Spain Travel Package – “Passion of Spain”

 


Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba, Cadiz, Ronda
– the names ring sweet to the ears. 
These cities are bastions of a romantic feel that harkens back to a bygone
era.

Andalucia is most people’s
quintessential dream-image of Spain.  It
doesn’t disappoint. 

This is the
Spain most often seen in films and portrayed in novels:  Dazzling white
villages and fortified castles on hilltops in the distance – olive groves
stretching as far as the eye can see , and shaded, flower filled patios
resting coolly in the afternoon heat. 

The people here are vivacious, passionate and proud. 
This is the birthplace of Flamenco – a fiery and profound music perhaps
best interpreted by the gypsies who have made this land their home. 

Once smitten with the fascination of Andalucia, magical
moments insert themselves into one’s memory and linger there for a
lifetime.  One of those moments might happen to you while strolling
out along the banks of the Guadalquivir on a warm spring evening –
catching the faint sound of a distant guitar and the strong fragrance of
orange blossoms – lights reflecting off the river’s dark surface, and all
of it playing hide-and-seek with your senses . . .

Your travel experience will start with a high-speed
train ride:  Madrid to Cordoba in less than 2 hours! 

 

Cordoba:



Cordoba
                                                                         Marshal Bolin ©
 
Cordoba is a
must-see city – if for no other reason (although there are many others) than to see
one of the world’s most awe-inspiring architectural wonders.  The
Mezquita (seen at left) simply cannot be
described – it’s a building that must be experienced.

After the
Mezquita, wander the Juderia quarter and take in the ambience of an older
time.  Cordoba is famous for its incredible patios.  If you come
for the Patio Festival in the first half of May, you’ll actually be able to
walk into many of Cordoba’s finest patios. Ordinarily closed from view, many
of them (those entered in the contest) are open to the public during the
festival.

Go sit in the main plaza and have a refreshment while you wait for the
big clock to strike the hour.  You’ll know you’re deep in the heart of
Flamenco country when it plays a dark Siguriya falsetta (guitar riff)
instead of ringing a bell.

The Parador Cordoba is located in the foothills just at the edge
of the city.  This location provides mountain breezes, and the Parador,
with its extensive gardens, always maintains an inviting freshness and
respite from the heat of the city below.

 

Carmona:



Parador Carmona gate
 
Carmona
is a very interesting town that provides the visitor with a chance to
explore both Roman and Almohad (moorish) ruins as well as an appealing, and
typically Andalusian old town. 

This city is perfectly situated to serve as a base for day trips to
Sevilla, Cordoba, and the surrounding "white towns" like Marchena,
Utrera, Osuna
and
others.

One of the cities historic landmarks has been turned into a Parador
(pictured at left).  The original Alcazar, which connects to the Pardor, was a
Moorish fort mostly destroyed by
an earthquake in 1504.  The government of Spain has restored the
fortified palace built by Pedro the Cruel – and has done it in the
finest style.

The castle Parador Carmona is situated atop a hill and has panoramic view out
over the plains below.  This really is a sumptuous place to stay. 
It is
peaceful and has one of the most elegant patios you’ll ever encounter. 
You’ll get to settle in a bit as you spend two luxurious nights here.  Sevilla is only a short drive and will surely be a day trip you won’t want
to miss!

 

Sevilla:



Sevilla
                                                 Marshal Bolin ©
 
Sevilla is the most beguiling
of cities.  It is pure pleasure to wander the Barrio Santa Cruz and the
area around the Alcazar.  No map needed – just go where your steps take
you.  Stop now and then in one of the many appealing tapas bars, cafes
or restaurants for some refreshment – then set out again.

The
"must-see" sites include the Alcazar, the mighty
Cathedral and its
Giralda
tower
and Patio de los Naranjos.  Be sure and climb up into the tower
for wonderful views out over the city.
Calle Sierpes is Sevilla’s shopping street and is a bustling
center of activity. Grab a taxi to take you over to the
Maria Luisa park.  Jump into one of the
many horse-drawn carriages and let them leisurely chauffeur you around the
park and over to Plaza Espana

You may want to come back to the city again the following day – one
day really can’t do it justice.  Another great visit is the Royal
Andalusian School of Equestrian Art.  It’s in Jerez, and whether you go
on one of these two days, or stop in on your way to Cadiz tomorrow – it’s
well worth it.  The main show is on Thursday at noon – but you can
watch them training Monday through Friday.  Incredibly beautiful horses
dancing and maneuvering to classical music.

 

 

Cádiz:



Cadiz



 
Next stop is Cádiz –  one of the oldest
cities in all of Europe.  Founded by the Phoenicians prior to 1100 BC,
its former grandeur is a bit faded now, but it retains a friendly and
somewhat ramshackle ambience that, along with its lively residents – the Gaditanos, is altogether agreeable.

Located on a peninsula, the old
city is surrounded by water.  Strolling the waterfront promenade and
watching the locals fishing in the
early evening is an especially enjoyable way to pass some time.  Don’t miss the great seafood
oriented tapas restaurants here – you’ll discover dozens of tasty little tid-bits you never
dreamed even existed.

The Museo de Bellas Artes is well worth a visit as is the old
Cathedral (at left).

The Parador Cadiz is of a modern style.  Most rooms have views to
the sea and are very comfortable.  It is well situated and within an
easy walk of the center of the old quarter.

 

Arcos de la Frontera:




Parador Arcos de la Frontera

 
Arcos is a typical "white town."  It
sits atop a steep hill that, on one side, drops straight down to the
Rio Guadalete far below.  This position made it easier to defend when it was a
frontier town during the Christian re-conquest.

Arcos is a laid-back
town today, fewer tourists arrive here than other more well known destinations. 
It’s a great town for walking.  From your Parador at the very top of
the hill on the Plaza del Cabildo – you can walk down in any
direction and explore at your leisure. 

Summer provides enchanting late-night
concerts on the main plaza during the Fiesta de la Virgen de las Nieves
September brings Arcos’ own especially wild version of the running of the
bulls.  Great fun, but not for the faint of heart!

The Parador Arcos De La Frontera has incredible views on the south-facing side. 
Step out on your balcony and you feel like you’re flying!  The views
are unobstructed – down and out over the Guadalete plain.  The
rooms on the other side offer a pleasant view of the Plaza
del Cabildo
and the ancient
church that fronts it.  The cuisine in the Parador’s fine restaurant
is typically and deliciously Andalusian.

 

Ronda



Parador Ronda
 
Ronda is a fascinating city with an equally
fascinating history.  A moorish stronghold for centuries, it later
became essentially a haven for bandits.  They would loot the
surrounding countryside and then return to their nearly impregnable location
in Ronda and dare the authorities to try and get them out.

Modern
bullfighting was invented here, and Ronda’s bullring is said to be the oldest in
Spain.  Cross over the vertigo-inducing bridge and wander the old town to your
hearts content.  You’ll get pleasantly lost – a few times – but it’s
great fun exploring and you’re never far from the way back.

From here, you could drive out to some of Spain’s most typical "white
villages" – Setenil, Grazalema, Gaucin, Olvera, Ubrique, Zahara de la Sierra,
 – and many others – each a dazzling
drop of ancient culture in these rugged sierras.

The Parador Ronda (pictured above) sits on the edge of one of the most
awesome gorges in all Spain .  A completely unique location that will
astound you.  Your stay here will assuredly be one of the highlights of
your trip.

 

Granada   


Granada Excursions and Alhambra Tours here




                                                                       
Granada is one of Andalucia’s jewels –
indeed one of the world’s jewels.

There is a spot up in the Sierra Nevada mountains south of Granada
called El
Suspiro del Morro – "The sigh of the Moor."  Supposedly it
was where Boabdil, the last Moorish ruler of Granada, stopped as he was
departing and
looked longingly back one last time at his beloved city as he
retreated from the Christian re-conquest.

The Alhambra in Granada is one of
humanity’s great
monuments.  It should not be missed.  This is architecture
that is at once sensual, imaginative and inspiring.  The old Nasrid sultan’s
palace and the surrounding grounds, including
the Generalife gardens, are absolutely enchanting – the stuff of fairy
tales.  Moorish art and architecture reached a spectacular and
wondrous pinnacle here in Granada.   Nearing the end of their
centuries-long occupation of this southern part of the Iberian peninsula, the Nasrid
dynasty’s artists and architects had achieved a marvelous style.

The Parador Granada is located right inside the grounds of the Alhambra. 
In the evening, when all the other tourists are locked out, you’ll be able
to wander the gardens of the Alhambra by yourself!  It’s very hard to
imagine anything more romantic.

 

Jaen



Parador Jaen panorama
 
Jaen is one of the center’s of the olive
business in Spain.  More olive oil is produced around here than
anywhere else in Spain (which means anywhere else in the world). 

Walking around the city is nice.  Don’t bypass the huge
cathedral.  It’s well worth a visit – as is the very old
Iglesia de la Magdalena.  See the
Banos Arabes (Arab baths) and the town’s fine
museums.

For a great day trip, drive over to Parque
Natural de Cazorla
and hike around in the beautiful mountain
scenery consisting of craggy peaks, tranquil meadows, and bubbling streams. 
There are many well-marked trails.  This park is the largest
protected area in Spain.  There are over 2300 species of plants in the
park – including 24 found no where else in the world. Wildlife abounds, and
you might see; eagles, wild sheep and boar, as well as various
varieties of deer and any of a 140 different types of birds.

The Parador Jaen is spectacularly situated atop a steep and rugged
hill.  It overlooks the town below, and the views are breath-taking! 
You can walk directly down to the old-town from here, but if you aren’t in
good shape, best to grab a taxi and ride back up!

 

Map

 

Madrid:



Madrid
 

Madrid is hands-down winner of the title, "Europe’s Liveliest City." 
Madrilenos don’t really get their day into high gear until after
dinnertime – and dinner usually starts around 10:00 p.m.!  Then
they flood their beloved city’s streets and "pasear" (stroll around) or
"tapear" (hop from tapa bar to tapa bar) until dawn.

Some speak of Madrid as being drab, but how far from the truth that
is!  Granted it suffers, as do many of the world’s major cities,
from urban sprawl – but once you get past the concrete jungle outskirts,
you’ll discover a city that provides
endless surprises and discoveries.

There are many pockets of very old buildings that contain odd
assortments of shops, tiendas and bars.  You’ll happen upon
eighteenth-century Bourbon squares, pleasant plazas and quaint
restaurants at every other turn. 

Must Sees:  The Prado
museum – the Reina Sofía and
Thyssen-Bornemisza galleries,
the Plaza Mayor, the Retiro Park,
Gran Via – and
the list could go on and on.

But really – the thing that makes Madrid so special are the street
scenes, the people and the energy that makes this the night-time,
high-energy capital of Europe.

 

* Package Price includes:

– All Paradors and hotels
– Car rental for all days except last two in Madrid

Contact us for current prices for your dates.


 

Adios Travel Services will take care of arranging every aspect of this special
journey for you.  The "Passion of Spain"  travel experience will
prove to be romantic and exciting.  It will reaffirm your love of
travel, and provide memories for a lifetime.


Contact us today

and begin planning your
vacation into the "Passion of Spain."


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(Spain Parador information provided courtesy of SpainParador.com)