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[tab title=”ANDALUCIA”]

This community with more than 8 million and half of inhabitants and an area of 87,000 km2 is larger than Austria. In Tarifa we find the point more to the South of the European continent. Its ancient and varied history, its ancient cities, monuments and benign weather conditions make this charming country a unique tourist destination. The image of Andalusia is characterized by the 800 years of Islamic domain.

What you have to see:

Sevilla (Capital of Andalusia) Plaza España, Catedral, Alcázar, Santa Cruz Quarter.

Córdoba (Ancient Capital oft he Islamic Al Andalus), Mosque, Jewish Quarter, courtyards of flowers.

Granada (last Islamic kingdom) Alhambra, Catedral, Royal Chapel

Ronda (Capital of the Bandoleros) Ravine, New Bridge….

Malaga (3500 years ago founded by the Phoenicians, capital of the Costa del Sol) Gibralfaro, Picasso….

Nerja (pretty fisher town ).

Gibraltar (British Colony) Sight to Africa, the Macaques …

Tánger (Morocco, international city with oriental flair)

Landscapes and climate: The Mediterranean Sea and the Betic Mountain Range make up an unique landscape with large number of tropical plants which bloom even in the middle of winter. Citrus trees, palms, jasmine and Jacaranda accompany us on each excursion. The average temperature in the winter of the Costa del Sol is 18ºC.

[tab title=”CENTER OF SPAIN”]

In the 8th century the Muslims dominated the whole Iberian Peninsula, but the reconquest brought the North and Center of Spain many centuries ago back to the hands of the Christian Kings. The severe attitude of the Catholic Church is reflected in the austere architecture of this part of Spain. They were two real dynasties which influenced the Spanish character: The Austrians (Habsburg) and French (Bourbon). A myriad of cities have received the distinction of world heritage sites, which are marked with this symbol:

Points of interest:

Madrid: (Capital of Spain with more than 3 millions of habitants) The Madrid of the Austrians: Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Oriente The Madrid of the Bourbons: Cibeles, Retiro, Alcalá, Prado The modern Madrid: Avenida Castellana, Torres Kio (Port of Europe)

The Escorial was built at the end of the 16th century according to a layout in the form of grid – in memory of the ordeal inflicted the martyr San Lorenzo with this instrument – the monastery of El Escorial is located in a landscape of unique beauty of Castile. The austerity of his style broke with architectural trends prevailing, subsequently exerting a marked influence in Spanish architecture for more than half a century. In the beginning built as a retreat for the mystical King Philip II, the monastery became in the last years of his reign to the center of political power, the biggest in that time.

Toledo: Toledo is known as “the Imperial City’ for being the headquarter of the Court of Charles I (1516-1556) and also as “the city of three cultures”, for having been populated for centuries by Christians, Jews and Muslims. Depositary of more than two millennia of history, Toledo was successively Roman municipality, capital of the Visigoth Kingdom, stronghold of the Emirate of Córdoba and advanced command post of the Christian kingdoms in their fight against the Moors. The monuments are masterpieces of different civilizations, created in a context in which the presence of three great religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – constituted an essential factor. It should be noted the manufacture of swords that dates back to Roman times. Monuments: Old quarter, Cathedral, Casa Greco, Alcázar, synagogue

Segovia: The most famous monument of Segovia is its impressive Roman aqueduct. Probably built around the year 50 AC, the Roman aqueduct of Segovia is kept exceptionally intact. This imposing construction of double arch is inserted into the magnificent framework of the historic city, where you can admire other superb monuments such as the Alcázar, whose construction began in the 11th century, and the Gothic Cathedral in the 16th century.

Ávila: Birthplace of St. Teresa of Jesus and burial of Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor, this “city of Saints and stones” was founded in the 11th century to protect the Castilian territories against the Moors. Ávila has preserved the austerity and purity of lines of its medieval architecture, with notables samples as the Gothic Cathedral and the walls, with their 82 semicircular towers and nine monumental gates being the most complete of Spain.

Salamanca: Located to the Northwest of Madrid, Salamanca was conquered by the Carthaginians in the 3rd century BC and later Roman city. Later, he was under the rule of Muslims until the 11th century. The heyday of its University, one of the oldest in Europe, coincided with the golden age of the city. The historic centre has important monuments Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, among which stands out the impressive Plaza Mayor with its galleries and arcades.

Alcalá de Henares: Founded by Cardinal Jiménez de Cisneros at the beginning of the 16th century, Alcalá de Henares was the first planned University City in the world. It was the example of the Civitas Dei (city of God), ideal urban community that the Spanish missionaries transplanted to America, and served as a model to a range of universities in Europe and other parts of the world.

Caceres: The history of battles fought between the Moors and Christians is reflected in the architecture of this city, which presents a variety of styles: Romanesque, Islamic, Italian Renaissance and Northern Gothic. Thirty towers remain from the Muslim era. The most famous of them is the Bujaco.

Cuenca: Built for defensive purposes by the Moors in the territory of the Caliphate of Cordoba, Cuenca is a medieval fortified town in excellent state of conservation. Once conquered by the Castilians in the 12th century, became Royal Town and Episcopal Seat, with many buildings of great value, as the first Gothic Cathedral of Spain and the famous hanging houses, suspended at the top of the sickle of the Huécar River. Superbly located, this fortress-city is the ulminating point of the magnificent rural and natural landscape that surrounds

Mérida: The city of Mérida Extremadura 25 BC, was founded by Augustus in the year 25 BC at the end of his campaign in Hispania, as colony Emerita Augusta, which later became the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania. The remnants of the ancient Roman city, complete and well-preserved, include a large bridge over the Guadiana River, an amphitheatre, a theatre, a large circus and a special system of water supply. This archaeological ensemble offers an excellent example of a Roman capital in the province of the imperial era.

[tab title=”MAROCCO”]

Morocco is a country of contrasts. Not only from the cultural or historical aspect also geographically. The south, arid in the surroundings of the Sahara and the North, mountainous, with a rainy season that allows treasured water. The West, bathed by the Atlantic and the East on the border with Algeria is also very different with its continental climate and higher thermal contrasts

For us, the Europeans, Morocco is the gateway to the African continent and at the same time, to the oriental lifestyle. Only 17 km separate the African continent from Europe in the tightest point of the Strait of Gibraltar. But when we leave Europe and cross the sea towards Tangier, it seems that we reach another world. So more or less could have been the life in Granada 5 centuries ago. Berbers dressed in their colourful regional costumes offer their agricultural products in the street. The narrow medina is a full of life. Great and sometimes hard is this country which makes careful steps toward the modern age with Mohamed VI.

There are lot of wealth and poverty, unimaginable in European areas. But the people are very friendly and hospitable. And the landscape and monuments make a trip to this country an unforgettable experience.Two are the routes that basically all touroperators offer: Imperial Cities and Kasbah.The “Imperial cities” bring us to the most emblematic cities of North Morocco: Meknes, Fez, Marrakech, Casablanca (this city is not imperial), Rabat and Tangier.

The “Kasbah” route gets its name from the castles (Kasbah) we find in the way. We see the same cities, but we take the route crossing the High Atlas and leads on the edge of the desert. Any of these two routes fills us with unforgettable impressions.

[tab title=”PORTUGAL”]

The most western country of the European continent is limited in the south and west by the Atlantic ocean and in the north and east of the big Iberian sister of Spain. The north of Portugal has a relatively cool and humid climate and consists of two traditional provinces or landscapes: The Minho in the northwest is part of the most densely populated areas of the country. The largest towns of the Minho are Braga and Viana Do Castelo. The Minho is described as the green garden of Portugal because of his climate and the luxuriant vegetation. Wine which is reprocessed to the famous Vinho Verde is primarily grown on the slopes of the numerous valleys. Trás os Montes (behind the mountains) lies in the northeast. This is the mountain side of North Portugal which has very cold winters and very hot summers

The Middle of Portugal has higher mountains with winter sports possibilities. The highest mountain is the (Torre with 1,993 m). The complete region is very fertile and the climate is optimal for the viniculture. The most important towns of Middle of Portugals are Lisbon, Aveiro, Sintra, Coimbra, Viseu, Leiria, Castelo Branco and Santarém

The south of Portugal consists of the three landscapes Terras Do Sado, Alentejo and Algarve. The Algarve include the complete southern coast of the country and has become a popular vacation destination with pretty towns, the steep coasts and sandy beaches. The largest towns in the South of Portugal are Évora, Beja, Faro and Lagos. The defining river is the Rio Guadiana, which forms a big part of the border to Spain.

The early history of Portugal is similar to the other regions of the Iberian Peninsula. Approximately 2000 B. C. the Iberians immigrated on the peninsula probably from North Africa . On 1200 B. C. , Phoenicians founded commercial cities on the coast. The area was conquered of Carthage and handed over to Rome in the result of the second Punic war as of 450 B. C. In the 711 the Moors conquered the Iberian peninsula Lusitania was part of Al-Andalus, the westernmost province of the Muslim empire. The Christian Reconquista In the 12th century, Lusitania was reconquested by the Christians.

Our Portugal tours:

Al Andalus Class Travel offers programs for study trips, pilgrimage and agriculture tours in Portugal

Study trips: The most important cultural sights in Portugal are quite good to reach from a central point (Nazaré, Figuera da Foz or Obidos). We see Lisbon with the Hieronimo cloister, the Belem quarter and the old town, where we have tomake a tour with the famous tramway. Towns like Cascais, Sintra (with his beautiful castle), the medieval Obidos, Coimbra with the famous university and her library, the fisherman village Nazaré, the cloister Batalha and the large port of the north, Oporto.

Pilgrimage tours: Fatima is regarded as one of the most important pilgrim aims of the Roman Catholic Christians. Often the programs combine Santiago de Compostela with Fatima

Agricultural Trips: There are big areas with livestock breeding (among others wild bulls), agriculture and cultivation of cork oaks and olive trees, not far from Lisbon. And we see the important cultivation of wine in the north of Portugal. Our agricultural journeys reconcile the visit with an interesting cultural framework of agricultural enterprises.

[tab title=”SANTIAGO”]

Saint James (San Yago -> Santiago) was together with his brother John, and with Peter one of the three beloved disciple of Christ. He followed the order of Jesus to bring his word until “the end of the world” , that means in old times the extreme west of Europe, called “Finisterre” (the end of the Earth), nearby Santiago de Compostela). Later on he was killed in Jerusalem and his disciples brought him back to Santiago. In the place of his tomb was built the cathedral of Santiago, destination of the pilgrimage.

Many ways bring us to Santiago. The most famous is the French Way. But we use also the Ancient Way and the Aragon Way.

In our program we think in the different ages and conditions of pilgrims. So we make combinations of stages from 4 to 8 km.

The landscapes are very different. We can find green forests and dry desserts; all this together makes the authentic way to Santiago. It is a pleasure for us to elaborate the way just for your conditions.

“Buén Camino“ !!