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The Memory of Sepharad: From Lucena to Besalu

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Duration

14 days

Tour Type

private

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Category

Jewish Heritage

Languages

English & More

Overview

If you seek an immersive exploration of Jewish history, merging the diverse culture and rich heritage of Spain with luxurious accommodations, then this 13-day tour is tailored just for you. Embark on a journey that takes you through the major highlights of Jewish history and culture in Spain. As you... More

If you seek an immersive exploration of Jewish history, merging the diverse culture and rich heritage of Spain with luxurious accommodations, then this 13-day tour is tailored just for you.

Embark on a journey that takes you through the major highlights of Jewish history and culture in Spain. As you travel from one region to another, each destination will unveil a unique experience, distinct from the one before.

Your adventure begins in the vibrant city of Madrid, and from there, you’ll venture to the charming cities of Seville and Cordoba, with a captivating stop in Lucena on your way to Granada.

In Granada, an expert guide will accompany you on a tour of the magnificent Alhambra Palaces, a truly unforgettable experience. Explore the enchanting cities of Úbeda and Baeza, before making your way to the beautiful coastal city of Barcelona, with visits to Gerona and Besalu along the way.

Indulge in the captivating stories and cultural treasures that span centuries of Jewish history, while enjoying the comfort of luxurious hotels throughout your journey.

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover the fascinating Sephardic Heritage
  • Visit the old Jewish quarters of Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, Lucena, Granada, Úbeda, Barcelona and Besalú with expert guides.
  • Discover the most significant monuments and highlights on your itinerary: the Habsburg quarter of Madrid, the Royal Palace of Seville, the Cordoba Mosque, the Alhambra in Granada, the Gaudi's construction in Barcelona.
  • Outstanding flamenco show in Seville.

Itinerary

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DAY 1 - SHALOM SEPHARAD
DAY 1 - SHALOM SEPHARAD

Upon arrival at Madrid Airport, you'll receive a warm welcome from our private transfer service, ready to whisk you away in a luxurious vehicle to your exceptional hotel located conveniently in the heart of the city.

Once you've settled into your accommodation, the rest of the day is yours to explore Madrid at your own pace.

If you're eager to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and indulge in the city's culinary delights, we highly recommend joining an evening tapas tour in Old Madrid. Led by an expert local guide, this gastronomic adventure will take you on a delightful journey, allowing you to savor a variety of traditional tapas dishes while discovering the charming essence of the metropolis.

DAY 2 – HIGHLIGHTS OF HISTORIC MADRID
DAY 2 – HIGHLIGHTS OF HISTORIC MADRID

Embark on a captivating walking tour led by an expert local guide and delve into the rich history of Madrid. Step by step, explore its iconic monuments and landmarks that form the city's artistic and architectural legacy.

In the historic neighborhood of "de los Austrias,", witness the remarkable transformation of Madrid from a modest town to the capital of a vast empire during the reign of Phillip II. Admire the noble facades, convents, and majestic squares, including the renowned Plaza Mayor, which serves as the epicenter of Madrid's vibrant life.

At the Plaza de Oriente, behold two magnificent creations. The neoclassical Cathedral of Almudena stands proudly facing the expansive Palacio Real, the largest royal residence in Western Europe, housing treasures such as the Throne Room, Royal Armoury, and a rich collection of paintings, sculptures, and tapestries.

Day 3: TOLEDO, THE BEACON OF THE SEPHARDIC CULTURE
Day 3:  TOLEDO, THE BEACON OF THE SEPHARDIC CULTURE

Embark on the perfect private excursion from Madrid to Toledo, complete with a chauffeured car and the expertise of a knowledgeable local guide. Explore the historic capital of Spain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and immerse yourself in its rich cultural tapestry.

Discover the remarkable artistic and scientific legacies born from the fruitful cultural interactions that have shaped the city. Explore iconic treasures such as the Cathedral, which stands on the site of the ancient Great Mosque, and the Santo Tomé Church, showcasing influences from Islamic art and Spanish masterpieces.

Visit the synagogue of El Tránsito (14th century), bearing witness to Toledo's vibrant Jewish heritage. Take some leisure time to wander the labyrinthine streets and squares. Your guide will gladly recommend gastronomic options loved by the locals, ensuring a delightful lunch that suits your preferences.

DAY 3 - AUTHENTIC FLAMENCO EXPERIENCE IN SEVILLE
DAY 3 - AUTHENTIC FLAMENCO EXPERIENCE IN SEVILLE

Take advantage of a free morning to explore the vibrant streets of Madrid or indulge in some shopping.

In the afternoon, embark on a comfortable high-speed train journey to Seville. Upon arrival, settle into your exceptional centrally located hoteL.

In the evening, immerse yourself in the passion of Flamenco, by visiting one of Seville's most renowned "Tablaos.". The Flamenco experience offers a show filled with captivating singing, dancing, and mesmerizing music.

DAY 4 – WONDERS OF SEVILLE: THE ALCAZAR AND THE CATHEDRAL
DAY 4  – WONDERS OF SEVILLE: THE ALCAZAR AND THE CATHEDRAL

Experience the multicultural heritage of Seville on a private walking tour with an expert guide. Discover the Alcázar Real, where Islamic and Christian artistic traditions intertwine in palaces and gardens from different periods.

Visit the Cathedral, a grand Gothic church housing 80 chapels and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. With remnants of its Muslim past, such as the Orange Tree Courtyard and the towering Giralda, it stands as an iconic symbol of Seville.

In the evening, immerse yourself in the passion of Flamenco, by visiting one of Seville's most renowned "Tablaos.". The Flamenco experience offers a show filled with captivating singing, dancing, and mesmerizing music.

DAY 5 - THE MEMORY OF JEWISH SEVILLE: JUDERÍA TOUR
DAY 5 - THE MEMORY OF JEWISH SEVILLE: JUDERÍA TOUR

Experience an enthralling tour uncovering the history and landmarks of Jewish Seville. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, venture into the ancient Aljama, now called Barrio de Santa Cruz, which was once a vibrant Jewish community.

Although physical remnants of the old "Judería" have vanished, the neighborhood's captivating network of passages, tranquil squares, and flourishing courtyards still emanate its distinctive allure. Immerse yourself in the enduring Jewish culture, exploring the extensive collection of documents and texts left behind by esteemed scholars, philosophers, and scientists who once resided in the city.

Gain profound insights into the consequences of the 1391 pogrom and its profound impact on both the displaced and those who chose to remain. Additionally, visit the Casa de Pilatos in the neighboring San Pedro quarter—a magnificent palace erected on land seized from a Jewish family by the Inquisition—a poignant testament to the fortunes and challenges faced by Jewish communities throughout Iberian history.

In the afternoon, embark on a comfortable high-speed train journey to Cordoba. Upon arrival, settle into your exceptional centrally located hoteL.

DAY 6 – SPLENDOR OF CORDOBA: THE MOSQUE AND THE JUDERÍA
DAY 6  – SPLENDOR OF CORDOBA: THE MOSQUE AND THE JUDERÍA

Embark on a captivating journey through Cordoba's illustrious history on an exclusive private tour. Accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, delve into the rich heritage of the city.

Cordoba flourished as the pinnacle of the Umayyad Caliphate, a center of culture and scientific advancements. Witness the breathtaking Great Umayyad Mosque, a masterpiece of Islamic art spanning centuries. The Prayer Hall's overlapping arches and columns crafted from jasper, marble, and granite will leave you in awe. Within this architectural marvel, the Cathedral stands in striking contrast, housing Renaissance and Baroque treasures.

Explore the winding streets of La Judería, a former vibrant Jewish community, with its preserved 14th-century synagogue. Every corner exudes Cordoba's charm, featuring whitewashed houses, elegant mansions, and lush patios adorned with vibrant flowers and fragrant plants.

DAY 7: LUCENA, THE PEARL OF SEPHARAD
DAY 7: LUCENA, THE PEARL OF SEPHARAD

Experience a morning private transfer from your Córdoba hotel to Granada, with an enchanting stop in Lucena. This picturesque town, nestled amidst olive groves and vineyards, was once a thriving hub of Jewish culture.

Meet your knowledgeable local guide, a specialist in Sephardic heritage, for a two-hour city tour. Lucena, renowned as the "Pearl of Sepharad," reached its zenith during the Middle Ages as a bustling Jewish community. Savor the flavors of authentic Sephardic pastries, explore the recently discovered ancient Jewish Cemetery, the largest known necropolis in the Iberian Peninsula, and immerse yourself in Lucena's rich Jewish history.

Discover its streets, monuments, and traditions, culminating in a visit to the Jewish room within the Castillo del Moral Archaeological Museum. Afterward, continue your journey to Granada and check-in at your hotel.

DAY 8 - MEMORIES OF JEWISH CULTURE IN THE ALHAMBRA AND GRANADA
DAY 8 - MEMORIES OF JEWISH CULTURE IN THE ALHAMBRA AND GRANADA

The Alhambra citadel showcases a mesmerizing array of palaces, the sole remaining Islamic royal residences from the Middle Ages. These palaces, reminiscent of the Garden of Eden and the splendor of King Solomon's courts, exude an enchanting aura.

Accompanied by an expert guide, you will explore the intricately designed palaces and gardens of the Alhambra and Generalife. Afterwards, your journey will continue to the heart of Granada, where your guide will unveil the old Jewish quarter.

This immersive tour into the Jewish quarter offers a captivating glimpse into the forgotten history and culture of the city. Led by our medieval history specialist, you will traverse the streets of "Gharnata al-Yahud," while readings from notable Jewish scholars like Yehuda ibn Tibbon, Samuel Ha-Nagid, and Moses Ibn Ezra illuminate the profound contributions of Judaism to the city's cultural tapestry.

DAY 9: UBEDA AND BAEZA, TWO GEMS OF THE RENAISSANCE
DAY 9: UBEDA AND BAEZA, TWO GEMS OF THE RENAISSANCE

Immerse yourself in the Renaissance splendor of Úbeda and Baeza, two captivating cities in northern Andalusia. These historic gems, favored by the Spanish aristocracy in the early 16th century, boast a remarkable artistic and architectural heritage.

Embark on a full-day tour to both towns, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Your journey begins with a private transfer from your Granada hotel to Úbeda, where your knowledgeable local guide awaits you.
Explore the Vázquez de Molina Square, the epicenter of Renaissance architecture, featuring the Sacred Chapel of the Saviour, the Collegiate of Saint Mary, and magnificent palaces. Discover remnants of a synagogue and an exceptional Mikveh in an aristocratic mansion.

In Baeza, the central Square of Saint Mary unveils further Renaissance wonders, including the Cathedral, the Seminary of Saint Philip Neri, and the enchanting Palace of Jabalquinto—a testament to the transition between Flamboyant Gothic and Renaissance styles.

DAY 10 - BARCELONA JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR
DAY 10 - BARCELONA JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR

Start your day with a private transfer from your Granada hotel to the airport for a flight to Barcelona. Upon arrival and hotel check-in, embark on a captivating afternoon tour of Old Barcelona accompanied by an expert local guide.

Explore the ancient city, established by the Romans over 2000 years ago, and discover its Jewish District, known as the "Call," which encompassed the Jewries of Catalonia during the Middle Ages.

Dive into the history of the influential Jewish Community that likely thrived here since Roman times, walking along narrow streets that bear remnants of its past glory.

Learn about notable figures such as Shlomo Ben Aderet (Rashba) and Moshe Ben Nahman (Ramban), renowned biblical commentators and esteemed rabbis of 13th-century Catalonia.

DAY 11 – MASTERWORKS OF MODERNIST BARCELONA
DAY 11 – MASTERWORKS OF MODERNIST BARCELONA

Embark on an exclusive tour with our knowledgeable guide, immersing yourself in Antoni Gaudí's architectural masterpieces. Begin at Park Güell, atop Mount Carmel, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Barcelona's captivating cityscape.

Explore La Sagrada Familia, an awe-inspiring and unfinished work embodying Gaudí's vision and the essence of Barcelona's Modernist movement.

Continue the adventure along Passeig de Gracia, renowned as the city's most elegant boulevard. Marvel at the "Block of Discord," where rival architects and Modernist greats proudly display astonishing façades.

Get ready for a captivating journey as you immerse yourself in the extraordinary world created by Gaudí's visionary mind.

DAY 12 - EXCURSION TO MEDIEVAL CATALONIA: GIRONA AND BESALÚ
DAY 12 - EXCURSION TO MEDIEVAL CATALONIA: GIRONA AND BESALÚ

Experience a captivating expedition to delve into the medieval heritage and Jewish legacy of Catalonia. Commence your journey at the awe-inspiring Girona Cathedral, celebrated for its expansive Gothic nave, which holds the distinction of being the widest in the world.

Immerse yourself in the enigmatic ambiance of the Jewish quarter, known as the "Call," where the intricate socio-religious dynamics of medieval Catalonia come to life. Continue your exploration with a visit to the Museum of Jewish History, where the vibrant Jewish heritage of the region is illuminated.

Proceeding on, venture to the picturesque village of Besalu, located a short 30-minute drive from Girona. Here, you'll be enthralled by the impeccably preserved medieval architecture and the carefully designed urban layout.

Of particular significance is Besalu's meticulously maintained Mikveh, the esteemed Jewish ritual bath, regarded as Europe's finest. Immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere as you traverse these extraordinary sites, uncovering the deep-rooted Jewish history and the medieval essence of Catalonia.

DAY 13 - BARCELONA AT LEISURE
DAY 13 - BARCELONA AT LEISURE

Make the most of your leisure day in Barcelona as you embark on a personal exploration of the Catalonian metropolis. With an array of attractions, elegant shops, and sandy beaches, Barcelona offers a diverse and infinite experiences.

You might admire the architectural marvels of Palau Güell and Casa Vicens, exemplars of Modernist design by Antoni Gaudí. Marvel at the monumental Hospital de Santa Creu i de Sant Pau, a masterpiece created by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Indulge in the grandeur of Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona's esteemed Opera House.

Take a stroll through Poble Espanyol, an open-air museum showcasing Spain's captivating architecture and villages. Immerse yourself in art at the National Museum of Art of Catalunya, housed in Montjuïc Castle. Uncover Barcelona's rich history at the Museu d'Història de Barcelona MUHBA, spanning from its foundation to the Middle Ages.

Savor the freedom to explore Barcelona's cultural richness at your own pace, and create cherished memories of this vibrant city.

DAY 14 - HASTA LUEGO ESPAÑA!
DAY 14 - HASTA LUEGO ESPAÑA!

As your time in Barcelona comes to a close, it's time to bid farewell to your hotel and embark on a private transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

Throughout your journey, we hope that you have experienced a truly immersive and enriching exploration of Spain's remarkable Jewish heritage. From the tangible remnants to the intangible cultural influences, we trust that you have gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of this indelible part of history.

We wish you safe travels and hope that your memories of this extraordinary journey will stay with you for a lifetime.

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