Staff Review



19 Jul 2016

by The Kirker Team

Kirker Holidays

On my first day in Cordoba I awoke early in the morning to visit the Mezquita. Since learning about its turbulent history I have been keen to visit and see this remarkable feat of architecture for myself. The religious control of the building has been contested over the centuries, resulting in a Cathedral being built inside a Mosque, the roof of which rested on over 1,200 iconic red and white striped arches (856 remain today). Although I'm not usually an early-bird when I travel, I can make the odd exception when it gives the advantage of exploring a beautiful city before the sun has hit its full strength. At this time of the morning the Mezquita was almost deserted, with only a few other early risers and the organist - creating a serene atmosphere in the majestic building. Our base for the night was the Palacio del Bailio in Cordoba, an oasis amid the winding streets of the city.

Heading west from Cordoba, our next stop in Andalucia was Seville - a much busier university town (although still incredibly relaxed by British standards). We had pre-booked tickets for the Alcazar - an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Seville. The elaborate Moorish fortress opens up into beautiful water gardens - a pleasant surprise in what can be Europe's hottest city. Directly next to the Alcazar is Seville's Cathedral and Giralda, the towering gothic spire (which can be seen from the roof terraces of many of our hotels). Once the sun reached its full intensity in the Andalucian sky, it was time to follow the locals and pause for a light lunch in one of the many tapas bars.

Returning from Seville to the airport we stopped to visit some of our favourite countryside properties - I was particularly taken by the serenity of the Hacienda de San Rafael, where we stopped to enjoy a glass of refreshing lemonade in this ranch-style property nestled amongst the olive and sunflower fields. After a busy few days exploring the towns of Andalucia, being able to sit back and enjoy the peace and quiet at the Hacienda, before flying back to the hustle and bustle of London, was the perfect relaxing end to our stay in Spain.

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Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.


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