What is it like to travel to Southern Spain right now? A delight! With COVID restrictions lifting and case numbers declining, many of our clients are considering a big European Adventure for 2022, and we are more than thrilled to help them plan! Damien and Sarah have a love of history and exploring new cities, so we knew southern Spain would fit them perfectly for their February getaway.
Spain is a perfect destination for history buffs, foodies, architecture fans, and anyone ready to slow down and soak in some sunshine. It’s quite a big country, with seventeen regions each with its sense of culture, tradition, and history. And the southern region of Andalusia has a lot to offer!
Damien and Sarah visited Seville, Granada, and Cordoba on their 10-day Spanish adventure. There were beautiful landmarks, UNESCO sites, and unique history with a Moorish and Islamic influence. It’s the only European region with both Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline, so Andalusia has the most varied terrain in all of Spain — making it an ideal spot to explore.
I hope you’re doing well! I just wanted to send a note to touch base now that we’re back and settled in 🙂
We had such a wonderful time in Spain! We really loved all of the hotels you chose for us. And we were particularly fond of Hotel Casa 1800 Seville and Casas de la Juderia in Cordoba since they had such a perfect location and a unique local character to them.
Plus the view from the rooftop pool at Hotel Casa 1800 Seville was pretty unbeatable!
There were too many highlights to name but a couple of our favorite moments included:
- Roman ruins in Italica
These ruins just outside of Seville include remarkable mosaics and an impressive amphitheater. Italica was one of the earliest Roman settlements in Spain. Today you can visit the amphitheater and a wide main avenue with five large houses. Wander through well-preserved mosaics, aqueducts, temples, and thermal baths as you get a taste of Italy on your Spanish adventure
- Royal Alcazar of Seville
This Royal Compound has been Seville’s center of power from the early-Middle Ages to today. Because it was repeatedly altered over time, it gives you a fascinating lesson on the history of architecture. The compound combines elements typical of Muslim, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic styles. This is a perfect place for history and architecture buffs to spend an afternoon!
- Mezquita of Cordoba
The mosque of Cordoba is a temple and a monument. Originally built in 784 A.D. as a Mosque, when the Christians took Cordoba in 1236 they converted it into a cathedral. However, they built their cathedral inside the original Mosque. Thus, creating a unique blend of different cultures and styles.
- Medina Azahara
Visiting the ruins of this ancient city is the perfect complement to the Mezquita of Cordoba! Originally a mid-10th century palace-city it was destroyed and mostly forgotten only 70 years after it was built, leaving it largely preserved. Once again, you get a chance to step back into time and expand your understanding of the Hispanic-Muslim legacy of southern Spain.
A palace and fortress for the Moorish monarchs of ancient Grenada. Constructed on a plateau that overlooks the city, this is a worthwhile stop for everyone simply because of the stunning views. The interior decorations are fit for a king and the grounds exhibit the natural beauty of the area. It has been built and rebuilt over the centuries offering stunning stonework to admire.
Needless to say, the food and wine were amazing…we particularly loved the tapas tour we booked through Project Expedition – we’d highly recommend it!
The tradition of eating tapas varies by region but wherever you visit in Spain, trying these delectable bites is a must! Seen as a light snack before your big meal, in Grenada tapas are often served free when you order a drink. It’s all about the Spanish culture of sharing food and conversation at a table.
Top Spanish Foods to Try
Gambas al Ajillo
From a logistics standpoint, everything was a breeze and was really easy to navigate. The only thing that didn’t go perfectly smoothly (though it was still totally fine) was our early morning transfer back to the Seville airport. The driver was great and was on time but we actually got to the airport too early…we got picked up around 3:30 AM but apparently the airport itself didn’t open until 5 AM. It was totally fine since the driver was nice enough to let us wait in the car until it opened but just thought I’d let you know!
While the COVID rules are always changing, adhering to them doesn’t have to greatly affect your trip! We recommend staying up-to-date but we’re always here to help walk you through any major changes!
Thanks so much for your help in planning this! We’ve definitely got the travel bug again and booked flights to Iceland for July. We’re hoping to get your help with that trip too!