Sierra, Sand, Seville: Southern Spain

Sierra, Sand, Seville: Southern Spain

14 days | from EUR 1,639.00 pp in dbl-room*
Costa del Sol – Granada – Cordoba – Sevilla – Costa de la Luz – White Villages

Beaches on two different coasts, two vibrant Spanish cities, two picturesque towns set in spectacular landscapes: a 14-day tour that illustrates the fascinating diversity of Andalusia.

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Day 1–3: Costa del Sol

Whitewashed mountain villages behind Europe's most famous bathing coast
The Spanish coast of the Mediterranean Sea from Tarifa to east of Malaga is known as the Costa del Sol. Although the region enjoys 320 days of sunshine per year, it was not devel­oped as a tourist destina­tion until the 1950s, when a construc­tion boom set in which left the coast dotted with high­rise hotels and apart­ment build­ings. The hastily created tourist destina­tions were linked by a high-speed motorway. Fortunately, some of the worst excesses were elim­inated in the 1990s. Even so, the back country offers a welcome change from the heavily popu­lated coastal areas: the cheerful tranquillity of old Andalusia can still be found among the white mountain villages surrounded by pine forests and olive groves.

Broker: Sunny Cars GmbH
Company: CAR GEST
Vehicle: Honda Jazz or similar (EDMR)

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Accommodation: A country estate on the Rio Velez

The boutique hotel combines the aristocratic features of a traditional Andalusian villa with the romantic charm of the 19th century. more ...

The property was fully renovated in 2008 and now offers 20 exclusive bedrooms, a swimming pool and a sundeck. Bicycles are available for excursions to the surrounding areas. The beaches of Malaga are just 10 km away.

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Services: 2 Nights | Bed & Breakfast

Totalán

Where time seems to stand still

This white village in the border region between Axar­quía and Montes de Málaga enjoys an attrac­tive loca­tion on a hill over­looking two small rivers. Its narrow alleys are lined with white­washed build­ings where time seems to stand still. In the middle of town stands the Santa Ana church with its red pillars. The Torre de Salazar tower and the dolmen at the Cerro de la Corona are further points of interest. The typical local dish is call chanfaina, which is a kind of stew that is cele­brated every year by a festival.

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Nerja

Seaside resort town on the Costa del Sol

Today, this town on the Costa del Sol is char­ac­ter­ized by tourism. The surrounding hotels and discos attest to this fact. Never­the­less, Nerja is rela­tively quiet compared to Malaga. The historic old town with its white­washed houses and narrow alleys is closed to cars. If you go on a walk through town, be sure to take a peek at the build­ings' inner court­yards, since many beau­tiful objects, imag­ina­tive gardens and exam­ples of fine crafts­man­ship are tucked away in them. There are also beau­tiful villages to discover in the surrounding area.

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Church of El Salvador

Baroque church in the old town

This 17th-century Baroque church stands in the historic city center of Nerja. The large tree standing next to it is called “Cerote” by the locals, which means “tree of bad luck.” The building was completely restored in 1997. Its inte­rior is made up of three transepts divided by pillars and round arches. There is also a semi-dome over the clois­tered court­yard. Frescoes from the School of Granada dating to the 18th century adorn the prayer niches and feature scenes from the gospels. The mural was painted by Francisco Hernández, a well-known artist from the nearby town of Vélez.

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Hike in the gorge of the Rio Chillar

Wading barefoot through a mountain stream

This hike starts at the edge of Nerja and will lead you into the gorge of the Rio Chillar. This is the most signif­icant river in the Sierra de Almijara and it has carved out a magnif­i­cent gorge that is shaded in summer. Here you can take off your shoes and wade in the river. However, it is better to use the trail during other seasons. (5:46 hrs, 17 km, eleva­tion change: 740 m)

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Day 3–6: Granada

Islamic palace beneath the snow-covered Sierra
Granada is the most important city in southern Spain and lies at the edge of a river valley with the mighty snow-covered Sierra Nevada in the background. The old town covers two hills. One hill is dominated by the Alhambra, a fairy-tale palace like some­thing out of “One Thou­sand and One Nights.” The northern hill is the loca­tion of Albayzín, the Moorish district with its white­washed houses, terraced gardens and its labyrinthine stairways. Granada played a key role in the history of Spain. The Iber­ians settled here as early as 500 BC, and the city was later overrun by the Vandals in 500 AD. The Moors captured it 200 years later and made it the capital of a Muslim kingdom. Science, technology, art and toler­ance enabled Granada to flourish for centuries. When the Chris­tians defeated the Caliphate of Cordoba in 1236, Granada was the last bastion of Islam in Europe. It fell in 1492 – the year America was discov­ered.  

The most scenic route is the narrow mountain road that leads through the Sierra del Chaparral. The road snakes its way upwards to an altitude of 1,200 meters (40,000 feet). You will have an incredible view of the sea from the summit.

Aqueduct in Nerja

Aqueduct and temple with a view

This aqueduct comprises 37 arches and four levels spanning the Barronco de la Coladilla gorge. It was constructed in the 19th century in to supply a mill with water and is still in oper­a­tion today. The arches were influ­enced by Moorish archi­tec­ture and there is a path along­side the sluice offering a marvelous view of the gorge and the surrounding green landscape. A small temple in the middle of the bridge is an inviting place to linger.

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Cueva de Nerja

Stone-age gallery in a stalactite cave

When five young friends climbed through a shaft in 1959 hunting bats, they discov­ered a forgotten wonder­land remi­nis­cent of an under­ground cathedral. The stalactite cave has a total length of almost five kilome­tres. After the boys had removed a stalagmite, they came across skeletons and ceramic bowls in the gallery. They were followed by archae­ol­o­gists who system­at­ically explored the cave. They found paint­ings the age of which today is dated to at least 20,000 years. The repre­senta­tion of a seal is well recog­niz­able. The Nerja Cave must have been used for thou­sands of years as a burial place, pantry, but also by hyenas who found shelter here. Part of the cave is open to the public. Concerts take place regu­larly in a natural amphithe­atre.

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Acanti­lados Maro Nature Park

Pano­ramic round tour at Cerro Caleta

The natural park stretches from Nerja to Cala de Cazaida. With twelve kilome­ters of coast­line and an area of nearly 500 acres, it includes the cliffs of the coast, smaller beaches and tiny bays, some of which are still largely untouched. Protected and rare plants can be discov­ered, including white rosemary. Those who want to explore the park can do a short, scenic hike at Cerro Caleta from the car park El Cabuelo at the N 340. (Round trip: 5 kilome­ters, 1:30 hour, up and down: 280 meters)

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Accommodation: A Country Estate near Granada

The country estate is located 20 km outside of Granada between the Sierra del Puzuelo and the Sierra Arana. more ...

It originally housed a convent before being converted into a farm in the 19th century. Today the nearly 10,000 acre estate is particularly suitable for those who seek peace and tranquility. Large courtyards, terraces, olive groves, wheat and sunflower fields – the beauty of Andalucia off the beaten track of mass tourism is apparent wherever you look. The unique bedrooms are individually decorated. A swimming pool is available from May to September. A 2- or 3-course meal can be ordered for dinner. It takes about 35 minutes to get to Granada, partly on dirt roads.

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Services: 3 Nights | Bed & Breakfast

Albaicín

Granada's Moorish quarter

Granada's oldest city district dates back to the late antique settle­ment of Ilíberis, which existed before the Moors came. Yet today, the magic of the Moorish era can still be felt here the strongest. The narrow alleys are lined with irreg­u­larly shaped, white­washed houses with large inner court­yards. You can often catch glimpses of the Alhambra on the adja­cent hill. The Carrera del Darro has bars and cafés, and this is where you can expe­r­i­ence the quarter's night life from dusk until late into the night. The Albaicín has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994.

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Granada Cathedral

A symbol of Catholic resur­gence

After the Reconquista, which refers to the recon­quering of Catholic Spain, Granada was made into an arch­dio­cese in the year 1492. A magnif­i­cent cathedral was supposed to serve as a symbol of new beginn­ings, but from today's point of view, the Catedral Santa Maria de la Encar­nación actu­ally repre­sents a decline in Catholic influ­ence. Construc­tion began in 1523 after a 30-year delay. The building was initially intended to be a colossal Gothic construc­tion, but was later completed in the Renais­sance style. The church was conse­crated 30 years later even though it was a long way from comple­tion since it still lacked the towers that were part of the orig­inal design. The one tower that was built turned out smaller than intended. The south­eastern wing of the Cathedral houses the Capilla Real, the burial chapel of the Catholic kings. This is the final resting place of Ferd­inand and Isabella, whose graves are guarded by stone lions.

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Alhambra

Islamic art in perfec­tion

This city palace on Granada's Sabikah hill is Spain's most frequently visited landmark and its most beau­tiful example of Moorish archi­tec­ture and Islamic art. This hill has been inhabited since Roman times, but the huge fortress standing on it was built much later by the Moors. The Kala al Hambra (“the red castle”) is 740 meters long and over 200 meters wide and once served as a defense against the city's inhab­i­tants. The Alhambra is often asso­ciated with its fabled Nasrid palace, but it actu­ally includes the entire building complex extending from the Alcazaba on its western side to the Gener­alife garden palace to the east.

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Hike through Los Cahorros de Monachil

Crossing rope bridges in a gorge near Granada

This trail starts east of the Alhambra and leads through a narrow gorge. The route is marked out as the “Cahorros Bajos.” When you reach Tajo del Lunes, you can head back via a different trail taking you over the uplands to Granada. (2:45 hrs, 8.61 km, eleva­tion change: 300 m)

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A hike along the “Route of the Stars”

Following the Rio Genil upstream to Mediterranean forests

The Vereda de la Estrella runs from Güejar into the Sierra Nevada until it reaches the northern cliffs of the Mulhacén, where Mediterranean oaks and maples grow, as well as a giant chestnut tree known as “El Abuelo,” or “the grandfa­ther.” The trail starts at the bridge over the Rio Genil and follows the river upstream into the mountains near Alcazaba. There are two huts in oper­a­tion on the way back. (5:30 hrs, 21 km, eleva­tion change: 820 m)

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Day 6–8: Cordoba

Jewish-Moorish heritage
Around 950 AD, Cordoba was the most important city of the Chris­tian Occi­dent and can only be compared with Byzantium and Baghdad. Its mete­oric rise from a Vandal settle­ment began in 756, when the first Emir ascended the throne and made Córdoba the capital of the Caliphate. He introduced new irriga­tion methods and previ­ously unknown crops. Science and archi­tec­ture expe­r­i­enced a climax. At the turn of the first millennium there was street lighting for an esti­mated 300,000 inhab­i­tants. The Jewish commu­nity was a stronghold for Chris­tian-Muslim dialogue. After the conquest and recathol­iza­tion in 1236, Cordoba fell into oblivion – a stroke of luck to which the preser­va­tion of the Moorish building fabric is owed. With Granada and Sevilla, Cordoba belongs to the three big cities of Andalusia, but it is some­what quieter than its sisters. Major attrac­tions include the Juderia, the Jewish-Moorish district and the Mesquita, once one of the largest and most beau­tiful mosques in the world and now a Roman Catholic cathedral. Those wishing to escape the throngs of tourists should go just a few streets further into areas frequented by locals.

On the Ruta del Vino Distance: 200 km Time: 3:00
You will travel through the vineyards of Montilla-Moriles, whose wines are similar to sherry. On route you will pass several picturesque Andalusian towns: Baena with its olive trees, Cabra with a church on the foundations of a Moorish mosque, Lucena and finally Montilla, where the largest winery in the region stores over 20,000 barrels.

Alcala La Real

Mighty Moorish castle in the olive groves

From afar you can see the massive castle from the 13th century tower above the city. It was built by the Moorish Caliphs for protec­tion against the Chris­tians. From the tower of the castle chapel one has a wide view over the rolling hills, the city and the olive groves.

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Alcaudete

Moorish border castle with seven towers

The massive castle on a hill served to secure the Chris­tian-Muslim border in Andalusia. Orig­inally it was built by the Moors, but changed sides several times. Proud and inde­structible, it still towers over the olive groves and the city today. After the Reconquista, it was handed over to the Cala­trava Order. The polyg­onal struc­ture is secured with seven towers. Two towers flank the main portal with round arch and deco­ra­tive frame. Inside there is a high 16th century forti­fied tower, which the Counts of Alcaudete later made their resi­dence.

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Accommodation: A boutique hotel in Cordoba

During the renovation of the old building, great care was taken to preserve the history and architecture of the house. more ...

The result is a charming hotel in the middle of the Jewish quarter of the city. The thermal baths of the caliph from the 10th century are just outside the door, as are the gardens of the Christian monarchs. The furnishing of the rooms is Moorish with elaborately worked patterns and bright fabrics. The facilities also include a large outdoor pool with a sun terrace and a fitness centre. A restaurant is located a few steps from the hotel on the other side of the street.

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Services: 2 Nights | Bed & Breakfast

Mezquita

Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba

Covering an area of over 23,000 square meters, the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba is one of the largest sacred build­ings on earth. Ever since the Reconquista, it has served as the city's cathedral. Its name, “Mezquita” is related to the English word for “mosque,” and points to the building's Muslim origins. The Mosque was built on the site of a former church. After taking more than 200 years to complete, it rivaled even the most beau­tiful mosques of its day in Mecca, Damascus, Cairo or Istanbul. Upon entering, visitors are overwhelmed by the sight of a forest of columns and arches together with a supernat­u­rally beau­tiful play of colors. The inner court­yard with its Almanzor fountain is also defi­nitely worth a look.  

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Gardens of the Alcázar

Secluded gardens behind the walls of the royal palace

The Alcázar de los Reyes Cris­tianos, or “the palace of the Chris­tian kings,” was orig­inally Moorish. It was allegedly a place of execu­tion for Chris­tian martyrs. After Córdoba had fallen, but Granada was still under Moorish control, the castle served as a resi­dence for Catholic kings. The gardens of the Alcázar, which were planted behind the walls in the 14th century, are espe­cially beau­tiful. In summer, the pools, fountains and flower beds are open to the public until midnight.

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Judería

Historic city center of Córdoba

This former Jewish quarter in Córdoba is now the city's old town. It dates back to the 10th century when a large number of Jews moved into the tolerant caliphate and settled down near the Mezquita. This period of multi-reli­gious flour­ishing came to an end in 1492 when the Spanish Catholic kings took over. The Sephardic (Spanish) Jews were driven out along with the Moors. Today, Judería is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. White­washed houses with court­yards exuding the smell of flowers line the narrow alleyways. The Calleja de las Flores, where the resi­dents have adorned their houses with flowers, is espe­cially beau­tiful. The last surviving syna­gogue in Andalusia is also worth a visit.

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Las Ermitas

Hermitage in the Sierra Cordoba

Hermits built settle­ments here in the heights of the Sierra Cordoba during the early Chris­tian period. Even today, it is still a place of mystical quietude, even though only a handful of monks from the Barefoot Carmelite order still live here. The obser­va­tion deck provides a lovely view of Cordoba. Those who are in good phys­ical shape can reach the hermitage by foot. The trail from El Brillante in northern Cordoba is three kilome­ters in length and is quite steep.

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Day 8–10: Seville

Nightly life in the Barrio de Santa Cruz
The capital of Andalusia is one of the hottest cities in Europe. It is therefore not surprising that much of the city life takes place at night. Don Juan's home­town is an espe­cially exciting place during the Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week) and Seville Fair festivals, which involve week-long, lively cele­bra­tions. Although Seville has less Moorish archi­tec­ture than either Cordoba or Granada, the townscape is consid­ered partic­u­larly “Andalu­sian.” Many major and minor sights can be seen along the route from the Real Alcázar, the Royal Palace, to the Barrio de Santa Cruz, a picturesque district with an abun­dance of small squares and court­yards deco­rated with flowers.  Outside its histor­ical center Seville has many modern suburbs created by the recent economic boom: new neighbor­hoods have sprung up practically overnight, resulting in a traffic grid­lock that is not limited to the rush hours.

Known for its 11 unique church steeples, Spain's hottest city, Ecija, is often referred to as the "Frying Pan of Andalusia." Further down the road in an area of fertile farmland you will reach Carmona, one of Spain's quaintest towns.

Écija

Palaces in the frying pan of Andalusia

Écija, the city of towers, lies on the Genil River between the two Andalu­sian metropol­itan cities of Córdoba and Seville in a sun-drenched plain, also referred to – with little charm – as the frying pan of Andalusia. But it is also consid­ered one of the most important art centers in Andalusia, where the aristoc­racy competed in the 18th century. In the central square, the Paza de España, stand the most important build­ings: the Town Hall, the Roman Baths and the Church of San Francisco.

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Carmona

Historic town on the mountain

The city is strate­g­ically located on the Alcores, a mountain range in the central plain of Andalusia. From there you can see all the way to the Sierra Morena in the north and to the summit of San Cristobal in the south. Carmona is one of the oldest places in Andalusia and has been cont­in­u­ously inhabited since prehistoric times. Iber­ians, Catha­g­ians, Romans, Moors: all have left their traces in the city. Partic­u­larly striking is the citadel of Peter the Cruel, in which a Parador has found its place today. From Córdoba one enters the city through the Moorish city gate, which in turn is built on a Roman construc­tion.

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Accommodation: A villa in ancient Sevilla

The hotel near the cathedral in the vibrant Old Town represents an oasis of tranquility where guests can relax on the rooftop terrace with a pool and lounge chairs, or on one of the cool patios or in the spacious bedrooms. more ...

The service is excellent, as is the breakfast with a choice of buffet or à la carte orders. The interior is marked by fascinating contrasts: vivid colors, floral scents and a fountain in the courtyard reflect the urban surroundings, while natural materials like stone, clay and slate lend the estate a country touch. Bath robes and natural cosmetics are provided in the bathrooms.

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Services: 2 Nights | Bed & Breakfast

Casa de Pilatos

Most beau­tiful palace in Seville

This urban palace from the early 15th century became the prototyp­ical Andalu­sian aristo­cratic palace. Its elegance nearly exceeds that of the Alcazar and combines Gothic, Renais­sance and Mudéjar archi­tectural elements to create a symbiosis of Moorish and Chris­tian art. The “casa” owes its name to the fact that its owner allegedly saw the palace of Pontius Pilate while trav­elling in Pales­tine and recon­structed it in Seville. Today, the building houses a museum surrounding a unique court­yard. On display are paint­ings, furni­ture and antiques. The court­yard was used in 1999 for a scene in the movie “Mission: Impos­sible II,” where the flamenco dancer Sara Baras has a performance.

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La Casa del Flamenco

An evening with flamenco in a tradi­tional court­yard

Flamenco stands for fascinating music full of passion, sorrow and eroticism. It is also known outside of Spain as a typical Andalu­sian dance, even though its origins date back to Moorish and Jewish tradi­tions. It was also later influ­enced by the gypsies. Seville, the undis­puted capital of Flamenco, has numerous music theaters where shows are held every evening. The largest ones are often very touristy. We recom­mend the Casa del Flamenco. The audi­ences are small in this 15th century court­yard, and everyone gets a front-row seat.

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Seville Cathedral

Largest Gothic church in the world

This bishop's church in the arch­dio­cese of Seville is not only the largest Gothic church but in fact one of the biggest churches in the world. It was constructed in the period from 1401 to 1519 on the foun­da­tions of an Arab mosque. In addi­tion to its magnif­i­cent sepul­cher statues dating to the Middle Ages, the church also houses the tomb of Christo­pher Columbus, which was built in 1902. After he crossed the Atlantic several times, the true loca­tion of his bones remained uncertain. His four pallbearers repre­sent the kingdoms of Castile, León, Aragón and Navarra. The most dist­inc­tive part of the church is its bell tower, La Girlada. This symbol of Seville was orig­inally the minaret of the main mosque and still bears features of its Moorish archi­tec­ture despite being modi­fied by the Chris­tians. 

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A walk through Seville

From Alcázar to the Barrio Santa Cruz

This walk begins at the Alcázar and will take you to the city's major sights. It ends in the popular quarter of Santa Cruz, where you will find numerous bars, bodegas and restau­rants. (3 hrs, 7 km, eleva­tion change: 30 m)

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Day 10–12: Costa de la Luz

Spacious bathing beaches, small bays
Spain's Atlantic coast­line from the Portuguese border to Gibraltar is known as the Costa de la Luz. Although the region is almost always bathed in light (hence the name “Coast of Light”) it is almost never as hot there as inland because of the constant sea breeze. Endless golden beaches are interrupted by small bays and steep cliffs. Despite its pleasant climate and attrac­tive landscape, the region is not as popular among tourists as the adjoining Costa del Sol to the east.

Along the way you will pass Cadiz. Built on a cliff jutting out of the sea, this is one of the oldest cities in Europe.

Arcos de la Frontera

Winding alleys in white old town

One of Andalucia's most dramat­ically posi­tioned white villages, Arcos balances atop a rocky lime­stone ridge, its white­washed houses and stone castle walls stopping abruptly as a sheer cliff face plunges down to the fertile valley of the river Guadalete below. Declared a national historic-artistic monu­ment in 1962 in recog­ni­tion of its excep­tional archi­tec­ture and impres­sive loca­tion, the old town is a tangled labyrinth of cobbled streets that lead up to a sand­stone castle, the Castillo de los Arcos. As you'd expect from such a spectac­ular vantage point, there are exhi­la­rating views over the town and the rolling plain below.

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Jerez de la Frontera

Sherry, Flamenco, thor­oughbred horses

Most of the tourists who come to Jerez are inter­ested in sampling the famous wine known as vino de Jerez, or sherry, which can be tasted and purchased in the numerous “bodegas” (wine cellars and shops). The city just north of Cádiz is also known for horse-breeding and flamenco dancing. These combined attributes are cele­brated in a three-week autumn festival that takes place just after the grape harvest. Trav­elers merely looking for a pleasant place in Andalusia to take a stroll and enjoy a good meal will hit the mark here.

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Accommodation: The House of the Caliph

The building is located on a baroque square among palm trees opposite a tower of the city wall. more ...

Some of its foundations date back to the 10th Century. The new building of the 17th Century-style caliph house was inspired by the Moorish period, when Vejer was an important city of the Islamic empire. A large south facing sun terrace gives uninterrupted views over the Marismas Nature Park & the Sierras de Retin. Through corridors and inner courtyards you are lead to the rooms, which are all individually, comfortably and tastefully furnished. Air conditioning and coffee machine are a standard.

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Services: 2 Nights | Bed & Breakfast

Tarifa

South­ernmost point of the Euro­pean main­land

The south­ernmost town on the Euro­pean main­land lies on the Strait of Gibraltar. Because of its strategic posi­tion between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, Europe and Africa, the place was often fought over and of histor­ical importance. Today it is above all a surfing paradise in the very east of the Costa de la Luz. On clear weather days you can see Africa only 13 kilome­ters away from Punta Marroqui in the south. 

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Vejer de la Frontera

White village near the Costa de la Luz

This is the most beau­tiful of the “white towns” and is located nine kilome­ters from the coast. Six centuries of Moorish rule have left their mark here. Gleaming white houses line the narrow cobble­stone alleys and stairways. The old town is surrounded by a town wall measuring two kilome­ters in length. Over­looking the town is the Castillo, a 10th-century Moorish castle that was later expanded by Chris­tians who admired its clever design.

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Fundación NMAC Montenmedio Arte Contem­poráneo

Modern sculp­ture park

This sculp­ture park covers 75 acres and features a perma­nent exhibit of modern and contem­po­rary sculp­ture. Artistic events and tempo­rary exhibits are also frequently held here. A visit to the park can be combined with a walk through the nearby Parque Natural de la Breña y Marismas del Barbate nature reserve. The park is closed on Mondays.

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Hike to Los Caños de Meca

Through the pines along the most beau­tiful coastal cliffs in Andalusia

The coastal cliffs between Barbate and Lox Caños are among the most beau­tiful sections of coast­line along the Gulf of Cadiz. At the top of the imposing sand­stone cliffs is a large pine forest. The trail will take you though a nature reserve, and if you like, you can head back via a route through the hinter­land. The hike will only take two hours if you choose to stay on the initial trail. (4:30 hrs, 17 km, eleva­tion change: 230 m)

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Day 12–14: The White Villages

Narrow alleys and white houses in the Pueblos Blancos
In the mountai­nous landscape between Ronda and Arcos de la Frontera there are a number of villages and small towns, most of which date back to Phoeni­cian or Roman settle­ments and were devel­oped by the Moors between the 8th and 15th century. The White Villages are char­ac­ter­ized by narrow alleys and secluded squares lined with white­washed houses – very similar to Northern Africa. The churches have often been built in places where mosques once stood. The manor houses date back to the centuries after the Reconquista. Their Gothic, Renais­sance and Baroque archi­tec­ture is an inter­esting contrast to the older Moorish houses. The Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos connects 19 partic­u­larly inter­esting villages. It begins in Arcos de la Frontera.

The route passes by a number of typical Andalusian villages with their white-washed houses, narrow streets and blossoming courtyards. One of the most scenic white towns in Andalusia happens to lie along the route: Arcos de la Frontera.

Tour of Tanger

Immerse your­self in a colorful and sensuous world

One-day tours leaving from the port of Tarifa can be booked with an Arab guide for the Moroccan city of Tanger. In the historic city center, known as Medina, with its markets, handmade crafts and cafés, you will find your­self immersed in a colorful and sensuous world. After your ferry ride, you will receive a tour of the city followed by a visit to a bazaar and lunch in a typical restau­rant.

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Mirador del Estrecho

Unusual view of Africa

This scenic over­look is located 300 meters above sea level at the Strait of Gibraltar. As its name indicates, this “over­look of the strait” offers an excep­tional view of Africa, since the African and Euro­pean conti­nents are only 15 kilome­ters apart here. On clear days, you can see as far as Ceuta to the east and Tangier to the west. A café and several perma­nently mounted binoc­u­lars make this an inviting place to spend some time.

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Accommodation: A former olive mill

The 18th century mill stands on a hill outside of Ronda among olive trees. The views of Ronda and the Sierra landscape are unbeatable. more ...

Every room in the small luxury hotel has a private garden or patio, and many have a cosy fireplace. Ronda is just a 10-minute drive away, although guests may be happy to relax in the swimming pool and otherwise keep doing nothing in accordance with the house motto. The restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine from a daily menu featuring feshly prepared dishes. 

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Services: 2 Nights | Bed & Breakfast

Ronda

White village in breathtaking loca­tion

The first thing that strikes visitors to Ronda is its precar­ious posi­tion on the edge of a steep canyon. Such nota­bles as Rilke, Hemingway and Orson Welles were capti­vated by the city's amazing loca­tion. In “For Whom the Bell Tolls” Hemingway writes about rebels being thrown from the cliff by Repub­licans during the Spanish Civil War. The plunging canyon that splits the city in two is called El Tajo and is spanned by three stunning bridges. A stroll along the pano­ramic prom­enade on the edge of the canyon is a must. One of Spain's oldest cities, Ronda was under Moorish rule for over 700 years, a period that is reflected in the local archi­tec­ture. The city is also known as the birthplace of the modern method of bullfighting featuring a torero who is on foot instead of on horseback and who fears shame more than death or injury. The Plaza de Toros is the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain still in (infrequent) use.

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Zahara de la Sierra

Pueblo blanco in the shadow of a rock castle

The small village at the foot of the Sierra Grazalema belongs to the lesser known white villages in Andalusia. It was founded in the 8th century by the Arabs and was prob­ably called “Zahara”, which means some­thing like “flower”, because of its beauty. The ruins of a Moorish rock castle from the 12th century still tower over the village of 1000 inhab­i­tants and offer a fantastic view over the surrounding country­side and the Zahara reser­voir.

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Hiking through the Garganta Verde

A hike through a spectac­ular gorge

The Garganta Verde is a spectac­ular canyon in the Sierra de Grazalema. The 400 meter high cliffs are home to griffon vultures, which can always be seen circling over­head. A high­light in the landscape is the Cueva Ermita – a colossal arch in the wall of the gorge.

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Day 14: Costa del Sol

The most scenic route, which can be taken with little loss of time, is on the small mountain roads that cut across the Serrania di Ronda.

Additional Services

In order to compensate part of the CO2 emissions caused by your travels, we raise a voluntary donation, which is being transfered in its entirety to the Klima-Kollekte GmbH in Berlin or Wildlands South Africa. 

With your donation CO2-saving projects are supported; one example being solar cookers for Lesotho. Further information can be found at www.umfulana.com/about-umfulana/projects/climate-compensation
www.klima-kollekte.de and www.wildlands.co.za

If you wish to opt out of the Umfulana climate initiative, please note this on your booking form. 

Services

The cost is per person based on two people sharing a double room and includes accommodation and meals per itinerary.from USD 1,799.00*

(from EUR 1,639.00)*


You can start this tour on any date.
Best Travel Time:
March–Juni, Sept.–Nov.

Upon booking this tour you will receive:
» the names, addresses and telephone numbers of each accommodation
» Your vouchers
» detailed directions to each accommodation

Please call us if you would like to request a customized itinerary, book a tour or just ask quesitons about our range of services.

Request a custom itinerary

Your Consultants
Your Consultants

Leslie Jalowiecki
Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-67

Your Consultants
Your Consultants

Melissa Nußbaum
Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-57

Your Consultants
Your Consultants

Jessica Parkin
Ph.: +49 (0)2268 92298-23

Booking Process

1. Your Tour Specifications
Request a tailor-made tour proposal. Indicate your interests, desired destinations, travel period and budget.

2. Consulting + Itinerary
Our experienced staff will provide professional consulting and prepare a tailor-made proposal based on your specifications.

3. Booking
To book a tour, simply fill out and submit the form. We will make all tour arrangements for you.

4. Payment + Travel Documents
After completion of the booking process, you will receive a confirmed itinerary. The complete travel documents will be forwarded to you on receipt of the remaining balance following payment of the deposit.

5. Tour
We wish you a relaxing and memorable trip. Enjoy your holiday!

6. Your Feedback
We appreciate any feedback you wish to provide after completion of your tour. This helps us to continually improve our products and services.


*) The price is per person based on two people sharing a double room. Prices may vary by season and due to differences in available services.
All tours are sold in euros.
Prices indicated in other currencies are for informational purposes only and may vary in accordance with changes in exchange rates.