We always like to stay a night in either Seville or Malaga on the way to Vejer – its a good opportunity to experience the colourful and vibrant Spanish city life, and then go to a smaller town and the sea. This time we flew into Faro, Portugal and visited a friend and then drove over the border to Seville, about 2 hours. It’s amazing that there is no time difference in Portugal, but as soon as you cross that border, you are an hour ahead. a lovely hotel right next to the border is the Grand House Hotel , St Antonio, with the beautiful surrounding beaches of the Algarve.
Seville is a difficult city to navigate around in a car – I would really suggest parking in a car park near the centre and then walking in – getting caught in those narrow old streets can be not only frustrating, but also nerve racking.
Seville is the perfect city to visit for the weekend. We stay at the lovely hotel Casas de la Juderia, perfectly situated in the old quarter, or nearby the 1950’s style Hotel Fernando III. A friend just recently stayed at the Eme Catedral Seville, right opposite the Cathedral and of course there is the Hotel Alfonso VIII which is ultimate luxury.
Bear in mind that Seville is always hotter than the coast, and not recommended for visiting in the summer months – great for the early evenings, but you can’t walk around in the day without getting hot and bothered. start by crossing the bridge for a walk along the river, watching the rowers go by, have a drink on calle Betis, Triana , then cross back to the imposing cathedral and make your way through the windy streets of the Barrio Cruz taking in some of the many tapas bars.
There are so many good places to eat, but eating tapas in a variety of restaurants is a good start, especially on an evening when it is cooler. For many years we have eaten at restaurant modesto, it’s a trusted restaurant popular with the locals and next to the Jardins de Murillo. Other favourites are la bodeguita gongora, bar alfalfa, taberna aguilas, and Mamaraacha for more modern tapas. E. Morales is a lovely old traditional bar, as well as Bodega Diaz Salazar. Tapas in Cerveceria La Giralda is quite atmospheric, though in a busy street, but is housed in an old hamman and the tapas is usually quite reliable. my all time favourite area is Alfalfa, its not so touristy, young and vibrant with real life – there are also some great flamenco shops and antiques in this area, especially on street acetres.
seville’s marie luisa park is undoubtedly one of my favourite parks in Europe with its famed Plaza de Espana – which was the centrepiece of the expo, this decorative Palace has beautiful tile work that represents each of the provinces of Spain. at another end of the park is the Plaza de las Palomas (Plaza of the the Doves), where you find the home of many doves. you will find that the children love to feed the doves – you can usually buy seeds to feed them with. the landscape architect, Nicolas Forestier who redesigned the gardens in 1929 also designed the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. either take a leisurely walk through the gardens, or take a horse and carriage ride through the wonderful old city of Seville and through the park too.