Driving Tour Moorish Towns of Andalucia - Spain
Short walks of generally 3-4 hours plus optional day excursions; level or slightly hilly terrain using well kept paths.
2. Average/ Moderate
Easy day walks with more strenuous excursions. 4-5 hours per day in hilly to mountainous areas using well kept, sometimes stony paths.
Strenuous day walks or trekking in mountainous areas. 5-7 hours per day, sometimes carrying backpacks with stuff for one night; altitude differences between 1,500-3,000 ft. (500-1,000 m.) per day.
Serious excursions in high mountains, sometimes carrying backpacks with stuff for several nights. 6-8 hours per day; altitude differences up to 3,600 ft. (1,200 m.) per day. Only for those with an excellent condition and without fear of heights.
Easy cycling in nearly flat areas; Little or no experience needed. Approx. 20-50 km daily. Bicycles with up to 3 gears will do.
2. Average / Moderate
Nearly flat to hilly areas with the occasional short climb. Approx. 30-65 km daily. Bicycles with minimum 7 gears will do.
Strenuous cycling with some steeper climbs. Some experience needed. Approx. 30-75 km daily. Bicycles with up to 21 gears needed.
Serious and strenuous in mountainous areas. Slopes are longer and/or steeper. Good physical condition needed. Experience and a mountain bike needed. Approx. 30-80 km daily.
You can choose from 4 different levels of comfort, although most of our trips are rated 2 or 3 (or a combination of the two) on our accommodation scale. We try to provide en-suite rooms where possible but on occasions this may not be possible on some tours.
We are constantly looking for hotels, B&B’s, guesthouses and mountain huts that offer a special location, ambience or atmosphere that fits the trip. Accessibility to the route and personal hospitality of the owners are part of our choice of accommodations.
A hotel, a pension or a mountain hut with all the basic facilities. Most rooms have a shared bathroom.
Fine hotels or B&B’s with basic to moderate facilities. Almost all rooms have a private bathroom.
A 3-star hotel, B&B or guesthouse. Comfortable rooms with private en-suite bathroom and often air conditioning. Some accommodations might have a swimming pool.
A 4-star chateau hotel or guesthouse. The rooms are relatively large with en-suite bathroom and air conditioning. A warm welcome and a high quality are guaranteed. Some hotels have a swimming pool or sauna.
A cultural self-drive itinerary which takes in the three Moorish cities of Andalucia. Córdoba: the largest and most beautiful city of an immense 10th-century Moorish kingdom, which once boasted 1,000 mosques, 800 Arab bath houses and a prestigious university.
The awe-inspiring ‘Mezquita’ recalls that era, while Córdoba’s modern-day gastronomy also deserves a mention. Seville, the captivating regional capital, is full of magnificent monuments, flamenco music, the scent of jasmine and an endless labyrinth of narrow lanes to explore.
Option city cycling tour or flamenco live in El Barrio de Santa Cruz. Granada, perhaps the most surprising destination on this tour, is a small but very cosmopolitan city, with modern avenues in defiant juxtaposition to ancient winding lanes. A visit to the spectacular Alhambra, magical ‘8th wonder’ of the world, creates a perfect end to the holiday.
- Quality city hotels in Andalucía’s three major provincial capitals
- The best of southern gastronomy: tapas galore, regional wines and the cult of olive oil
- Córdoba’s Mosque, Sevilla’s Giralda and the Alhambra of Granada
- Optional city cycling tour in Seville
- Flamenco evenings, guitar music and a lively atmosphere at nights served with local sherry
- Possibility of extending your stay with extra nights in rural accommodations near Priego de Córdoba and Antequera, where we have described several walks
The indicated routes on Google Maps are approximate.
Day 1 Arrival in Granada
Flight to Malaga airport, motorway to Granada. If there's time, option of stopping in Alhama de Granada. This lovely town, perched on a cliff overlooking the surrounding countryside, is the birthplace of American writer Washinton Irving just one stop along the cultural itinerary based on Irving's life and work. Overnight at a welcoming city hotel situated right in the heart of Granada. Nearby, a myriad of outdoor terraces and tapas bars
Day 2 Granada and the Alhambra
This morning you walk up to the Alhambra. Your visit to this stunning Moorish monument will be nothing short of a delirious journey to a magical past. In the afternoon, option of visiting an Arab-style bathhouse, lounging at a teahouse or getting lost in the labyrinth of narrow lanes in El Albaicin.
Day 3 Driving trip: Granada - Priego de Córdoba
From Granada, you cross the historic border between the Christian kingdom and Moorish Caliphate. A powerful force for seven centuries, Arab rule was dealt a final blow by the Reconquest in 1492. On your way to Priego, you traverse a lovely landscape of gently rolling hills, endless olive orchards and white-washed villages. Accommodation at a comfortable hacienda-hotel in the country.
Day 4 Self-drive excursions from Priego de Córdoba
After a tasty breakfast, you head out to the Natural Park at Sierra Subbética, for a day of walking. There are several self-guided routes to choose from. Nearby, you can also visit the Cave of the Bats or white-washed hilltop town of Zuheros.
Day 5 Driving trip: Priego - Córdoba
Today you travel via Alcaudete, Baena and Castro del Río to reach Córdoba, 10th-century capital of an immense Moorish kingdom in which Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together in a peaceful plural society. Overnight stay at a historical 16th-century inn right behind the ancient mosque. Stroll through the well-preserved Jewish quarter, with its narrow lanes and flower-filled patios.
Day 6 Driving trip: Córdoba - Seville
Early start today, for a visit to the splendid Mezquita, an ancient mosque built by the Moors during Córdoba's Golden Age. A short drive then takes you out into peaceful open countryside dotted with white-washed villages. Stop off to admire the fascinating complex at Medina Zahara. Make a picnic lunch of local specialities such as cured ham and goat cheese. At the end of the day, you arrive in Sevilla and settle in at your accommodation, a perfectly-situated hotel in the historic centre of this charming city.
Day 7 Exploring Seville
The scintillating city of Seville is a paradise of spectacular monuments, lively neighbourhoods, peaceful squares and lovely parks. Hire a bicycle for a city tour. As you pedal along an audioguide describes the Giralda, Alcázar, Plaza España and Casa de Pilatos. This evening, enjoy a flamenco show and dinner on an outdoor terrace.
Day 8 Driving trip: Seville - Antequera, via Carmona
This morning, time to see a few sights before moving on. Then, around lunchtime you reach Carmona, historic Andalouse town perfect for a tapas fest. The Ruta de Washington Irving will show you the historic towns of Marchena and Osuna. As you approach Antequera, the landscape changes drastically. In the midst of open plains you come upon huge wetlands, home to thousands of flamingos.
Day 9 Excursions from Antequera
Today you walk among surprising rock formations at El Torcal Natural Park, do a self-guided walking route through pine forests in the Malaga Mountains or rest and relax by the pool at your accommodation.
Day 10 End of program
Your self-drive tour through southern Spain comes to an end today after breakfast. Departure from Malaga.
- 9 nights accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis in very charming hotels, located in the historical city centres (for an image selection, please see Flickr)
- Detailed maps, route notes and cultural guides in English
- Telephone assistance
- Flights and public transportation
- Travel insurance
- Lunches and dinners
- Entrance tickets to monuments, shows, etc.
- Car rental
- Any items not mentioned in the program
Optional services (to be booked in advance):
- Additional night(s) at any of the accommodations (please use booking remarks field)
- City cycling in Seville
- Flamenco show
- Rental car from the airport
- Single supplement
The freedom to go as you please, by rental car or public transport.
How to get there:
Best arrival or departure airport is Malaga Airport. An alternative airport is Madrid-Barajas Airport.
By train it takes about 3 hours from Madrid to Malaga.
Tip: For online rail connections and reservations visit Rail Europe.