TOLEDO TO LEVANTE GETAWAY
This getaway takes us from Madrid to the Eastern Meditteranean region of Levante visiting several historic Spanish cities. It is designed to get to know each city in depth specifically its history and monuments.
Toledo – Ciudad Real – Albacete – Murcia – Almería – Granada
Our first stop is in the city of Toledo, the ancient capital of Castilla and the court of Carlos V of Spain and I of Germany. This city located to the south of Madrid is considered to be a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Situated on a hill on the Banks of the river Tajo, this city´s origins go back to the pre-Roman bronze age. The Romans, Visigoths, Muslims and finally the Spanish have all formed part of the splendorous history of this city. We recommend purchasing a guide book to fully uncover all its fascinating history as you visit the city.
After this visit we recommend a stay in the Hotel La Salve
From Toledo we next travel to the city of Ciudad Real. Here we can find heritage, museums, history, El Quijote in each and every corner, wineries, volcanic lagoons, nature spots, illustrious characters and curiosities. All of these and the never ending cultural activities and festivals are all part of the allure of Ciudad Real.
To all of this add rich gastronomy, tasty tapas and high quality service all of which contribute to making a memorable and pleasant stay in this city.
A visitor will find a combination of art and history in the form of three Gothic churches, those of Santiago form the 13 Century, the Cathedral of Nuestra. Señora. del Prado from the 15th centrury and the Church of San Pedro from the 14th century.
We can stay in La Casa del Rector.
From Ciudad Real we begin a long journey towards the Mediterranean and the coast of Levante, specifically the city of Murcia. Of uncertain origins, there is some proof that it was founded in the year 825 under the name Madina Mursiya by order of Abderramán II the fourth Arabian Emir of Córdoba, probably on the remains of a Roman settlement. During the Middle Ages, Murcia became the capital of the cora de Tudmir La cora (o kora) one of the regions of the Moorish territory “al-Ándalus”, (10th century), in the following years it was the capital of varios kingdoms of increasing importance in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. Between 1243 and 1266 it was incorporated into the Corona de Castilla or the Crown of Castille a medieval state as capital of the Kingdom of Murcia, and was also a city of political and religious influence from 1291.
We would highlight the Cathedral with its Baroque facade and maily Gothic interior, the famous casino and its sumptuous interiors, the sculptures of Francisco Salzillo and its great many Baroque buildings. Culturally its is well known for its rich folklore, especially at Easter with spectacular processions in Holy Week which have been declared of international interest. The celebrations of the Council of Wise Men of the plain of Murcia (Consejo de Hombres Buenos) has been declared of Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. This council was a court which was responsible for resolving irrigation conflicts in the plain of Murcia (Huerta de Murcia).
In Murcia we can stay in the Hospedería Bajo El Cejo in Alhama de Murcia.
From Murcia, we travel to another costal city, Almería. The city was founded in 955 B.C. by the Emir Abderramán III on a site previously dominated by other settlements such as Urci and the Roman Portus Magnus and played a fundamental role during the Caliphate of Córdoba a state in Islamic Iberia, becoming the most important port of al-Ándalus. It reached its highest level of splendour as a centre of commerce and culture during the 11th century, under the reign of Almotacín.
After its incorporation onto the Crown of Castille in 1489, the population was decimated by earthquakes, plagues and pirate raids. Its resurgence was not complete until the end of the 19th century, due to mining and the exportation of grapes from the region. A further resurgence occurred in the 1960s thanks to an explosion in intensive agricultura alongside the marble quarries and construction industry.
We would highlight the Muslim Alcazaba (10th to 15th century), the Cathedral-Fortress of the Encarnación (16th century), the mineral loading dock or “Cable Inglés” (end of the 14th century), and the Museum of Almeria, reopened in 2006.
In Almeria we recommend our Boutique Hotel La Almendra y el Gitano, located in Nijar.
Finally, we can visit the city of Granada a poular tourist destination due to its monuments and proximity to professional ski resorts. There is also the historic region of La Alpujarra and a stretch of the Granada coastline known as the Costa Tropical. The Alhambra is one of the most important monuments in Spain and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984, along with the gardens of the Generalife and the Albaicín. Its Cathedral is considered the foremost example of Renaissance architecture in Spain.
Granada offers around twenty or so museums of which we would highlight the Science Park of Andalucia-Granada or Parque de las Ciencias de Andalucía-Granada (the most visited science museum if Spain after the City of Arts and Aciences in Valencia) or the Granada Museum of Fine Arts considered the oldest provincial gallery in the country. The city is also home to the Manuel de Falla archive and the Federico García Lorca Centre, which was opened recently.
La Almunia del Valle is our recommended hotel.