Classical Spain

Classical Spain

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Classical Spain

7 Days Starting and ending in Málaga, Spain

Visiting: Málaga, Ronda, Seville, Córdoba, Granada, Alhambra

Tour operator:

Riviera Travel

Tour code:

CS

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 25

Physical rating:

Please contact Riviera Travel if you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility.

Age range:

18-99

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians, Please contact Riviera Travel with specific dietary requests.

Tour operated in:

English

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

Experience Andalucía’s magical fusion of Spanish and Moorish cultures as you discover Seville’s vibrant streets and conquistador heritage, Granada’s wondrous Alhambra and the dazzling Mezquita mosque in Córdoba – and much more. Andalucía is simply one of the most beautiful corners of Europe yet for many it remains relatively undiscovered. It’s a land where the excesses of the modern era seem not to have taken root and where travellers are genuinely welcomed. The food is a delight, with the area noted for its seafood and its famous drink, the fortified wine from Jerez we call sherry. Try a glass of fino, a very dry yet refreshing sherry, while nibbling tapas, that great Spanish titbit invention. The people are charming – always ready to help, with a friendly attitude towards their fellow man and a love of life so typical of Mediterranean people. So, for an inspirational blend of timeless countryside, iconic monuments, romantic and vivacious cities, fragrant flowers and orange blossom, wonderful art and superb cuisine, all set in a region that welcomes visitors as honoured guests, welcome to Andalucía.

Highlights

  • Experience beautiful Seville’s vibrant streets and tranquil parks on a tour led by a local guide

  • Visit to medieval Ronda - one of Spain’s most spectacularly situated cities

  • Delight in delicious and authentic Tapas in Seville

  • Fall under the spell of the Alhambra, seeing one of the most romantic places ever built, with exquisite formal gardens of roses and fountains, set against the dramatic mountains of Granada

  • Visit Córdoba with a guided tour of the Mezquita, possibly the most beautiful mosque constructed - entrance included

  • Six nights in three-star superior and four-star accommodation including all local taxes, with breakfast

Itinerary

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Day 1 : Arrival In Malaga

Location: Málaga

Accommodation: Hotel

Arrive at the airport for your flight to Malaga. On arrival, we transfer to the four-star Ilunion Hacienda del Sol. This hotel is ideally situated in undulating countryside near the village of Mijas.

Day 2 : Ronda

Location: Ronda, Seville

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast we take a drive into the hills forming the beautiful backdrop to the coast and then arrive in Ronda, a city widely acknowledged as one of the most spectacular in Spain and which enjoys a setting so naturally dramatic it could be in a fairy tale. Built on a ridge and split by a most impressive gorge plunging down hundreds of feet, Ronda’s almost impregnable position meant it was one of the last bastions of Moorish power, only falling to the Christians in 1485. During the 18th century, the two halves of the town were joined by its iconic stone bridge, while another highlight is the palace that was once home to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, paymasters of Columbus. With lots of good restaurants and tapas bars, Ronda is a splendid spot to spend a few hours exploring its classic Moorish maze of cobbled alleys, full of whitewashed houses with window grilles. Much of the city’s appeal lies in its spectacular views and clear mountain air – Andalucía at its simple best. We continue our drive into the countryside beyond, which is both very scenic and quite isolated, so much so it is not unusual to see eagles and vultures soaring above or ibex roaming the mountains.



We then arrive in Seville and our hotel, the three-star superior Don Paco, where we stay for the next three nights.

Day 3 : Seville

Location: Seville

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Flamboyant, seductive, fascinating … Seville is all these and more. It is simply one of the most beautiful and charismatic cities in the world, with the serene River Guadalquivir flowing through its centre, a history spanning the centuries, a wealth of historic buildings, colourful back streets and peaceful parks.



It has its origins in Roman times – the Emperor Hadrian, builder of the famous wall, came from here. During the 8th century the Moors arrived, stayed for five centuries and left a unique legacy still in evidence today. However, if one event changed Seville, it was the discovery of the New World and, fittingly, Columbus is buried in the imposing cathedral. Immense wealth poured in from Spain’s new empire and catapulted Seville into one of the largest and richest cities in Europe.



Much of Seville was built during this time and it seems to have changed little in the last 500 years, with tiny twisting streets and hidden squares where the locals hide from the midday sun in high summer. Today, though, it possesses a vibrant, cultural spirit that is very special.



The city of Figaro, this is the setting for another classic opera, Carmen. It’s also the home of flamenco, the origins of which are lost in the aeons of time. In short, this is the essence of Spain.



After breakfast we have a tour of this beguiling city, during which we’ll see the awe-inspiring semi-circular Plaza de España, a fine example of Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival styles of Spanish architecture. You’ll also see the Tower of Gold, so named as it was used to store plunder from the Americas, and much more. During the afternoon you’re free to explore Seville at your leisure, during this time you could visit the fortified palace of the Alcázar or the world’s largest Gothic cathedral which is the final resting place of the great navigator, Christopher Columbus. Alternatively if you wish, you could take a cruise on one of the many river boats.

Day 4 : Free Day In Seville

Location: Seville

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today we have a free day. There are the ‘musts’ to revisit if you wish, such as the Alcázar, the fortified palace of the Moors with a richness of decoration which will astound you, and the cathedral, but also take time to wander around the Barrio Santa Cruz, the former Jewish quarter of the medieval city, and the smart pedestrianised Calle Sierpes, a street full of beautiful shops selling high-quality leather goods. The Maria Luisa Park is a beautiful display of colour where you can relax and indulge in a spot of people-watching.

Day 5 : Cordoba

Location: Córdoba, Granada

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast we leave Seville and head east to another of Andalucía’s classic cities, arriving in Córdoba for our guided tour. Córdoba was the ancient capital of the Moors and is principally famous for a single building – the Mezquita – the grandest and most beautiful mosque ever constructed in the Moorish world. Dominating the centre of the Old Town, which was once the home of a thriving Jewish community, it is a building of extraordinary power and mystery with an arcaded hall supported by over 850 columns made of semi-precious stones. One can only wonder at the architectural brilliance of the builders all those hundreds of years ago, while northern Europe was still immersed in the depths of the Dark Ages. Another highlight is the immense, well-preserved Roman bridge. Córdoba is a delightful place full of patios drenched in the colour of thousands of flowers – the Spanish seem to take so much pride decorating their homes.



We then continue our journey to arrive in the city of Granada, the last stronghold of the sultans during the Middle Ages and home to the Alhambra, the most spectacular gem of Moorish Andalucía. As we approach Granada, there can be no more proof of the diversity of this corner of southern Europe. We pass through some very arid countryside with a landscape of dried riverbeds, giving way to rolling olive groves. In the distance is the spectacular Sierra Nevada, the highest mountain range in Spain. The landscape then becomes more fertile and picturesque, with ancient olive trees stretching off into the distance.



Our hotel for the next two nights is either the centrally located four-star Hotel Corona, in the heart of the city and within easy walking distance of the principal areas of interest, or the four-star Hotel Alixares, well located opposite the Alhambra. Both are fully air-conditioned and ideal for a comfortable stay.

Day 6 : Granda & The Alhambra

Location: Granada, Alhambra

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast

Granada has a naturally dramatic location, nestling against the backdrop of permanently snow-capped mountains soaring majestically to a height of 11,000 feet. It is the perfect setting for the most perfect of architectural wonders, the Alhambra. So individual in its setting, so rich in its history and so exquisite in its design, this iconic building was the high point in Moorish culture. It is not just a palace, though. Some of it is a fortress, and much is given over to formal gardens full of roses and fountains, giving an incredible impression of peace and tranquillity.



Today we visit the Alhambra, which for many people will be the highlight of the holiday, and you’ll also have time to explore the city as you wish. There is a myriad of twisting streets, the old Moorish quarter and the traditional gypsy area, all full of tiny unique shops, with seemingly every balcony sprouting flowers in a profusion of colour. There’s nothing better than taking a stroll through these streets, little changed in centuries, with pavements made of pebbles set in mortar and some so narrow that mules were the only form of transport. Granada also boasts some of the most distinctive old bars in Spain, many of them decorated with antique tiles, where taking a drink and a few tapas can be an excuse for a unique, authentically Andalucían experience.

Day 7 : Return Flight

Location: Málaga

Meals Included: Breakfast

Transfer to Malaga airport for your flight home.

What's Included

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Sole occupancy;rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement

  • Accommodation

    6 nights in 3-star superior to 4-star

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Meals

    Daily breakfast

  • Entrances to the Alhambra and Mezquita

  • Local Taxes

  • International Travel

    Return flights

  • Fully Guided

    The services of a Riviera Tour Manager

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • Entrance Fees

    Entrances to the Alcazar or cathedral in Seville, which are approximately €12.

    50 and €9 respectively and payable locally.

    Please note that there are reduced entry prices for those aged 65 or more on presentation of a valid ID.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Is there a supplement for solo travellers?

    Yes

  • What currencies are required for this tour?

    Euros

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    No. Not included are the entrances to the Alcazar or cathedral in Seville, which are approximately €12.50 and €9 respectively and payable locally. Please note that there are reduced entry prices for those aged 65 or more on presentation of a valid ID.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    Yes, return flights from the UK

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    No

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    For almost 40 years

  • I have reduced mobility; can I still travel?

    We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to contact us to discuss these concerns

  • Do I require travel insurance?

    It is a condition of booking that you carry suitable travel insurance.

  • What is my luggage allowance?

    You will receive details of your luggage allowance with your final travel documents, which are sent approximately 10 days prior to your date of departure.

Reviews of this operator

David Clarke (Google Reviewer)  

This review is for the...

08-Aug-2023

This review is for the italian Lake Como trip Aug 1-8 Wow what a trip. Riviera from start to finish were excellent the booking and help line answering questions were very good and clear. The travel booklet you get is laid out that it is simple to read and follow with step by step info from booking in to flights to meeting the guides. Our guide Matt Purse was just the best guide and real credit to Riviera with his knowledge and straight forward approach to running the trips. Matt kept us informed and told us all the sort of info you want to know without going over the top....This chap should teach other reps ..thank you so much. The coaches they use are all clean and well equipped with usb chargers and have aircon. The places chosen to visit were well researched even down to where coaches park or drop you off. The Bernina Express was the highlight for our family and matts photo tip was welcomed. The only down point was the hotel,a little dated and evening meal in main restuarant was a bit of a let down. I think we were lucky with our room on level 7 and with balcony as the walls are very thin and noise travels. We would book again with riviera

Barbara Shillaker (Google Reviewer)  

I have been on three...

11-Jan-2024

I have been on three trips with Riviera Travel so far, with two more booked during 2024. Highly recommended. Excellent tour guides. Great program of visits. Great hotels used.

Julie Berry (Google Reviewer)  

What a fantastic holiday to...

29-May-2024

What a fantastic holiday to Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Cruise. If you are thinking of booking this do it right now. From start to finish everything was great. The hotels, the transport and the cruise. The rep was absolutely fabulous. If you have ‘B’ as your rep you will make a friend. She is so full of knowledge. We went on this trip with strangers and left it as friends.

Mrs Bodnarec (Google Reviewer)  

Thankyou Riviera and all the...

28-Apr-2024

Thankyou Riviera and all the staff on the William Wordsworth Danube River cruise. My husband and i have just travelled on the Danube to celebrate my husbands 60th and we had such a lovely experience. We were younger than most of the travellers but we met so many lovely people so this wasnt a problem. The staff were so lovely and professional. The service we experienced was so high. The boat was beautiful, the food amazing and the excursions were informative and well managed. I would definately recommend riviera as a company. In fact we are now considering their Japan holiday.

Valerie Pascoe  

We would go again in a heartbeat

22-Jan-2022

Oh my goodness, what a relief it was to actually get away! Full marks to all at Riviera for keeping us up to date before our trip and for the help so cheerfully and patiently given with the extra admin that Covid brought our way. We felt totally safe with the measures taken on board, thank you very much for this. Without exception, Staff were fantastic and our every need was attended to. The additional Covid testing ran smoothly, organised by our Riviera Reps. The guided tours were most interesting: the guides very knowledgeable and more importantly, interesting to listen to. We loved this trip and would do it again in a heartbeat. Thank you again Riviera, you were FAB!

Chris Wilson (Google Reviewer)  

Second escorted tour with this...

25-Jul-2022

Second escorted tour with this company. Did 5 days in Iceland tour. Everything went smoothly, excellent tour guide, Per. Extremely knowledgeable and interesting guy. Very friendly too. Highly recommend. Just let down by the room given at the hotel, but I guess the travel company doesn't have control over this.

Christine Hardy (Google Reviewer)  

Although most people seem to...

10-Mar-2024

Although most people seem to book and pay for their holidays online, because we live close by we prefer to make a personal visit. In my opinion if they are offering this as an option they should be better equipped to accommodate visits in person. We have not been on our river cruise yet, so can't comment on that yet.

Norma Patrick (Google Reviewer)  

Recently went on a tour...

18-May-2024

Recently went on a tour of the Deep South USA plus Texas. Before we set off on the trip we were informed that our trip On the Amtrak train would not be going ahead and we were given a £50 refund each. We were disappointed especially as there was no consultation beforehand and to only receive £50 each in compensation was poor. This was one of the reasons we had chosen Riviera Travel and may have considered another company had we been given the choice. Despite this we had a fabulous holiday, although we thought the tour guide was poor. There was no music played whilst we were traveling on the coach and when asked if more could be played we received a flat ‘no’. If we had relied on the tour guide all the time we wouldn’t have gone anywhere. However we ignored his comments that Nashville was ‘mad’ and went downtown and had the best night. All in all we had a wonderful holiday but it could have been better from Riviera Travel point of view. This is a very expensive tour and we thought the standard of hotels were very poor in some places. Probably would try a different tour company next time.

S BP (Google Reviewer)  

Delayed writing this review as...

16-Jul-2024

Delayed writing this review as I wanted to see if my frustrations dampened but they have not and it gives me no pleasure to write the following. Have travelled with Riviera previously without issue, and in fact loved everything. However on the latest riviera cruise from Budapest the vegetarian food offering was way below par and indeed it was clear there were times they cross contaminated between veggie and meat/fish. Staff on the cruise seemed unable to improve the issues and indeed on occasion the attempt to say they were giving this full attention resulted in even worse food. On return my complaint was dealt with quickly and we were refunded what in effect would be the cost of the food element of the cruise without delay. There was no recognition however that the marketing references to fine dining were in fact misleading. The individual who dealt with the complaint mentioned more than once that she had tried the vegetarian food on another ship Riviera use (it's the same two week rotating menu all season across the fleet) and found it to be good; pleased to hear, that doesn't help me does it! And totally ignored the fact that on a cruise you can't exactly jump ashore to supplement your food if it is poor, which meant there were occasions I went to bed hungry as it was truly that bad or lacking in quantity and food is such an integral part of the trip when you are basically held captive. I even bought my own extras when ashore for the chef to add to my meals like smoked tofu which they had the audacity to present to me at the special chefs dinner as cheese they had sourced! Very poor complaint handling that lacked real empathy, did not address all the points I raised and we all know escalating to the ombudsman is pointless as they are a toothless shark. Pictures shown are a main course for dinner - Pad Thai that was actually rice sticks with carrot and pine nuts, two tiny samosas & lettuce while the non veggies had shrimp skewers that were apparently delicious and roasted vegetable pie that was two mm of chopped veg with an inch of mash in top! The cruise itself was lovely but completely marred by the food and Riviera have now lost my business.

Barbara Parkes (Google Reviewer)  

Presently in Croatia staying at...

22-Sep-2023

Presently in Croatia staying at Arauana Hotel, supposedly a 4 star property, but wouldn't give it any star rating. Rooms are small and dirty. Wallpaper blistering. Meals served in a shed like lean-to. Food like warm, greasy and always self service. Second holiday with Riviera this year and neither at standard advertised. Have travelled with them previously and everything was fine, but standards have really dropped. Have booked a holiday with them next year and now dreading it. Certainly don't provide the standard advertised. We have never stayed in such a hovel and have visited youngsters in back packers accommodation which was far better than this supposedly 4 star accommodation. There are no indoor bars or lounges only a shed as a so called restaurant. Absolutely disgusting. Won't be boking with them again

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Riviera Travel requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 75 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of riviera travel charges.

    Up to 75 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 74 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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