Many travel agencies in Denmark market tours to this area of Andalucia. In fact, many more tours come than we realize. The reason we hardly notice them is because the tour groups are very busy experiencing more in one week than the most of us here do in a given month. I accompanied a group recently and this is what we did:
Day 1: Arrival and check-in at the hotel and time to settle in.
Day 2: A half-day walking tour in Almunecar. We visited the monuments and interesting places in town: The statue of Abd ar-Rahman I (the founder of the Umayyad Emirate of Córdoba and came ashore here in 755), Majuelo Park with the remains of the fish salting factory, the beautiful Palacete de la Najarra (now the tourist office), San Miguel Castle and the Bonsai Museum, the 17th Century Parish Church and the Casa de la Cultura.
Almuñécar actually has a rich historic heritage and remains from both the Roman and Moorish periods. In the afternoon we enjoyed tapas at three different establishments at Plaza Keliba and Town Hall Square. Delicious!
Day 3: A visit to Almunecar’s Friday market. The triumphant arches, which are actually a monument built to commemorate Blas Infante, a founding father of Andalucia
Day 4: We drove up to Las Alpujarras through beautiful rocky mountains. This area is famous for its ham curing. Naturally a visit to a typical secadero de jamón was a must. It is quite a sight to see so many thousands of these cured hams hanging to dry. We strolled through the quaint village of Pampaneira followed by a visit to a local bodega in the captivating village of Capileira. The bodega treated us to tapas and a sampling of their local wine.
Day 5: This was a day of rest and relaxation.
Day 6: The highlight of the trip was this visit to Granada and the majestic Alhambra. This was the last stronghold of the Moors before they were finally expelled from Spain in 1492.
We visited the Cathedral, which is known as Spain’s first renaissance cathedral. Thereafter we saw the Royal Chapel (Capilla Real), where the Catholic Monarchs are laid to rest. We strolled through the old Moorish silk market – the Alcaicería – now full of souvenir shops. After lunch, we had a guided tour of the Alhambra and indulged in the unique architectural treasures this magnificent fortress has to offer. It was breathtaking to stroll through the spectacularly situated summer palace Generalife with its beautiful gardens and fountains. In my opinion, Alhambra is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Day 7: We visited the incredible Nerja Caves, discovered by accident in 1959 by five young boys from Maro who were hunting bats. The bats flew down into a hole, the boys followed and discovered these caves, which were home to man more than 25.000 years ago. Afterwards, we visited an olive mill where we learned how this ‘liquid gold’ known as extra virgin olive oil is processed. Do you know that the annual consumption of olive oil per person in southern Spain is 10 litres? The Danes consume half a litre in comparison.
We ended the afternoon enjoying 7 different Andaluz dishes prepared by Spanish housewife, María at her cortijo in Torrox. What a feast! It was the perfect end to a perfect week. Day 8: The Danes left with many wonderful memories of Almunecar and Andalucia.