The off-peak months are the best time to visit these two incredible cities
Anyone living in the north-west of England who is thinking of taking a city -break this autumn just has to give serious consideration to two of the great Andalusian cities – Seville and Granada. From 30th October, Ryanair will be running a twice-weekly service from Manchester to Seville. Easyjet’s Granada operation starts tomorrow, flying twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays, switching to Mondays and Fridays at the end of October. Late autumn is an ideal time to visit both cities, avoiding the extreme heat of the summer months when the streets are thronging with tourists.
Seville is one of the most attractive and historically interesting cities in Spain and is a great city for exploring on foot. It has some spectacular architecture including Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. It was the former capital of the Moorish empire and the most important Spanish port for the New World in the 15th and 16th centuries. Seville’s historical centre is on the eastern of the Guadalquivir River, with the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary and its Giralda Tower at the heart. The third largest cathedral in the world, behind only St. Peters in Rome and St. Paul’s in London, this is the most visited site in Seville.
Other sights well worth a visit include the Alcazar or Royal Palace which is still a holiday spot for the King and Queen. The Alcazar is surrounded by wonderful gardens which include many features such as water channels, fountains and water spouts which give them a special Moorish character.
It is also easy to spend a few days exploring Granada, including of course the famous Alhambra, the majestic complex of palaces and irrigated gardens lying in the hills on the outskirts of the city. The Alhambra was built for the last Muslim emirs in Spain and it was the largest Muslim political and aristocratic centre in the western world in the mid 13th Century. It is now one of Spain’s major tourist attractions, being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Granada has many other sights worth seeing, including the impressive cathedral, the Royal Chapel and the Church of Sagrario. The Albaycin district with its steep, narrow streets is also well worth a visit. This old Moorish quarter of the city lies on a hill facing the Alhambra and there are superb views of this area from the palace’s famous rose gardens.
Flying out on a Monday to Seville, returning from Granada on a Friday after a week full of incredible experiences – what more can you want from a short holiday?