Like many Arabs I grew up hearing about the lost Islamic Kingdom of Al Andalus (Andalusia) we learned about those prosperous times and the events that followed. I always dreamed of visiting Andalusia I just wasn’t sure how, when or where to start. I booked my flight to Spain and everything fell into place from there.
Beside what I learned in school curriculum, I wanted to know more of what happened after the fall. I read a lot of books and novels (scroll down for recommended readings for this trip) that depicted that period of time but I wondered if there are any remnants of that era. I finally decided it was time to go and see for myself. Spain here I come!
Guide to planning your trip to Andalusia
I wasn’t sure where to start the trip. After doing some research I decided to start my trip from Ishbeliya (Seville). I arrived to Seville, Spain by a short flight from Lisbon (Read about my trip to Portugal). I couldn’t find a better way to cross to Spain by land without having to go to south of Portugal. At the time, flying was the best option. With a bit of hesitation I chose to stay at Seville. I decided to stay for couple of nights in Seville because of the location. Once I started looking for a hotel I was immediately impressed by “Casa Del Poeta”. The photos and reviews on trip advisor were impressive it looked like a real gem but getting to it was a bit tricky.
The hotel staff actually emailed and asked for my exact arrival time and offered to arrange for a pickup. I wasn’t sure of my arrival time (the flight was actually delayed) so I passed the hotel offer and figured a taxi would be sufficient. The taxi dropped me near the closest alleyway and told me that’s the best he can do. I ended up walking with my luggage trying to locate the hotel. With a bit of luck I spotted the hotel sign.
The minute I entered the hotel I was just inlove with it. You could smell Jasmine and orange blossom all the way from the outside. Entering the hotel is like stepping inside an old Andalusian house. I could imagine all those stories I read about living in a similar house. I loved old town Seville it was so lively and so cozy at the same time. Narrow alleyways, small shops and beautiful squares full of orange trees, Flamenco music vibrates through the walls. This was exactly how I imagined Andalusia.
I could go on and on about Andalusia but I’ll split the journey into parts. In summary this was my itinerary.
2 nights in Seville. Must try Flamenco performance
Cordoba (day trip). Highlight is Mosque of Cordoba (Now a Cathedral) and historical old town.
2 nights in Granada. Highlight was AlHambra palace tour. Online pre-booking is a must.
1 night in Malaga. Departure to Paris then home.
I’ll be sharing detailed posts about each part of the journey. In the meantime you can enjoy my Instagram feed from Andalusia trip
Recommended readings for this trip