When you think of Spain, the first city that comes to mind is Barcelona 🤗 While it has all the trappings of a touristy visit, you should consider exploring another historical aspect of Spain that is gaining interest worldwide: its Islamic Andalusian history. It will definitely be an enlightening experience that you will not forget!
So, we’ve planned out a 10D9N itinerary for YOUR trip so you don’t have to! 🤗
There are no direct flights to Madrid, but many flights go there from Singapore including Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, Singapore Airlines and Finnair – with the necessary transits.
For the ground-leg, due to the vast itinerary involved, it’s advisable to charter a coach to bring you to your destinations! Do take note to plan your trips judiciously as drivers in Spain has a maximum number of only 9 hours per day of driving and must have 11 hours of rest.
Check out Alchemy of Travel Pte Ltd as they’ll manage these administrative issues for a fuss-free travel so you can focus on the important aspect of your trip 😉
Day 1: Madrid
- Upon arrival at the airport, head to the hotel and check-in! Freshen up before you start exploring the streets of Madrid 😄
- Proceed to the Islamic Cultural Centre of Madrid , the only mosque in Madrid – to perform congregational Friday prayers with the locals!
Credit: xueyixin_oohlala on Instagram
- Enjoy a panoramic tour of visiting the famous and iconic Mudejar bull-rink, Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas and Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. You will also pass by the Royal Palace of Madrid ☺️
Day 2: Toledo
- Explore Toledo which is an important medieval walled-city! It was Spain’s former capital before and after the Muslim rule. This was where the transference of knowledge occurred from the Muslim world to the West. It’ll give you the opportunity to see its historical monuments: the Alcazar Palace of Seville and the Toledo Cathedral – which was once a Masjid.
- Wonder through the Jewish Quarter and marvel at the coexistence between the Muslims, Christians and the Jews, known as La Convivencia 😍
- Savour a meal at the only Halal restaurant in Toledo: Restaurante El Cristo de la Luz! This restaurant is rated favourably in travel websites such as Tripadvisor 🤗
- Divided into two sections, a cosy indoor area where you can have a vantage view of the city if you are seated by the window, and an outdoor section under shady trees make for a very relaxing place to sip your Moroccan tea (which is regularly served complementary) to ease your aching feet after a whole day of walking on cobbled-stone pavements.
- Find more exciting things to do in Toledo in our guide here!
Day 3: Córdoba
- Explore Madinat al-Zahra – the excavated ruins of a vast, fortified Arab Muslim medieval palace-city built by Abd-ar-Rahman III al-Nasir, the Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba!
- This city was a reflection of the golden age of that period and its wonders were written in many annals of history books. Did you know that only 10% of it grounds are currently excavated?
- Visit the local Muslim village of Almodavar and spend the rest of the day at their farm!
- You’ll get to know the locals and share your experiences while savouring delicious local dinner cooked by them and watching the sun sets by their villa which is located at the foothills of an ancient fort castle.
Day 4: Córdoba
Credit: Ysa Gohh on Facebook
- Discover the Jewish quarter before crossing the old Roman Bridge for a visit to the fantastic interactive Museum on Islamic Spain called the Calahorra Tower.
- It’s an important interactive museum as it tells a very important story about a period in the history of Cordoba where Christians, Muslims and Jews lived peacefully together 😄
- Visit the famous and iconic Great Mosque of Cordoba, the most important masjid of its time. You can see the original Mihrab situated in the Mosque and the Cathedral that has now taken over.
- With so many Halal restaurants (Moroccon, Lebanese, Pakistani, Indian etc) around the Mosque, you definitely won’t be heading back feeling hungry 😋
Day 5: Seville
- Head to Seville and admire the Giralda Tower – once one of the tallest religious structures in the world: so tall the muezzin would have to ride to the top of the tower on his horse to call the Azan.
Credit: Sevilla Congress & Convention on Flickr
- Go on a guided tour at the Alcázar of Seville, a beautiful palace for a Christian king but with Islamic architecture and builders that reflects the grand Alhambra Palace.
- This will be a good prelude before visiting Alhambra Palace! You will also pass by Seville Cathedral – the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.
- Some of the few Halal dining options in Seville include Al-Medina, As-Sawirah, Fez Restaurante, Casa de Abdul, Don Raimundo, Al Diuan, Aladin and Andalucia Kebab. However, we’d advise readers to check with the restaurant owners about the preparation of food and availability of Halal menus prior to dining!
Day 6: Granada
- On your journey to Granada, stop off in Atarfe to visit the new Masjid where you will meet an artist that specialize in unique Andalusian ceramics!
- Go on a walking tour around the city where you’ll get the chance to see the historic and mesmerising Granada Mosque – perched on the top of a hill facing Alhambra Palace. The Mosque signals, after a hiatus of 500 years, the restoration of a missing link with a rich and fecund Islamic contribution to all spheres of human enterprise and activity.
- Granada is an inexpensive destination for dining and eating out, giving travellers an exciting range of options to choose from. Tapas, Spanish omelettes, Pollo con Tomate and Migas Alpujarreñas are amongst dishes that are a must-try.
- For Halal food, a number of Moroccan restaurants are available and finding a Halal restaurant in Granada that serves such food will not be difficult!
Day 7: Granada
- Spend the day at Alhambra Palace – the highlight of the tour for many! Explore the palace and marvel at its wonder at a leisurely pace 🤗 Nominated as a Wonder of the World, the visit to the palaces and gardens here will leave you breathless.
- Once you’re done exploring Alhambra, wonder through the many quaint shops in Granada!
- A must visit will be the huge Arab quarter where you can find all types of souvenirs and food, and watch a performance of the Flamenco dance.
Day 8: Alpujjara
- Embark on a trip to Alpujjara and visit a historical old Muslim Bridge at the outskirts of the Sierra Nevada – a place where Muslims had to flee from the city to survive persecutions. This bridge becomes a model for many suspension bridges that came after.
- Climb the Castillo ‘Arabe – the last fort the Muslims defended before they were expelled from Spain.
- It will indeed be an emotional and reflective end to your historical trip 😊
Day 9: Madrid
- Head back to Madrid where you can enjoy the shopping spree at La Rozas Village for some last minute shopping!
- Las Rozas is a luxury-shopping destination with more than 100 designer boutiques offering up to 60% off the recommended retail price.
Day 10: Departure
Time to checkout and transfer to the airport for your return flight home!
With that, you’ve successfully gotten a taste of all that Spain has to offer ☺️ From its rich traditions, stunning architecture and beautiful Islamic history, you’ll definitely be heading back to Spain for more!