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22107
Spain

Winter in Spain: Andalusian Highlights

Savor the wine, sunshine, culture and traditions as you explore Spain’s sun coast — a unique blend of Muslim, Christian and Jewish influences — alongside locals and experts.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22107RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,649
Flights start at
925
Spain

Winter in Spain: Andalusian Highlights

Savor the wine, sunshine, culture and traditions as you explore Spain’s sun coast — a unique blend of Muslim, Christian and Jewish influences — alongside locals and experts.
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,649
Flights start at
925
Program No. 22107 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2021
Starting at
1,649
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2021
Starting at
1,899

At a Glance

Situated on the subtropical Costa del Sol, Andalusia boasts stunning scenery, captivating history and one of the mildest winters in Europe. Bordered by mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Southern Spain’s culture emerges in elaborate Moorish architecture, lush olive tree groves, fiery Flamenco and savory Spanish cuisine. Soak in history in Granada, Málaga and Alfarnatejo, where you’re invited into the homes of local families for an unforgettable cultural exchange.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one to two miles per day.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • History comes to life during an expert-led excursion to the Moorish Palaces of the ancient Alhambra.
  • Voyage through the breathtaking Andalusian mountains to Alfarnatejo, a small town known for crafting pure olive oil.
  • Live like an Andalusian by sharing a traditional Spanish lunch at the home of a local family.

General Notes

Give us a call to combine this learning adventure with select dates of "Winter in Spain: Culture & History Along the Southern Coast" (#22116) for even more learning in Southern Europe! We’ll even transfer you for free between locations.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Adventures in Spain
by Catherine Petit
From Madrid north to Santiago and south to Granada, join Catherine Petit as she shares her journeys through the countryside, hills, mountains and quaint cities and towns of the breathtaking country of Spain. Catherine serves as your personal guide through cathedrals, museums, parks, gardens, and architectural delights as she treks her way through the enchanting landscape. The photographs will bring the experience of Spain right to your door. The friends she made, the people she met, and the cultural extravagance she witnessed will ensure you make Spain your next destination.
The Alhambra
by Robert Irwin
Irwin's brief, indispensable guide introduces the stunning Moorish palace and fortress complex, revealing its mysteries, myths and significance with wit and insight.
Driving over Lemons, An Optimist in Andalucia
by Chris Stewart
Stewart's memoir about moving with his wife to a farm in Alpujarras is charming and insightful. Unlike many expatriates, Stewart manages to ground himself far enough into the community to make lasting friends -- as well as a home for his young daughter.
Lonely Planet Andalucia
by Lonely Planet
A comprehensive guide in the hallmark Lonely Planet style.
Andalucia Map 578
by Michelin Travel Publications
A travelers' map of Andalucia and the Costa del Sol at a scale of 1:400,000 with city plans of Seville, Malaga and Granada.
The Ornament of the World, How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
by Maria Rosa Menocal, Harold Bloom (Introduction)
A lively, illuminating portrait of the Andalucian Kingdom, its cultural achievements and religious tolerance from the eighth century to 1492.
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8 days
7 nights
16 meals
6 B 4 L 6 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight

Activity note: Though southern Spain is known for its pleasant winter weather, evenings can be chilly. Temperatures can range from 45 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit; be sure to pack layers so you are prepared for any weather during our program, as well as rain gear in case of showers.

DAY
2
Arrive Málaga, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Nerja
D
Aparthotel Marinas de Nerja

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m.

Afternoon: After arriving at the hotel and checking in, take some time to freshen up and unpack. Later in the afternoon, we will gather in our private meeting room. Orientation: 6:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Lunch and dinner times in Spain are later than in North America, thus there is little free time in the evening after dinner. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated welcome dinner with beverage choices of a glass of wine, coffee, tea, water.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Introduction to Andalucía, Winery, Tapas, Cómpeta
Nerja
B,L,D
Aparthotel Marinas de Nerja

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 40 miles (64.4 km), approximately 1 hour each way not including stops for field trips; winding mountainous roads. Walking up 2 miles; cobblestones, slopes, uneven terrain without handrails.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices such as cold cuts, cereal, yogurt, fruit, breads and pastries, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will gather with our Group Leader for an introductory lecture on Andalucía as we learn about Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Romani influences that have helped to shape the region. Next, we will set out with our Group Leader on a walking field trip to see a typical Andalucían weekly market, where local people buy and sell an eclectic variety of fruits, vegetables, clothing, ceramics, and other local products. With its sunny microclimate, this region of Spain offers some of the freshest produce in Europe. We’ll then board a motorcoach for a field trip to a family-run winery in the sierra (mountains) of Málaga, where we will learn about the wine-making process from staff.

Lunch: At a local bodega, we’ll have a traditional plated lunch with wine tasting.

Afternoon: Arriving at the pueblo blanco — “white village” — of Cómpeta, we will explore this white-washed Moorish-Mudéjar village perched nearly 700 feet (2,086 meters) above the Mediterranean. As we stroll through the labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets that date back to Moorish times, we will take in amazing views of the surrounding Sierra Almijara and the sea. It may have originated in the Roman era, though some scholars believe it to be much older. We will then return to the hotel with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet dinner featuring hot and cold dishes plus beverage choices of mineral water and a glass of wine.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Granada, Alhambra Palace
Nerja
B,L,D
Aparthotel Marinas de Nerja

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 120 miles (193.1 km) total, approximately 2 hours each way. Walking up to 3 miles, approximately 3 hours with breaks; many cobblestones, steep slopes, uneven terrain, several flights of stairs without handrails at the Alhambra Palace. Alhambra tickets are subject to strict regional government quotas and visits may be rescheduled or substituted if necessary.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach for a field trip to the former Moorish enclave of Granada and its UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. Our first stop is the Alhambra. More than just a palace, it is an entire walled city within the city. There are royal apartments, forts, gardens, pavilions, barracks, and sumptuous gardens that offered protection from the summer heat. With a local expert, we will explore the Nasrid Palaces — the most spectacular Islamic buildings in Europe — dating from the 13th century and filled with Arabic inscriptions and geometrical patterns, perfectly proportioned rooms and chambers, and peaceful courtyards.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will have a 2-course plated meal with beverage choices of wine, water, coffee; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will set out on a walking field trip with a local expert to explore Granada’s historic old city and the Royal Chapel. The “Capilla Real” — royal chapel — was commissioned by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand as their final resting place. They selected Granada because it was where the Reconquista — the military campaign of nearly 800 years to defeat the Moors — ended. It was built next to the Cathedral of Granada in a style called Isabelline Gothic. Construction lasted from 1505 to 1517. We will return to the hotel with some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Art & Architecture, Flamenco
Nerja
B,D
Aparthotel Marinas de Nerja

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our Group Leader will give us a presentation on Spanish art and architecture with a focus on Andalucía.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to explore local cuisine. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: After some “down” time, we will be joined by local experts for a demonstration and participatory presentation on the language and symbolism of Flamenco, a traditional Andalusian art form of enigmatic origins. While it is generally accepted that flamenco made its appearance as a recognizable art form in the 18th century, music and dance have been part of popular culture for untold ages with influences from the nearly eight centuries of Moorish rule as well as Roma (gypsy) culture. We will learn about different styles of flamenco that share three classic elements: cante (song), toque (guitar), and baile (dance), then enjoy a performance.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Málaga, Picasso Museum
Nerja
B,L,D
Aparthotel Marinas de Nerja

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 70 miles (112.7 km) total, approximately 1 hour each way. Walking up to 2 miles; cobblestones, uneven surfaces.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will head out by motorcoach to the city of Málaga, settled by Phoenicians more than 3,000 years ago. More recently, it was the birthplace and childhood hometown of Pablo Picasso. With a local expert, we will set out on a walking field trip into the historic old town. A highlight will be visiting the city’s Cathedral, built between 1528 and 1782 on the site of a former mosque.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll share “raciónes” (plated dishes) with beverage choices of wine or beer, soft drink, mineral water.

Afternoon: With a local expert, we will explore the Museo Picasso Málaga, located within the 16th century Mudéjar-Renaissance style Palacio de Buenavista built over Phoenician, Roman, and Moorish remains. Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-1973) — regarded as one of the greatest artists of the modern era — lived here with his family until the age of 10. They returned from time to time until a falling out with his rich uncle when he was 20. Picasso never returned. The museum is the result of Picasso’s daughter-in-law who maintained that he wished for a collection of his works to be available to the public in his hometown. After a number of temporary exhibitions, it was established in the Palacio de Buenavista and officially opened in 2003 by the King and Queen of Spain. The museum has recently been renovated and reorganized to highlight the collection in a predominantly chronological way to show the development of the artist’s style.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Alfarnate & Alfarnatejo, Olive Oil, Family Meal, Wrap-up
Nerja
B,L,D
Aparthotel Marinas de Nerja

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 100 miles (160.9 km) total, approximately 1.5 hours each way. Walking up to 2 miles; cobblestones, some uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride some 60 miles north of Málaga into the Axaraquia district amid La Sierra — the mountains of Andalucía — to the villages of Alfarnate and Alfarnatejo. More than half of the olive groves in Spain are found in Andalucía. During our field trip, we will pass through some of the country’s oldest olive trees and visit an artisan olive factory that produces the purest extra virgin olive oil. We will also see an olive oil mill and taste this golden olive oil with pan cateto — homemade country bread. Finally we’ll also sample the region’s traditional sweet Málaga wine and learn all about rural life from a local expert . Throughout our field trip, we will have some of the best scenic views in the province.

Lunch: In the homes of local families, we will enjoy a variety of homemade Spanish foods typical of the region.

Afternoon: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the afternoon is free. We’ll gather in the late afternoon for a wrap-up session.

Dinner: At the hotel, share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell tapas dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning. Some airport transfers begin at approximately 4:00 a.m.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Airport transfers begin at approximately 4:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet depending on flight times. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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