The wonderful region of Andalusia is a testimony to Spain’s rich past: Moors, Christians and Jews have left their mark and influence everywhere, from magnificent structures to seasonal celebrations.
Seville, a city adorned with centuries old architectural jewels, dedicates a festival each spring to highlight traditions that have been passed on for generations. This festival is called the April Fair, where locals celebrate with their version of Flamenco: the “Sevillanas” dance. Participants dressed in colorful costumes build luxurious tents for their families and invite guests to eat, drink, sing and dance all night long for an entire week.
Springtime is when the fragrance of oranges and jasmine are in the air and the city of Cordoba, also called “The City of Senses” holds a Patio Festival.Traditionally, each house has an adorned patio to keep them cool in the summer heat but during spring, the patios are at their most colorful and fragrant best. A competition, seriously judged by a group of selected locals, is held for the prize of the best and most beautiful patio in Cordoba.
The city of Jerez’s Equestrian festival draws thousands of participants. Every farm, or hacienda shows off their horses, circling with colorful carriages around the city. Spanish beauties dress up with flowing dresses, often seated behind the male rider and parade while holding a glass of local sherry. Jerez is also known as the birthplace of Flamenco, where Gypsies found a home and cultivated their passionate dance in everyday life.
Off the Beaten Path: We visit the azure Mediterranean beaches, the incomparable Alhambra cathedral in the city of Granada and a charming small village along the way, where two Andalusians have a passionate sing-off competition. The team travels to the high peaks of Sierra Nevada, dotted with whitewashed houses where local villagers parade in honor of their patron saint. Tapas were invented in this region. A Cordovan chef teaches us how to cook these popular delicacies.
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