Andalucia - Moors and more in Granada, Córdoba and Seville

Prices from £2,990


22 Nov 2018 - 30 Nov 2018
Duration: 8 nights
Ref: 18ANDA
With: Sue Rollin


Prices from £2,990
Single Supplement: £390
Deposit: £300

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Throughout thousands of years of history, Andalucia has built an exceptional cultural heritage. Due to the region’s unique location between two continents and two seas, its mild climate and rich mineral resources, Andalucia has been continually inhabited since Prehistoric times; the Phoenicians, Iberians and Carthaginians being among the first to settle there. The flourishing Roman period was followed by the Visigoths and Byzantines, culminating in the culturally rich epoch of Muslim rule, which was responsible for much of the most remarkable Andalucian art and architecture, numerous monuments having been declared unesco world heritage sites, including Córdoba’s magnificent Mezquita, and the winding streets of its historic city centre, the unparalled Alhambra, Generalife Gardens and Albayzin in Granada, and the Alcazar and Giralda Tower in Seville, a vertiginous minaret with a Renaissance crown.

Traces of Andalucia’s resplendent past are not only visible in these large centres: its artistic legacy can be discovered through countless towns and villages, where exquisite examples of Islamic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture illustrate the region’s varied history. The towns of Baeza and Ubeda boast fine Renaissance complexes which have themselves been awarded World Heritage Status. This Art Pursuits Abroad Study Tour will experience first-hand the artistic highlights of this cultural melting pot..


Sue Rollin specialises in the ancient and Islamic Middle East and Mediterranean. An archaeologist and linguist by training, she lectures for the Arts Society and the Art Fund and has led study trips in Spain, Sicily, Morocco, the Middle East, Central Asia and India. Sue speaks Spanish, Italian, French and German and works regularly as an interpreter for international organisations. She is co-author of two travel guides: the ‘Blue Guide to Jordan’ and ‘Istanbul: A Traveller’s Guide’.

DAY 1:

Morning flight at c. 8.45am with British Airways from London City to Málaga. Coach transfer to your hotel in Granada for a late lunch break, followed by a walk through the winding streets of the mediaeval Albayzín district, rich in Moorish vernacular architecture. First of three nights in Granada.

DAY 2:

By coach for an early morning visit to the Alhambra, whose unrivalled palace complex of intricately ornamented buildings encircled by thickly forested mountains was described by Moorish poets as ‘a pearl set in emeralds’. A leisurely walk through the Generalife gardens, the former rural residence of the emirs who ruled Andalucia in the 13th and 14th centuries and today one of the oldest surviving Moorish gardens. After lunch at a historic parador, visit the Fundación Rodriguez-Acosta, the luxurious home and exotic art collection of this 20th-century Granada-born painter.

DAY 3:

A day on foot in Granada will take us through the Alcaicería past the Moorish Baths and the 14th-century Moorish caravanserai of the Corral del Carbón to the cathedral and the Chapel Royal, the lavishly embellished mausoleum of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castille, begun in 1504. The Chapel’s sacristy and museum houses panel paintings by Rogier van der Weyden and Botticelli as well as the monarchs’ personal jewels and ornaments. Destination of the afternoon excursion are the monasteries of San Jeronimo and La Cartuja, both foundations of Ferdinand and Isabella — the former featuring a colossal Mannerist polyptych, the latter a dazzling stucco interior. Private evening visit to the Alhambra, followed by a tapas dinner. Third and final night in Granada.

DAY 4:

By coach to the town of Ubeda, with its wealth of Renaissance palaces and churches, and a monumental square, the Plaza de Vázquez de Molina, surrounded with imposing buildings such as the Palacio de las Cadenas, so named for the decorative chains which once hung from the façade. Visit the privately-owned Palacio Vela de los Cobos, and the Sacra Capilla del Salvador, an idiosyncratic Renaissance funerary chapel, before continuing in the afternoon to Baeza for a walk through the handsome old quarter, past the Fuente de los Leones to the Cathedral and the Romanesque church of Santa Cruz. Arrive in Córdoba in the early evening and settle in to your four-star hotel for the first of two nights.

DAY 5:

Morning walk through the internal flower-planted patios and the atmospheric alleys of the Jewish Quarter to Córdoba’s gem, the Mezquita — a splendid Renaissance Cathedral encased within a sprawling arcaded Mosque complex — one of the greatest and most impressive works of Muslim architecture, built from 784 on the ruins of a Visigothic church. The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos was one of the main residences of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella, who converted much of the older Arab complex into torture and interrogation chambers of the Inquisition. In the afternoon, explore the ruins of the Moorish palace complex at Medina Azahara, dating back to 936.

DAY 6:

After breakfast, coach from Córdoba to Seville via Carmona, a picturesque small town with a magnificent 15th-century tower built in imitation of Seville’s Giralda. Special visit to the privately owned Palacio del Marqués de San Martín, featuring ‘Mudéjar’ Moorish patios and stately Isabelline reception rooms. After lunch continue to Seville where a special private evening visit to the Alcazar, followed by a tapas dinner, awaits. First of three nights in Seville.

DAY 7:

A morning walk through the royal gardens to the Alcázar: originally a Moorish fort, it is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and among the best preserved and most beautiful examples of Mudéjar architecture. The chapel of the nearby Baroque Hospital de la Caridad has paintings by Juan de Valdés Leal and Murillo. Afternoon visits will include the Maria Luisa Park, a botanical garden comprising half a mile of tiled fountains, pavilions, orange trees and Mediterranean pines, and the Casa de Pilatos — a superb example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, embellished with azulejos tiles and Mudéjar honeycomb ceilings, and home to a picture gallery including works by Francisco Pacheco and Luca Giordano.

DAY 8:

morning visit to the spectacular St Mary of the Sede, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, and its renowned Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the mosque that stood on the site during Muslim rule. Then by coach to the Museo de Bellas Artes, which holds an outstanding collection of Spanish art of the Golden Age, including works by Velazquez, Zurbarán and Murillo. After some free time in the afternoon, we will reconvene to experience a traditional Flamenco performance, followed by a final group dinner.

DAY 9:

After breakfast, coach transfer to Málaga Airport for an early afternoon flight with BA, scheduled to land at London City at c. 4pm.


Specific fitness requirements for this Study Tour:

This tour involves a lot of walking, up and downhill, and sometimes on uneven ground or pavements; museum and site visits require prolonged periods of standing without the possibility of a rest. Coach journeys vary in length.

Please note that all our Study Tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps and inclines. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participents' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk at a reasonable pace and / or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.

If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking.


Twin/double share: £2990 per person
Double room for sole use supplement: £390
Price of the tour without flights: £2800 per person
Deposit: £300 per person


  • Scheduled return flights (Economy class) with British Airways between London City and Málaga
  • Transfers and excursions in Spain by private coach
  • In Granada three nights B&B in the NH Collection Victoria, a handsome early 20th-century corner building in the heart of the city; in Córdoba two nights B&B in the boutique Hotel Las Casas de la Judería situated in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, overlooking the 10th-century Caliphate’s Baths — hotel pool open all year; in Seville three nights B&B in Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia, located in the city centre, next to the gardens of the Alcazar palace — all hotels enjoy a four-star rating — as the hotels occupy historic buildings, rooms vary in size and outlook — two hotels have a bar and a restaurant
  • Five dinners and two lunches
  • Guided visits to monuments and museums listed in the programme
  • Services of the lecturer and a tour manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
  • Small group between 12 and 22 participants


  • Three dinners and seven lunches
  • Transport between home and London City Airport
  • Travel insurance. We strongly advise you to be covered by adequate travel insurance

NH Collection Victoria**** Grenada

Housed in an early 20th-century corner building with a classical-style façade in the very heart of Granada. The guest rooms are modern and elegantly decorated, most feature a balcony with views over the city to the Sierra Nevada mountains.


  • Air conditioning
  • Flat screen Television
  • En suite
  • Espresso coffee machine
  • Kettle
  • Safe
  • Free WiFi
  • Iron and ironing board (on request)
  • Minibar
  • Hairdryer


The hotel features an iconic domed first-floor restaurant where sunlight floods through the windows. There is also the hotel’s bar where you can enjoy an evening drink.

Las Casas de la Judería**** Cordoba

This four star boutique boasts an excellent location in Cordoba Jewish Quarter, within the vicinity of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the Royal Stables, the 10th century Caliphate Baths and just 200 metres from Cordoba's Mosque-Cathedral. For most of its history the building has been a stately home, and the design of the hotel pas respect to the history and architecture of the building with authentic period furniture and historic artworks.


  • Satellite
  • Minibar
  • Television
  • Safe
  • En suite


At this hotel you will find honesty bars in the patio and lounge rooms. Drinks and snacks are available at the hotels outdoor pool which is open year round.

Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia**** Seville

Located in the heart of the Jewish Quarter and comprising of 27 traditional houses linked through 40 patios, gardens and a labyrinth of small passageways, with remains of pedestals, Roman statues, amphoras, earthenware jugs and antiques decorating each of its corners, the hotel is a showcase of historical Seville. Each room at this hotel is unique yet decorated in the same historic character found throughout the hotel.


  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe


Or dining the hotel features a cosy breakfast room and a main restaurant, on the first floor you will find a delightful piano bar.