The road to Seville in photos
I kicked off my road to Seville from the beautiful city of Lisbon and from where my journey through rich culture, colors, and food would continue.
On the day I headed out it was raining and it would rain throughout most of my Iberian road trip with Insight Vacations, but the chilly air, foggy mornings, and rainy days didn’t damper the beauty of all that I saw an experienced. Here is that journey in photo.
An afternoon in Sintra, a popular day trip from Lisbon which is easily accessible by car or train.
Wine tasting stop at Jose Maria da Fonseca in Setubal, Portugal. This winery was established in 1834, perfecting its wonderful wine since. A tour of their ancient wine cellars is a must.
Hours later, we arrived to the medieval city of Évora, home of popular attractions such as the Temple of Diana which marks the city center and is one of many UNESCO World Heritage sites of the area, the Cathedral of Évora, and the eery Chapel of Bones. The influences of its Roman and Moorish history is beautifully displayed throughout the architecture that adorn the many streets of this wonderful destination. Our luxurious hotel of choice, and one that offers easy access by foot to much of what the city has to offer, was the M’ar De Ar Aqueduto. (See my video mini tour.)
The rain continued to fall as we traveled on, enriching the already green and lush landscape along the way.
We arrived to Monsaraz, Portugal a tiny village with an estimated population of less than 1,000 people, though when I visited there was no one there as it was low season. This however, made it feel even more magical. The welcoming silence in the breeze interrupted only by the sound of my heals as they hit the cobblestone streets, echoing off the white walls of closed off vacation homes. The village overlooks the Guadiana River, the largest man-made dam, on the other side of which is Spain.
We would get off the road only to sail on the Sem-Fim, a sail boat built on Holland in 1913. This impressive boat has survived two world wars, though you wouldn’t know it by how it sails.
I feasted at the Sem-Fim Telheiro Restaurant in Lisboa, a former olive oil bottling plant that now serves authentic, delicious, and very generous portions of Portuguese food, which like Spanish food consists of a lot of meat!
After crossing the border into Spain we would stop for some world-renowned Jamón Ibérico de Bellota where I tasted black ham for the first time and was changed forever. Sadly, it’s not easy to come by making it even more worth the trip back.
We arrived to Seville late in the afternoon, too soon for dinner, but not for hot chocolate and churros! I sat and enjoyed my Spanish treats in an open-air café surrounded by orange trees. It is estimated that there are over 30,000 bitter orange trees and gardens in Seville.
A walk through the city helped to walk off the delicious calories and with no big crowds, the experience was leisurely and enjoyable.
A day trip to Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, would be like a walk back in time filled with history and inspiration, so much so that painters could be found at almost every corner trying to capture its beauty.
Seville wouldn’t be my last stop. I eventually make my way to Madrid where I would only spend a night, but not before stopping for some yummy paella in Puerto Lapice at La Venta del Quijote, a rest stop for El Quijote de La Mancha.
Seville remained my favorite Spanish city thus far, even surpassing my impression of Barcelona. It’s a university as well, which makes it diverse and energetic, though still intimate and cultured in every way. A true gem in my travel book.
To read more about my Iberian adventures, check out my write up on Expedia Viewfinder and the Huffington Post Travel for Findery.
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