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Travel though landscapes of whitewashed villages, high mountains, endless olive groves, beautiful palaces and the warm Mediterranean sea. From the best known highlights to barely visited corners, this self-drive trip combines the very best of southern Spain’s landscapes, people, food and culture, enhanced throughout by the engaging company of your local hosts.
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On arrival in Seville drop off your things at your charming hotel in the heart of the old quarter. Relax and enjoy this warm and lively city, perhaps with a stroll around the Barrio Santa Cruz. Throughout your stay you have our detailed Holiday Guide with lots of personal recommendations for the city's best sights, tapas bars and flamenco shows, according to our considerable combined experiences.
Walking is the way to get around the centre of the city, the picturesque Barrio Santa Cruz, the cathedral and the Alcázar are all within minutes of each other. Your guide comes to meet you this morning to take you through the winding streets, and introduces you to the hidden side of the city, as well as the more obvious highlights. We can also arrange dedicated tapas tours and cooking classes should you be particularly interested in the local cuisine.
Pick up your rental car this morning and drive out of Seville up into the little-visited Aracena Hills. Spend the next couple of nights on the edge of a very pretty ‘Pueblo Blanco’ (white village) in this peaceful, rural corner of Andalucía. Your small hotel is surrounded by chestnut forests and is a place which invites you to relax and enjoy the views.
Walk a circular route through a semi-abandoned hamlet and some of the prettiest landscapes of the sierra towards Linares. The village is home to a fantastic small restaurant which showcases the food of the region brilliantly. You have a memorable tasting lunch included. Head back up the hill to your hotel, or linger in Linares and relax in the Moroccan-style hammam spa.
Travel south towards the pretty white coastal village of Vejer. Stop en route to visit the bird-rich wetlands of the Doñana National Park - this is a hotspot for biodiversity with sightings of 360 different species of birds and mammals such as boar, deer and the Iberian lnyx all possible.
Explore the coast of Cádiz, perhaps joining a two hour boat ride into the Straits of Gibralatar to spot whales and dolphins from Tarifa. The spectacular Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia are nearby. Stop at Barbate to eat the famous red tuna of this area and walk along the coast through the natural park overlooking Cape Trafalgar.
Head east across Andalucía today as you travel from the coast up into the little visited heart of the Sierra Subbetica. Stop along the way to visit the striking town of Ronda. Settle into your new base, a rustic farmhouse nestled amid a sea of olive trees. Your hosts are a wonderfully welcoming expat couple, one of whom is a dab hand in the kitchen. The other one knows his way around the bar.
Enjoy a walk in the area around your hotel - there are many, many routes to choose from and Tim and Claire will be more than happy to point you in the right direction. Perhaps head up through olive groves to a ruined Moorish watchtower or follow ancient shepherd paths through a river canyon and sweeping valleys on a circular walk from a nearby white village. You can also rent mountain bikes to cycle along the so-called Olive Train route.
Spend today visiting the splendid and ancient city of Córdoba and its magnificent Mezquita, which is less than an hour away from your hotel. Equally, you might like to visit the ruins of the hilltop Moorish complex at Alcalá la Real or simply relax by the pool with a book and enjoy the silence.
Pack up to go to Granada today, perhaps starting your day with a visit to an olive oil producer in the nearby village. This afternoon you have a private guided walking tour of the Albaicín neighbourhood of Granada. The former Moorish Quarter of the city is now a UNESCO Heritage Site, and retains a wonderfully atmospheric feel.
Explore the gorgeous patios, gardens and fountains of the Alhambra Palace, one of the most iconic Moorish buildings in Spain. At certain times of year the Alhambra is open at night when it is far quieter though far harder to appreciate the beauty of the stucco work.
Drive down to the coast at Cabo de Gata, extinct volcanoes by the sea which form the only desert environment in mainland Europe. Stay in a village near the cape, close to some of Spain's most beautiful beaches.
Explore the coast today with a walk to suit you, making sure to stop off in one of the fishing villages for a fresh lunch of today’s catch. There are many fantastic walks from 4km strolls to 18km hikes. You might like to walk down to one of the most emblematic of the beaches in the Cabo, Playa Playazo.
Hike to the top of an extinct volcano for wonderful views along the coast, or relax on one of the lovely beaches such as Los Genoveses. From here you can walk around the headland to the lighthouse at the cape.
Time to say adios to Andalucía today as you hand in the keys to the car and head home. What you've read here is something of an overview of the trip. If you want to dive in a little deeper, we have a more detailed PDF itinerary that we can send you. Click the link below to request this.
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Travel by road though landscapes of whitewashed villages, high mountains, endless olive groves, beautiful palaces and the warm Mediterranean sea. From the best known highlights to barely visited corners, this trip combines the very best of southern Spain’s landscapes, people, food and culture.
As a tailor made trip, the level of exertion on this trip is defined entirely by you though the places featured in this holiday are best enjoyed on foot, whether that be exploring the steep cobbled alleyways of the Albaicín neighbourhood of Granada or walking from village to village in the shade of chestnut trees in the Aracena hills.
The sample itinerary described above assumes a wide variety of walks, from two hour strolls to six hour hikes. The way it works on the ground is that we provide you with maps and walking routes for a variety of walks in each place, you also have guided days to help you get your bearings and settle in to each new area. This means that you have complete control over how much or how little you do on any given day of the trip.
The accommodation on this journey is first rate though, being tailor made, we can adjust it to your needs. Active days are balanced by very comfortable nights throughout this trip as you stay in a variety of our favourite small hotels, lodges and inns. Comfort, character, service and location are the critical elements when we choose these places. For details of your hotels, please see the summary section of our pdf itineraries.
In Seville and Granada you stay in characterful small hotels of a four star standard. In Vejer, stay in a characterful 3* hotel in the middle of this wonderful village. Whilst in the Sierra Subbetica, your hosts are an expat British couple who we have known for years - working for our competitors back in the day! They now run a beautifully tasteful and comfortable bolt hole in the hills. Your Cabo de Gata hotel is a fairly simple, clinical, 4* hotel but in a great location overlooking the sea. In a beautiful area such as this, there is little more you could want.
As a tailor made trip, you can choose how much or how little cultural content you want to include. However, the culture is arguably the best thing about this trip. From the fishing villages of Cabo de Gata to the cork oaks of the Aracena hills you will see traditional lifestyles all around you as you travel. Some of Spain’s most iconic buildings are found on this trip, and the greatest of these, such as the delightful red walls of the Alhambra, or the forest of columns within the great mosque of Cordoba, showcase the enormous influence of the Moors which remains throughout southern Spain.
The human landscapes too are incredibly varied, and you might see the unimaginable wealth which made Seville the 'cradle of the Baroque,' or the simplicity of women still washing clothes in village fountains. In the cave dwellings of Granada's Sacromonte neighbourhood, and the devotion of the Madrugada in Seville, you will learn that gypsy culture means far more than just flamenco. From the cowboys of Cabo de Gata to the dancing horses of Jerez, equine culture is everywhere.
The food in Andalucía is a constant delight, and you can enjoy the freshest seafood eaten on the beaches of Cabo de Gata, and the finest Iberico hams of the Aracena hills.
Get in touch to request a full PDF itinerary for this Andalucia driving holiday. This should give you plenty of food for thought to start imagining how your own version of this trip might look. The holiday can be run with almost any number of days and can run in either direction.
In the form set out above, the holiday price includes first class hotel accommodation, breakfasts, one gourmet lunch and five dinners, decent sized rental car, some guided visits, as well as maps, walking notes and local support. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.
Flights are quoted separately for this holiday. The best option is to fly into Seville (airport code: SVQ) and out of Almería (airport code: LEI) though in and out of Malaga (airport code: AGP) or by AVE high speed train from Madrid also works. In short, there are many and varied options available which we will help you arrange when the time comes.
This is a tailor made holiday, and can leave on a date to suit you, from September to June. The holiday can be run with almost any number of days and can run in either direction.
Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure
The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.
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