SOUTHERN SPAIN: MALAGA - GRANADA - CORDOBA - SEVILLA

MAY 5 TO 16, 2017  - 6 persons maximum

TWO SPOTS LEFT

Join us on this fascinating tour of Southern Spain. where will be amazed and fascinated by the long lasting influences left by the Arab civilization in three of the cities visited: Seville, Cordoba and Granada where art and architecture are a clash of culture and religion with deep roots that are both Spanish and North African, Catholic and Muslim. An we will also amazed at the resurgence of a powerful Spain in the mid 1400s, that knew how to cover, adapt or adopt the ideas, architecture, literature, music, food, language that governed Spain for 800 years.

ITINERARY

Day 1: May 5: Leaving the USA and flying to MALAGA, Spain (Airfare not included in tour's fees. Click on HERE for list of airlines flying to Malaga and from Sevilla, which will the city of departure).

Day 2: May 6: MALAGA:

When you arrive at the airport, a car will await for you to take you to the hotel. If you arrive early in the day, you should know that like anywhere else, rooms are hardly ever ready before 3PM. You will be able to leave your luggage and go explore the neighborhood. A map and some information about the city and what you could do before getting into your room will be given to you when you register.

In the evening, we will get together to go to dinner.

 

Day 3: May 7: MALAGA:

Malaga is one of the oldest European port, having been inhabit for 3,000 years. Malaga, a beautiful Mediterranean resort, is also the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, which will entice us to visit his museum.

Another interesting place is the Pompidou Center, a branch of the famous one in Paris which was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers in 1986. This one opened in 2015 and was designed by two Spanish architects: Javier Pérez De La Fuente and Juan Antonio Marín Malavé. It is a good collection taken from the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and is on loan for 5 years.

Suddenly all great museum are creating branches all over and Malaga is the also the recipient of a branch of the Saint Petersburg Museum of Art as well as the personal collection owned by Carmen Thyssen  which was shown in the Thyssen-Bornemisza one of the three great Madrid's museums. 

But we will also look at the history of the city, After all, being 3,000 years old can bring us to lots of places, like this Arab palace-fortress, Alaczaba, built in the 11th century by King Badis of Granada. It is perfectly adapted to the contours of the land, and takes maximum advantage of the elevation of a hill. There also the Roman theater, which lies at the foot of the Alcazaba fortress. It was discovered in 1951, after having remained buried underground for many centuries. Dating back to the first century, it was built during the Empire of Augustus. It was used up until the third century. The Arabs used parts of the theater for their own building purposes. They took capitals and column shafts for their own Alcazaba fortress as support for the horseshoe arches over the doorways.

Dinner on your own in this charming and very lively city.

Day 4: May 8: GRANADA

In the morning we will still continue our visit of Malaga before leaving for Granada, which is 1HR:30MN away.

Arriving in Granada, we will have time to reach our hotel, relax a little and then go for dinner. After dinner, we will go to a Flamenco Show.

Click on pictures to enlarge them

Day 5: May 9: GRANADA

​The Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace is the most renowned building of the Andalusian Islamic historical legacy.The compound is over 140,000 square foot and includes many manor houses and palaces, all with some of the greatest Moorish decoration

the visit will take most of the day. It is important not to rush and appreciate the history, the decor, the architecture and the legacy of such a civilization and the beauty left beyond.

We will visit the Generalife, the summer palace and country estate of the Nasrid rulers of the Emirate of Granada in Al-Andalus. The palace itself saw many destructive remodeling. But in the past few years serious restoration works is helping us imagining the grandeur of the decor. Generalife was famous for its gardens and if today they may not be as authentic as they were in early 1300s,  they are nonetheless beautiful.  

Dinner on your own.

 

​​Day 6: May 10: GRANADA

The city with its old Arabic and Jewish quarters, the fantastic Cathedral.

The Cathedral construction started in 1492 after the departure of the Nasrid rulers. Originally it had a Gothic layout, but very quickly the style was changed to Spanish Renaissance. The foundation were laid from 1518 to 1523 atop the site of the city's main mosque. 

El Albayzin retains the narrow winding streets of its Medieval Moorish past. It was declared a World Heritage site in 1984. It rises on a hill and from the church of San Nicolas, the view of the Alhambra  is spectacular. In that area there are the remains of an Arab bath complex, Granada's archeological museum, and the church of San Salvador, built on the remains of a Moorish mosque.

The Sacromonte neighborhood is located on the extension of the hill of Albaicín, along the Darro River. This area, which became famous by the nineteenth century for its predominantly Gitano inhabitants, is characterized by cave houses, which are dug into the hillside. The area has a reputation as a major center of flamenco song and dance, including the Zambra Gitana, Andalusian dance originating in the Middle East. That is where we will go to a Flamenco concert.

Dinner on  your own.

Day 7: May 11: CORDOBA

The origins of Cordoba are lost in the mists of time. Its position by the river and the fertile farming land of the Campifia made it a perfect place for the first prehistoric settlements. However, it was not until the late Bronze Age (8th/9th century B.C.) when the first proper settlement was established. After the arrival of the Phoenicians and Greeks on the peninsula, the city became known as an important mining and commercial center, since the River Guadalquivir was then navigable as far as Cordoba. This facilitated the spread of artistic and commercial products and made for easier communication with the main cities of the period. Caliph Al Hakam II made Córdoba a center for education by opening many libraries in addition to the many medical schools and universities which existed at the time. Córdoba, although a society ruled by Muslims, was composed of many ethnic and religious groups. It returned to Christian rule in 1236, during the Reconquista.

We will have dinner together.

Day 8: May 12: CORDOBA

The Great Mosque of Córdoba and is now the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption. The site was originally a small temple of Christian Visigoth origin, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins.When Muslims conquered Spain in 711, the church was first divided into Muslim and Christian halves. This sharing arrangement of the site lasted until 784, when the Christian half was purchased by the Emir 'Abd al-Rahman I, who then proceeded to demolish the original structure and build the grand mosque of Córdoba on its ground. Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista, and the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church, culminating in the insertion of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the 16th century. The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba (World Heritage Site since 1984) is arguably the most significant monument in the whole of the western Moslem World and one of the most amazing buildings in the world in its own right. The complete evolution of the Omeyan style in Spain can be seen in its different sections, as well as the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles of the Christian part.

 

The UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) recognized the universal importance of Cordoba's historic legacy, and extended the title of World Heritage Site not only to the Mosque-Cathedral, but also to all the streets and buildings around it, and then to the Patios (Courtyards) was added to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity sites. Due to the hot, dry Cordoban climate, the city's inhabitants, - first the Romans and later the Moslems - adapted the typical design of the popular house to their needs, making the home center around an inner courtyard (patio in Spanish), normally with a fountain in the middle and often a well to collect rainwater. The Moslems made further adjustments, giving the house an entrance from the street which passed through a porch, and filling the courtyard with plants to give the sensation of freshness.

Dinner on your own.

Day 9: May 13: SEVILLA

"The south of Spain's prized jewel, Sevilla is the capital of Andalusia and a city with a rich 2,500-year-old history. Seville is romantic, known for exciting festivals, and flamenco music that plays long into the night.

For Expo 92, the city underwent an extensive revitalization that improved the overall infrastructure without sacrificing Old World charm. Visitors can wander quaint streets lined with terrace cafés serving tapas and sherry. At night, partygoers can participate in la marcha (marching), hopping from bar to bar in the Santa Cruz area. For sightseers, Seville offers magnificent monuments, most notably La Giralda Tower, the 15th-century La Catedral, and the Moorish-style Alcazar palace."

After arriving and checking into the hotel, you will have time to relax before we will all go to dinner together.

Day 10: May 14: SEVILLA

The Cathedral of Seville was once judged the third largest church in the world after Saint Peter's in Rome and Saint Paul's in London. It is the largest church in the world when considering volume. Seville's fifteenth century cathedral occupies the site of the former great mosque built in the late twelfth century. The height of the central nave is 121feet over a total area of 124,000 sq ft. The Cathedral is the final resting place of the remains of Christopher Columbus.

La Giralda was an astonishing minaret tower built for the original mosque, but was transformed into a magnificent bell tower for the Cathedral. Climbing to the top is relatively easy. There are a quite a few  steps and 34 ramps for a rewarding great view of the city.

The Jewish Quarter (Barrio Santa Cruz) is located around the Cathedral. It is filled with small winding streets. It is one of the most charming part of the city, but it can be a bit touristy.

Plaza de España is the site of the Spanish pavilion from the 1929 exhibition. In more recent years it was used in the filming of the new Star Wars episodes. It is somewhat in need of repair. Visit it right before it closes (officially at 10PM ) to see it completely empty and rather eerie.

Dinner on your own.

Day 11: May 15: SEVILLA

The Real Alcázar is a beautiful palace in Mudéjar (Moorish) style, built in the XIV Century by Pedro I the Cruel. With its myriad rooms, extravagant architecture, lavish gardens with many courtyards, ponds and secrets to be explored, it is a fascinating place to visit. It is where Christopher Columbus's journeys to the Americas were planned. 

 

The Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija (The Lebrija Palace). The palace is considered the “best paved house-palace in Europe” owing to its collection of roman mosaics, which paved practically the whole of the ground floor. There is also a collection of well parapets, vases, amphora, columns and sculptures of incalculable worth. On the upper floor you can visit the residences previously inhabited by the Countess and her decedents, up to only a few years ago; extremely well preserved, they are today filled with ornaments and furniture from all over the world, priceless artwork by Van Dyke, Bruegel, Alonso Cano, amongst others, as well as collections of porcelain and glass.

 

La Casa de Pilatos (Pilate's House) is an Andalusian palace in Seville, Spain, which serves as the permanent residence of the Dukes of Medinaceli. The building is a mixture of Renaissance Italian and Mudéjar Spanish styles. It is considered the prototype of the Andalusian palace.

Metropol Parasol is a wooden structure located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville. It was designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer and completed in April 2011.  It has dimensions of 490 by 230 ft and an approximate height of 85 ft. It claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. The building is popularly known as Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnación's mushrooms). The structure consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms ("Las setas" in Spanish), whose design is inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees in the nearby Plaza de Cristo de Burgos. Metropol Parasol is organized in four levels. The underground level (Level 0) houses the Antiquarium, where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on site are displayed in a museum. Level 1 (street level) is the Central Market. The roof of Level 1 is the surface of the open-air public plaza, shaded by the wooden parasols above and designed for public events. Levels 2 and 3 are the two stages of the panoramic terraces (including a restaurant), offering one of the best views of the city Centre.

Farewell Dinner.

Day 12: May 16:

You will be driven to the SEVILLA airport. The airlines, mentioned on DAY 1 are the same flying out of Sevilla.

INCLUDED:

2 nights in 4-Star hotel in Malaga.

3 nights in 4 star hotel in Granada.

2 nights in 4-Star hotel in Cordoba.

3 nights in 4-Star hotel in Sevilla.

10 breakfasts - 6 lunches - 5 dinners

Flamenco Concert in Granada.

Entrance fees to all sites visited, included some visited at the spur of a moment

Private guides.  Our own mini-bus.

Maps - Tax - Gratuities. Pick-up and drop-off at airport

Medical and Accident insurance

TWO SPOTS LEFT  MAX OF 6 PARTICIPANTS

$ 5450.00 per person in double occupancy 

$ 4985 if signed by April 18 per person in double occupancy

$ 6250.00 for one person in single occupancy 

$ 5785.00 if signed by April 18 for one person in single occupancy

UP to 36 HSW CEU/ LU are offered on all the tours.
While traveling if you miss some of the courses
and enjoy your vacations,

upon your return, if you still need LU/CEU Hours, we will provide you, for free, with a list of available approved Seminars, Webinars or On-Line Courses

to compensate the ones you missed on the tour.