Your holiday summary
Art & archaeology
|Price range||From £795|
|Travel partner||Brightwater Holidays|
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Gardens and architecture of Andalucia
Due to its southerly location, spring comes early to Andalucia, and summer stays longer. As we all know it can get unbearably hot in the high summer months, so our departure dates should be at a time when the climate is at its most comfortable for visiting a fascinating collection of gardens and architecture. Of all the buildings the Moors left behind in Spain, none can rival the Alhambra palace in Granada for beauty with its Generalife gardens. The Alhambra has one of the most spectacular sites in the world. East of Granada, it rises steeply on a tree-covered slope, commanding exceptional views - down towards the old city, the Albaicin, and to the south the great mountain range of the Sierra Nevada, which is usually fringed with snow.
Whilst in Córdoba we will visit the Great mosque, one of the most ancient continuously gardened sites in the world and the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos with its characteristic terraced pools. Our tour will take us to the beautiful city of Seville to visit the cathedral and the Orange Tree courtyard that belonged to the old Mosque, followed by a tour of the Royal palaces of the Alcázar and a visit to the Patio de la Yeserià at the Old Almohade courtyard garden. We will also see the Old Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz and some of its beautiful courtyards, the Maria-Luisa park, the Plaza de España and the gardens of Murillo. The town of Ronda is set on a cliff 270 feet above the gorges of the river Tajo. Here we will see the Alameda del Tajo gardens set on the edge of the spectacular gorge and the old palace of the Moorish King of Ronda with its narrow terrace over-hanging the gorge.
- Return scheduled flights from either Luton, Gatwick, Manchester or Glasgow to Malaga (Regional flight connections and/or overnight accommodation can be organised before or after the tour on request)
- Six nights bed and breakfast accommodation at three and four star hotels in Granada and the Seville and Marbella areas.
- Visits to Alhambra palace (Granada), Great mosque and Royal palaces (Crdoba), cathedral, Alczar, Maria Luisa park and gardens of Murillo (Seville), Alamedo del Tajo gardens (Ronda)
- Service of a Brightwater Holidays Representative
- Single room supplement
Depart on an early morning flight from the UK. On arrival in Malaga we travel to your hotel in Granada.
This morning following breakfast we visit the famous Alhambra palace with its Generalife gardens. The Alhambra has one of the most spectacular sites in the world. Alhambra means "red castle", and the buildings are of a seductive pink stone and were built in the 14th Century. We will also visit the gardens of The Generalife which was the summer palace of the Sultans of Granada in the 14th Century. In the afternoon, after lunch, your guide will accompany you as you wander through the medieval streets of the Albaicn, glimpsing several "Carmens", which are the enclosed gardens typical of the Moorish era of Granada and of which many good examples have been maintained by the Christians. We return to the hotel late afternoon and there will be free time for the remainder of the day.
After breakfast we depart for Crdoba, passing through a landscape with millions of olive trees. We will visit the Great mosque with its orange grove, which was first laid out in the late eighth Century and must be one of the true wonders of the world. Outside is a huge patio covered in orange trees - Patio de los Naranjos - which was originally covered with fountains used for bathing before entering the mosque. On entering you are struck by the vast number of pillars supporting the arches with their distinctive red and white tiles which are so much a symbol of the whole design. The mosque is now a mixture of Moorish and Christian with chapels incorporated into the building and it is stunning in both its appearance and atmosphere. The gardens of the Royal Palaces of the Alczar are Moorish in style, laid out in rows around long pools with numerous fountains. The sound of the water and the smells of the garden make it an experience for all the senses. At the end of one of these long pools are statues of Columbus together with Ferdinand and Isabel symbolising their meeting in Crdoba. Following our visit we will have some free time to discover the charms of this most Spanish of towns. Late afternoon we continue to our comfortable hotel in the Seville area.
After breakfast the whole day is spent in Seville. We begin by visiting the Maria-Luisa park and also the Plaza de Espaa, laid out in 1929 for a Fair of the Americas which never took place. This is among the most impressive public spaces in Spain. Nearby is the tobacco factory where Carmen, in Bizets opera, worked as a cigar maker. Now part of the university this is the second largest building in Spain. Later you will see the gardens of Murillo, planted in honour of the famous painter from Seville, and Sevilles majestic cathedral. In the afternoon we will visit Seville's Orange Tree courtyard which belonged to the old mosque and the gardens of the Royal Palaces of the Alczar. The Alczar is a magnificent palace which mixes Christian and Moorish styles and has several patios and salons all of which are grand and very highly decorated. The ceilings, in particular, are incredibly intricate in design, one with a wooden dome decorated with red, green and gold cells inscribed with Arabic. After the wonder of the palace it is refreshing to walk through the beautiful gardens made up of a mixture of several eras. There is an English garden unlike any garden in this country as the trees and plants are much larger. There is also a huge 500 year old magnolia tree brought by Columbus from the new world. The gardens are rambling and a leisurely walk here shows orange trees, eucalyptus, palms and many others. You may also see the Flower of Spain, so-called because of its colours of the Spanish flag. The gardens are like those of the Alhambra but not so large. There are many fountains and places to sit and admire the great variety of trees and palms. We return to the hotel.
Today is free to explore Seville at leisure. Overnight at hotel.
Late morning we head for Ronda, a spectacular town rising dramatically amid a ring of dark, angular mountains set above the gorges of the river Tajo. We will see the Alameda del Tajo gardens set on the edge of the spectacular gorge offering fantastic views. These were completed in the early 19th century and give fine views over the plains. We have also included a visit to the gardens of the old Palace of the Moorish King of Ronda with its narrow terrace over-hanging the gorge. There will be free time to explore the town before we continue to our hotel.
This morning after breakfast we will transfer to the airport in time for our return flights
This holiday is booked by phone. Click 'book now' to make a reservation request to our travel partner who will call you back to confirm your booking details and take payment. To speak to a representative now please call 0330 333 6701.
Timing of visits was very well planned so that a great deal was fitted in without undue sense of rushing. Balance of gardens and architecture was admirable. We enjoyed the whole holiday very much indeed and would very much like to travel with Brightwater again