Spain • ANDALUCIA • OSUNA • SEVILLE • CORDOBA •
SANLUCAR DE BARRAMEDA • JEREZ • DONANA • MALAGASightseeing Holiday
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Authentic Andalucia ~ a private tour
This tour of western Andalucia will combine the famous cultural sights of Seville, Cordoba, Jerez and Ronda with the lesser known gems of Osuna, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and the Donana National Park. Add to this, the love of hidden streets, private gardens, quirky restaurants and tapas bars and you’ve got a very authentic and magical tour of this region. Our local guide, Simon Harding, who has lived in Spain for more than twenty years, will give you a unique cultural insight into this beautiful region.
A typical itinerary on this Cultural Tour of western Andalucia
We are restricting the number of guests to a maximum of six on this holiday to ensure a very personalised and unique experience. Your guide is bilingual and incredibly knowledgeable, having lived in Spain for over twenty years.
Leaving Malaga, we arrive in Osuna in time to explore the old town on foot before dinner. Our hotel has a beautiful Baroque façade and, once you’ve settled in, there will be time to stroll up Calle San Anton for the best hilltop views.
Cordoba & Osuna
We will spend the morning exploring the three major monuments of Osuna, close to our hotel. The town boasts many Baroque mansions, palaces and churches. Some scenes from Game of Thrones were even filmed here! We arrive in Cordoba in time for a delicious and authentic lunch, and are treated to a delightful tour of the Palacio de Viana, once home to Marquisate of Villaseca. It’s a chance to visit a real noble house, admire the magnificent art collection and enjoy the twelve courtyards and stunning garden. We cannot leave Cordoba, once the capital of Islamic Spain, without a visit to La Mezquita – one of the most famous mosques ever constructed.
Three World Heritage Sites in one day! On arrival we start with a visit to the Museo de Bellas Artes. Whether a lover of the arts the setting and buildings are gorgeous and it’s a relaxing start to the day. From here it’s a short walk through the small streets of the Jewish quarter to the Giralda Tower and the famous Cathedral. This glorious building is arguably one of the most important monuments anywhere on earth. After lunch we wander through history on our way to the The Alcázar of Seville – a Royal palace originally designed for the Moorish kings. Considered one of the most beautiful palaces in Spain, it’s a treat with lovely shaded gardens in which to take a rest.
Transfer to Sanlucar de Barrameda
Before departing for Sanlúcar, we will visit some of the most important buildings in Osuna, in order to appreciate its stately past. We will then drive across the Guadalquivir basin to Sanlúcar, where hopefully we will have some time to explore the waterfront and get some sand between our toes before the sun goes down.
The Donana National Park
Crossing the Guadalquivir River by ferry we arrive on the beach of Donana. Here we are met by a large 4x4 minibus that takes us through the different ecosystems of the Park - the beach, the dunes, pinewoods and the marshlands. After visiting “Poblado de la Plancha”, an ancient village of huts, we take the boat along the coast of Doñana returning to Sanlúcar de Barrameda. The remainder of the day is left free to enjoy Sanlucar.
Jerez is the sherry capital of the world – wine production, flamenco and fine horses brought great wealth to this city – we shall have the chance to discover all of these aspects. At the Royal Riding School we discover the whole history of equestrian art, fabulous gardens, state rooms of the palace and a wonderful carriage museum. With luck, we may be able to catch a display of "dancing horses" – a quite unforgettable show. After lunch it’s a slightly more soporific afternoon with a visit to Gonzalez Byass, a wine cellar with a great selection of tastings.
Leaving Sanlucar after breakfast we skirt the magnificent Grazalema National Park with wonderful views before arriving in Malaga. Here, in the most magnificent of settings, lunch is on us at the Parador, situated above the magnificent city. After lunch, there is time to explore a little of this gothic city or simply enjoy the location and comfort of the Parador. In the evening, we come together again to enjoy dinner in one of the wonderful city centre restaurants.
We depart early for Malaga airport
Note: This is a selection of the many options available on this cultural tour of western Andalucia. Weather conditions, group interests and the guide will influence the final itinerary.
Enjoy optional activities
We are conscious that many guests travel alone and enjoy the company of others. For that reason our guide, Simon Harding, will always accompany guests on the visits and always join them for lunch at a suggested location. However we are also aware that at times some guests may like to make their own arrangements and there is never an obligation to join the group for visits or lunches – just an obligation to be at the meeting point on time so as not to inconvenience others.
Your Tour Manager:
Simon, a fluent Spanish speaker, has lived in Southern Spain for over twenty five years, and will be your Tour Leader on our Cultural Tour of Andalucia. He has lived in Malaga for the past seven years, from where he teaches a language course and runs tours of Andalucia.
A note on entry fees:
Entries to Museo de Bellas Artes, the Moratalla Gardens, the Botanical Gardens in Sanlucar and the Donana National Park boat trip are all included. Entry fees to the other monuments are as follows:
||Cathedral & Giralda Tower
||8 Euros. Over 65’s: 4 Euros
||9.50 Euros. Over 65's: 2 Euros
||Palacio de Viana
||5 Euros. Over 65’s 3 Euros
||8 Euros. Over 65’s 4 Euros
||Royal Riding School
||21 Euros. Over 65’s 13 Euros
Where we stay on this sightseeing holiday in Andalucia, Spain
We stay in three equally charming hotels on our Cultural Tour of Andalucia.
La Casona de Calderon, Osuna
La Casona de Calderon is situated in the heart of Osuna. This totally renovated 17th century building, with a beautiful Baroque façade, brings together tradition and modernism. The fifteen bedrooms are all individually styled, comfortable and fully equipped with air conditioning, TV, Wi-fi, telephones, hair dryer, security box and room service. There is an excellent restaurant in the hotel.
Hotel Barrameda, Sanlucar de Barrameda
Hotel Barrameda is situated in the central square of Sanlucar de Barrameda, alongside buzzing cafes, restaurants and shops. This hotel is the perfect base for exploring the nearby beach (1km) and the Donana National Park. There are forty rooms in total, of differing standards, all with air conditioning, Wi-fi, T.V, en suite bathrooms included. There is a rooftop terrace, a cafeteria and twenty four hour porter service.
Hotel del Pintor, Malaga
Hotel del Pintor is a three star, boutique hotel located in the heart of Malaga Old Town. Opened in 2005 by an artist, Pepe Bornoy, the seventeen bedrooms are decorated in red, black and white with plenty of original artwork adorning the walls. It is the ideal, comfortable base from which to explore this culturally rich city. Wifi, telephones, 24 hour porter, good breakfasts and en-suite bathrooms all included.
Longest transfer time: 5 hours