DESTINATIONS : SEVILLE, COSTA DEL SOL & GRANADA
Welcome to Southern Spain
WORLD CLASS DESTINATION
A swirl of polka dots, a flick of the fan, a click of the castanets; Seville ladies and gentlemen is Spain, as dramatic and fabulous as it has ever been throughout history. Evoke the most vivid image possible – tasty tapas, majestic horses, orange trees flourishing beneath the strong sun – it will all come to life in Seville, entrancing your group and imbibing them with passion.
Legend has it that Seville was founded 3000 years ago by none other than Hercules himself! Bathed by the mythical waters of the river Guadalquivir, Seville has long been the inspiration of writers and composers alike. Hardly surprising given both the beauty and charisma of the Andalusian capital. As much a city of feelings as it is of sites (and there are many of those including 3 UNESCO world heritage highlights), it is somber for Semana Santa, salacious for the famous April fair and drowsily hypnotic in the sweltering heat of summer. These contradictory moods all come with lashings of soul-enriching sunlight.
The great weather coupled with exotic surroundings, traditional and unusual venues abound and a lovely selection of deluxe hotels make it perfect for incentives and smaller meetings. Themes, tours and activities flow naturally from the cultural melting pot of Roman, Moorish and Colonial styles. Traditional Andalusian farming estates can be visited nearby and for those willing to go further it´s a great opportunity to experience the wonderful cities of Cordoba, Jerez, Cadiz and of course Granada.
Wander the narrow medieval streets of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, bask in the city´s mesmerising light, enjoy the alluring Moorish architecture, marvel at the Alcázar, the Cathedral and Archivo de Indias, and then retire to a luxurious modern bar or hotel in this city that is magically ever-evolving.
WORLD CLASS DESTINATION
COSTA DEL SOL
We all know the clichéd image of the Costa del Sol, its beaches overrun with sun-starved tourists. For this reason, it can some times be overlooked. However, look a bit further and there are some wonderful, genuine places here that are quaint, attractive and well worth surprising your group with a second look.
Step inland, or better yet drive your guests there on a 4 by 4 safari to discover the plethora of white villages, drenched in sunlight and nestled in the hills. Some conserving their historic charm, others, seemingly lost in the highlands, remain rough and ready olive-farming towns, and hold a special appeal for adventure lovers. The most well known is the strikingly pretty Mijas, which offers some great museums, including one dedicated to wine!
Marbella and its Lamborghini laden luxury marina of Puerto Banus, is the glossiest and most glamourous resort of all. A thoroughbred playground for the rich and famous, affluence glitters most intensely along the now infamous golden mile, where luxury hotels, restaurants and star-studded clubs align like diamonds on a bracelet. It has a striking setting with its backdrop of the Sierra Blanca Mountains, the sparkling Mediterranean lapping at its shores and a quaint picture-postcard perfect old town teeming with narrow streets and colourful flower boxes.
Estepona is less developed and slightly more understated than her dazzling neighbour, she retains a cosy, old-fashioned feel and provides some strong accommodation options, for those that like a little breathing space away from the action.
Not strictly within the confines of the Costa del Sol, Malaga is a far cry from a mere airport town and has impressive art credentials and joie de vivre. The birthplace of Picasso already boasted two world-class galleries, when an offshoot of the Paris Pompidou Centre opened in 2015 in a huge glass cube in the port. Very cool. Malaga is now on the radar as a contender for Madrid when it comes art and also Barcelona for its dynamism and dining! The restored historical centre is a joyous melée of red-tiled roofs and church steeples and besides the 11th century castle and gothic cathedral also provides an eclectic range of shops and bars.
For other jaunts out there is majestic Ronda, even exotic Morocco! The wonderful weather and wide range of tour and activities possible make the Costa del Sol perfect for incentive trips. Fabulous hotel facilities, a sound infrastructure and congress centres in both Malaga and Marbella make the Costa del Sol a solid option for conferences, exhibitions and congresses too.
WORLD CLASS DESTINATION
“Granada is Spain’s most valued treasure; a melting pot of flavours, smells and passion”. Víctor Hugo.
We’re inclined to agree. It is almost impossible not be rendered speechless at the sight of Granada, poised so dramatically in the foothills of the sublime snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Sitting some 2,400 feet above sea level Granada enjoys a rather special micro-climate, offering some welcome respite from the scorching sun in the searing summer months, not to mention magical views from almost any angle.
This majestic city is characterised not only by its jaw-dropping landscape, but equally by the rich and storied history in which it is steeped, suffusing each and every corner of the city. Granada’s story is one stretching as far back as the 4th century BC, where it began life as an Iberian settlement, evolving throughout the centuries to include a dazzling cast of characters – including everything from the Greeks, Romans and Visigoths to the Phoenicians.
However, it is the city’s long Moorish chapter that has come to define the city, and rightly so. While Europe was going through the Dark Ages, the Emirate of Granada absolutely flourished, enjoying considerable economic as well as cultural prosperity and scientific splendour. The region of Al-Andalus, and Granada in particular, became one of the richest cities in medieval Europe, blossoming with its swollen population of traders and artisans.
This fascinating period has left its splendid indelible mark across the city, most famously manifested in the formidable Alhambra complex, looking out over white-washed Albaicin – the stunning old Arabic Quarter. The Alhambra is much like a treasure chest, housing a series of exquisite 14th century palaces complete with unbelievably beautiful, almost kaleidoscopic geometry, and dazzling gardens and water-features.
Needless to say, this city is a veritable mine of jewels! Even a simple wander through the tumbling, twisting, impossibly narrow alleyways throughout the city’s barrios reveals the character of this fascinating city – elegance, edginess and electric atmosphere in equal measure. From the authentic and electrifying wails of flamenco that course through the often intricately tiled streets, to the ridiculous abundance of restaurants, bars and bodegas offering swathes of staggeringly mouth-watering tapas, Granada is down-right unforgettable.
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