Andalusia - hero

A Cultural Walking Tour: Cordoba to Granada, the Legacy of al-Andalus


For almost eight centuries, until the fall of Granada in 1492, the Moorish occupation of various parts of al-Andalus provided influences of a civilised and enlightened ambience that reverberate still in Europe and further afield in the New World. The legacy of this often Golden Age is clearly visible in the great historic cities of Cordoba and Granada and is still traceable along the ancient paths that link the former capitals.

We begin our explorations in Cordoba, seeing the glorious 8th century Mezquita, with its Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine influences and the bizarre cathedral within its original mosque construction. We then have a series of walks in the foothills of the Subbética range with glistening pueblos blancos close to hand. Our goal is Granada and the Alhambra, sitting above the Darro river and presenting entrancing views from every angle, with a final excursion walking in the untamed Alpujarras on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada.

HIGHLIGHTS of our Cordoba to Granada walking tour include:

  • Walks (half days) in the inspiring scenery of the Sierras Subbéticas and the Alpujarras
  • Exploring the picturesque 'white villages' of Andalusia, with their fountains, churches and flower-filled plazas
  • Discovering the glorious architectural heritage of Cordoba and Granada, based in charming, historic, 4 star hotels
  • Wine, cheese, tapas and olive oil tastings to complement menus of Andalusian specialities in first class restaurants
  • Guided tours of key historic sites, museums and beautiful formal gardens
 
 

Guests’ comments on this trip:

‘Another super trip with a well thought out itinerary, and hotels and restaurants which were full of character. As ever we were well looked after from beginning to end!’

‘Beautiful trip - well balanced between culture and walking. Well planned to finish in Granada. Attention to detail of a high standard.’

‘We were very impressed with the organization and level of service on the tour. Everything was covered. We also liked the balance of country and city activities.’

DAY 1  
D included

After meeting at Malaga airport in the early afternoon, we have a two-hour transfer by road to the World Heritage city of Cordoba. We enter the city crossing the great Roman bridge built over the Guadalquivir river by the emperor Augustus. An orientation walk reveals the architectural integrity of this city, once the most splendid of the civilised world. Our hotel is an elegant 4-star conversion of an 18th century palacio in the historic Jewish Quarter and a glass of chilled Fino is de rigueur before dinner in an excellent traditional restaurant.

DAY 2 
B, L, D included 

We set off on foot, starting the day with a visit to the 14th century Castle and Gardens of Alcázar. We enter the Mezquita, a monumental religious complex comprising an 8th century mosque, encapsulating a cathedral commenced in 1236, built on top of a Roman temple and a Visigothic church. After lunch, we traverse narrow lanes with whitewashed houses and flower-filled patios looking out for some of the twelve 13th century Fernandine churches, built immediately after the reconquest of Cordoba by Ferdinand III. During the tour of the 16th century Royal Stables, we learn the history of the horse breed requested by King Philip II.

DAY 3
B, L, D included

Departing from Cordoba, we drive into the hills of the Montilla-Moriles wine region to visit a family owned olive oil mill and museum, learn about the importance of olives in the Andalusian economy and taste their award-winning extra virgin olive oil. In a nearby winery, surrounded by vineyards, we taste local wines accompanying a delicious home-made tapas lunch, before driving on for half an hour to commence our walk (1 hr) on the Via Verde (Green Way), a former railway track built to transport olive oil. Arriving at our rural hotel, a 4-star Hacienda set in olive groves, we have time for a swim before dinner in their charming dining room.

DAY 4
B, L, D included

We set off on foot into the Subbética Natural Park for a morning’s walk (3.5 hrs) through the verdant Bailon river gorge with its unusual limestone rock formations, fresh water springs and abandoned farms. We finish in Zuheros, one of the most picturesque ‘white villages’ in all of Andalusia, where we have lunch in a simple rural tavern. We continue downhill and along the Green Way (30 mins) to our hacienda with free time to relax and enjoy the hotel library, gardens, Moorish baths and pool.

DAY 5 
B, L, D included
From nearby Luque, with its dramatic rock-top castle which played a significant role in the history of 9th century al-Andalus, we take a circular walk (2 hrs) with fine views of the Subbéticas and the extensive olive groves below. We taste locally produced goat and sheep cheeses at lunch, before we continue by road to Granada. We start our exploration of the city with the stunning Catedral de la Anunciación, begun in the 16th century after the Moors had been displaced and originally intended as a royal mausoleum. Once settled into our charming boutique hotel, a carefully converted 17th century mansion, we have a short walk through the narrow lanes of the historic quarter of Albaicin to dine in the stylish courtyard setting of a restaurant known for its innovative take on traditional Andalusian cuisine.

DAY 6
B, L, D included

Granada epitomises the splendours of al-Andalus and formed the nucleus of the Moorish Nasrid Kingdom for 200 years. After breakfast, we set off in the footsteps of famed 19th century American author and traveller, Washington Irving, to the site from which this Kingdom was ruled: the magnificent Alhambra. Dedicating the morning to this remarkable architectural complex, we have reserved entrances to both the Alhambra and the Generalife. The Alhambra, arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, is formed of a myriad of towers, gardens, palaces and residences, of which our focus is the most splendid: the 13th century Nasrid Palace. We continue to the Generalife, The Garden of the Builder, to see the famous Patio de la Acequias, the Regal Hall, the gardens and the original Escalera del Agua.

DAY 7
B, L, D included

Today we head into the Alpujarras region on the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, the stronghold of the Muslim resistance, which lasted until the final defeat of the Rebellion in 1571 (1 hr driving). From the market town of Orgiva, we follow a circular river valley walk for 3 hrs, passing two white villages and enjoying views of the surrounding mountains. Back in Granada, we see an authentic Flamenco show before our farewell dinner in an excellent restaurant.

DAY 8
B included

After free time for further exploring, our visit to Andalusia concludes with an airport transfer to Malaga for early afternoon flights home.

Per person sharing:
£2,303.25 until 28th December 2017
£2,365.50 until 28th March 2018
£2,427.75 until 28th June 2018
£2,490 after 28th June 2018
https://www.kudutravel.com/faq#discounts 

£500 deposit per person
£410 double for single supplement

Please note that the double room for single use supplement is imposed by the hotels and not by Kudu Travel. If you are willing to share but no other suitable guest books on the trip, we regret that the supplement will be payable.

Price includes
  • All accommodation for Days 1 through 8, on a twin shared basis
  • All meals (with wine at lunches and dinners) as listed in the daily notation
  • All land transportation in a private vehicle as described, except during free periods
  • All entrance and sightseeing fees, except during free periods
  • Ticket for a flamenco show in Granada
  • Wine, olive oil and cheese tastings as described

  • Specialist guiding in Cordoba and Alhambra, plus Kudu Travel tour leader throughout
  • Gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff and the driver (appreciation for Kudu tour guides is entirely at your discretion)
 
Price does not include
  • Flights to and from Malaga
  • Trip cancellation, medical or other insurance
  • Immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements
  • Passport, visa and health documentation
  • Personal expenses (laundry, alcohol besides wine with group meals, free time activities, etc.)
  • Transport and transfer of excess baggage
  • Spanish departure tax, if any
 

VALUE FOR MONEY - SO MUCH IS INCLUDED
On Kudu trips, you will only need money for postcards, presents to take home, the odd G & T or an irresistible ice cream. Festival and opera tickets, museum and gallery entrances, National Park fees, all meals (with a very few exceptions specified in individual itineraries), wine with lunch and dinner, access to specialist books carried by the guides, gratuities for porters and hotel and restaurant staff, boat rides, train trips, internal flights, wine tastings, 4WDs with drivers, the services of skilled local guides and trackers etc are ALL INCLUDED in the cost of your holiday. 

We are confident that, like previous very satisfied guests, you will discover that our tours give you excellent value for money.

 

  • 2 nights in Cordoba, in an elegant 4 star conversion of an 18C palacio in the historic centre

  • 2 nights in a rural hotel near Zuheros, a 4 star hacienda set in olive groves

  • 3 nights in Granada, in a charming boutique hotel, a carefully converted 17C mansion

Visa and Health Requirements

Visitors from the EU and USA currently require a valid passport, but not a visa, for entry to Spain. If you are a national of any other country, please check visa regulations with your nearest Embassy of Spain.

Residents of countries in the EU can only claim free (emergency) medical treatment in Spain by presenting their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). At present, there are no specific and compulsory health requirements for entry to Spain. You may also wish to check the advice given to travellers by the Department of Health and the FCO.

Insurance
It is essential, and a condition of booking, that you protect yourself with a suitable travel insurance policy as soon as you book a trip. Follow this link for a quote for a policy available to UK residents.

If you are already insured or a non-UK resident, please inform us of your policy at the time of booking.

Size of party 
This trip will run with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 14 guests.