After breakfast your guide will meet you at Corral del Rey. Your tour will include some of the major sites of historical interest such as the cathedral reputed to be the largest church in the world and built on the site of a 12th century mosque. The Alcazar, originally a Moorish palace which dates back to the 14th century is also a must-see. The tour usually ends with a walk through the Santa Cruz district, the old Jewish quarter which is a maze of narrow streets, wrought iron gates and internal patios with typical fountains and potted plants. You will finally be dropped off at either a restaurant or traditional tapas bar, depending on your preferences
Tradition has it that there were Jews living in Seville at the time of the destruction of the first Temple (586 BC).
The Almohade conquest in 1148 only brought death and destruction to the Jews. When Seville was reconquered by the Christians in 1248, the few Jews that were still in the city welcomed them with open arms. The fate of Spanish Jewry was brutally altered in 1378 when the archdeacon of Ecija, Ferrant Martinez, launched a campaign of violent sermons against the Jews. Though he was repeatedly ordered to stop his diatribes, Martinez succeeded in arousing passionate hatred among the masses. A full-scale pogrom broke out on June 6, 1391 and most of the Jews accepted baptism to save their lives. At this point, the so-called “Jewish problem” became the “converso problem”. As a result, the once vibrant community never recovered and along with the other Jews of Andalusia, they were exiled in 1483, 9 years before the final expulsion.
The purpose of this tour is not just to visit key sites related with the Jewish past of the city, but also to focus on all aspects of Judaism in Seville.
By walking inside the former Jewish quarter of Seville, your guide Moises will bring to life how the Jewish community lived in this city until the edict of expulsion was issued by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492.
This tour is organised by Maria Andrada and is available either as a full day or half day tour. Throughout Seville there are still many convents “de clausura” with enclosed nun who have taken a vow of silence and do not speak. Visiting these places is like entering another world, their convents are often very beautiful and peaceful. This tour will take you off the normal tourist routes and you will visit areas of Seville like the Macarena or Triana both full of hidden surprises. Many of the convents also sell pastries and biscuits made by the nuns to earn an extra income.
This is a half day tour organised by Maria Andrada who will take you to visit some of the artesannes available on the day. These range from sculpture workshops, craftsmen who work on the religious effigies of Semana Santa including the robes and tunics that the faithful wear for the Holy Week, Flamenco dress designers and embroiderers who work with gold.
The first ever fans were used to help light fires and to waft away pesky insects. It was only around the fifteenth century that fashion and necessity dictated that hand fans should be used as a form of protection from the heat of the day. As the years progressed, the hand fan began to take centre stage as an item of fashion, elegance and flirtation. Various styles and designs were created and a whole language was born around the movements of the hand fan.
Spend the morning with a professional artist who has exhibited her fan designs in Spain and Asia, learning about the origins and the language of the hand fan. You will enjoy a class in her beautiful private studio overlooking one of Seville’s most historical plaza. During the class you will learn to hand paint your own fans using a number of styles and influences. This activity is perfect for art-lovers, families and creative minds.
Every day except Mondays (all day) and Tuesday mornings 2.5 hours
In the old town of Seville, hidden down a small side street, you will find the studio and home of Jesus and Pablo, two renowned art restorers. You will be accompanied by a guide who will bring you to their home where they will share with you the passion for their profession and reveal the techniques they use to save age-old pieces and bring them back to life.
Far removed from museum queues, Jesus and Pablo take the time to talk you through the numerous works of art that are being restored. Depending on the day, you might find Golden Age paintings, rococo mirrors, ivory crucifixes or Roman pottery over 2000 years old. They will demonstrate how to remove the dirt and grime from an age-old canvas, leaving a clean and fresh original image. Watch them piece together ceramics to recreate Roman pottery. Discover how chips, rips and tears can be cured and hidden as if they had never happened.
Subject to availability, duration approximately 2.5 hours
Spain is filled with castles, palaces and historical houses that have belonged to the same families for centuries. In some cases one can imagine, by looking at their exterior, what treasures may be hidden within their walls. These hidden treasures remain mostly unseen by tourists with many of these beautiful buildings remaining in private ownership and not open to the general public.
Our specialist guide, Maria Andrada, can organise for you a truly special, private visit to some of these magnificent homes. She will arrange for you to meet their owners, learn about their family history and possibly have lunch, dinner or a drink with them.
These visits are bespoke and depend on the owners availability. Maria will put together each visit to best suit our guests requirements. Please give as much advance notice as possible if you would like us to arrange a visit.
The area of Triana began as a working class settlement on the fringe of Seville city. It was often shunned by the main population, left outside the city walls and unprotected against the wrath of the Guadalquivir River.
Against great adversity, it gradually created its own identity. For centuries it was a working class mariners suburb, full of gypsy flamenco, exquisite ceramics, famous bullfighters and the headquarters of the Spanish inquisition. In the silent side streets and behind closed doors are hidden tales and legends from centuries past.
This is a very different walking tour. Step away from the city centre monuments and the tourist bustle. Enjoy stunning views across the river towards the main city. Delve into Triana and listen to swashbuckling tales from the times of Columbus, discover the origins of their renowned ceramic tradition, hear humbling stories of the Spanish inquisition and meet some of Seville’s most unique characters of today and yesteryear.
Duration 2,5 hours
Our Granada guides offer a variety of really wonderful tours and excursions in and around Granada.
The Alhambra is a glimpse into one of the most advanced civilizations of its time. In each decorative corner of its walls your guide will show you the poetry, philosophy, mathematics, geometry, astronomy and history of Al Andalus. The tour includes the gardens of the Generalife where you will find a mixture of arab kitchen gardens, renaissance and formal gardens which tell their own story about the evolution and history of this amazing monument. The tour lasts 3 hours approximately.
We can organise for our most discerning clients a completely private evening visit of the Nazaries Palaces in the Alhambra. The doors will be shut to everyday visitors giving you the chance to visit this beautiful monument in absolute privacy with a truly knowledgeable guide.
Tour lasts 2,5 hours approx
This tour is a complete day. You will discover the treasures of both Islamic and Christian Granada. The tour includes visits to the Alhambra, the Albayzin district and the historic centre of Granada where you will visit the Royal Chapel of Isabel and Fernando, the Catholic Kings who united Spain.
Tour lasts 6 hours approx.
Take a walk through gardens, orchards both in the city interior of the Alhambra and its surroundings. You will be accompanied by an expert who will explain all about the botanical history, the agriculture and hydraulic engineering in the times of Al Andaluz. Please note this visit includes the Palace of the Generalife and Partal but not the Nazaries Palaces.
Tour lasts 2,5 hours approx.
Alfredo your Ronda tour guide will take you on foot to visit the most emblematic sites of the town. As well as visiting the Bullring, Puente Nuevo, churches and palaces, he will also show you the Arab Baths, the Puente Arabe and the Puente Viejo. You will stop along the way and see the various artists with their stalls set up in the tourist district, many of whom are friends of Alfredo. There are opportunities to stop and have a drink or a tapa if you wish.
Tour lasts between 2 and 4 hours depending on the client
Your tour guide will adapt the tour to what you wish to do and see but the main focus of the tour is usually in the old part of Cadiz. The tour starts with a panoramic trip on a bus passing the Royal Jails, Roman Theatre, Cathedrals, beach, Castles, Parks, Alameda, the old city walls of San Carlos and Plaza de España where your tour continues through the historic old town on foot.
This tour also starts with a panoramic bus trip giving you a general overview of the town passing some of the bodegas, Military Yeguada (horse breeders), Convents and Palaces. You will then continue on foot through the old historic town visiting the Alameda and Alcazar, Cathedral, Plazas and monuments. Your guide will adapt the tour to suit your requirements.
Lebrija is just 20 minutes from the Hacienda and is often overlooked by tourists. At first glance it can appear uninspiring but within the new parts of the town are many hidden gems well worth visiting with the help and knowledge of a local expert. Your guide will take you on a tour of the old convents, churches and monuments of interest within the town as well as showing you a more humble old-style home where life for all the families living there centred round a shared courtyard with outdoor loo and a communal kitchen. There is the chance to stop and enjoy a glass of locally produced sherry in Bodegas Ahumada where you will sit with the old men of the town dressed in their flat caps. You will be able to visit the workshop of Juan Lopez, the only local potter left in this area, and also visit a ceramics factory where Julia and Paqui produce and sell hand-painted ceramics.
Tour starts at 10h approx. It is half a day and you can have lunch in a local restaurant at the end if you wish.