Spain Andalucia and Toledo
TOUR STARTS FROM MADRID
Experience the highlights of Spain’s Andalusia region on this 6-day tour from Madrid. Traveling by air-conditioned coach, visit six Andalusian jewels: Cordoba, Seville, Ronda, Granada, Toledo and the sun-baked Costa del Sol coast. Enjoy a combination of sightseeing tours and free time in each destination. With guided visits to sights such as Granada’s UNESCO-protected Alhambra Palace.
Discover the best of Andalusia and the historical city of Toledo on this comprehensive 6-day tour! Visit the birthplace of Spanish conquerors and discover the traditional Spanish lifestyle on this exciting tour which allows you to appreciate the true beauty of Spain.
Cáceres is a city in western Spain’s Extremadura region. Founded by the ancient Romans, it retains widespread evidence of subsequent occupation by many different cultures. Its old town, Ciudad Monumental, has a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. With cobbled medieval streets, fortified houses and palaces. Encircled by 12th-century Moorish walls, it also has around 30 towers, some occupied by nesting storks.
The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba (Spanish: Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba), also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita, whose ecclesiastical name is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is the Catholic cathedral of the Diocese of Córdoba. Dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and located in the Spanish region of Andalusia. The structure is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.
The site was originally a small temple of Christian Visigoth origin, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins. When Muslims conquered the Iberian peninsula in 711, the church was first divided into Muslim and Christian halves. This sharing arrangement of the site lasted until 784, when the Christian half was purchased by the Emir ‘Abd al-Rahman I, who then proceeded to demolish the original structure and build the grand mosque of Córdoba on its ground. Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista, and the building was converted to a Roman Catholic church, culminating in the insertion of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the 16th century.
Since the early 2000s, Spanish Muslims have lobbied the Roman Catholic Church to allow them to pray in the cathedral. This Muslim campaign has been rejected on multiple occasions, both by the church authorities in Spain and by the Vatican.
According to legend, Sevilla was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilisation. It was called Hispalis under the Romans and Isbiliya with the Moors. The high point in its history was following the discovery of America in 1492.
For all its important monuments and fascinating history, Sevilla is universally famous for being a joyous town. While the Sevillians are known for their wit and sparkle, the city itself is striking for its vitality. It is the largest town in Southern Spain, the city of Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro.
Despite being Andalucía’s fastest-growing town – it overtook Córdoba in the big three Andaluz tourist attractions, behind Sevilla and Granada, in the early 21st century – Ronda retains much of its historic charm, particularly its old town.
It is famous worldwide for its dramatic escarpments and views. And for the deep El Tajo gorge that carries the rio Guadalevín through its centre. Visitors make a beeline for the 18th century Puente Nuevo ‘new’ bridge, which straddles the 100m chasm below, for its unparalleled views out over the Serranía de Ronda mountains.
Marbella is known as a glamorous resort town and is a favourite location with the rich and famous, boosted by foreign residents who are seduced by the lifestyle. But there’s plenty for ordinary folk to see and enjoy too in southern Spain’s answer to St Tropez.
Granada was first settled by native tribes in the prehistoric period, and was known as Ilbyr. When the Romans colonised southern Spain, they built their own city here and called it Illibris. The Arabs, invading the peninsula in the 8th century, gave it its current name of Granada. It was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492, at the hands of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon.
One of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C. This mighty compound of buildings – including the summer palace called Generalife, with its fountains and gardens – stands at the foot of Spain’s highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada.