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A wonderful journey that blends spectacular nature and interesting culture

right in the heart of Andalusia.

Andalusia, Naturally


25 - 30 October 2019 - 2 places left
6 days - 5 nights
Price pp: 1090 euro


Maximum number of participants: 7 people

This journey combines the most spectacular nature and the most interesting culture in the heart of Andalucía. We take you to the El Torcal Natural Park with its amazing rock formations of karst stone, we'll cry with the wolves in the Parque de los Lobos and dive into antiquity at the heritage site Dolmen de Antequera. We'll walk at breathtaking heights along the legendary Caminito del Rey, visit the beautiful royal city of Córdoba, stroll through charming Ronda in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway and we'll unveil our favorite spots in magical Málaga.



Program

Day 1
Pick-up at Málaga airport (or at your hotel for those who want to arrive earlier)

Transfer to the botanical garden La Concepción of Málaga; a unique collection of exotic jungle plants that we normally only see as house plants but grow here in abundance and as tall as houses. This lush, Mediterranean and subtropical garden dates back to early 1830's and was the private collection of the Marquis of Loring. The Doric temple from 1859 was gained fame throughout Europe for its collection of archaeological treasures from Roman times. In 1943 the garden was declared Cultural Heritage.
After this beautiful walk we drive back to the coast where we have lunch in one of the most special chiringuitos of Andalucía. After lunch we drive to Antequera, known as the city of churches (more than 30!) And the crossroads of Andalucía, where we check in at our hotel.
In the evening we have time for a walk through the beautiful old town, past a few of its churches and up to the Alcazaba.

Day 2
After breakfast we visit the Dolmen of Antequera, which in 2016 was declared a historical world heritage by Unesco. These megaliths were built around 2500 BC (the bronze age) and rediscovered in 1903. They served as cemeteries for the prehistoric people and hundreds of skeletons from the Bronze Age were found in the dolmen. Remarkable: on midsummer's day (June 21) the sun shines right in the opening of the tomb (it seems to come straight from a Tintin album or Indiana Jones!).

We have lunch in a restaurant with a breathtaking view of the whole city, on our way to the wolf park. The Parque de Lobos of Antequera is a natural park of 40 hectares, where three types of wolves live: the Iberian, the European and the Alaska Tundra-wolf. The wolves in the park are not domesticated, but are used to the proximity of people. We visit the park with a guide who takes us for a walk so that we can observe the wolves.
After this visit we return to the hotel and get ready for a round trip along our favorite tapas bars of Antequera.

Day 3
After breakfast we drive to Córdoba, where we visit a few highlights of this enchanting royal city: the famous flowery patios (with the blue flower pots), the old Jewish quarter with its synagogue, the magical mezquita with its hundreds of arches, the famous Roman bridge and the Royal horse stables (the so-called Caballerizas Reales) from 1570.
In the afternoon there is time to explore the city on your own.
In the evening we visit the beautiful show 'Pasión y duende del Caballo Andaluz' in the Caballerizas Reales.

Day 4
After breakfast we drive to Ronda where we discover this dramatically situated pearl on foot. Charming Ronda used to be a magnet for romantic souls and bandoleros: a goldmine of inspiration for writers such as Reiner Maria Rilke, Alexandre Dumas and Ernest Hemingway. Founded in the 9th century BC, Ronda is also one of Spain's oldest cities. We visit the spectacular gorge - el Tajo - that splits the city, the Plaza de Toros (according to many the most beautiful bullfighting arena in Spain) where Hemingway spent his Spanish days, the Casa del Rey Moro, the 300 steps of La Mina that the Moors built to to get to the river, the Plaza de España (which is located in Whom the Bell Tolls of - again - Hemingway), the Puente Viejo and Puente Áabe and the well-preserved Baños Árabes. We dine in a small restaurant (our favorite of course,  no menu, just fresh ingredients) which turned the tapa into an art.
Transfer to the hotel.


Day 5
We have breakfast and leave for what will be literally, but for many participants it will also be a figurative highlight of this trip: a hike along the Caminito del Rey, Europe's most spectacular (but safe!) walking path.
The Caminito del Rey (the road of the king) is actually a service road that was built between 1901 and 1905 to supply workers and materials for the works at the hydroelectric power plant of El Chorro. The path was baptized Caminito del Rey after the Spanish king Alfonso XIII walked the road in 1921 for the opening ceremony of the dam that collects the water of the Guadalhorce river. The path originally consisted of steel balustrades that were anchored in the rocks. The path fell into disuse, was not maintained and large holes in the concrete developed between the iron studs. It became an insane challenge for reckless climbers, some even crashed and the path was closed for safety reasons in 2000.

The Junta de Andalucía and the province of Málaga decided in 2011 to completely restore the path and make it safe for tourists. The result is spectacular and yet safe; the new path was even named the best new attraction of that year by Lonely Planet in 2015. The 2.9 km long path is easy to walk and does not involve much climbing.  It can be done at your own pace.

(Note: children admitted from 12 years onward).


After the walk we have lunch at the reservoir of El Chorro. Then we drive to Málaga, where we check in at our hotel. Afterwards there is free time for shopping and to visit the city. We'll have a farewell dinner in one of our favorite tapas bars.


Day 6
Breakfast and transfer to the airport.

Price: 1090 euro pp

Price based on a shared double room occupancy.

Private transfer from and to the airport of Málaga
All nights, breakfast, lunches and three dinners included, guided by Alain and Jackie, transfers by minibus.
Limited group: max 7 participants

Price based on a shared double bedroom
Single supplement 125 euros.


NB The program can be adjusted slightly in function of weather conditions or the ever changing opening hours in Spain.