“Cádiz – salty clarity, Granada – hidden water that cries, Roman and Moorish – silent Córdoba, Málaga – folksinger, golden Almería, silver Jaén, Huelva, the shore of the three Caravels.”
-poem to Andalucía by Antonio Machado
Arrive at Pablo Picasso Airport and meet your driver just past customs for the ride to Málaga. Check in at your hotel in the Old Town. Before lunch, your guide will pick you up in the lobby for a Tapas Tour. Join the locals on their pre-dinner tapas route up Larios Street into the open air market. See the local cheeses, produce, bread and wines on display. Notice how differently Spanish present their fish and meats! Your guide will explain a few basic ingredients for Spanish staples like paella or migas. Continue into the oldest tavern in town to sample fresh seafood. Head into the Old Town for fusion tapas, classic “raciones” and more local gourmet food. As you taste your way through Málaga, you’ll pass the Roman Theater, Alcazaba Fortress, Picasso’s Birthplace and the Cathedral.
Meet your driver in the hotel lobby for the drive east to Granada – the last Arabic kingdom in Spain until 1492. Leave your suitcases at the hotel and meet your guide at the entrance to the Alhambra. We’ll go back 900 years to visit the 11th wonder of the world. Gardens of Paradise, Alcazar Fortress and the renowned Nasrid Palaces are just some parts of the entire Alhambra Forbidden city that you’ll visit on tour. After leaving the palaces, take some free time on your own in Granada old town. In the evening, meet your driver for the ride to Sacromonte just outside Granada. Enjoy an authentic flamenco show of guitar, song and dance over dinner.
Meet your driver in the hotel lobby for the short drive to Córdoba. Your guide will meet you just outside the mosque to begin your tour of what was once the most culturally advanced city in Europe. Enter the mosque, converted into a cathedral after the Reconquest in 1236 and listen to the stories of the sultans and commoners who built it together. Wander the Arabic Quarters, less famous than their Jewish counterparts but equally beautiful, strolling among the whitewashed houses and red gardenias. Take some time on your own for lunch. Check in at your hotel and walk over to the Córdoba hammam to unwind with the Arabic bath ritual.
Today we’ll drive west to Sevilla, the river port city that received all the New World riches. Most of the countryside you traverse today will be olive groves. Arrive at your hotel in Sevilla. Your guide will meet you here for a walking tour. Begin at the city walls, passing the Murillo Gardens with several stops in Barrio Santa Cruz. See the Alcázar fortress, Cathedral and Giralda prayer tower. End the tour at the Tower of Gold on the river where you’ll take a slow cruise up and down the Guadalquivir, the most important river in southern Spain.
Meet your driver in the hotel lobby. Today, learn about cuisine in Southern Spain from start to finish in the small town of Jerez de la Frontera. Your driver will drop you off with your guide beside the Alcázar in the old town. Begin the day with your guide in the local fresh and fish market to purchase the ingredients you’ll cook with. Continue through the Jewish Quarters and the city center to Bodegas Díez Mérito where the local sherry is made. Taste and select the perfect vintage to add to your meal. Arrive at a typical Andalucían home in the center of town. Here your chef will teach you the perfect combination for mouthwatering Andalusian dishes. Finally dig into your own 3 course meal, accompanied by local wine. Return to Sevilla in the afternoon with your driver.
Meet your driver in the hotel lobby for the drive south of Sevilla through the mountains. Discover a small corner of Spain where traditional village life goes on as it has for thousands of years. We’ll make our first stop in Arcos de la Frontera, a village on the edge of Moorish and Christian battlefields during the middle ages. Next is Zahara de la Sierra, birthplace of Arab noblemen, conquistadors and bandits. Walk through its botanical gardens and steep streets before visiting an olive mill for a tour and tasting. Continue on to the tiny village of Grazalema, a town within a natural park. There is some easy hiking along a stream that leaves from the town. take a break for lunch here. After lunch, your driver will take you to Ronda, the birthplace of bullfighting. Go inside the bullring to step into the matador’s shoes. Later cross the New Bridge spanning a plunging gorge that separates Ronda’s New and Old Quarters. Once across the bridge, your guide will continue the tour down cobblestone streets into the Collegiate Church and Don Bosco’s Medieval Palace.
Meet your driver in the hotel lobby for the drive to Marbella. As we reach the foot of the mountains and the seashore, we’ll make a stop in Estepona port. Your captain will be waiting to welcome you aboard our Bénéteau Oceanis 351 sailing yacht. Head out into the Mediterranean for a day of dolphin watching, swimming out at sea, deep sea paddle surf and snorkeling. There will be drinks, sandwiches and snacks on board. When you return to port, you’ll have the chance to try the local seafood before heading to your hotel in Marbella.
Meet your driver for the ride to Málaga airport.
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