10 Nov Exclusive Cultural Tour in Southern Spain With Just Explore
Southern Spain is a land of storytellers, inspired by the first paintings etched onto its cave walls, the palaces with intricate geometric designs and the castles and grand mosques reconfigured by Christians into cathedrals.
Its geographic position, with its extensive coast and proximity to Africa, meant it was often one of the first lands to be explored and settled by new tribes. From the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Visigoths, and Vandals to the most influential of all, the Moors, Andalusia has been a meeting place of different cultures since the city of Cadiz was founded 3000 years ago – so it’s fair to say this region’s storytellers are never short of a fascinating tale.
Tailor-Made Cultural Tour in Andalusia
We wanted to be able to pass on some of these compelling stories through a romantic journey through Andalusia’s cities, idyllic white villages and rolling mountains on our Cultural Tour, the original idea that kick-started Just Explore and which we now offer each year at the start of October. The 2023 Cultural Tour was a sell-out and only a few spots remain for next year’s. Today we relive some key moments of this unforgettable journey and highlight why it is so sought-after.
Andalusia is renowned for its blistering heat in the warmer months, but you don’t have to worry about that in October. In fact, it’s the best month of the year to take our exclusive tour group (12 people maximum) on a journey through various UNESCO World Heritage sites, across valleys and through enchanting villages. Whilst it is autumn, it is still warm during the day, but it can get quite chilly at night.
Our tour starts and finishes in Malaga, and passes through Andalusia’s Golden Triangle (Granada, Cordoba and Seville). The itinerary includes arguably Spain’s most important landmark, the Alhambra Palace in Granada, and then the Mosque of Cordoba and the gothic Cathedral in Seville. And you won’t have to worry about any long tourist lines, we get you past the entrance gates straight away – there’s too much to see to waste any time waiting in a queue!
Our local tour directors and art historian experts will leave you with a wealth of new knowledge about some of the most sought-after sites in Spain, and in the world. Along the way you’ll get a chance to see the picturesque towns of Carmona and Ronda, as well as other surprises in store.
You’ll eat like a true Andalusian, sitting in close proximity with one another and sharing stories with those beside you while tucking into the most wonderful tapas and exotic flavours Andalusia has to offer. Expect to wake up each morning of the seven-day tour feeling as if you’ve been transported back in time as we book our guests into historic buildings that have been converted into charming, cosy accommodations.
It’s the buoyant city of Seville and its enchanting laneways and gothic churches that leaves many of our guests amazed. But their amazement goes to a whole new level when they see the exhilarating performances of the city’s flamenco dancers. You don’t need to be a dancer to appreciate just how fiercely passionate their performances are and how proud they are to showcase their culture to the world.
By the end of the week you’ll be pleasantly seduced by Andalusia’s charm, it did exactly that to Just Explore CEO and founder, Rosa Lara – and continues to every day as she is so lucky to call this wonderful part of the world her home. Here’s Lara’s take on the Cultural Tour and why it should go on your travel bucket list for 2024.
What makes this tour so special?
It was the original idea around which Just Explore was born and so we consider this tour ‘the baby’ of our local boutique travel agency. It’s a way to explore the region through the eyes of a passionate local and to come together with different people from around the globe, all of whom have a common goal: to discover the culture and history of southern Spain.
How far in advance should people book?
It is recommended to book 6-9 months in advance to guarantee your spot. The 2023 Cultural Tour was a sell-out and we only have a few spots left for the 2024 tour.
Any recommendations of what people should bring with them, ie. clothing, what to expect in early autumn in Andalusia.
As we move hotels every two days we recommend travelling light. Bring layers, but not winter layers! Just light jackets, and a raincoat in the odd chance of a downpour, otherwise the weather should still be very warm at this time of year as it was in 2023.
Any projects in the works for doing something similar in another region of Spain OR any other escorted tours in the pipeline?
Our exclusive Garden Tour, which is in April each year, covers the same landmarks in Andalusia focusing on the region’s enchanting gardens and hidden courtyards. I am getting more requests from past travellers and they are indeed interested in exploring other regions with Just Explore, so perhaps we will consider an escorted group tour in Spain’s fascinating Basque Country, and another one in Portugal.
How The Cultural Tour Resonates With Travellers
It struck a chord with our guests this year, who seemed particularly impressed by how well the tour incorporated different aspects of Andalusia’s layered history, diverse art scene and stunning architecture. We’ll leave you with some testimonials of travellers we were honoured to take with us this year:
Andrew & Barbara Moore (New Hampshire, USA)
“We are still in a warm glow from the whole experience. It was so uplifting and profoundly enjoyable.”
Laura Woods (New York, USA)
“We just returned from a fantastic 7-day cultural tour, curated by Rosa and her team and I can’t say enough about it! The itinerary was perfect. The group was a wonderful mix of like-minded people that we were lucky enough to have with us.The boutique hotels we stayed at were all unique and well-placed for touring. There was a great mix of museums, historical sites and cultural immersion walks, along with some time to ourselves. Rosa was with us most of the way, sharing her love of her home region in Spain. We very much enjoyed the communal tables where we could experience a good deal of local cuisine. It was the first time my husband and I joined a group tour and based on this experience with Rosa and Just Explore, we would do it again!”
John & Alicia Gaul (North Carolina, USA):
“Thank you for leading us through your beautiful country! We benefited from your enthusiasm, knowledge, dedication and hard work. We had a wonderful time.”