Andalusia, which covers the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, has a very special “charm”. The name “Andalusia” is derived from the Arabic world Al-Andalus. The region had been under the influence of Phoenicians, Greeks and Carthaginians, that came in during the 6th century B.C., were then expelled by the Romans. The Moorish, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, invaded and ruled it until most of it was conquered back in the 13th century by the kings of Castile. Followed by a golden age in arts, agriculture, mining, trade, and industries (textiles, pottery, and leather working) in the 16th century Andalusia suffered a decline, although the ports of Seville and Cádiz flourished as centers of trade with the New World. And still, after the Spanish Republic, the Civil War and the Franco Regime, Andalusia remains a mix of cultures with fascinating stories in almost every corner.
Seville is the Capital of this region and the third largest city of Spain. Our top local guides will show you the hidden spots and will reveal the secrets inside the great monuments like the RealesAlcazares (Royal Palace), the Cathedral and La Giralda as well as some other historic landmarks which reflect the richness of its past.
If you are a gourmet enjoy a market visit with a renowned chef and on to a wonderful venue for your “hands on” culinary experience. If you are an art lover, in the old town of Seville, hidden down a small side street, discover renowned art restorers. We will also show you the area of Triana, out of the usual touristic routes. 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.
Music and dance is a must see! One evening our Flamenco expert will chat about flamenco before accompanying you to the best flamenco performances in the city.
Nearby you can enjoy a private visit to an aristocratically owned/hosted estate, that raises brave Bulls, with one of the family members. You might also enjoy visiting a sherry winery and see the famous Royal Equestrian School, as well as the picturesque white villages that lie on the hills of this mountainous region.
Cordoba holds the Great Mosque turned Cathedral, perhaps the most impressive in Spain (Unesco World Heritage site). You can also enjoy a light and music night show about the different historical phases of the building. Our expert guide will reveal the mystic of this city while you enjoy a stroll into the Jewish Quarter and visit the tiny synagogue, the oldest one in Spain.
Granada is the Moorish Jewel with the world-renowned Alhambra (Unesco World Heritage site). This hilltop fortress-palace of the Nasrid kings, the last Muslim rulers in Spain, is the most remarkable monument to Moorish art in the world. Only few have access to what our top guides, with more than 20 years working at the Alhambra will show you. A city with lots of history where you will learn about the secrets of the Albayzin district (formerly the Arab quarter). Only RK has access to a 500 year old ancestral home in Granada! Words cannot express the wonder and dismay at finding suits of armour in the hallways, gilded parlour rooms, important works of art, 400 year old laundry sinks, old fashion kitchen equipment, treasures spilling out of every nook and cranny. It is truly a living museum.
A different experience will be a Sacromonte stroll to see Cave houses, Gypsies and discover the roots of flamenco or enjoy hiking in the Alpujarras Mountain, best known as the “Switzerland of Andalucia”,with its marvellous Sierra Nevada skiing resort were you can slide down the slopes while admiring an astonishing view of the coast and the sea.
Finally Ronda, built on an isolated ridge of the Sierra Morena mountain range, is split in half by a gaping river gorge with tall-whitewashed houses leaning from its precipitous edges. Nearby enjoy a visit to ‘Resevatauro’ Natural Park for horseback riding of the Pure Spanish Horse (Andalusian horse). Also visit a tiny historic winery to taste a wine of “exquisite quality”. The owners, both of them architects, decided to purchase this 16th century convent and restore it to its former glory. Their 15 hectares of fertile land and the stone-built winery is as surprising as the view of the vineyards below is a breath taking valley.