Seville is the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. It’s famous for flamenco dancing, particularly in its Triana neighbourhood.
Situated on the river Guadalquivir, southern Spain’s largest city has been home to Carmen, Don Juan and Figaro, and its Gothic cathedral is the resting place of Columbus. Muslim and Jewish art can be seen throughout the Reales Alcazares. It’s a contagiously romantic city whose celebratory ambiance pervades Seville’s winding streets and spills out of the bars and tapas parlours of Santa Cruz and Plaza Alfalfa. Make sure to climb the Giralda tower for a spectacular view of the city.
Only the small cruise ships can get here. You enter the Guadalquivir in the early hours of the morning. This is followed by a leisurely sail up the river on your way to this city, passing countryside, farmland and rice fields. The locals will come out to wave to you. One of the bridges needs to be raised to let the ship through, and then the ship will turn round and be backed down the river into the dock area.
There is very little around the port as very few ships can navigate the river. A walk into the town area will take about 30 mins.
If you are planning to DIY then my advice would be to plan what you want to see prior to arriving.
The town offers much for the tourist. There are Horse and Carriages offering tours around. Then you have the Parca Maria Luisa which leads to the magnificent Plaza Espana. This features a huge semi-circular building with towers at each end. There are hundreds of mosaic tiles and each Spanish City is represented.
There are also taxis available, €6 and takes about 10 minutes to town. Just outside the port is a hop on hop off bus that offers a 2 hour tour around Seville. If you decide on this option, get off at the Torre del Oro and walk to the Cathedral, Giralda Tower and through the attractive narrow streets near the Alcazar. The cathedral area, which houses the large Gothic Cathedral where the remains of Christopher Columbus are entombed, is a very busy area with lots of tourist shops and bars.
If you do visit the Cathedral then beware the queues to get into the Cathedral will be horrendous, so if this is on your must do then it might be worth looking at a tour that is more than “On your own”? This would get you into the cathedral faster.
Once in the Cathedral and if you are feeling very energetic then a steep climb up the bell tower provides stunning views over the whole of Seville.
If any of you are looking for inspiration as to what ceramic tiles would look good in your kitchen or bathroom then the Royal Palace, which some say are better than the Alhambra, is the place to head for….the palace walls are covered in them, indeed hundreds of thousands of them all in different colours and designs.
The ceramic tile outlets are in Triana which is the Gypsy / Flamenco quarter of Seville, one only needs to cross the Guadalquivir River to visit this very interesting district. There are a number of other districts of course, each has an easy to follow walking itinerary
If overnight here and you want something different then in and around town are some authentic Spanish restaurants, with canopies which spray cooling water to keep the temperature and air around comfortable.
By Peter Dagnall
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