Journey to Andalucia

ITINERARY: Frid. 8 - Sun. 17 May 2020

A personalized Journey of  History, Food, Wine, Art & Horses in Andalucia with WEC’s Friends

 

There will be shows or activities in addition to this agenda that we might include in the itinerary if we consider it will make the trip more interesting. As requested by previous guests, we have arranged all nights’ accommodations in the same 2 hotels by the beach for everyone’s comfort and within 30 min. approx. from all destinations (only Sevilla is 2 hrs away)

Friday, May 8th

ARRIVAL TO CÁDIZ

Pick - Up at Jerez Airport. You will need to plan leaving the US on Thursday 7th to arrive to Jerez on the 8th. Please note that you lose 1 day with the time change and trip length.  Flight arrivals would need to be sent prior your trip to organize transportation. 

Saturday, May 9th

WELCOME DINNER 

Meet the rest of travelers and your guides for a Welcome Dinner at the picturesque White Town of Conil de La Frontera.

The inland white towns are well known for their unique beauty and spectacular settings - invariably hilltop locations, with the whitewashed houses huddled around a ruined castle. the frequently seen suffix "de la frontera" of a white town place name refers to its historical border position.

Sunday, May 10th

FERIA DEL CABALLO (Horse´s Fair)

Spain’s festive spring moves to Jerez de la Frontera for the annual Horse Fair, declared of International Tourist Interest. Jerez is a city to enjoy sherry, flamenco and horses. One of Andalucia’s biggest festivals, the fair attracts more than one million visitors and features music, dancing and bulls. It also hosts all kinds of horse competitions, exhibitions, events and both national and international competitions of Classical Dressage, Doma Vaquera, RAID, Polo, Driving, Gala Shows by the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, Yeguada de la Cartuja, and EQUISUR , all combining to make the Horse Fair an experience to be enjoyed to the full. We will enjoy colorful parades featuring hundreds of horses passing, the aristocratic-looking male riders decked out in flat-topped hats, frilly white shirts, black trousers and leather chaps, and their female crupera (sideways pillion) partners in flamenco-inspired dresses. Similar to Seville’s Feria de Abril, the fairgrounds are filled with more than 300 casetas (tents).

Monday, May 11th

CÁDIZ

We will visit the Cádiz Cathedral, shopping areas, Spain´s authentic ¨Churros & Chocolate¨ and will have our main meal at a traditional restaurant.  Cádiz stands on a peninsula jutting out into a bay, and is almost entirely surrounded by water. Named Gadir by the Phoencians, who founded their trading post in 1,100 BC, it was later controlled by the Carthaginians, until it became a thriving Roman port. It sank into oblivion under the Visigoths and Moors, but attained great splendor in the early 16th century as a launching point for the journey to the newly discovered lands of America. Cádiz was later raided by Sir Francis Drake, in the struggle to gain control of trade with the New World, and managed to withstand a siege by Napoleon's army. In the early 19th century Cádiz became the bastion of Spain's anti-monarchist, liberal movement, as a result of which the country's first Constitution was declared there in 1812.  Some of the city's 18th century walls stand in great condition, such as the Landward Gate. The old, central quarter of Cádiz is famous for its picturesque charm, and many of the buildings reflect the city's overseas links. The old city looks quite Moorish in appearance and is intriguing with narrow cobbled streets opening onto small squares.

Tuesday, May 12th

ROYAL SCHOOL OF EQUESTRIAN ARTS, TIO PEPE  & JEREZ

In the morning we will visit the world claimed Real Escuela Del Arte Equestre Exhibition: a spirited performance of magnificent stallions in a 18th century location.  Wait and Enjoy!  After lunch at the traditional Bar Juanito, we will enjoy the visit to Tio Pepe Winery (named after one of the founders' uncle), a brand of Jerez (wrongly known as Sherry) and the bestselling brand in the world. It is best known for its fino style of dry sherry made from the palomino grape. The Tio Pepe brand is owned by the González Byass Sherry house. Tio Pepe has based its recent success on promoting itself as a very dry white wine to be served with food, in doing so aiming to differentiate itself from poor quality sherries and their downmarket reputation. The Tio Pepe soleras were established in 1844 and have run uninterrupted since that time. Your visit will include Jerez wine tasting. Located inland, Jerez holds worldwide acclaim for its sherry and brandy production. The word Jerez is derived from Arabic and has now become synonymous with the English word ‘sherry’. The city is equally famous for its fine horses as well as Flamenco music and dance. The town dates back to Moorish times and possesses a charming old town, casco antiguo (old town), with beautiful palm lined squares. The 11th century Moorish fortress, or Alcazaba, has been partially restored. Of special interest is its church, originally built by the Arabs as a mosque. Today the city of Jerez has a remarkably aristocratic air with wide streets, squares and magnificent rows of jacaranda trees.

Wednesday, May 13th

CAMPO ABIERTO  & MEDINA SIDONIA 

Spanish Bulls, cows with their calves, riders and horses working in Doma Vaquera and high Equestrian school. Enjoy these wonderful animals in the best environment you can imagine, the freedom of the Andalusian countryside. Sit down to look at the performance of classical and andalusian dressage with the five senses. See the natural beauty of the state, the different stages in the live of these animals. Hear the birdsong, the bellows of the bulls, the neighing of the horses, the sound of the cowbells.... And the quiet of the countryside, the Andalusian pastures... Smell the aromas of the land and flowers. Feel the caress of the wind on your skin. Taste the sherry wine with friends.

That afternoon, we will taste a charming meal at the White town Medina Sidonia, one of the most gorgeous white towns and one of the richest cities in the entire province of Cadiz when it comes to history.  Located in the middle of the province, halfway between the farmland and the sierra, Medina Sidonia is the melting pot of many different civilizations: Phoenician, Roman, and later Muslim, the town reached its maximum splendor when it became the site of the Duchy of Medina Sidonia. It boasts numerous buildings and places of interest, such as the Roman sewers, from the 1st century; the Roman bridge; the ruins of the Arab castle of Torrestrella (13th century), and of the arches of Pastora, Belén and Puerta del Sol; the monastery of San José del Cuervo; the convent of Las Descalzas, from the 17th century; the Visigothic hermitage of Santos Mártires, from the 7th century; and the church of Santa María de la Coronada, from the 15th and 16th centuries, one of the most significant examples of Flamboyant Gothic architecture in Cadiz.  The inland white towns are well known for their unique beauty and spectacular settings - invariably hilltop locations, with the whitewashed houses huddled around a ruined castle. Often the names of these “pueblos blancos” in Cadiz are testament to the towns´ significant past as settlements built to defend the respective territories of the Christians and the Muslims.

Thursday, May 14th

SEVILLA

There are no words to describe all the options Sevilla offers and you would probably need 30 days to obtain the essence if this unique city. 

Sevilla is 3,000 years old.  The city was greatly influenced by Arabic culture. Roman features remaining are an aqueduct, a temple on Mármoles St., the columns of Hercules.  The walls surround ding the city were originally built during the rule of Julius Caesar. The city became Moorish in 712 for 7 centuries. Following 1492, the Christopher Columbus expedition to the new world profited the city since it was awarded the only port monopoly to trade with American colonies. The Sevilla Cathedral was built in 1401- 1519. The tower’s interior was built with ramps to allow people on horseback to ride to the top.  This Roman Catholic cathedral  is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. Outside of Seville are 9 PS20 solar power towers which provide most of the city of Seville with clean and renewable energy.

We will visit The Maestranza Plaza, Sevilla Cathedral, the Royal Alcázares. Lunch will be at the Neighborhood of Santa Cruz and there will be plenty of time for shopping in the narrow charming Sevilla streets!

Friday, May 15th

RIDE ON THE BEACH & VEJER DE LA FRONTERA

LET’S RIDE!  For those interested, we will experience a unique sunset ride on the gorgeous La Barrosa Beach. Confirm by Tuesday 12th to your guide Antonio who will ride so he can make reservations with the equestrian center. Cost is included in the final price. Afterwards, we will visit the marvelous Roche Cliffs, to end up having our main meal at Vejer de la Frontera (White Town).  Vejer is a Moorish looking hilltop town (190 meters above sea level) a place of white-washed houses, narrow winding streets. It is a picturesque town still retaining much of the wall around the old part of town which blends in well with the newer part. Many of the streets are too narrow for cars and as you walk around if you look through an open doorway you are likely to see beautiful inner patios with lots of flowers and plants. Vejer is a town steeped in history, having been used as a fortress town by the Phoenicians, later by the Romans and then underwent five centuries of Moorish rule until it was captured by King Ferdinand of Castille in 1248. Vejer then became a border town against the Moors and hence "de la Frontera" was added to its name. The king gave control of Vejer to Don Alonso Perez de Guzman, founder of the ducal house of Medina Sidonia. The famous battle of Trafalgar took place just off the coast near the town in 1805. Many parts of the town have views to the sea and you can even see the Moroccan coast on a clear day.

Saturday, May 16th

LA CARTUJA STUD FARM 

From its foundation towards the end of the XV century, the Monastery of La Cartuja has been converted into the cornerstone of the Jerezano thoroughbred horses.  For three centuries, which coincided with the centuries of greatest splendor of the kingdom of Spain, the Carthusian monks established a breeding stock which, through time, would be converted into one of the most celebrated and appreciated stocks in the world. The exemplary livestock management, carried out in the surrounds of the splendid Renaissance building, situated in an exceptional geographical location in terms of climate and fertility, where the universally renowned Jerez wines are also grown. The Cartuja Stud Famr is considered to be the origin of the race Pure Spanish (Pura Raza Española).

Sunday, May 17th

CHECK OUT AND FAREWELL

Your guides will give you drive to the Jerez airport or train station. They will give you suggestions in case you decide to continue your adventure to other parts of our dear home country Spain!