Explore the astounding area of Andalucía, home to magnificent Moorish history, feisty flamenco, traditional tapas and year-round sunshine, on this cultural 3-night excursion. Discover the architectural and artistic highlights of Seville, Cordoba and Granada with an insightful and informative guide; see the colossal Seville Cathedral and stroll the gorgeous gardens of Royal Alcazar Palace; choose from a serene afternoon at Granada’s ambient Arabian baths or wander the city by night and enjoy a selection of specialty tapas; and discover Cordoba’s eclectic cultural scene during visits to synagogues, mosques and magnificent Moorish palaces.
Choose from 3- or 4-star accommodation in each city and upgrade to return to Seville from Cordoba on the final day of the trip. Entrance fees to attractions, accommodation costs and transportation is all included in the price of this tour.
Day 1: Seville
Start your 3-night tour with a pickup from either Seville Airport or Santa Justa or San Bernardo train stations to your Seville hotel. Drop your bags at your hotel, and then head out on a walking tour of the Andalucian capital. Discover the charming medieval lanes and secluded piazzas in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz, and then visit Seville’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Royal Alcazar Palace (Reales Alcázares) to learn about its history and former life as a Moorish fort.
Head inside another of Seville’s UNESCO-listed sites — Seville Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See) — and admire its opulent Gothic architecture that showcases the city’s 13th-century wealth. After exploring with your guide, walk up the cathedral’s 343-foot (100-meter) Giralda Tower to take in panoramic views from the top. Learn how the bell tower was built to emulate a Moroccan minaret and has since become the symbol of Seville.
Your tour finishes after leaving the cathedral, so use your free time in the afternoon to enjoy lunch (own expense), shop or sightsee independently. In the evening, leave your hotel by coach and head out to see a flamenco show in town. Seville is recognized as the birthplace of the fiery flamenco dance, so where better to see a show? Travel to Baile Flamenco Museum to watch a 1.5-hour traditional flamenco show with tapas and a drink, and watch some of Seville’s finest flamenco dancers perform on the dance floor in front of you. After the show finishes, make your own way back to your hotel.
Overnight: 3- Hotel América Sevilla, 3-star Hotel Derby, 4-star Hotel Petit Palace Santa Cruz hotel or similar in central Seville
Day 2: Seville – Granada
Leave your Seville hotel and travel east to Granada by train or coach. After roughly two hours arrive in the historical Andalucian city framed by the stunning mountain range of Sierra Nevada. Drop your bags at your hotel, and then head out for your first stop, the Alhambra: Granada’s UNESCO-listed stunner. Head inside the hill-top palace complex with your guide, and discover its highlights on a skip-the-line walking tour.
After making your way past the long entrance lines, visit the oldest part of the Alhambra, Alcazaba Fortress, with its myriad of ramparts and towers. Admire the views, and then continue to the Nasrid Palaces to marvel at the elaborate public rooms and intriguing Islamic art of the old Moorish buildings. From the palaces, stroll outside to Generalife Gardens and check out where the Moorish kings of bygone days once relaxed amid terraces of colorful flowers.
Finish your Alhambra tour with a hotel drop-off, and enjoy free time in the afternoon for lunch (own expense) or to explore independently. Later in the day, you have the choice of a visit to Granada’s Arabian baths — Hammam Al Andalus — or an evening walking tour of the city with tapas for dinner.
If you choose the Arabian baths option, relax at leisure in the bath’s seven different pools, all beautifully adorned with glistening tiles. Alternatively, meet your guide in Plaza Nueva in the early evening for a 2.5-hour walking tour around the Albaicin neighborhood. Learn about the city’s Moorish past and see historical landmarks such as Royal Chancery of Granada and the Church of San José. In between sightseeing, visit four of Granada’s top tapas bars to feast on small-plate specialties. Enjoy one drink (house wine, draught beer or a soft drink) in each bar. Both options do not include hotel pickup or drop-off.
Overnight: 3-star Hotel Maciá Monasterio De Los Basilios, 4-star Hotel Macià Real de la Alhambra or similar in central Granada
Day 3: Granada – Cordoba
From your Granada hotel leave the city by train or coach as you travel northwest to Cordoba. After roughly 2.5 hours of traveling, arrive in the ancient Moorish city, drop your bags at your hotel, and then head out on a walking tour.
Visit the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a site also known as the Palace of the Christian Kings, that was built in the 14th century. Walk through the inside of the palace and see Arabian baths, Roman mosaics and a sarcophagus of marble that dates to the 3rd century.
After exploring the Alcázar, stroll to Cordoba Synagogue, nestled in the heart of the city’s Jewish quarter. Head inside to admire its ornate interiors and learn about Cordoba’s Jewish community that formed part of the city’s cultural mix from the 2nd century onwards.
The final highlight of your walking tour is the magnificent Mezquita, a cathedral converted from an original mosque when the Christians conquered Cordoba in the 13th century. Modifications took place more than two centuries later, so the building’s original Gothic style is combined with Baroque and Renaissance elements, resulting in an interior that’s incredible to behold.
After spend the rest of your day at leisure, perhaps take a stroll down Calleja de las Flores, a sun-dappled alleyway speckled with colorful flowers, or check out the lively tapas bars and bodegas (wine bars) that spill out onto the streets.
Overnight: 3-star Hotel Eurostars Maimonides, 4-star Hotel Macià Alfaros or similar in central Cordoba
Day 4: Cordoba or Cordoba – Seville
Check out of your hotel in the late morning. You can choose to finish your 3-night tour in Cordoba, or upgrade to include a transfer back to Seville. If you select the upgrade, simply leave your Cordoba hotel by coach at a prearranged time and travel back to central Seville, finishing your trip in the late afternoon.