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Tour ID: 29
Tour type: Arts

Tour Category: International

Tour Description:

ARCHITECTURAL TOUR IN SPAIN 1

 

Eastern Andalucía: Málaga, Granada, Úbeda, Jaen, Baeza, Córdoba

 

ITINERARY

 

 

DAY 1  (L,D)

Fly to Málaga. Check into hotel. Later visit the Carmen Thyssen museum with its fine collection of old masters and 19th-century Spanish painting. The lecturer leads a tapas walk this evening. First of two nights in Málaga. 

DAY 2  (B,L,D)

Málaga. Begin at Picasso’s birthplace, which houses a small collection of his belongings and some ceramics. The Picasso Museum is magnificent, combining Phoenician ruins beneath, a fine 16th-century palace and a collection which places emphasis on his earlier works and the women in his life. There is time also to see the Alcazaba, a predominantly 11th-century Moorish construction with fine views from its terraces. The Renaissance Cathedral has a fine Baroque façade.  

DAY 3  (B,L,D)

Granada. Drive north in the morning to Granada. Walk via the Corral de Carbon, the evocative 14th-cent. caravanserai and silk market, and visit the Casa de los Tiros, Granada’s wonderful ethnographic museum housed in the 16th palace of a converted Morisco prince. In the late afternoon visit the Cathedral and Royal Chapel, which retains Isabel of Castile’s personal collection of Flemish, Spanish and Italian paintings. First of three nights in Granada. 

DAY 4  (B,L)

Granada. The 13th-century Arab palaces of the Alhambra ride high above the city. They are often reckoned to be the greatest expression of Moorish art in Spain, with exquisite decoration and a succession of intimate courtyards. Adjacent are the 16th-century Palace of Charles V and the Generalife, summer palace of the sultans, with gardens and fountains. The Carmen of the Martyrs garden was built by the Catholic monarchs in memory of the Christians that suffered under the Moorish domination. Optional : Evening performance of ‘Zambra’ Flamenco, a gypsy wedding ritual.

DAY 5  (B,L,D)

Granada. Morning walk through the Albayzín, the oldest quarter in town, including El Bañuelo (Arab baths) and the elegant, hispano-moresque gardens of the Instituto de Estudios Arabes. Climb up to San Nicolás from where there are fine views of the Alhambra. The Monasterio de San Jerónimo was the first to be built after the Christian conquest and contains a dazzling altar by Gil de Siloé. Optional : See the Palacios of the Alhambra in a different light with a late evening visit. 

DAY 6  (B,L,D)

Jaen, Baeza. Silver deposits first attracted the Romans to settle at Jaen before it was taken by the Moors in 712. Its Renaissance cathedral was built on the site of the Great Mosque and designed by outstanding Renaissance architect, Andrés de Vandelvira. See also the 14th-cent. church of San Ildefonso and the Museo Provincial with a fine archeological collection. Drive to Baeza, once a prosperous and important town and now a provincial backwater of quiet charm. It has a 16th-century cathedral, also the work of Vandelvira, and many grand houses of an alluring light-coloured stone. Continue to Úbeda for the first of two nights. 

DAY 7  (B,L,D)

Úbeda. In Úbeda walk to the handsome Plaza Vázquez de Molina, flanked by elegant palaces including Vandelvira’s Casa de las Cadenas and the present day parador. The church of El Salvador was designed by Diego de Siloé in 1536 while the 14th-cent. Casa Mudéjar houses the archeological museum. Sample some of the famed olive oils of the region at a lunchtime tasting. In the evening visit the 10th-cent. Sinagoga del Agua with a private performance of Sephardic music. 

DAY 8  (B,L,D)

Córdoba. Drive in the morning to Córdoba. The capital of Islamic Spain from the middle of the 8th century, it became the richest city in Europe until its capitulation to the Reconquistadors in 1236. A morning walk includes the narrow streets of the old Jewish quarter and the 14th-century synagogue. La Mezquita (mosque) is one of the most magnificent of Muslim sites, for some the greatest building of mediaeval Europe. It contains within it the 16th-century cathedral. First of two nights in Córdoba.  

DAY 9   (B,L,D)

Córdoba. Morning visit to the Archaeological Museum, housed in a Renaissance mansion, with a fine collection of Roman and Arab pieces. The Fine Arts Museum, with Plateresque façade and one delightful ceiling, houses some good Spanish paintings. Visit the Alcázar, mediaeval with earlier architectural remains (and good Roman mosaics). In the afternoon drive out to the excavations of Medina Azahara, with remains of a huge and luxurious 10th-century palace complex. 

DAY 10  (B,L)

 

Drive back to Málaga via the pretty town of Antequera. Catch flight back home.

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