Surroundings

Seville

The Andalusian capital is the perfect place for those who love exuberant joy, historical wealth, or even religious dualism.  You may enjoy it in any season: in the spring when the orange blossoms smell and the Semana Santa (Holy week) and Feria de Abril (April fair) are successively celebrated under a delicious spring sunshine, in summer when the numerous parks and historical buildings offer a cool breeze, in the fall when the beaches are deserted, in winter when temperatures are very soft.

Seville, the patio of Andalucía, where once Moors, Jews and Christians lived together peacefully and harmoniously, from where Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci left looking for the new world, city of Carmen and Figaro.

Seville, capital of flamenco, where the purity and power of the proud and tragic Andalusian soul find expression. But also the city of the popular sevillanas, of the numerous tapa-bars, of the crowds around the bullfights in the arena of the Real Maestranza.

“Quien no vio Sevilla, no vio maravilla” (who has not seen Seville has not seen  beauty). Providing a list of all the attractions is an impossible task so we refer to the “useful links”. We will be pleased to help you in planning your visit in order not to have to miss anything of that beauty.

On Thursday morning there is an artful flea market in the calle Feria, right in the centre of town. On Sunday morning there is a popular flea market on the banks of the Guadalquivir River and a market for textiles and leather goods in Seville-Este, not too far from the B&B.

Carmona

“Lucero de Europa” (Star of Europe). Less than 40 km from Seville, on a steep rock in the fertile plain of the Campiña, rises the quaint town of Carmona. Its origin goes back to prehistoric times. The city owes its current aspect, with its many charming alleys and squares, to the Moors, who called it “Karmounah”.

Numerous buildings and monuments bear witness to a rich historical past. Among them an impressive necropolis. All styles that Andalusia has ever known are still represented, from Romanesque simplicity via the Eastern mysticism to the overwhelming ornaments of the Baroque. It bears no wonder that Carmona is on track to be officially included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and that one of the most beautiful National Parador Hotels is located here in a former royal palace.

On the outskirts of the city, in the magnificent setting of a real hacienda, lovers of the world famous Andalusian olive oil can visit a family business that manufactures exclusively the “Virgen Extra” of the brand Basilippo.

Mairena del Alcor

This village, located between Seville and Carmona, is embedded in “Los Alcores”, a range of hills which border the Campiña Sevillana. Mairena has known Iberian, Romanesque and Arab civilization. It is especially the latter that left the most visible cultural marks. Eye-catching are the Castillo de Luna, a castle built around a Muslim tower which houses an important archaeological collection, and the Casa Palacio of the Dukes of Arcos, a Palace in Mudejar style. Every year in April Mairena del Alcor is the first to open the season of local ferias, a week earlier than Seville. Early September the famous Festival de Cante Jondo “Antonio Mairena” takes place, which brings a form of authentic flamenco and is named after a famous local flamenco performer.

Córdoba

The capital of the province with the same name is less than an hour’s drive from the B&B Finca La Luz and is therefore easily accessible for day trips. Córdoba is of course best known for its Mezquita or great mosque, now transformed into a Roman-Catholic cathedral, but built on the fortresses of a Roman temple. However, here as well Muslims, Jews and Christians lived peacefully together as may be witnessed in the Judería (Jewish quarter) right next to the Mezquita, with its narrow streets, whitewashed facades and flowered patios. Also, the beautiful Roman bridge over the Guadalquivir river that leads to the Moorish tower of Calahorra, is not to be scorned.

The wider area

The province of Seville includes numerous towns, villages and attractions which all have their own particular flavour.

Think of Marchena with its rich cultural and historical heritage and a surprising Zurbarán-museum in the church, Osuna with its main street dotted with richly decorated mansions and the university high on a mountain top, Estepa that overlooks vast olive groves and where around Christmas time the renowned Spanish “dulces de navidad” (sweet cakes called mantecados and polvorones) are produced, Écija with its many turrets, …

Just outside Seville, on the Ruta de la Plata in the direction of Merida and Salamanca, lies the ancient Roman city of Itálica, where emperor Trajan was born. Most striking is the beautifully preserved amphitheatre, while numerous excavated mosaics and other objects may be admired in the Casa de la Condesa de Lebrija, in the heart of Seville.

Moreover, just on the provincial border there are natural parks such as Doñana and the lagoon of Fuente de Piedra (where British people run a real donkey farm), both famous as breeding grounds of pink flamingos and so many more interesting things for lovers of plant and animal sciences. Just outside Seville lies a unique arboretum and bird sanctuary called El Carámbolo and a little further another bird sanctuary Cañada de los Pájaros.

Those keen on the art of pottery who like to bring home a souvenir should visit the village of La Rambla where craftsmen exhibit their skills and artifacts.

And if the lure of the sea sounds irresistible there are the vast beautiful white sandy beaches of the Costa de la Luz at no more than 120 km away.

And so much more …

The Sierra

The western part of Sierra Morena (literally translated as the brown mountains), located in the provinces of Huelva and Seville, is called Sierra de Aracena and Sierra Norte de Sevilla. They form a natural whole characterized by specific flora: dehesas (meadows) and Mediterranean forests. This region is very attractive due to the combination of overwhelming natural beauty, charming villages, many hiking trails and, of course, its famous smoked ham (jamón ibérico) from the black pigs that you encounter everywhere and that inspire more than one local cook. Here, hikers find all seasons to their liking. They may consult a hiking map in our B&B.