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Cultural Secrets of Madrid & Andalusia

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Europe
Spain,  9 Days From $ 1,500 per person Themes
Eco Cultural
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Little Greenies
Group Expeditions

Highlights

Experience Madrid and Andalusia as a Spaniard! Professionally guided painting classes, cooking classes, percussion classes, tastings, biking, birding, early Christian historical and Segway activities all intermixed to provide you with the true flavors of Spain - and all at a very reasonable price!

Availability

Flexible date(s). Please Contact Us.

Activity (Activities)

Local Cuisine
Birding
Local Stay
History & Culture

Green Approach

Eco-Ventional

Certification

Travelife Standard

Why Authentic Ecotourism?

As the only company in Spain that is certified with the Travelife Standard certification, this trip conserves and preserves the ecological and cultural integrity of the region by promoting social and economic equality and teaching cultural differences. As a standard, guests participate in cultural events and integrate with local people and traditions.

Additionally, they promote the use of ecological transport using the "Respiro" car sharing scheme on this trip. All the elements of the itinerary are partnering with small and local enterprises and professionally-licenses local tourist guides.

Day 1: Madrid

In the morning upon arrival, you'll check into your accommodation at an ecological hostel in Madrid. Afterwards, you'll have a painting workshop in Salamandra with a licensed profesional painter who holds a Fine Arts diploma from the university. If the weather is good, you'll go outside to paint in front of the Palacio Real or other area of interest.

In the afternoon, we'll take the "Tapas Atipicas" route along the hidden streets of Calle Huertas, which is located in the heart of the neighbourhood Las Letras.  This area was once inhabited by the most prominent writers of the Spanish Golden Age (like Lope de Vega). Now, the most precious jewels in terms of tapas have gathered in Las Letras Reunidas. A couple of times a year, they offer the connoisseur an alternative tapas-tour. The special tapas - inspired by the classics - will make your tastebuds come alive!

Day 2: Madrid

After breakfast, we'll take the "Madrid from the rooftops" walking route. Madrid is famous for its skies. Would you like to savor the city's skyline and sunset from a bird eye's view? Would you like to get away for a minute from the clamor and chaos of the city to take in some fresh air, breath in, breath out? We'll take you onto the buildings where you would only suspect an unremarkable façade or front door, but where we know an entire world hides behind, a world of terraces and panoramas. We open your eyes to a Spanish tapas bar on top of an unremarkable office building, for a relaxing sun terrace on top of a cultural centre or a tasteful restaurant on top of a dull university library.

Picnic in the Retiro Park. "Come all outside with us in search of the golden oriole. When we hear that musician, we know that spring has arrived" (Dutch song).  Countryside in the city? Yes indeed! You imagine yourself in the Spanish countryside at stone's throw distance from the center. We enjoy the views over the city, while we sit down to feast a well-deserved picnic.

After the picnic, we will have guided walk in one of the most famous museums (options: Museo Reina Sofia or Museo Thyssen Bornemisza or Museo del Prado.)

Day 3: Madrid

After breakfast, we'll have a cooking workshop "Pot and Pan" (Olla y Sarten) where we will learn to prepare some typical Spanish dishes. This workshop is especially prepared for families. Includes lunch and wine, beer, juice or water.

In the afternoon, after lunch, you'll meet with percussionist David who offers a Latin Rhythm Workshop, based on the "cajon" used in Flamenco music. A practical and entertaining class with professional instruments in a relaxed atmosphere. In this class, we work on rhythm and locomotion through exercising, listening and practicing the instrument and by doing the typical flamenco clapping of our own hands.

Free evening to relax, visit other parts of Madrid (Puerta del Sol, Palacio Real etc.).

Day 4: Toledo

After breakfast, transfer to Toledo by public transport along the riverbanks of Tajo beside Toledo city. Without leaving the city of Toledo, it is possible to follow our guided route along the river Tajo´s (Tagus river) Ecological Trail, between San Martin and Alcántara bridges. From here, you will admire the magnificent cliffs surrounding and protecting the south Imperial City, while you are taught about interesting information on wildlife of the riverbank and enjoy spectacular hidden views of the city. During the route, we will have the opportunity to learn about all the legends surrounding the Tajo, and the rich historical and cultural heritage. We also can come over the "pajareras", bird places for sleeping, and the colonies of different species such as cranes and cormorants that shelter here. Free afternoon in Toledo for lunch and shopping and coming back to Madrid in the evening.  During the afternoon, you can partake in more interesting activities and cultural thematic routes in Toledo (Legends of Toledo, Magic Toledo etc.)

Day 5: Seville

After breakfast, you will take an ecological "Respiro" car sharing in Madrid and depart to Andalusia (Seville) enjoying the magic landscape along the way. Ecological "Respiro" car will be at your disposal during the whole stay in Andalusia.  Arive in Seville and check-in to your sustainable hotel with beautiful views on the city and the river Guadalquivir.

Guided routes in two most representative places of Seville: Cathedral and Alcazar of Seville. The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede), better known as Seville - Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Seville. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. It is also the largest cathedral in the world, as the two larger churches, the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida and St Peter's Basilica, are not the seats of bishops. It was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the Alcázar palace complex and the General Archive of the Indies. After its completion in the early 16th century, the Seville Cathedral supplanted Hagia Sophia as the largest cathedral in the world, a title the Byzantine church had held for nearly a thousand years. The cathedral is also the burial site of Christopher Columbus. The Archbishop's Palace is located on the northeastern side of the cathedral. The Alcázar of Seville is one of the most representative monumental compounds in the city, the country and the Mediterranean culture as a whole. The historical evolution of the city in the last millennium is held within its walls and gardens, amalgamating influences starting from the Arabic period, late Middle Ages Mudéjar right through to the Renaissance, Baroque and the XIX century. The declaration of World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 acknowledged the survival of cultures and civilizations as a harmonic whole where all of the elements are balanced. The visitor will get to know these unique surroundings either through the legendary al-Mutamid, the XI century monarch and poet from Seville, or through some of the characters that illuminated modern-day Spain around 1812.

During the afternoon, you will have a panoramic visit of Santa Cruz and Maria Luisa Park. In the evening, you will go along a tapas route in traditional taverns, tasting tapas, changing three cenenntial taverns of Seville.

Day 6: Seville

After breakfast, you will visit the museum of Fine Arts and afterwards we will have bycicle tour. There is no better way to experience Seville than riding through the city's many renowned bike lanes. With many fascinating sights to see and all year round warm climate, this tour is perfect for any time. In this tour we will pass all the main sights of the city. Afterwards we will pass through Gran Poder and Macarena visiting diferent gothic churches.

During the evening, we will have a night route in Seville "Legends of Triana", where we'll discover numerous corners of the quarters. In this route, you will have an opportunity to hear many stories, anecdotes and events of this area that was a core of independent population for centuries. Maritime Triana, the Patio of Monipodio, the Legend of the Champan (Cava), La Forja, Ceramics...We will visit the southern part and the northern maritime industry part. We will make a circular route in order to begin and end under the famous bridge. Discover the secrets of this area that was the birthplace of flamenco, hosted people from all over the world and lived on the other side of the city of Seville.

Day 7: Granada

After breakfast, you'll ride to Granada by ecological Respiro car that will be available during the whole trip.  Upon arrival and check-in, you'll take lunch in a local restaurant near the hotel and visit beautiful Alhambra, the most famous monument of Granada.

"Alhambra" is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-11th century by the Moorish emirMohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. Moorish poets described it as "a pearl set in emeralds," an allusion to the colour of its buildings and the woods around them. The palace complex was designed with the mountainous site in mind and many forms of technology were considered.  Alhambra is UNESCO World Heritage Site and Spanish Property of Cultural Interest.

After visiting Alhambra we will have our picnic in the beautiful gardens of Alhambra tasting the fresh and local food, enjoying the nature and beautiful nostalgic views.  In the afternoon we will have cooking workshop "Albaycin handmade, the quarter of handcraft". is a neighborhood of crafts is the neighborhood of tradition of crafts workshops. Discover those who maintain that heritage alive. There are possible three different workshops: leather, glass and ceramics.

During the evening we will make a thematic route "Aljibes, the Poetry of Al-andalus in the Albayzin". This route is designed for children in order to get knowledge about heritage of Granada and is narrative. We will hear poems that extol the treasure of Al-Andalus and the nostalgia of the lost: beauty, water, parks and trees and ideal places for inspiration.

OPTION: Narrative Route "Lorca, the landscape of childhood" in three Federico Garcia Lorca's houses of Granada.

Day 8: Granada

After breakfast, we will have guided Segway activity. Without getting tired we will make one of the Segway routes in Granada visiting the most representative places of the city. Discover Albayzin and Sacromonte on Segway, accompanied by a guide who will show you the most interesting places such as The Gypsy Caves or San Nicolas Viewpoint in a fun and different way.

After the route we will have lunch in one of the famous local restaurants of Granada, tasting local products with noctalgic Alhambra views.

Free afternoon in order to visit other interesting sites of Granada (Highlands of Granada, one of the most interesting sites near Granada etc.). Here we can recomend many other interesting sites and magical viewpoints.

During the evening, we will visit "Palace of Forgotten Ones – Sephardi House" ("Palacio de los olvidados – Casa Sephardi") near Alhambra a special place from 16. century, that is hidden far away from the eyes of tourists. There is the art collection of the family Crespo Lopez with which it is intended to recall the significance of the forgotten Jewish culture in Spain and in particular, in Granada. In this place we will see the most authentic flamenco show performed by small group and inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca. There we will also taste typical biscuits Sephardi and liquor.  There is also the possibility of visiting Sephardi museum.

Day 9: Departure to Madrid

In the morning, after breakfast, we'll drive to Madrid for onward travel.

 

Departure City

Madrid

Finishing City

Madrid

Group Size

Minimum of 5 people

Optional Activities

Cordoba - guided tour in the Juderia and Quarter of San Basilio (typical patios of Cordoba) and tour in the Axerquia. Afterwards we will arrive to the famous Mezquita of Cordoba. Guided tour in the Mezquita the most famous monument of Cordoba.  It is the Catholic Christian cathedral of the Diocese of Córdoba dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The cathedral is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture and is also UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Sierra Nevada - Arrival to the mountains of Sierra Nevada and guided routes with local tourist guides and with different activities in the high mountain of Mulhacen, the highest peak in western Europe outside the Alps. This itinerary depends on the period of the year. If the trip is during the spring or autumn we will go to Lanjaron or the trailhead at Capileira (1600m). Ascend to Refugio Poqueira (2500m) 4 hours via the Barranco de Poqueira (900m ascent). Stay the night at the lodge accommodation. The Poqueira lodge is a guarded refuge and has beds, blankets, meals and wine. A great place to spend the night before ascending the peak 2500m above the Poquiera gorge.

Exclusions

  • International flight
  • Public transport
  • Transport: ecological "Respiro" car sharing
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • The rest of the lunches and dinners that are not included in the program
  • Entry in the museums of Madrid, Seville and Granada
  • Entry to Sephardi museum
  • Entry in Alhambra (posibility of reservation according to availability, if not will be reservated for another day)
  • Entry in other sites as museums, interpretation centers..
  • Travel insurace (possibility of arrangement)

Inclusions

  • Accommodation with breakfast during the whole trip in sustainable hotels/hostels
  • Activities with equipment in Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla and Granada
  • Guided routes realized by professional local tourist guides (Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla and Granada)
  • In the route "Madrid from the rooftops" are included entries in the terraces and one drink per person
  • Entry and guided route in Cathedral and Alcazar of Seville
  • Tapas route in Seville includes tapas per person in three traditional taverns.
  • Picnic in Granada
  • Menu per person in the restaurant of Granada (Aben Humeya or San Nicolas)
  • Entry to the "Palace of forgotten ones" tasting typical biscuits Sephardi and liquor.
  • Taxes 

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