2nd August 2017: Exploring four cities in four days sounded a little daunting at the beginning, but I needn’t have worried as the organisation by Kirker Holidays was first class. Travelling to Granada, Cordoba, Seville & Cadiz was completely stress-free thanks to Kirker's attention to detail and the ground arrangements, making travel between these cities relaxing and absolutely worthwhile. With nothing being left to chance, all that was left to do was enjoy all the experiences these cities had to offer.
The historic Moorish city of Granada is the result of both the Western and Oriental civilisations amalgamating. The capital of the ancient Moorish kingdom is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, the Genil and Darro rivers. These rivers cross the city which is separated by the two hills of the Alhambra and the Albaicin suburb. The old city still has an urban ambience which is completed by picturesque places and cobbled streets, all the while dominated by the Magnificent Alhambra Palace.
In Granada, I stayed at the lovely 4* Superior Palacio de la Patos which is located in the centre of Granada within easy walking distance of many shops, tapas bars & restaurants. At its heart, Superior Palacio de la Patos is a grand 19th century mansion, with plenty of visual spectacles to behold such as ornate detailing and high ceilings; you’ll be in awe of its lavish detailing. In contrast, the wider hotel is more modern in design with clean lines, stylish lighting and hard wood or marble flooring.
Nestled between Granada & Seville, we stopped off to visit the capital of the most rural Andalusian provinces Cordoba. Cordoba is a myriad of cobbled streets and geranium-filled courtyards and is home to the spectacular Mezquita; a glorious mosque which is so large that there’s a Christian cathedral inside.
Approximately two hours later, we arrived in Seville at the 5*Deluxe Hotel Alfonso XIII. The grandest hotel and a landmark of the city, the Alfonso XIII is located opposite the Alcazar palace and close to the Torre de Oro. Traditional yet with a modern twist, the hotel’s grand halls and outdoor terrace space are great for dining; this hotel is a real show stopper.
Seville, filled with warm sunshine and the scent of almond and orange blossom mixing gently with the evening jasmine, is the Andalusian capital and home of the Carmen and Figaro. The dusky and sensual character of Carmen, ‘the gypsy of Seville’, forms a key part of the mythical image which has visitors across the world discovering the city every year.
At its heart, the gold-encrusted Alcazar Place is the third largest church in Christendom and stands side-by-side amongst the labyrinth of old Moorish streets. There’s a number of beautiful and ornate 'mudejar' style buildings, the best of which, in my opinion, is the Casa Pilatos; a cool oasis with peaceful patios and elegant colonnades.
In short, Seville is the purest essence of Andalusia. Its culture and monuments make it one of the most beautiful and singular cities you can visit. Above all else, it’s a city with soul. As a wise person once said: "Not enough eyes to see and heart to admire.” This is no truer than in the glorious city of Seville.
Reached by an impressive causeway, I arrived at Cadiz, the charming and provincial capital and most notably, a thriving port. Full of history, this coastal city is full of parks and food markets selling local produce like fresh fish, meat, and cheese, many of which are produced in traditional styles. Its imposing architecture includes the walls and fortresses of Puertas Tierra and the Baroque Cathedral.
Cadiz’s narrow, winding alleyways, charming parks, public squares and excellent beaches make it well worth including in a tailor-made Andalusian itinerary. The meal I had here was at the Restaurante Balandro and was truly out of this world! In my opinion, Cadiz is well worth a visit and would make a nice addition to a twin centre.
My 5 Top Tips When Visiting Andalusia
Purchase a Granada Card, which gives you entrance to the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, the Cathedral, Royal Chapel, Monasteries of la Cartuja and san Geronimo, the Science Park Museum and the Museum de Andalusia. Better still, allow me to make your booking with Kirker Holidays and they will provide you with this card complimentary along with reserving you a time slot to visit the Alhambra Palace which is a must.
Wear your most comfortable shoes; you’ll be walking a lot.
I recommend you take a guided tour on your first morning as the guides are highly knowledgeable. Not only can they tell you about the rich history of the area, they will take you along the cobbled streets and behind doors you wouldn’t know exist. This will help you get your bearings as well as learning about the area. Again I can pre-book this for you.
Try the local tapas! If you order a drink at a bar, many places bring you complimentary Spanish bite size nibbles to compliment your drink. A very traditional Spanish experience.
The traditional nightlife is always lively and a performance of Flamenco, Andalusia's unique music and dance is not to be missed.
I look forward in helping you plan your trip to Andalucia. If you have any question, no matter how simple, difficult or strange you may think it is, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The best part about these locations is that they’re so easily accessible and can be combined with other locations. So whether you’re looking for a weekend away, or something longer, I would love to hear from you and I look forward to sharing my newfound knowledge with you.