Discover Moorish castles, historic cathedrals, flamenco & more during a 7-night journey in southern Spain. No single supplement!
Experience romantic southern Spain on a seven-night journey through the heart of Andalucía. Stay in a modern parador in the charming town of Antequera, and discover the history and culture of Al-Andalus, as this region of Spain was known during eight centuries of Moorish control, on daily excursions. Admire the beautiful legacy of the Moors: the courtyards and fountains of the Alhambra in Granada; the iconic red-and-white arches of La Mezquita in Córdoba; and the imposing Alcázar in Sevilla. Surround yourself with many special moments: a stroll down the bougainvilla-lined streets of Sevilla’s historic quarter, the breathtaking view over El Tajo Gorge in Ronda; lunch at the unforgettable Parador de Granada; and an entrancing flamenco performance. Visit an organic winery for a tasting and lunch, and spend a day exploring Málaga. Enjoy first-class accommodations and an extensive meal plan featuring wine with dinner on this small-group program. No single supplement!
Tour highlights and included features
- Seven nights in Antequera, Spain, at the first-class Parador de Antequera.
- Seven breakfasts, three lunches and four dinners, including Welcome and Farewell Dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine with dinner.
- Sample authentic regional specialties during meals at local restaurants.
- Discovery excursions highlight the local culture, heritage and history.
- Complimentary travel mementos.
- Tipping of guides and drivers.
- Clearly hear your English-speaking guide with your VOX headset.
- Free time to pursue your own interests.
- Expert-led Enrichment programs enhance your insight into the region.
Dates June 6 – June 14, 2019
Cost $2,795* (Airfare is not included. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and early booking deadlines. Dates, itineraries, and prices are subject to change.)
Contact Laura DeRose
800-852-TOUR (8687), ext. 2
June 6 Day 1 - Depart gateway city
AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Málaga, Spain.
June 7 Day 2 - Málaga, Spain/Antequera
Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner
Arrive at Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents.
Transfer to the Parador de Antequera. Please note that if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.
Tonight, at the parador, get acquainted with your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception, and then gather for a Welcome Dinner.
June 8 Day 3 - Antequera
Breakfast and lunch
Discovery: Ancient Antequera. Just outside the city, witness Europe’s most striking prehistoric architecture, the Menga and Viera dolmens. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016, these megalithic monuments are thought to have been built between 3,500 and 3,000 B.C. by farmers in the valley. Once inside, ponder the incredible labor and engineering skill required to construct these burial chambers, where large upright stones support roofs of enormous rock slabs.
Then, return to Antequera for a walking tour that reveals its roots as a cultural crossroads. Begin at the Alcazaba, the 14th-century Moorish fortress that once guarded the city. Next, visit the Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor, a 16th-century church built with stones from a nearby Roman town. Head into the old town, where the city’s heritage is reflected in architectural elements from the Roman, Moorish, Gothic, Renaissance and baroque eras. Finally, at a scenic overlook, admire the expansive vistas of Antequera’s red-tiled roofs and bell towers, surrounded by fertile farmlands with La Peña de los Enamorados, or Lovers’ Rock, in the distance.
Enjoy a lunch of traditional Andalucian dishes at a nearby restaurant.
Free Time: Continue to explore in the city or return to the parador.
Enrichment: Andalucía and the Moorish Influence. For eight centuries, the Moors dominated most of the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, the region’s name derives from its old Arabic name, Al-Andalus. Delve into the Moorish influence on Spanish language and culture with a local expert.
June 9 Day 4 - Granada
Breakfast and lunch
Discovery: Granada & Palace City. Take a scenic drive to Granada to visit the Alhambra, the stunning Moorish fortress and palace complex designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Majestically perched over the city and framed by the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Alhambra was built in the 13th and 14th centuries by the kings of the Nasrid dynasty who sought to create their own paradise on earth. As you walk amid the courtyards, fountains and arch-lined walkways, marvel at the beautifully filigreed and patterned carvings, inscribed with poems and quotations from the Koran. In the breathtaking Palacios Nazaríes, see the Court of the Myrtles, the Court of the Lions, the Hall of the Ambassadors and other chambers. Visit Alcazaba, the castle that guarded the palace, and stroll through the tranquil, landscaped gardens of Generalife, the summer palace.
Within the walls of the Alhambra, relax over lunch at the restaurant of the Parador de Granada, formerly the 15th-century Convento de San Francisco.
Free Time: After lunch, descend to the city to explore downtown Granada on your own.
June 10 Day 5 - Sevilla
Breakfast and dinner
Discovery: Seville. Journey to Sevilla, southern Spain’s cultural heart, immortalized in works by Mozart, Bizet and Rossini. Get a broader perspective of this vibrant city along the Guadalquivir River on a panoramic/walking tour. With its sweeping, semi-circular façade and lovely canal, the magnificent Plaza de España was designed to dazzle visitors and exhibitors to the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. Cross the pretty bridges, and you’ll note colorful ceramic decorative touches all around you, including 48 tiled alcoves representing the Spanish provinces. Then visit the astounding Cathedral of Seville, the world’s largest Gothic building and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Inside, marvelous treasures abound, including the main chapel’s glittering gold altarpiece with scenes from the life of Christ; the 18th-century intricate silver altar; and the unique tomb of Christopher Columbus.
See the grand Real Alcázar, originally a 10th-century Moorish palace, which became a Spanish royal residence in the 14th century and is still in use today. In El Arenal, see the centuries-old bullring, the Plaza de Toros de la Maenstranza, and the 13th-century Moorish Torre del Oro, a defensive watchtower over the river. Conclude with a walk through the charming Barrio de Santa Cruz, where bougainvillea spill over the balconies and narrow lanes lead to shady squares, fountains and more.
Free Time: Find a nice spot for lunch on your own before returning to Antequera.
This evening, dine with your fellow travelers at the parador.
June 11 Day 6 - Ronda
Breakfast and lunch
Enrichment: Bullfighting Traditions. Ronda, home to Spain’s oldest bullring, is deeply connected to “la corrida,”
or bullfighting. Learn about the style developed in Ronda by the Romero family in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Discovery: Ronda. Spectacularly set on the edge of El Tajo gorge high above the open countryside, Ronda is a showstopper and the largest of Andalucía’s “pueblos blancos,” or white towns. An 18th-century bridge spanning the gorge links the two sections of the town. Step inside the Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor, built on the site of a mosque. Commissioned by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1485, the church is a blend of Gothic, Renaissance, baroque and Moorish elements. Then delve into the intensely dramatic world of bullfighting at the Plaza de Toros, inaugurated in 1785. Stand in the famed sandstone arena, and discover more about this iconic Spanish tradition at the museum onsite. Cap off your Ronda visit with an unforgettable view over El Tajo from the terrace and gardens of Casa de San Juan Bosco.
Discovery: Bodega Joaquín Fernández. Sit with a glass of wine and take in the gorgeous scenery at Finca Los Frutales, the vineyard of this organic winery. Your visit includes a tasting of the bodega’s wines and lunch.
June 12 Day 7 - Córdoba
Breakfast and dinner
Discovery: Córdoba. Explore La Mezquita, Córdoba’s great mosque, an exceptionally beautiful complex containing
the finest examples of Moorish architecture in Spain. The original mosque was built in the eighth century by Abd al-Rahman, who established an emirate in Córdoba. Additions by subsequent emirs enhanced its grandeur and size, and in its heyday, it was one of the most prominent sacred sites in the Islamic world. After Córdoba was recaptured by the Spanish, a cathedral was built inside the complex walls in the 16th century. La Mezquita’s most spellbinding feature is the superb hall with 856 columns made from marble, granite, jasper and onyx connected by two layers of red-and-white-striped arches. Afterward, see the imposing Roman bridge that stretches across the Guadalquiver River, and take a stroll through the Jewish quarter, an atmospheric neighborhood of winding streets and whitewashed houses.
Free Time: Make your own plans for lunch and exploration in Córdoba.
This evening, dine on traditional dishes at a restaurant in Antequera.
June 13 Day 8 - Antequera
Breakfast and dinner
Enrichment: Contemporary Spain. With insights from a local expert, understand how current events and issues are affecting life in Spain.
Free Time: Choose to spend your last day at leisure in Antequera, or join one of today’s Elective Activities. Your Travel Director will be available to offer suggestions on sightseeing, shopping and dining in Andalucía.
Torcal & Olive Oil Experience. Head to El Molino del Hortelano, a fourth-generation, family-owned olive mill. Learn how they produce their varieties of olive oil, then sit down for a special Andalusian brunch prepared with their creations. Afterward, stop for a coffee in El Torcal de Antequera nature park, best known for its unusual limestone formations and part of the UNESCO World Heritage site that includes the Antequera dolmens. Available at an additional cost; Maximum of 12 participants.
Tonight, celebrate your time together in the south of Spain at a Farewell Reception and Dinner in the hotel. During a special performance, delight in the passion and precision of flamenco, Spain’s renowned art form.
June 14 Day 9 - Depart for gateway city
Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service
After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.
*Itinerary subject to change due to local conditions.