Flamenco not Football in Andalucia...
With Euro 2016 kicking off today in France, all eyes will be glued to tvs for the next few weeks of football. And with a record number of “home nations” present - England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland all qualified – the hosts France looking good and (our adopted country) Spain being one of the favourites to recapture their title, it promises to be a great tournament.
However, not everyone is in to football - so if you´re looking for an excuse to escape this summer´s footy overdose, then why not head to Andalucia for a dreamy Mid-Summer week away in Spain…
Photo: live flamenco in the courtyard of the Mezquita, Cordoba.
FIESTA THEN SIESTA…
Celebrate the Summer solstice (18 June) at a unique flamenco event in the steamy streets of Cordoba, the Noche Blanca de Flamenco – an extraordinary 24-hour flamenco fiesta with free music, dance, art and theatre filling the city’s old town streets and plazas, including the courtyard of the Mezquita.
A week in Andalucia: 17 to 25 June 2016 (suggested itinerary)
- Friday 17 June: fly to Malaga or Seville (stay 1 night). Or fly 18 June and continue straight to Cordoba by train or rental car.
- Saturday 18 June: Stay 2 nights in Cordoba (18 & 19 June). Noche Blanca de Flamenco festival (all night 18 June). Recover after the late night and visit the Mezquita, Juderia old town and Mercado Victoria gastro-market.
Photo: Mezquita, patios & orange trees in Cordoba.
- Monday 20 June: pick up rental car and drive (1 hour) to Casa Olea near Priego de Cordoba, in the olive groves and mountains of the Sierra Subbetica.
Stay 4-5 nights at Casa Olea. Wind down for a couple of days’ rural bliss and lots of siesta after the fiesta! Laze in the hammock by the pool; go for a morning bike ride or hike in the olive groves or national park nearby. Explore the many pretty white towns and villages nearby (eg Priego de Cordoba, Zuheros and Almedinilla) or visit Granada and the Alhambra as a day trip. And if you really can´t miss the football, we will be showing the England v Slovakia game (20 June 9pm) discreetly in the lounge, along with any other games requested!
Photo: pool terrace with view at Casa Olea.
Photo: hiking in the Sierra Subbetica, Casa Olea.
- Saturday 25 June: return the car to Cordoba and travel by train to Seville/Malaga. Return flight home from Malaga or Seville.
* Note: this is a suggested itinerary only. Dates and hotels are subject to availability at the time of booking. Check availability & book a room at Casa Olea.
If you’re looking for more music and culture, then continue on to Granada for the city’s superb Festival of Music & Dance (17 June to 08 July) with opera, flamenco and dance in spectacular locations throughout the city, including the gardens of the Alhambra.
Photo: classical music concert at the Alhambra, Granada Music Festival.
Or, if you prefer a few days of “sol y playa” after, then head to the coast and enjoy the gorgeous beaches around Vejer de la Frontera (Cadiz) or Cabo de Gata (Almeria) and experience the beach bonfires and parties of the popular Fiesta de San Juan (night of 24 June), all along the coast.
Photo: Paco Pena live at the Cordoba Guitar Festival.
DATES FOR THE DIARY – Flamenco festivals in Andalucia 2016
- 18 June: Noche Blanca de Flamenco in Cordoba. This year´s event pays “Homage to Andalucia” with the leading artists from all over Andalucia including Tomatito, Jose Antonio Rodriguez, David Palomar and Pastora Galvan.
- 17 June to 08 July: International Music & Dance Festival in Granada. Now in its 65th year with flamenco, classical, opera and ballet performances throughout the city, including the Alhambra gardens and other historic buildings.
- 01to15 July: International Guitar Festival in Cordoba. Very popular annual festival, including flamenco, jazz, blues, rock and classical guitar concerts and workshops.
- 09 Sep to 02 Oct: Bienal de Flamenco in Seville - the largest and most prestigious flamenco event of the year, with the biggest names performing, along with workshops and smaller events throughout the city.
Photo: live flamenco in Seville´s historic building, Bienal de Flamenco.
CASA OLEA is an award-winning boutique B&B located in the heart of Andalucia, half way between Granada and Cordoba. The ideal base for discovering the cultural highlights of the region, along with exploring the mountains and olive groves of the Sierra Subbetica (recently declared a UNESCO Global Geopark), historic white towns and sampling the world´s finest olive oils.
Photo: Casa Olea B&B near Priego de Cordoba, Andalucia.