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Review: Classical Spain

Escorted Tour - Coach

Cities of Andalucia

  • By SilverTraveller pm

    52 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • 2012
  • Partner

127 people found this review helpful

If (like me) you had previously seen Spain mainly as a place for sunny Mediterranean resorts or golfing holidays, the tour of Classical Spain is a real eye-opener. There is so much to discover about the history of the country, both pre and post 1492 (Columbus) and pre and post 1938 (the Civil War). To hear many of these stories told against the backdrop of cities like Seville, Ronda, Cordoba and Granada makes it all the more vivid.

Two memorable highlights, among many, were the visits to the famous Mesquita in Cordoba and the Alhambra Palace in Granada. The Mesquita dates back to the 1st century when it was constructed as the largest mosque in the Moslem world – a huge building supported by 856 columns of juniper, onyx, marble and granite. Then in the 13th and 14th centuries, and following the capture of Cordoba by the Catholics and King Ferdinand III, a spectacular Renaissance Cathedral was created, actually within the original mosque.

The Alhambra is probably better known, but there is still much to be seen and learned there about the story of Spain from the 14th century. The complete tour of the hillside castle, three palaces, summer residence and gardens took over four hours and was time well spent (even in 30-degrees September sunshine). Our guide then recommended an evening trip across the city to watch the sunset from another hilltop area and to see the beautifully floodlit Alhambra Palace – a view to remember.

Our 7-day tour with Riviera Travel was notable for the efficient organization and logistics of the programme and the quality of the tour guides at each stage. The company representative who travelled with the group of 48 provided well-researched information at all stages – and this also helped to pass the time during the coach journeys between cities, on which a surprise was the extraordinary extent of olive production in Andalucia. There are literally miles and miles of olive groves as far as the eye could see on all sides, with millions of trees in regimented lines 3-4 metres apart. Harvest time must be spectacular. Does the world really use this much olive oil?

Finally, if there were signs of the recession and Spain’s current economic problems, these were mainly to be found in higher prices in the shops and restaurants and in the quality of some of the services provided at the hotels used for the tour. But overall, this did not detract from the opportunity to enjoy Classical Spain.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • megjoe
    about 5 years ago
    Had a fantastic time there too an the b=village of Potes was really special fine.
  • Jenny-Lunn
    almost 9 years ago
    I agree that the Riviera Classical Spain tour is excellent and the visits to the Alhambra and Mesquita were truly spectacular. The hotels we stayed in were comfortable and of a good standard (albeit a little way from the centre of the towns) and our tour guide was friendly, helpful and charming throughout. The only downside for us was that it rained and rained (and when it rains in Spain it really does rain and not just mainly on the plain either!) and was cold, so we had to buy warm clothing and umbrellas - not what one expects in May!

    I would love to go on this tour again, but would choose another month. I would be rather wary of going in May only because of the weather, but I think we were just unlucky.