For culture and history, there’s no place like Spain. The Moors, Jews, and the Christians have left a rich heritage from the early centuries still found in its art, architecture and food. My Exclusive Journeys offers a customized trip highlighting well-known sites as well as off-the-beaten-path discoveries with their 14-day “Medieval and Moorish Spain” trips starting at $10,555 per person.
There’s always a serendipitous stop along the way. One delight is a visit to a restaurant in an old chapel in Madrid, a magical space unknown to most tourists. There’s a trek to a sacred pilgrimage site in the mountains of northern Spain few have seen. No trip to Spain is complete without a stay in Madrid. Originally an Arab fortress, it’s now one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The Roman Aqueduct in Segovia still puzzles modern engineers for its mastership and dimensions. Avila, captured by Moors in 714 AD and recaptured by Christians in 1088, features protective walls built in the 12th century. Many come here to pray in the church of the mystic St. Teresa.
Salamanca grew as a traditional college town, and is still a bubbly scene with cathedrals, palaces and Renaissance colleges. The Roman road known as the Silver Route leads to the city of Caceres. Seville’s collection of Moorish architecture bathed in special light casts a spell. Andalucia’s long-lasting Arab influence is obvious in the Route of the White Villages’ white casas dotting the mountainside’s winding roads. Seven hills with Moorish-style villas make Granada Spain’s most beautiful city and a must-visit. Here, the fabled Alhambra, the Red Castle of the Moorish Kings, seems to float over the city. Inside are beautiful, intricately designed courtyards, fountains, gardens and palaces. During the Middle Ages, Cordoba was a grand city with a diversified population of Moors, Jews and Christians. The historic Jewish quarter and a stunning mosque are interesting highlights. Enroute to Cordoba, many medieval towns are seen. Parador in Jaen is the perfect stop for lunch, with panoramic views and delicious food.