Spain: Andalucía in a Parador

Spain: Andalucía in a Parador

Experience romantic southern Spain on a seven-night journey in Andalucía. Stay in a modern, first-class parador in Antequera, and discover the history of Al-Andalus, as this region of Spain was known during eight centuries of Moorish rule. See the courtyards and fountains of the Alhambra in Granada, the iconic red-and-white arches of La Mezquita in Córdoba and the imposing Alcázar in Sevilla. Explore Ronda and Málaga, and watch an entrancing flamenco performance. Enjoy special lunches at an organic winery and the Parador de Granada.

Trip Itinerary:

April 25 Depart Gateway City

Appropriate in-flight meal service AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Málaga, Spain. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: AGP.

Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service

April 26 Málaga, Spain/Antequera

Arrive at Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents.

Transfer to the Parador de Antequera. Please note that if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Tonight, at the parador, get acquainted with your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception, and then gather for a Welcome Dinner.

Accommodations – Parador de Antequera
Meals – Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner

April 27 Antequera

Discovery: Ancient Antequera. Just outside the city, witness Europe’s most striking prehistoric architecture, the Menga and Viera dolmens. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016, these megalithic monuments are thought to have been built between 3,500 and 3,000 B.C. by farmers in the valley. Once inside, ponder the incredible labor and engineering skill required to construct these burial chambers, where large upright stones support roofs of enormous 
rock slabs.

Then, return to Antequera for a walking tour that reveals its roots as a cultural crossroads. Begin at the Alcazaba, the 14th-century Moorish fortress that once guarded the city. Admire the expansive vistas of Antequera’s red-tiled roofs and bell towers, surrounded by fertile farmlands with La Peña de los Enamorados, or Lovers’ Rock, in the distance. Next, visit the Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor, a 16th-century church built with stones from a nearby Roman town. Head into the old town, where the city’s heritage is reflected in architectural elements from the Roman, Moorish, Gothic, Renaissance and baroque eras.

Enjoy a lunch of traditional Andalucian dishes at a nearby restaurant.

Free Time: Continue to explore in the city or return to the parador.

Enrichment: Andalucía and the Moorish Influence. For eight centuries, the Moors dominated most of the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, the region’s name derives from its old Arabic name, Al-Andalus. Delve into the Moorish influence 
on Spanish language and culture with a local expert.

Accommodations – Parador de Antequera
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

April 28 Granada

Discovery: Granada & Palace City. Take a scenic drive to Granada to visit the Alhambra, the stunning Moorish 
fortress and palace complex designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Majestically perched over the city and framed by the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Alhambra was built in the 13th and 14th centuries by the kings of the 
Nasrid dynasty who sought to create their own paradise on earth. As you walk amid the courtyards, fountains and 
arch-lined walkways, marvel at the beautifully filigreed and patterned carvings, inscribed with poems and quotations from the Koran. In the breathtaking Palacios Nazaríes, see the Court of the Myrtles, the Court of the Lions, the Hall of the Ambassadors and other chambers. Visit Alcazaba, the castle that guarded the palace, and stroll through the tranquil, landscaped gardens of Generalife, the summer palace.

Within the walls of the Alhambra, relax over lunch at the restaurant of the Parador de Granada, formerly the 15th-century Convento de San Francisco.

Free Time: After lunch, descend to the city to explore downtown Granada on your own. Accommodations – Parador de Antequera
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

April 29 Seville

Discovery: Seville. Journey to Seville, southern Spain’s cultural heart, immortalized in works by Mozart, Bizet and Rossini. Get a broader perspective of this vibrant city along the Guadalquivir River on a panoramic/walking tour. 
With its sweeping, semi-circular façade and lovely canal, the magnificent Plaza de España was designed to dazzle visitors and exhibitors to the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. Cross the pretty bridges, and you’ll note colorful ceramic decorative touches all around you, including 48 tiled alcoves representing the Spanish provinces. Then visit the astounding Cathedral of Seville, the world’s largest Gothic building and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Inside, marvelous treasures abound, including the main chapel’s glittering gold altarpiece with scenes from the life of Christ; 
the 18th-century intricate silver altar; and the unique tomb of Christopher Columbus.

Visit the grand Real Alcázar, originally a 10th-century Moorish palace, which became a Spanish royal residence in the 14th century and is still in use today. In El Arenal, see the centuries-old bullring, the Plaza de Toros de la Maenstranza, and the 13th-century Moorish Torre del Oro, a defensive watchtower over the river. Conclude with a walk through the charming Barrio de Santa Cruz, where bougainvillea spill over the balconies and narrow lanes lead to shady squares, fountains and more.

Free Time: Find a nice spot for lunch on your own before returning to Antequera. This evening, dine with your fellow travelers at the parador. Accommodations – Parador de Antequera
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

April 30 Ronda

Enrichment: Bullfighting Traditions. Ronda, home to Spain’s oldest bullring, is deeply connected to “la corrida,” 
or bullfighting. Learn about the style developed in Ronda by the Romero family in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Discovery: Ronda. Spectacularly set on the edge of El Tajo gorge high above the open countryside, Ronda is a showstopper and the largest of Andalucía’s “pueblos blancos,” or white towns. An 18th-century bridge spanning the gorge links the two sections of the town. Step inside the Iglesia de Santa María la Mayor, built on the site of a mosque. Commissioned by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1485, the church is a blend of Gothic, Renaissance, baroque and Moorish elements. Then delve into the intensely dramatic world of bullfighting at the Plaza de Toros, inaugurated in 1785. Stand in the famed sandstone arena, and discover more about this iconic Spanish tradition at the museum onsite. Cap off your Ronda visit with an unforgettable view over El Tajo from the terrace and gardens of Casa de San Juan Bosco.

Discovery: Bodega Joaquín Fernández. Sit with a glass of wine and take in the gorgeous scenery at Finca Los Frutales, the vineyard of this organic winery. Your visit includes a tasting of the bodega’s wines and lunch.

Accommodations – Parador de Antequera
Meals – Breakfast and lunch

May 1 Cordoba

Discovery: Córdoba. Explore La Mezquita, Córdoba’s great mosque, an exceptionally beautiful complex containing 
the finest examples of Moorish architecture in Spain. The original mosque was built in the eighth century by Abd al-Rahman, who established an emirate in Córdoba. Additions by subsequent emirs enhanced its grandeur and size, and in its heyday, it was one of the most prominent sacred sites in the Islamic world. After Córdoba was recaptured by the Spanish, a cathedral was built inside the complex walls in the 16th century. La Mezquita’s most spellbinding feature is the superb hall with 856 columns made from marble, granite, jasper and onyx connected by two layers of red-and-white-striped arches. Afterward, see the imposing Roman bridge that stretches across the Guadalquiver River, and take a stroll through the Jewish quarter, an atmospheric neighborhood of winding streets and whitewashed houses.

Free Time: Make your own plans for lunch and exploration in Córdoba.

This evening, dine on traditional dishes at a restaurant in Antequera. Accommodations – Parador de Antequera
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

May 2 Antequera

Enrichment: Contemporary Spain. With insights from a local expert, understand how current events and issues are affecting life in Spain.

Free Time: Choose to spend your last day at leisure in Antequera, or join one of today’s Elective Activities. Your Travel Director will be available to offer suggestions on sightseeing, shopping and dining in Andalucía.

Málaga. Take a complimentary shuttle to the city of Málaga for time to explore on your own. Spend the day visiting the wonderful Picasso Museum in the city of his birth, or discover historic landmarks like the 16th-century Malaga Cathedral, before returning by shuttle to Antequera. No additional charge.

Torcal & Olive Oil Experience. Head to El Molino del Hortelano, a fourth-generation, family-owned olive mill. Learn how they produce their varieties of olive oil, then sit down for a special Andalusian brunch prepared with their creations. Afterward, stop for a coffee in El Torcal de Antequera nature park, best known for its unusual limestone formations and part of the UNESCO World Heritage site that includes the Antequera dolmens.

Tonight, celebrate your time together in the south of Spain at a Farewell Reception and Dinner in the parador. During 
a special performance, delight in the passion and precision of flamenco, Spain’s renowned art form.

Accommodations – Parador de Antequera
Meals – Breakfast and dinner

May 3 Depart for Gateway City

After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals – Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service


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