There aren’t many better photography holiday destinations than Spain, and particularly Andalucia with it’s moorish architecture, glorious stretch of coastline and beautiful countryside.
The region is the home of bullfighting, tapas and flamenco and the people are people are friendly, vivacious and fun-loving; it is truly a great destination for a holiday and for photography.
Our Land of the Moors photography holiday aims to capture all this by visiting some of the best sites including Seville, Cadiz, Malaga, Granada and Cordoba.
In recent years Malaga has developed in to a vibrant cultural hub renowned for its art galleries and fine dining. It’s also the perfect place to begin our exploration of Andalucia, with its Moorish Palaces, whitewashed villages, rugged mountains and spectacular countryside.
You’ll meet your photography leader and the rest of the group this evening for a brief chat about your tour.
An early start this morning means we’ll arrive at the spectacular Alhambra Palace in the warm morning light and before the worst of the crowds arrive. This enchanting site is considered to be Europe’s best-preserved example of Moorish architecture and is certainly its most beautiful. Described by medieval poets as ‘a pearl set in emeralds’, the palace rests amongst lush green trees and gardens, and against a backdrop of mountains, snow capped until late spring. We’ll explore the interior first, a splendid mix of ornate Arabian archways, trickling fountains and peaceful gardens, before moving on to a viewpoint for an iconic shot.
Next we wander the labyrinth-like streets of the Albaicin quarter, the old Moorish district of Granada and a UNESCO world heritage site. The narrow winding lanes are home to many hidden treasures of architecture and culture, and numerous photo opportunities.
La Calahorra castle is our location for enjoying the afternoon light and sunset. In the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and overlooking a village of the same name, it is one of the first Italian Renaissance castles built outside of Italy and a towering presence in the countryside. We’ll select several viewpoints to make the most of the photographic opportunities, remaining until the sun has set before heading back to Granada.
About an hour out of Granada, Montefrio village is our first stop this morning as we head towards Cordoba. A scene of whitewashed houses nestling between two hilltop churches awaits in this photogenic village surrounded by olive groves and green fields. After stopping at a couple of vantage points we’ll go in to the village for a coffee and a stroll through its quaint streets before continuing to Cordoba through beautiful countryside, arriving late morning.
After lunch we’ll begin our exploration of Cordoba, one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. We visit the Alcazar of the Christian kings with its Moorish gardens, elegant courtyards, impressive towers and thick defensive walls. The wonderful Mezquita de Cordoba is next, famed for its arcaded hypostyle hall with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite; the striking red and white arches were inspired by those in the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem. After photographing the beautiful architecture and geometric designs of the interior we’ll move outside to explore the narrow streets and lanes in the old part of the city, making sure we are by the river as darkness falls for a shot of Roman Bridge with the lights of the city in the background.
This morning we venture out in to the nearby countryside where we’ll find a sea of yellow sunflowers in full bloom. After visiting the fields and shooting from a few different spots we’ll return to Cordoba where the rest of the day is free for you to relax or further explore the city.
In the evening we’ll enjoy an authentic flamenco show with access to photograph the dancers and musicians before enjoying a spectacular and quintessentially Andlaucian event.
Seville is our next destination, setting off early to visit the beautiful small town of Carmona on the way. Located on a low hill overlooking a plain, Carmona is a jumble of whitewashed houses surrounding a magnificent 15th Century tower. After a couple of photo stops to capture the village from a distance we’ll take some time to visit the historic old section of the town where narrow streets meander past Mudejar churches and Renaissance mansions.
After lunch we begin our exploration of Seville with a visit to the cathedral, the largest gothic church in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site. The building is spectacular and offers some great photo opportunities both externally and inside. Close by is the Real Alcazar de Seville, a beautiful Moorish palace which some consider to be comparable to the Alhambra. There’ll also be time to explore the nearby Barrio de Santa Cruz, a labyrinth of narrow streets, alleys and plazas which used to form part of the old Juderia or Jewish quarter. Finally we’ll spend some time at the Maria Luisa Park exploring its gardens and monuments including its impressive centrepiece, the Plaza de Espana.
Leaving Seville, we drive to Ronda via another of Andalucia’s famous white villages, Arcos de la Frontera. Dramatically positioned atop a limestone ridge, the whitewashed houses of the old town form a tangled labyrinth leading to the sandstone Castle de los Arcos. The views of the rolling plains and Guadalete river some 150 m below are stunning. We arrive at Ronda in time for lunch and spend the afternoon exploring. It’s easy to see why this small town has become one of Andlucia’s most visited; it is charming, historic and very picturesque. Straddling a deep gorge, the two halves of the town are joined by the famous ‘puente nueve’ bridge. We also explore the countryside nearby in search of more fields of sunflowers. Our final stop of the day is at Casares, a village that has the reputation for being the most photogenic in Andalucia. After getting our picture postcard shots, we head for the coast where we’ll be spending the night.
We rise early and head towards the shore for some long exposure shots in the warm early morning light, before heading to the beautiful Sierra de las Nieves national park. Man has had little impact here and the unspoilt environment will provide us with the opportunity to the capture the beauty of the landscape. We leave the park in the early afternoon for Malaga where we can enjoy a last night meal.
Our tour ends in Malaga after breakfast.
Our photography holidays and tours are designed to maximise the chances of getting great images by visiting photogenic sites at times that are good for photographing them. This generally means trying to avoid crowds and being out when the light is best, just after sunrise, and again in the late afternoon. Occasionally we’ll stay out after sunset or make use of clear night skies. The middle of the day is often reserved for lunch, free time, travelling, downloading images and relaxing. We try to make the most of each area we visit so there may a lot of distance covered and sometimes days can be long. Please read the itineraries carefully to get an idea of driving times and any particularly demanding days.
Our holidays are planned for dates when the weather is expected to be suitable for photography; however, with an ever more unpredictable climate there is always the possibility that we’ll experience poor conditions. In this case we’ll give what advice we can to help you get good results from your photography, and we may make changes to the tour to try to make the best of the situation.
The joining time is 18:00 on day 1 at the hotel reception, your photography leader will meet you there.
We can arrange transfers for you at the beginning and end of your tour at a cost of £39 each way.
It is condition of booking that you are covered by adequate travel insurance. If you are bringing expensive photography equipment we recommend that this is insured too.
The following photography equipment is recommended:
• DSLR or mirrorless camera
• Wide angle lens
• Mid range zoom
• ND filters
• Remote shutter release
• Sufficient memory cards and storage devices
You’ll need light casual clothes and comfortable shoes. Early mornings can be chilly so a sweater is recommended. A sun hat and some long sleeved items are a good idea to help protect your skin against the sun.
Rooming is based on a twin share basis. If 2 people book together, they will automatically be roomed together. Those travelling alone will be sharing with another single traveller of the same sex unless a single room has been booked. If you desire privacy, are a light sleeper or a loud snorer then we’d recommend you book a single room.
All accommodation is on bed and breakfast basis. You’ll need money to cover lunch, dinner and your drinks. As a rough guide we’d recommend that you allow around £15 – £25 per day.