Legacy of Al Andalus Route I
THE LEGACY OF AL-ÁNDALUS ROUTE I (RUTA DEL LEGADO ANDALUSI I)
As the name suggests, this is Andalusia – Spain’s largest region – and this route incorporates many of the most notable examples of Moorish occupation in western Andalusia. Particularly outstanding are the mosque in Córdoba and the Parador in Carmona, a 14th century Arabic fortress.
Suggested access airports: Málaga/Jerez/Seville
7 NIGHT ITINERARY
First Night: Parador de MÁLAGA GIBRALFARO
Málaga is the start of the Route of the Legacy of Al-Ándalus, and its Alcazaba (citadel) is a perfect example of this heritage. Construction on this palace for the Nazarid kings started in the 11th century, and today it houses the Provincial Archeological Museum, which contains interesting pieces from the Paleolithic and other ancient Mediterranean cultures. Its lovely peaceful gardens feature many fountains and are worth a visit. After a tour of the Alcazaba, you can visit the ruins of the nearby Roman theatre. There is also Gibralfaro Castle, a palace which may have had Phoenician origins, upon which Yasuf I, Caliph of Granada, had the fortress we can admire today built in the 14th century. It has two towers linked to the Alcazaba by a passageway. Other places of interest include the cathedral and its museum, Virgen de la Victoria Shrine, plus the Fine Arts Museum and the Picasso Museum.
Second Night: Parador de RONDA
Vertiginous from every angle, Ronda has been occupied by Celts, Romans and Muslims. From this last era it has retained exquisite Arab baths (Calle San Miguel) and other traces of the Arab occupation in the Molinos Gate, the church of Santa María la Mayor, the minaret of San Sebastián and the House of the Giant (Casa del Gigante). Ronda is also home to what many consider to be one of the world’s most beautiful bullrings (plaza de toros). Between Ronda and Arcos lies the collection of the so-called White Villages (Pueblos Blancos), which the Almoravids conquered prior to setting their sights on Granada.
Third and Fourth Nights: Parador de ANTEQUERA
Thanks to its privileged geographical location, several civilisations have passed through Antequera leaving an interesting cultural legacy. One of the most important monuments is the Dolmens of Menga, Viera and El Romeral, dating back to the Bronze Age. Strolling around Antequera's historic quarter is like travelling back in time. One interesting option is to visit the churches of San Juan Bautista and San Sebastián among others, or discover the Moorish Alcazaba fortress. Other important monuments include the Temple of Papabellotas Castle and the 17th and 18th century mansions. They are all characterised by their impressive Spanish baroque style architecture. In the centre of Antequera, you can discover the Royal Collegiate Church of San Sebastián, which dates from the 16th Century. And don't miss the Convent of the Incarnation, followed by a visit to the Plaza del Coso Viejo, a beautiful bullring close to the Convent. This is just a small part of the many surprises Antequera holds for you.
Fifth Night: Parador de CARMONA
Located in the meadows that run alongside the Carbones River, Carmona is noteworthy for its monuments and relics of the different cultures which have populated it over the course of its long history. Churches, palaces and walls are all part of the important artistic heritage of the old quarter, dominated by the imposing Arab fortress, the Alcázar of King Don Pedro. The town’s location, just a few short kilometers from Seville, or Ishbilya, allows visitors trips into this beautiful city. Highlights include the Royal Palace/Fortress (Real Alcazar), constructed under Abd al-Rhaman III in the year 913, the cathedral, Giralda Tower, Oro Tower, as well as the many leisure options offered by the provincial capital.
Sixth and Seventh Nights: Parador de CÓRDOBA
Córdoba was the realization of the vision of the Caliph Muslim leaders, as capital of the Omeya Caliphate and centre of learning in the Muslim West during this period. In the city and its surrounding area we can see evidence of this culture in monuments and sites such as the mosque/cathedral and Medina Azahara. Also of interest are the synagogue, city walls, Roman bridge and royal stables. Interesting museums include the Julio Romero de Torres Museum, Archeological Museum, Bullfighting Museum (Museo Taurino) and Fine Arts Museum. Wandering through the winding streets of Córdoba is a pleasure for all the senses.