Gardens of Spain
April 20-30, 2020
Join Jerry and Amy Fritz on a ten day small group tour
exploring the legendary gardens of southern Spain.
Spain’s Garden style has its roots in the Persian style Paradise garden of Moorish times. Courtyards and water rills were prominently featured. Starting in the 16th century, Italian Renaissance influence became common with French garden design occurring late 17th century featuring allées, parterres and formal water gardens. The romantic English landscape park style followed beginning in the late 18th century designed using temples, grottos, sculpture and staircases.
This bespoke trip will be a memorable journey exploring the mystical and romantic Spanish landscape.
Jerry and Amy have worked carefully to ensure a unique experience by including not only privately guided tours of the gardens, but also fun and informative experiences, wine tasting and tours of charming towns. They have balanced the days with an wide-range of experiences designed to appeal to many people, not just to strictly gardeners, including time in villages with the opportunity to shop and explore. Jerry and Amy are enthusiastic leaders whose goal is to make sure each participant has exactly what he or she needs to have a wonderful trip. Attention to every detail is very important and they only partner with the best local establishments for a truly authentic experience. This tour is the culmination of many hours spent researching and exploring the best destinations. They take care of all the details to ensure the participants enjoy once-in-a-lifetime level experiences on this journey.
Jerry Fritz is a graduate of Delaware Valley University who puts his lifelong passion for plants and design into every garden he creates. Jerry never misses an opportunity to share his obsession with his design clients, retail customers, and fellow gardeners. Jerry and Amy are thrilled to have created a unique and personalized trip opportunity for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.
Day 1: Monday/Tuesday, April 20-21, 2020
* You are responsible for your own airfare.
You will be transferred to your hotel upon your arrival in Seville. We recommend you arrive no later than 4pm as you have an included group dinner this evening.
Hotel Las Casa Del Rey De Baeza, standard room:
Meet in the lobby and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Meet our local guide and enjoy a 3.5 hour walking tour of the historical center of Sevilla, one of the largest in Europe with a top local guide.
We will begin with a visit to the Reales Alcazares gardens, an active Royal residence boasting impressive gardens and fountains from the XIV century and used as a location for scenes in Season 5 & 6 of Game of Thrones, standing in for the Water Gardens of Dorne.
We will then walk to the great Cathedral, the third largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Finally we will end this morning’s visit with a stroll through to the Barrio de Santa Cruz, the old Jewish Quarter comprised of a labyrinth of tiny alleys and white houses with traditional Moorish courtyards.
We will head back to our hotel for an afternoon and evening of leisure.
Lunch and dinner on own.
Day 3: Thursday, April 23, 2020
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Meet the local guide in the lobby of the hotel and board the coach to the XIX Century Maria Luisa Park where we will enjoy a private guided visit to the park and the spectacular Plaza de España. Then we will continue to Casa Pilatos, a XV century Andalus Palace with many gardens, patios, fountains, and salons. Roman statues are in abundance in the patios and everywhere on the first floor one will find Roman mosaic floors and the walls are covered with beautiful ceramic tile in many different Mudejar styles. The architecture is a harmonious mixture of Mudéjar, Gothic and Renaissance styles.
Finally we will visit Palacio de las Dueñas. The House of Alba’s current residence in Seville was built between the 15th and 16th centuries and is one of the greatest historical attractions of the city. The building itself, including styles from Gothic-Mudejar to the Renaissance, has significant architectural interest and has several gardens and patios with special charm.
Enjoy lunch on your own.
In the evening we will go to one of the most emblematic “Tablaos” in Sevilla. With more than 40 years of experience this “Tablao” offers the purest Flamenco you can find in Andalusia. It is the best place in Sevilla to live the excitement and duende of flamenco.
Prior to the performance, we will enjoy an à la carte dinner with high Andalusian cuisine (all drinks are included). Towards the end of the dinner, the show will start and last approximately 1½ hours. This show features up to 15 of the most professional flamenco artists in all of Spain.
Day 4: Friday, April 24, 2020
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Board the coach and drive to Malaga (approx. 3 hours drive time). Meet our top local guide and visit the Jardin Botanico La Concepción. The Botanical Garden of La Concepcion is an English landscape garden with more than 150 years of history. It is one of the few gardens with subtropical climate plants that exist in Europe. It has more than fifty thousand plants, of two thousand tropical, subtropical and indigenous species, highlighting the collection with more than a hundred different species of palms, bamboos, aquatic plants and its historic garden.
Lunch of typical fare at one of our local favorites.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Jardin del Huerto, the oldest garden within Jardín Del Retiro, a botanical-ornithological garden situated in Churriana, just outside Málaga city center. The estate is almost 350 years old. It has been called one of the most beautiful gardens in all of Spain. The grounds are renowned for their rare juxtaposition of French, English, Italian and Moroccan styles, and breathtaking views of the coast, the mountains, countryside and the city skyline. One of the most famous aspects of the gardens is El Olmo, a 200-year-old elm tree, as well as some 30,000 palm, cypress, magnolia, and fruit trees which can be seen within the vast grounds.
We will proceed to Granada (a 2 hour drive) for the check-in at the hotel:
Hotel Alhambra Palace, classic exterior room
Dinner on own.
Day 5: Saturday, April 25, 2020
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
This morning we will enjoy a guided tour of the Alhambra and the Generalife Gardens (3 hours).
After breakfast, our tour leader will take you to the Alhambra where you will be introduced you to your local art historian guide, fluent English speaking, who will show you the incomparable Alhambra Palace. The Alhambra is Granada’s – and Europe’s – love letter to Moorish culture, a place where fountains trickle, leaves rustle, and ancient spirits seem to mysteriously linger. Part palace, part fort, part World Heritage site, part lesson in medieval architecture, the Alhambra has long enchanted a never-ending line of expectant visitors.
Visit the Generalife gardens where we will admire the greatest treasure of Moorish Spain. The Generalife is the image of how Paradise is described in the Koran (“shaded, leafy garden refreshed by running water where the fortunate ones may take their rest under tall canopies”).
After the guided tour of the Alhambra, you will enjoy a nice lunch at the Parador, with breathtaking views over the Generalife gardens.
The afternoon will include a visit to Carmen de los Mártires. We will visit this delightfully tranquil garden filled with palms, cypresses and tinkling fountains. A wonderful oasis where we will spend approx. 2 hours and will take your breath away. We will make our way back to the hotel where you will have the rest of
the evening free at your leisure. Dinner on own.
Day 6: Sunday, April 26, 2020
Granada to Cordoba
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
The Sierras Subbéticas is a stunningly beautiful, rugged park located in the heart of Andalucia between the three great cities of Córdoba, Granada, and Sevilla. The park was designated a natural park in 1988. It is home to one of southern Spain’s largest breeding colonies of griffon vultures, as well as around 70 other bird species, like booted, Bonelli’s and short-toed eagles. It also has a rich variety of wildflowers. The park comprises 32,056 hectares of a plateau largely made of limestone, from 500m to the 1,568m peak of La Tiñosa, the highest in Cordoba province.
During our time in this picturesque area, we will be exploring some of the more interesting towns of Rute, Iznajar, Priego, and Zuhero.
Then we will head to Finca Olivar la Hoyabuela, a private Cortijo (Andalusian country house), turned into a very exclusive rural hotel. The owner will open the doors to welcome us into the beautiful gardens where we will enjoy a very local gastronomic experience based on an olive oil tasting from the area, which is indeed the most awarded of the whole Spain, followed by a lovely homemade pairing lunch.
Last is the town of Priego de Córdoba, considered the most baroque of the Andalusian white towns. Its beautiful houses, palaces and gardens bring to this picturesque little town a delicate beauty that can’t be missed.
Priego is the capital of the Subbetica region and one of the Andalucía’s little-known Baroque wonders. The northern approach presents a dramatic view of the whitewashed buildings of its old quarter (Barrio de la Villa), laid out along the edge of a natural gorge (Balcón del Adarve) of impressive height which has guaranteed the safety of Priego throughout history. Priego is also in the center of a major olive oil zone that produces some of Spain’s finest oils which have been internationally awarded and given their own denominational label.
Arrival at the hotel in Cordoba:
Hotel NH Amistad Cordoba, standard room
Dinner on your own.
Day 7: Monday, April 27, 2020
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
This morning we will meet our local guide for a private guided visit to the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos (Alcazar of the Christian Kings) where the formality of royal palace gardens blends with the strong Moorish influence often found throughout Andalusian Spain’s gardens. The gardens are laid out as terraces, with the top one collecting water from the mountains and irrigated the lower terraces. This top terrace features two large pools, and steps lead to the lower terrace which features three large ponds. A middle terrace is located at the southern end.The gardens are planted with tall cypress edges, while boxwood in a grid pattern edges rose gardens. The water features are the focal point of these gardens, and the entire perspective follows the large pools framed in by the plantings.
Afterwards we will enjoy a short walking tour within one of the most popular areas from Córdoba, San Basilio quarter, to admire some of the most incredible “Patios” (private courtyards recently named Unesco intangible cultural heritage).
This walk will bring you to the Palacio de Viana: XVII century house with twelve courtyards and the garden, each with a distinct personality that enhances the tour with many different sounds, colours and aromas. The interior of the house and its courtyards integrate seamlessly, giving the palace original harmony. The role of the courtyards offers the possibility to enjoy a changing environment, providing different visions and sensations.
The main garden space is structured into 16 flower beds of boxwood, inside which grow roses, date palms, citrus fruits, etc. The European influence on the garden combines with other earlier elements from Arabic-Hispanic gardens, such as the system of surface irrigation and the citrus trees. Two of the walls surrounding the garden are landscaped with different varieties of citrus trees, which are among the oldest in the palace.
Lunch at local restaurant.
Dinner on own.
In the evening, after dinner, meet in the lobby and walk to the Mosque-Cathedral where we will enjoy a unique night visit of the impressive Mezquita accompanied with a light and sound show.
Day 8: Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Cordoba to Toledo
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Today we will depart for Finca La Nava in the municipality of Almagro in the province of Ciudad Real, near Toledo. The drive will take about 3 hours.
La Nava Estate looks onto a wild and limitless landscape where deer, boar and other game roam free. The garden is profoundly Mediterranean elegant and fully aware of the incredible location. Pergolas, abundant lavender, and cyprus trees combine with water gardens and boxwood parterres resulting in a spectacular garden experience.
On arrival we will be invited to a coffee followed by a tour of the gardens of the estate with a local guide.
Weather permitting, lunch will be served in the countryside surrounding the main building.
After lunch we will continue our drive to Toledo (2 hours) and check into the hotel:
Parador Toledo, superior room
Dinner at the hotel.
Day 9: Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
This morning with our local guide, we will visit the major monuments of Toledo seeing the great Cathedral, El Greco and his famous painting of the “Burial of the Count of Orgaz” and the Synagogues.
Finally we will arrive at the Galiana Palace on the borders of the Tagus River. It was built on the site of an earlier summer villa and garden of Al-Mamun, the king of the Taifa of Toledo, in the thirteenth century by king Alphonso X.
The garden area around the palace, called the ‘Al-Munya al-Na‘ura’ (the Water Wheel Orchard) or ‘Huerta del Rey’ (the king’s garden) included a botanical garden of the pharmacologist Ibn al-Wafid. It was famous for its irrigation works, the ruins of which are still to be seen. The garden was also, possibly, the location of a water clock, constructed by Al-Zarqali.
At this time we will also listen to an explanation of the history of the Palace. After the visit, lemonade will be served.
Lunch on your own and afternoon is at leisure.
In the evening we will end our tour with a Farewell Dinner in a 1000 year old building of the local restaurant where the dinner will be accompanied with Sephardic music.
Day 10: Thursday, April 30, 2020
Group transfer to Madrid Airport for a flight home. Your flight must depart Madrid 11:35AM or after or you will need to purchase private transfers at an additional cost.
Our escort will be Otilia Camara, from Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal and has 25 years in tourism industry, with the last 15 specializing in botany, history and geology throughout Portugal and Spain. Otilia is fluent in English, German, Spanish and French as well as her native Portuguese. She is described as being always in a good mood , responsible and easy going.
Email Amy Fritz at with any questions.
$6500.00* per person double occupancy / $1425.00* per person single supplement
*Cash or check only.
Contact Travel Haus to reserve your airfare. | 215-723-8687 (Ask for Groups)
Airfare is NOT included in the price of the trip. This allows travelers to use a variety of means, including airline and credit card points, to purchase their airfare. You are responsible for your own airfare.
Travel Haus will be happy to assist any travelers in booking airfare and will suggest flights for all travelers to ensure that the group arrives at Seville Airport in a timely manner and we stay on our first day’s schedule. In many cases, Travel Haus may be able to find better airfare than what the published price is showing.
Travel Haus is not responsible to honor information or prices incorrectly listed due to typing or printing errors.