Arab and Sefarad Andalusia Deluxe
This 8-day Andalusia train vacation will take you back in time highlighting the Arab and Sefarad history of Andalusia. The story will take you into the footsteps of the Arab conquerors and the Jewish heritage. Those who want to find their roots can make enjoy this tour with 100% halal or kosher food.
This voyage with its architectural majesty starts in the ancient and avant-garde. Madrid will enchant with its artistic center and unmistakable energy whilst Sevilla will seduce with its unbridled passion and flamenco rhythms. Granada will astound with its Moorish wonders and colorful history and finally, Malaga will enchant, with its cultural gems and relaxed way of life.
Combined, this train vacation through Spain is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.
Explore the capital city of Madrid, with its golden triangle of art, world class shopping and exceptional gastronomy scene.
Indulge yourself in Toledo, a city known for its three cultures. Witness how the Arabs, Jews and Christians were all living together in harmony and has influenced its architecture into a mix of variety of buildings.
Experience a flamenco show in Seville with its roots from the Arabian deserts and discover the truth behind this passionate and historic dance.
Marvel at the mosque transformed into a cathedral in Cordoba and observe how tow different styles of architecture blend into one.
Transport yourself more than a millennia back in time with a visit to the Arabic fortress of the Alhambra in Granada.
Day 1 | Madrid | Arrival to Madrid
Upon arrival, you will be picked up by a private taxi and take you to your hotel for a day of rest before your adventure begins. We will provide you with restaurant recommendations and places to visit
Day 2 | Madrid | Local Madrid and an excursion to Toledo
Art lovers will rejoice in the city’s ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, made up of the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen Bornemisza, which display works from many of the world’s artistic heavyweights. We also recommend a visit to Gran Via, the city’s most famous shopping boulevard, and Puerta del Sol, the so-called ‘Heart of Spain’ and home to the famous Bear and Strawberry Tree statue, which has become a symbol of the city.
Within just half an hour by train, you are in the city of Toledo, whose occupation by Christians, Muslims and Jews has infused it with a highly unique historical and architectural offering. Located atop a gorge above the Tagus river, this is a must for culture lovers who will revel in exploring the vaulted mosques, Sephardic synagogues, and gothic cathedrals, as well as the artworks of El Greco with whom the city is synonymous.
Day 3 | Madrid - Seville | Flamenco capital
In just 2.5 hours by train from Madrid, you reach Seville with its mix of food, architecture, flamenco rhythms and Andalusian charm. Passion and heat run deep in this sun-soaked city and it is not unusual for impromptu displays of flamenco to flood out onto the street, whilst its festivals – such as the Feria de Abril and Semana Santa – are always a whirlwind of colour, fervour and unbounded jubilation. One thing is for sure, this city knows how to celebrate.
Today, we recommend you take the day to settle in and soak up the unique energy of this city, before heading to explore its tapas scene. Tapas in Seville range from old favourites to modern inventions so depending on your preferences, we will provide you with some tips.
Day 4 | Seville | Walk in the footprints of Colombus
Even the likes of Christopher Columbus were not immune to Seville’s charms, who used its (now modest-seeming) port as the gateway to the ‘New World’ and led to a boom in its economic, social and cultural growth. Such was his connection to the city that his tomb is located in its colossal cathedral, which still stands as the largest gothic cathedral in the world. Occupying the site of an Islamic mosque, the vast structure retains its minaret, now converted into Seville’s emblematic Giralda (bell tower), and idyllic orange tree courtyard.
This marriage of Moorish and Christian culture can also be seen in the neighboring Real Alcazar, the oldest royal palace in Europe whose geometric mosaics, ornate latticework, water fountains, and recessed gardens stand as one of the most outstanding examples of Mudejar art in existence. Seville’s vast Plaza de Espana is further evidence of its architectural genius, whilst the vibrant Triana neighborhood is a microcosm of artistic energy with an excellent market, traditional ceramic heritage, strong flamenco connection, and long gypsy and bullfighting history.
Day 5 | Seville - Cordoba | From Catholic Seville to Arabic Cordoba
Cordoba, the former capital of the Caliphate, is just a short train ride away from Seville. The spectacular mosque transformed into a cathedral after the fall of the Emir in the early 11th century. You can walk for hours through its hallways, its sculptures, and frescos lining synchronized next to each other. The Jewish quarter is one of its most conserved in Spain with one of its synagogues still intact.
Day 6 | Cordoba - Granada | Final stop, the beautiful Granada
Before you head off to Granada by train, you have the morning to visit a bit more of Cordoba profound. Take a trip to the ruins of the enormous former palace of the Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III, only 5 kilometers outside of the city. Walk around and imagine how, one millennia ago, this place was bustling and being one of the richest and biggest capitals in the world.
In just two hours by train, you will be whisked to the city of Granada, another exceptionally beautiful city whose status as the last Moorish kingdom is deeply woven into the fabric of the city. This legacy is no more evident than in the Alhambra, a spectacular Islamic palace atop a hilltop which you will have the opportunity to visit tomorrow. Today, we recommend exploring the city on foot to appreciate its dramatic setting in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and enjoying its gastronomy scene, whose large tapas portions have earned it a place in the hearts of food lovers.
Day 7 | Granada | Alhambra, Spain´s jewel
Be sure to leave at least four hours today to explore the jewel in Granada’s crown, the Alhambra, whose sprawling complex and unabashed grandeur truly justifies its worldwide reputation. Its Renaissance residential palaces, opulent frescoes, decorated columns, and open courtyards are a lasting monument to the pivotal part the city played in Iberian history, whilst its gardens are an oasis of calm and serenity.
In the afternoon, we suggest venturing into the Albaicin neighborhood, the old Arab Quarter which has retained a strong sense of identity and wonderful bohemian energy. End the day with a visit to the Sacramonte neighborhood, the thriving gypsy quarter which lures visitors to its hillside location for flamenco music and dancing after dark.
*Please note that you need to buy tickets to the Alhambra in advance.
Day 8 | Granada - Malaga - Home?
Today you will cover the final 125 kilometres in an air-conditioned bus (approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, no train currently exists between Granada and Malaga), arriving at Malaga airport in time for your flight.
Total Price: € 995,- / $ 1250 per person
- 7 Nights in four or five star hotels
- Three train tickets and one bus ticket per person. Please note that there is the option to upgrade to a private driver should you wish.
- Private pick-up transfer to airport upon arrival.
- Access to insider tips about what to see and where to eat. Let us know if you have any special diets like vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher or any other and we will give you free advice.
- 24/7 help line for the duration of your trip.
- Air tickets. Please note that we can arrange these should you wish.
- Travel insurance.
- All other food and drinks not mentioned in the above description.
- City tourism taxes.
- Personal expenses such as extra hotel services or gratuities.
- Entrance fees unless otherwise stated.