A weeklong dip in authentic Andalusian culture
Spanish horses, Flamenco and Sherry
7 days - 6 nights
From 20 - 26 April 2020
Max 7 participants
Price: 1590 euro
Only 3 places left
These are the absolute cultural highlights of Andalusian culture and perhaps the most beautiful things you will ever see or experience in Spain. You will find yourself immersed in a bath of authentic Andalusian culture, to which the Spanish horses, sherry and flamenco are inextricably linked. This journey takes us in the west of Andalucía, to the so-called Sherry Triangle (Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlúcar, El Puerto de Santa María), Cádiz, the oldest city in Western Europe, El Parque Natural de Doñana, the nature park with the amplest biodiversity of Europa and a unique eco system, El Rocío, the small and picturesque pilgrimage town of El Rocío and the most elegant (and according to many, the most beautiful) city in Spain: Seville, capital of Andalusia and its jewel in the crown.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Pick-up at Seville airport (or at your hotel should you have arrived earlier), where you are welcomed by Alain and Jakobien. We drive directly to the cowboy village of El Rocío with its sandy, unpaved streets and brotherhood houses with elegant, white washed façades. El Rocío, with its ermita (basilique), is also a famous pilgrimage site where thousands of devotees from all over Spain and far beyond flock during Pentecost to salute the holy virgin, La Vírgen de las Marismas. We check in here at our hotel and we have the rest of the day to visit this unique village, its ermita and its picturesque shops and bars.
We stay in a charming hotel alongside the beautiful natural park of the Doñana where you will certainly spot the many pink flamingo's that reside here to breed. You will see for yourself why some etymologists think that the word flamenco originates from the word flamingo.
In the evening we will take you on a tapas tour through the village.
Wednesday 1 May 2019
After breakfast we leave for an excursion per Land Rover and with expert nature guides/orithologists through the immense and since 1969 protected natural park of Doñana. It is in fact the delta of Spain's largest river, the Guadalquivir (Rio Grande in Arabic). It consists of marshes, rivers, sandy soil and dunes and has a unique ecosystem. Here you will almost certainly wild deer and boar, black kites and eagles, and if you are extremely lucky you might even see a lynx!
We drive to the Guadalquivir river where we are transferred by a ferry to Bajo de Guía, the beach of Sanlúcar de Barrameda where we have lunch with our feet in the sand.
After lunch we explore the historic sherry town of Sanlúcar. We stay overnight in a historic state palace, converted into a beautiful hotel.
In the evening we'll stroll along the historic streets of Sanlúcar to stop at our favorite tapas bars.
Thursday, May 2, 2019
Breakfast and transfer to Jerez de la Frontera.
Naturally we will make time to visit the beautiful buildings of the Royal Andalusian Riding School before we enjoy the breathtaking horse show 'Cómo bailan los caballos Andaluces'; the absolute world top of the so-called 'doma clásica'.
Afterwards we drive to the historic center of Jerez and taste different regional dishes in an authentic restaurant in the old center, where 'le tout Jerez' meets, an institution in circles of horse lovers. Even the former king Juan Carlos was a regular guest here!
After lunch we will visit the historic center with a local friend/guide.
Transfer to El Puerto de Santa María where we will take you on a tapas tour along our favorite bars. Accommodation in a beautiful old monastery.
Friday, May 3 2019
After a short city walk and a visit to one of the most beautiful bullfighting rings in Spain (NB we don't support bullfighting, we appreciate the architecture), we immediately go to an interesting small family sherry bodega (+ tasting) where quality prevails on quantity. After a visit in the old bodega where the sherries are being matured (or 'educated', as they say here), we get a chance to taste their best sherry wines (make sure you've had a big breakfast!)
After the sherry tasting we'll have lunch in a great restaurant that pairs the freshest sea food of the Cádiz bay with the finest local sherry wines. In the afternoon we take the ferry and cross the bay to Cádiz, the oldest city in Western Europe (and one of the nicest), where we will follow in the footsteps of a friend/city guide who takes us through the narrow streets to the highlights of his home town.
We have lunch in a not very touristic but very popular - and our personal favorite - restaurant, with a surprisingly innovative kitchen. Afterwards there is time to shop or rest in the hotel.
We are staying in a beautifully reformed monastery, centrally located in the historic center of Cádiz. In the evening tapas tour along a few of our favorite bars of Cádiz.
Saturday, May 4th
After breakfast we drive to the Yeguada de la Cartuja, Spains and the world's oldest stud farm, where the studbook of this special lineage of the Spanish horse (PRE) was started and preserved by the Carthusian monks. We visit the stables, can admire the beautiful horses and watch their playful horse show in the arena.
Afterwards we visit to the old medieval monastery of the Carthusians.
We have lunch in an small sherry bodega, after which we get to see their collection of unique and beautiful black Spanish horses (the rare blue-black Capa Negra) and a fine art collection including works of Picasso, Dalí and Miro.
In the evening we'll take you on a tour along the tabancos - former wine shops - where flamenco originated (we'll make sure to see a performance here) and where they still serve the best sherry wines and simple tapas.
Accommodation in Jerez, in an old monastery converted into a hotel.
Sunday, May 5th
After breakfast we drive to Seville in time, where the feria has started. We visit the Feria de Enganche; a marvelous celebration with antique coaches from all over the world who are in the streets of Seville, with their coachmen and passengers, of course in period clothing. We have reserved places in the lavishly decorated arena of Seville for the carriage competition; a feast for the eyes, with respect for the horse (as we like to see).
After lunch we do a quiet city walk through Seville; we still think the most beautiful city in Spain.
At 7.30 pm we have an appointment at the small theatre of Casa de la Memoria, a cultural center, for an authentic flamenco performance; the best that Seville has to offer.
Farewell tapas tour along our favorite hang-outs in Seville, the international capital of tapas, where tapas are turned into haute cuisine.
We stay overnight in a small, Roman town outside Seville, in a very charming palace hotel from 1920, surrounded by nature.
Monday, May 6th
Breakfast and transfer to the airport or to your hotel for those who wish to extend their stay in Seville.
7 days - 6 nights
Price pp based on a shared double room: 1590 euro (excluding flight).
All trips by minibus, overnight stays, breakfasts and lunches included, as well as all admission tickets for the visits and performances.
Not included: dinner (tapas) and drinks
The trip is guided by Alain and Jakobien, transfers by comfortable minibus.
Single supplement: 250 euros.
NB The program can be adjusted slightly according to weather conditions or the ever-volatile Spanish opening times!