8th century Mezquita or Mosque, and the sprawling Juderia - Cordoba's Jewish Quarter.
The main focal point of Cordoba is the magnificent Mezquita. Arguably one of the most impressive Islamic buildings in Europe, the Mezquita is a masterclass in religious architecture. An enormous construction built at the end of the old Roman bridge, this enormous Mosque stands tall in the face of time, boasting an ornate bell tower and splendid interiors displaying some fantastic examples of Mudéjar and Moorish architecture found in rooms of seemingly endless arches.
Today is free for you to explore further afield; perhaps visit nearby Malaga, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and home to a wonderful collection of his work. Malaga is one of the oldest cities in the world and boasts a wealth of ancient architecture. Well worth a visit in Malaga is the Port of Malaga. Many beautiful sailing ships and yachts visit the Port, and the area has been welcoming ships since the time of the Phoenicians at around 1,000 BC.
Our excursion to Granada begins with a visit to the stunning Alhambra palace and the various keeps, villas and gardens that lie within.
Built in the 14th century, the Alhambra, literally 'the red castle', is a fortress, palace and small town all rolled into one. It is also one of the most recognisable sights in all Spain. Set on a plateau against a heavily forested series of hills, the Alhambra gazes across the city below, acting as both a fortress and as its own distinct district. The Alhambra is made up of various parts, with the oldest section being the citadel at its heart.
A particularly charming area is the Court of the Lions, a small courtyard featuring several small lion statues, each acting as a fountain in the centre.
We also pay a visit to the Generalife Gardens. The summer palace of the Nasrid rulers of Granada built in the 14th century, these gardens are a welcome retreat, offering a variety of beautiful flora in all shapes and sizes. Be sure to check out the view from the villa here, granting a panorama which takes in the Sacromonte caves and parts of the Albayzín.
After a guided tour of the Alhambra, you have free time to discover more of Granada. This charming Andalucian city is famous for various reasons. Of particular interest is the old Albayzín area of the city. Originally the Muslim district of Granada, the Albayzín is a winding maze of whitewashed buildings, many of which have existed for hundreds of years. Superb views of both the city, the Generalife park area and the Alhambra can be seen from the top of the district, from any of the viewpoints which are set aside for visitors to make use of. For its historical importance in the history of Granada, the Albayzín, along with the Alhambra and Generalife, has earned UNESCO World Heritage status. We return to Antequera following our visit and sit down to a final farewell meal together.
After breakfast we bid farewell to Antequera and Spain, as we transfer back to Malaga Airport for our early morning flight back to the UK. On arrival back in London, our tour concludes.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 21 verified reviews
Generally a good holiday as expected as frequent customers of Great Rail. But - one aspect of the on-line details on GR's website and their itinerary booklet was misleading: "On arrival, we take a guided tour of the city's main attractions, including the famous 8th century Mezquita or Mosque, and the sprawling Juderia - Cordoba's Jewish Quarter." The part "......including the famous 8th century Mezquita ......." is incorrect as it was not included. We had to pay an extra €10 per head (total €40 for the four of us) for this.
Excellent tour manager. Very good hotel although food in evening was not up to same standard expected. The three day trips were excellent. The visit to Alhambra was wonderful, and the guide for that tour was brilliant - his knowledge was outstanding. I think people were joining our group and listening to him, then following our group. The free days were excellent for relaxation and spending time in Antequera, where there was many lovely places and relaxing walks. We do love Spain and the Spanish people.
Excellent itinerary , great tour manager, wonderful hotel
Although I enjoyed the holiday overall and the trips were excellent, the holiday title was slightly misleading. We stayed at only one Parador and the standard was not as good as expected. The hotel, is now dated and needs modernisation. There was plumbing problem which was never attended to, despite being reported to three different people in reception. The service was very slow at times, e.g. waiting forty five minutes for a sandwich. It was a wonderful Andalucian experience but not a Parador experience.
Food could have been better at our hotel
I have already provided formal feedback to the tour leader and on the web. please do not ask again
It was disappointing that despite the impression given in the advert, on which we booked, the tour did not include access to Seville Cathedral, or even reasonable free time to do that ourselves.
The flights with Norwegan air were very poor.We were delayed by 3 hours going out and at least an hour comming back.Also the holiday was advertised as 8 days but on the day of return we had to leave our hotel at 4.30 am with a very poor packed breakfast.
The content of the holiday was excellent, the tour manager also. The hotel rooms were large, airy and the housekeeping staff very good. The restaurant and bar were understaffed which meant the service was very slow. The overall menu for our group was very rustic and not what we expected from a 4 star hotel.
Interesting tour and great to have every other day free. Modern parador was comfortable and very clean, but service was shambolic at times. One of the local guides was terrible.
Explore the very best of this stunning destination