I could find no way to email you with praise for our excellent holiday, so sent letter via “Snail Mail” !! Have now found reviews, so am posting this !
Information beforehand – excellent.
Monarch flights – good, punctual.
Arrival organisation – excellent.
Riviera guide (Diane) – superb. Just the right level of history, information (whether about Moorish architecture or good places to eat !) and anecdotes, and the maps with highlighted features were so useful.
Coach driver (Antonio) – excellent. Considerate and careful driver, who seemed able to sort out the apparent problem with the coach en route to Ronda. (This re-appeared only en route from Granada to Malaga, on our last day.) He chipped in with his own information and anecdotes, which Diane relayed to us!
Hotel Hacienda Puerta del Sol, Mijas - excellent, a great choice for our first night. Spacious grounds with view down to Fuengirola and sea; lovely pool; pleasant terraces – just right for fresh air and strolling around after time in airport, plane and coach ! Very good room; good food.
Wonderful mountain scenery on our way to Ronda.
Ronda – Breathtaking place! Wished we could have stayed longer! Great to be given information, map and tips, then to be able to explore what interested us, at our pace. Unbelievable geology, striking old buildings, beautiful decoration, and plenty of time for our first relaxed tapas-and-sangria lunch!
Antonio drove us into Seville by “the scenic route”, the tree-lined avenue with elegant buildings. A lovely introduction.
Hotel Don Paco, Seville – wonderful choice. Hotel on the edge of central Seville, walking distance to Cathedral, Real Alcazar, Old Jewish Quarter, etc, but with a roof terrace with pool and bar! Where better to relax after an exhausting day’s sightseeing, or to return to for a late evening coffee ? Room very good, food fair / good.
Seville – beautiful and fascinating city. Diane’s first evening introductory walk gave a real flavour.
The morning coach tour was interesting, the walking tour with Guillaume so informative—the Plaza Espana just so impressive. After relaxing on a river boat trip, we headed to the Jewish Quarter for a delicious paella lunch.
Now to explore the extraordinary Real Alcazar! Thanks to Guillaume, we knew much more about Moorish and Mudejar architecture, ornamentation and gardens – what a fantastic place. And the optional evening Flamenco performance? Just incredible ! Not our “thing”, but not to be missed!
The “leisure day” a brilliant idea, no time frames to stick to! First the wonderful cathedral, again the fascinating mix of Moorish and Christian attributes. And the incredible bell tower, with spectacular views from the top! Then strolling the Jewish Quarter, coming across the Hospital des Venerables Sacerdotes, enjoying atmospheric tapas lunch in the Plaza. Then more wandering and discovery.
Cordoba – another fascinating city, with intriguing discoveries while wandering the streets. The Mesquita just incredible - the juxtaposition of simple Islamic architecture, vast spaces and intricate design, with ornate, overcrowded and gaudy Catholic design. And, coming across the cathedral right in the middle of the mosque …
Comfort stop on journey to Granada, at the old railway station that is Nicholl’s Restaurant (and Aladdin’s Cave !) – a masterstroke!
Hotel Corona de Granada – excellent, walking distance to city centre and historic areas … has “Happy Hour” from 4 til 8 pm!! Room excellent, food fair / good.
Granada – very special city. The Alhambra – spectacular, magical and atmospheric, with such detailed and intricate decoration. Marvellous views across to the city. Generalife gardens beautiful and peaceful. Tour guide, Alfonso, excellent, full of knowledge and anecdotes, generating visions of the people as they actually lived there. St Nicholas viewpoint and nearby cafes, delightful places to relax, looking across at extraordinary panorama of the Alhambra.
Afternoon and following morning enjoyably spent exploring much more of Granada, especially fascinating Albaycin area. Lasting image of Granada? Final tapas lunch in Paseo de Los Tristes, overlooked by fabulous Alhambra, serenaded by guitarist playing “Memories of the Alhambra”…..
Granada to Malaga – so grateful our flight not until evening, allowing us many extra hours in Granada, getting to know it more.
Early check-in, so got the seats we wanted. A sad goodbye to Diane, whose care and guidance, intimate knowledge of places, and general cheeriness had helped make our holiday so special.
This is a wonderful holiday. One has to acknowledge being a tourist among thousands of other tourists, but experiencing these truly special places is worth it ! Thank-you.
Review by Janet Southcott and Richard Yoell on 16 February 2015