Travel

AACI Kosher Spain & Gibraltar – Following the routes of the Sephardic Jews   

02 December 2019 - 12 December 2019
Locations: Consuegra, Cordoba, Gibraltar, Granada, Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Toledo, Torremolinos

Spain-a country of contrasts. We will experience a creative journey full of fascinating moments with Jewish Heritage connections which will enrich our souls as we tour this enchanting region.

No visit to Southern Spain would be complete without visiting the Rock of Gibraltar as well as spending a majestic Shabbat on this stunning island.

DAY 1 – Monday, December 2: Flight to Madrid
Upon arrival we will enjoy a panoramic tour of the city including the famous plazas and boulevards. Our day continues with a visit to historic treasures of the Royal Palace (subject to closure for public ceremonies), which is truly one of the most beautiful Palaces in Europe. It is the official residence of the Royal family, but today they only use it for state ceremonies. The rest of the time it is open to the public. Otherwise known in Spanish as the Palacio Real, the Royal Palace was built during the 18th and 19th centuries, and is a monumental building.

Overnight: Madrid

Day 2 – Tuesday, December 3: Toledo-Seville
After breakfast head out of town for a half day tour to Toledo.

When you see the old walled city of Toledo, you understand why its Jewish residents called it the “Jerusalem of the West.”

The former Judería is in the southwest, near the gate known today as the Cambron Gate but once called “Bab al Yahud.” Ten of Toledo’s synagogues are reported to have been destroyed in 1391, but remarkably, two survived. They had been converted to churches and are known today as Santa Maria La Blanca and El Transito, both of which we will visit.

El Transito houses the Sephardi Museum. The central hall is the quite spectacular synagogue itself. The sculpted plaster decorations all round and the Hebrew inscriptions along the walls testify to a wealthy Jewish community. Maria La Blanca, just down the road, is very different but equally impressive.

Return to Madrid for an afternoon tour of the fabulous Prado museum, which houses masterpieces by Goya, Velasquez, Rubens and Bosch.

Overnight: Madrid

Day 3– Wednesday, December 4: Madrid-Consuegra-Cordoba
Bid farewell to Madrid, and drive South towards the Andalusia region. En route we stop in Consuegra, a town in La Mancha famous for its photogenic windmills.

Continue to Cordoba via the Spanish countryside.

Córdoba is the best-preserved of Spain’s Moorish cities. In fact, much of its Roman wall is still standing. Its historic center has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. The narrow medieval streets of the Barrio de la Judería retain their names to this day. In the Calle de los Judios stands the Maimonides (רמב”ם) synagogue, built a hundred years after the great scholar’s death in Egypt, and named for him in commemoration of the fact that he was born only a few doors down the street. The meaning of the synagogue’s cryptic inscriptions remains a mystery.

A statue of Maimonides stands just down the street, in front of the house where he is said to have been born, the most famous son of a city whose streets are lined with orange trees. There isn’t a word on the commemorative plaque explaining why Maimonides’ family left Córdoba; they were in fact fleeing the Almohad dynasty that forcibly imposed Islam on the city’s Jews and Christians.

Adjacent to the Judería is Córdoba’s most spectacular sight — the Mosque. Though formally a cathedral, the Mesquita is an imposing monument of Islamic Spain, second only to the Alhambra in Granada, and illustrates many of the differences between the Islamic and Christian world views. As a mosque, the building opened into a huge courtyard of orange trees. The Christians sealed the many exits to the courtyard and transformed the light and airy mosque into a dark and gloomy place.

You can spend a long time wandering among the more than eight hundred pillars — literally a forest of colored marble — that grace the enormous hall

Overnight: Cordoba.

Day 4 – Thursday, December 5: Cordoba – Seville
After breakfast finish our day in Cordoba including the Casa De Sefard. This museum is a cultural project established through a private initiative. It is concerned with Judeo-Spanish (Sephardic) culture, history and tradition, and, through its unique collection in Spain and its cultural activities, aims to rediscover and make known the extensive and rich legacy of the Sephardic tradition. Continue to Seville.

Seville’s enormous cathedral, with its imposing Moorish Geralda tower and tacky cenotaph to Columbus, is a testament to the terrifying power of Church and Crown in Spain. To Seville flowed the enormous wealth (“all the silver in Potosí”) plundered by the Spanish conquistadores from the unfortunate natives of America. The tobacco factory made famous by Bizet’s Carmen is here too, and today is a university. Seville’s former riches are apparent everywhere.

Like the other Andalusian cities, Seville has its Judería, parts of which are the most exclusive areas of the city. There is a Calle de los Judios. In the north of the Judería stands the Church of Santa Maria La Blanca, built on the site of a synagogue, as mentioned above. There is a small Jewish community, mostly immigrants from South America.

We will enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, and visit the Alcazar, one of the oldest royal palaces in the world still in use.

End the day with a cruise on the Guadalquivir river to see the city at night.

Overnight: Seville

Day 5 – Friday, December 6: Seville-Jerez de La Frontera-Gibraltar
After breakfast check out of hotel. Drive towards Gibraltar, via Jerez de La Frontera. Visit the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, an institution dedicated to the preservation of the equestrian arts in the Spanish tradition. It is one of the “Big Four”, the most prestigious classical riding academies in the world.

Continue to Gibraltar.  Check in the hotel – preparation for Shabbat and walk to the Jewish Community for Shabbat dinner.
Overnight: Gibraltar

Day 6 – Shabbat, December 7: Gibraltar. After tefillot and a Shabbat Seudah we will take a walking tour of the small town of Gibraltar.
Overnight: Gibraltar.

Day 7 – Sunday, December 8: Gibraltar- Torremolinos
Before leaving Gibraltar, we will drive to the famous Rock of Gibraltar to tour this famous place. Stand on top of the Rock and you feel as if you were on top of the world. Europe is at your feet. Africa fills one horizon, while the gates to the Mediterranean and the Atlantic are on either side.  The journey to the top of the Rock rewards you with a truly breath-taking view. From a height of 1400 feet (426m) you will see the African coastline, where the waters of the Atlantic meet the Mediterranean, Spain’s Costa del Sol and a panoramic view of the city far below, the quays, marinas and bays.

We will drive along the famous Costa del Sol and we will stop in Marbella, and Puerto Banus. Two luxurious seaside towns that make this area of Spain famous.

Overnight: Torremolinos.

Day 8 – Monday, December 9: Torremolinos
Today is an opportunity to rest and enjoy the sea after a very busy week of touring! Packed with tantalizing shops, thronging with people of every nationality and located right at the heart of the town is the pedestrian only Calle San Miguel, the main artery of the town. This smartly paved pedestrianized street is lined with boutiques and shops with a great variety of goods on offer, attracting a constant flow of people. The Cuesta del Tajo, at the end of San Miguel, leads down a steep flight of steps through the old fishing district of El Bajondillo. This is a popular, picturesque area lined with restaurants and market-style kiosks, selling souvenirs. Down at the bottom is the beach of El Bajondillo.

The beach area shows another side of Torremolinos. With hotels, apartment blocks, bars and restaurants, this area is a lovely place to take a stroll during the winter.

Overnight: Torremolinos.

Day 9 – Tuesday, December 10: Malaga
Enjoy a full day tour to the sites of the Costa Del Sol..

The magnificent Nerja Caves – Cuevas de Nerja – are a series of huge caverns stretching for almost five kilometres and home to the world’s largest stalagmite, a 32 metre high column measuring 13 metres by 7 metres at its base.

There are three Galleries – Show Gallery, Upper Gallery and New Gallery – with each gallery containing a number of Halls.

Continue to Malaga, the capital of the Costa Del Sol. Visit the Picasso museum, a tribute to the artist who was born in the city.

After the museum, visit the newly built Sephardic Heritage center (subject to closures), which gives an overview of the amazing Jewish history of the area.

Overnight: Torremolinos.

Day 10 – Wednesday, December 11: Granada
We say goodbye to Torremolinos and make our way towards Granada. Granada was the last Muslim city conquered by the Christian kings, some 250 years after they conquered other important cities in Andalusia (Córdoba and Seville). If there is one sight in Spain that is an absolute “must see,” it is the Alhambra Palace. It cannot be described. It must be seen to be understood. Nowhere in Spain is the contrast between Moor’s and Christian’s architecture. so striking.

The Fountain of the Lions was donated to the Muslim King by the Jewish community shortly before the city’s conquest in 1492. It was in the Alhambra that the Edict of Expulsion was signed. Here Rabbi Isaac Abravenel pleaded in vain with Ferdinand and Isabella to rescind the edict, and here, just a few months later, Christopher Columbus was granted the charter to set off across the Atlantic in search of India. A grandiose statue in the town below the Alhambra commemorates this event.

Overnight: Granada

Day 11 – Thursday, December 12: Granada-Tel Aviv
Bid Farwell to Granada for our last day in Spain. Continue to Granada airport for our flight home.

Price:
AACI members 3890 Euro per person in a double room              Currency Converter
Non- AACI members 3965 Euro per person in a double room
Single supplement 680 Euro  /Credit for not  taking group flights from/to Tel Aviv $300 per person

 Price Includes:

  • Hotel accommodation
  • Meals
  • A/C coach as per itinerary.
  • Local English speaking guides and entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Flamenco show
  • International Flights
  • Water on bus
  • Tips

Not included:

  • Any items of a personal nature
  • Any other items not mentioned as included
  • Travel/Medical insurance

Spain and Gibraltar 2019 – Application Form

*Cancellation from time of registration until SEP 1, 2019 – €600 per person
*Cancellation between SEP 1-OCT 1, 2019 – 50% *Cancellation from OCT 1, 2019 to day of departure: 100%

FOR INFORMATION please call Diesenhaus, 02-622-0000 / aacitravel@diesenhaus.co.il
Or Carole at AACI 02-5600910 / info@aaci.org.il