Unexpected treasures beyond food, flamenco and wine await lucky travelers to Central Spain. Madrid is a rapidly changing modern city where past and present are intertwined in the charming towns of Seville and Cordoba. You can’t escape this region without being blown away by the history here and how it is still represented today.
Arriving in Madrid
When arriving to Spain from abroad, Madrid is a logical choice to begin. My first stop here was my lovely hotel room at the luxury Villa Magna. Newly renovated, this location is a shopping paradise with quick access to name brand designer shops. The spa and gym at this hotel were top notch as well making it a nice choice after a long flight.
My wonderful little welcome amenity shown below was complete with the Virtuoso logo! It is always such a treat for our clients to receive a warm welcome in their room. The complimentary benefits they receive as a guest of a Virtuoso agency differ for each hotel.
Villa Magna Virtuoso Guest Benefits:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily complimentary gourmet breakfast for up to two per room
- Spanish Gourmet Tapas & Wine for two in hotel lounge
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
Making the most of our time, a quick city tour and time at the famous Prado museum were in order to view important artwork which told the story of the history that was to unfold over the next several days.
Art is a fundamental aspect of Spain and you can see it everywhere. Beautiful sites abound in the city such as the famed Julia sculpture in Madrid square.
Luxury Madrid Hotels & Food
There is no shortage of luxury hotels and gourmet food everywhere in Spain. Another wonderful choice in Madrid is the Gran Melia Palacio De Los Duques. The beautiful rooms, rooftop pool, central location, private courtyard, and outstanding food make it a perfect choice for families or couples.
You can upgrade to “Red Level” rooms to receive the perks of this private lounge and patio.
The food is fabulous at this hotel! With multiple dining options, you will find gourmet cutting edge cuisine in the hotel, with more options right outside your door!
Fascinating Cordoba & Seville
Traveling to Cordoba & Seville is easy when coordinated with via train and private driver. An early morning train whisked us to Cordoba.
We began with a tour of the Alcazar (Castle) Gardens. This fortress was built as a medieval alcazar, but later became the primary residence of Isabella I and Ferdinand II of Aragon.
Following the visit to the Alcazar we enjoyed a divine lunch and a tour at the Virtuoso property, Hotel Hospes Palacio del Bailío. Built on top of recently discovered Roman ruins that are displayed through a glass floor while you enjoy breakfast in the courtyard, this is truly unique property.
Perfect for a honeymoon, the picturesque garden and pool are a perfect spot for an afternoon siesta.
And the piece of resistance was the UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, La Mezquita, otherwise known as the Great Mosque that was created during the Moorish settlement. Built in the eighth century, it is a part of this region’s history where the Islamic religion and Christianity changed hands throughout the centuries.
The entrance is comprised of Islamic architecture but inside you find the most stunning cathedral. A private guide is a must here to avoid lines and fully understand the history of this region.
No visit to this region is complete without time in Seville, the crown jewel of Andalucia. Just 1.5 hours from Cordoba, Seville makes a great base for exploring the region.
Checking into the Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Virtuoso and Luxury Collection property,our lucky clients receive the following benefits when staying at this property, you are immediately immersed in the historical significance of this area. A stunning hotel with beautiful rooms and fantastic, this property is a treat.
After a restful night, it was off to visit The Alcázar of Seville. This was a royal palace built for the Christian king Peter of Castile. It was built by Castilian Christians on the site of an Abbadid Muslim residential fortress destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville.
A world heritage site, it should not be missed during a trip to Seville. A visit arranged with a private guide will ensure avoiding long lines and provide the full context of this historical site.
And our final stop was the Seville Cathedral, so immense that pictures cannot possibly display the massiveness of this Catholic structure.
After enjoying a dinner of wonderful tapas and a final evening at our beautiful hotel, we waved goodbye to Seville hoping to return again someday to this magical city.
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