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Moorish Spain

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days 09 From US$ 2,919
highlights
  • Discover the "Ornament of the World", Cordoba in the tenth century
  • Explore the fascinating links from the medieval Muslim period to the Spain of today
  • Visit the incomparable palaces and gardens of the Alhambra and the Alcázar in Seville
  • Learn from expert guides who bring alive the history of "al-Andalus" through its key sites
Where else in Europe can you touch the remains of the civilisations of Rome, Islam, Judaism and Christianity? Where else are the traditions of community celebrated so vividly as in Andalusia? The rich culture and history of Spain is often overlooked in favour of its beaches, although it is indeed what makes it such a unique country.

Our accumulated years of exploring this region have enabled us to design this unique, 9-day trip where you can tap into the roots of Spain’s incredible history and experience first-hand the vibrant culture. This custom-made tour explores the cities and lands that made up medieval "al-Andalus", tracing a history of almost 8 centuries through its principal monuments: the Mosque of Cordoba, the Real Alcazar in Seville and the Alhambra of Granada.

Please see the itinerary for more details. Don’t miss out on this unique and exciting opportunity!
customer reviews
5.0 - Excellent Based on 1 review
Loved it!
Sue Blackman From England At
5 - Excellent
“Jim and Jonathan's genuine love and knowledge of Granada and its environs is infectious and they had obviously put a lot of thought into the locations selected.”
3 Star Hotel
Córdoba is the starting point for this tour. The city is well served by the high-speed train network with AVE trains connecting the city with Madrid in 1 hour 50 minutes and Málaga in just one hour.

After meeting your tour leader in the hotel, you will be taken on an orientation tour through the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then enjoy an included welcome dinner, held in a delightful patio restaurant. As we stroll back to the hotel tonight, we’ll sea bridge and a temple from Roman times and we'll walk around the walls of the vast 8th-century mosque, which is floodlit at night.
Meals
  • Dinner
3 Star Hotel
Today we discover the Córdoba at the turn of the last millennium, described in contemporary writings as “the ornament of the world” on account of its cultural and civic prestige. We will visit the Great Mosque, a building unique in the world for its fusion of religions and cultures. Our tour will also take us through the narrow streets of the Judería, the former Jewish Quarter of old Córdoba, with entry to a Sephardic Jewish museum and the small 14th-century synagogue. We conclude with a talk on life in 10th-century Córdoba in the relaxing surroundings of an Arab-style tea room, with our expert tour leader.

This evening you might like to relax in the hammam-style Arab baths, where massages of aromatherapy oils are also available (optional extra).
Meals
  • Breakfast
3 Star Hotel
At the height of Córdoba’s splendour in Muslim times the glittering palace city of Madinat al Zahra was built to symbolise the supreme power of its rulers. Alas, when civil war broke out at the end of the 10th-century, the magnificent city was quickly reduced to rubble by the warring factions. What we see today is the result of painstaking re-creation by archaeologists working on the site for over a century, plus an award-winning visitor centre which brings to life the medieval city.

In the afternoon we will tour two other significant monuments in Córdoba from the times of the Caliphate, the Alcazares Reales – palaces of the Christian monarchs built over Moorish remains – and the Baños Califales (the private bath-house of the Caliph).
Meals
  • Breakfast
3 Star Hotel
We head south today towards Granada, once the last outpost of Islamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula. On the way, we will visit the imposing Moorish frontier castle of La Mota in Alcalá la Real, as we learn of the history of the centuries-long siege that finally led in 1492 to the surrender of Granada to the Christian Monarchs, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.

Life in the Sultanate of Granada is the focus of a guided walk in the historic Albaicín district this afternoon, exploring this once densely populated area where estimates suggest as many as 40,000 people lived in the latter part of the 15th-century. As we stroll its narrow streets and alleyways our guide will relate the customs of the time as well as the dramatic changes that the neighbourhood underwent upon the Christian occupation.
Meals
  • Breakfast
3 Star Hotel
After the spectacular views of the Alhambra framed by the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada on yesterday’s walk through the Albaicín, today we visit the complex and see it at close hand. Our guided tour will take in the exquisite Generalife gardens, the beautiful and intimate palaces of the Nasrid sultans, and the stern Alcazaba fortress, a building never conquered by force of arms. After, you will have free time to visit the rest of the complex on your own, including the Renaissance Palace of Charles V, the gardens of El Partal, or the Hispano-Muslim Museum.

This evening we venture into the distinctive Sacromonte area, to dine in a local restaurant and then see a live performance of flamenco in one of the gypsy cave houses – a special setting for this vibrant art form.
Meals
  • Breakfast
3 Star Hotel
Today is a free day, with a choice of some interesting, optional small group activities. The culture of Moorish Spain is still maintained in many aspects of modern-day Spain, and these activities all connect in one way or another with those influences. The tiles of the Alhambra are the inspiration for a Ceramic Tile Painting class in the studio of a local artist; the leather work for which Muslim Spain was famed throughout medieval Europe is the subject of a second craft activity, and the culinary influences in Spanish cuisine from the Arab world are the focus of a cookery demonstration which includes lunch.
Meals
  • Breakfast
3 Star Hotel
As part of our journey from Granada to Sevilla, we visit Ronda, a town whose capture by the Christians in 1485 opened the way towards their eventual conquest of Granada. Here we will see a well-preserved section of Arab city walls, one of the best examples of a Muslim bath-house, and an intriguing "secret" stairwell, hewn out of the towering rock-face, descending to the river.

This evening in Sevilla we will walk by the floodlit cathedral, admiring its tall, slender tower, La Giralda, once the minaret to the main mosque that stood here before. We will also embark on an evening river cruise from moorings next to the Torre de Oro, a watchtower that controlled shipping on the Guadalquivir in Moorish times.
Meals
  • Breakfast
3 Star Hotel
Our final day is devoted to discovering Seville. Here the Moorish legacy, although not as tangible as in Córdoba or Granada, is nevertheless still an important cultural influence. After climbing the Giralda for great views of the city we visit the Alcázar, where we will learn of how an 11th-century Moorish palace evolved into a sumptuous Castilian court in the mid-14th-century when craftsmen forged elements of Christian and Muslim architecture to form a unique synthesis known as “mudéjar”. We see modern repetitions of this style later on when we walk in the delightful gardens of Parque María Luisa where the centrepiece of the 1929 Ibero-American Expo stands, the “neo-Mudéjar” fantasy of the Plaza de España.

This evening we end the tour with a farewell dinner in a restaurant in the narrow streets of the old Santa Cruz quarter.
Meals
  • Breakfast & Dinner
There are various alternatives for onward travel from Sevilla: the high-speed AVE train service links the city with Málaga (and its international airport) as well as with Madrid and Barcelona. The local airport offers flights to a variety of Spanish and European destinations.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
  • 8 nights accommodation in 3-star hotels with character and in great locations
  • Tour director, fluent in English & Spanish, to accompany you throughout
  • Local expert guides for key cultural visits
  • Private travel by minivan or minibus
  • Entrances to Mosque-Cathedral, synagogue and Madinat al-Zahra (Cordoba), Alhambra (Granada), Cathedral & Alcazar (Sevilla)
  • Some meals and refreshments: welcome dinner, tea in Arab-style tearoom and farewell dinner
what's excluded
  • Meals other than those listed
  • Drinks (other than mineral water) with the meals listed
  • Porterage at hotels; tips to guides, drivers or tour director
Tour details
Availability Every Tue
Duration 9 days
Tour Type Private Tour
Minimum Participants 2 people
Age Requirement 14 +
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Cordoba, Spain/ Seville, Spain
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Payment

A deposit of 20% is required when booking this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 45 days prior departure. For any bookings within 45 days of departure, the full tour amount will be charged upon booking.

Travel Insurance

We advise to take out Travel Insurance to cover for any unforeseen circumstances. Bookmundi recommends World Nomads' travel insurance.

Cancellation20% Deposit payable upfront. Remaining balance payable 45 days prior to trip departure. Free cancellation up to 45 days prior departure, but the 20% deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applicable within 45 days of departure.
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How our Travel Expert Service Works
  • 1 We connect you with a hand-picked and qualified travel expert who can match your trip requirements. The advantage of working directly through a travel expert is that you get the best and unfiltered advice from the very beginning.
  • 2 The travel expert will help you with creating and customising a trip for you. If you have any questions or concerns relating to the trip, the travel expert will also be able to help you with those.
  • 3 When you feel that your trip is exactly per your wish, you'll be able to book the entire trip here on Bookmundi.
The Advantages of Bookmundi
  • Selected Local Travel Experts All our local travel experts have been chosen based on rigorous selection criteria. In fact, we reject 98 out of 100 local travel agencies, and thereby giving you access to the top 1-2% local travel experts.
  • Secure Online Payment and Financial Guarantee Each and every trip is required to go through Bookmundi's secure payment platform, powered by Stripe and supported by SSL. All payments are therefore carried out in secure manners. We are furthermore member of the Danish Travel Fund which gives you a 100% financial guarantee for any money you pay on Bookmundi, even if we went bankrupt (which we we will not!).
  • Trip Replacement or 100% Reimbursement Bookmundi has hand-picked your local travel expert. Our role, as your trusted third party, is therefore to make sure that your entire experience runs as seamless and secure as possible. We guarantee to you that in the unlikely event where a local travel expert cancels your trip after your deposit or full payment has been made, we commit to replacing these services with another equally qualified agency so that your trip can go ahead as planned, or failing to replace it, we will give you a 100% reimbursement.
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