One only has to walk down the streets of the Spanish towns of Ronda and Malaga to understand that the region of Andalucía located on the country’s southern coast is characterized by rich culture and history of Arab and European influences. It embodies the traditional iconology of Spain- flamenco, tapas, and bull-fighting, while retaining the intricate Moorish culture that flourished in the 8th-15th centuries. As one of our most exclusive Blue Parallel journeys, our expert local guides, many of whom have long standing ties in Andalucía, have insider access to the most recognized historical sites of the region as well as elite families that spearhead centuries-old values of Andalucía.
Walking through the historic center of Malaga with your private guide, a story of the ancient civilizations that molded this seaside town begins to emerge. This story is no better depicted than at the Alcazaba, or citadel of the city. Even the word itself demonstrates the linguistic combining of two cultures, Arabic and Spanish: Alcazaba literally means the fort or citadel in Arabic. As you step into the Alcazaba, the history of the Roman Empire, the Moorish and the Spanish all become present in various fashions throughout the ancient ruins. The Wall of Columns, represent the style of Moorish people yet maintain their connection to the Roman Empire as the Moors were well-known for reusing materials of previous civilizations. The knowledge of the guide helps bring these histories to life and as you walk through these once frequented passageways you can’t help but feel the connection that still exists between the present and the past in Malaga.
From Malaga, you will be driven to the romantic city of Ronda through the White Villages that dot the surrounding countryside. The villages have inspired artists with their charming Moorish architecture, narrow alleyways and white washed houses tucked in valleys and around mountains. After exploring their cobblestone streets, reach Ronda. Similar to Malaga, Ronda has a fantastic history spanning various civilizations from the Roman Empire to the Visigoths to the Moors to the Spanish. While exploring this city with your private local guide, you will see the extraordinary bridges that weave the massive canyon gorges into a single urban entity. As you cross these bridges to the historic center, you learn that many notable authors and poets including Ernest Hemingway spent their summers in Ronda and were inspired by the breathtaking landscape and traditions. For Hemingway in particular, the famous bull-fighting tradition and history of Andalucía greatly influenced his writing and has lent to the overall reputation of Ronda. The best time to see a bull fight is during the famous Feria Goyesca de Pedro Romero. In the streets, horse drawn carriages pass by with women and men in traditional outfits. The feria is a globally recognized event and your local guides know the very best places to view the spectacular bull fights. As you watch the bull-fight, your guide shows you the embroidered and festive outfits of the matadors and tells you of the history and the intricacies of a bull-fight. Experience this culturally and historically significant event surrounded by the local friends and family members of your guide.