TRISH TAKES FIVE: By award-winning blogger Trish Burgess
If you’re looking for some winter sunshine and fancy something different from a beach holiday in the Canaries, why not consider a city break in Andalucia.
We’ve just returned from a last-minute break to Seville and it exceeded all our expectations. Here are some reasons why Seville is perfect for a city break and why a trip in the winter months is worth considering.
Cheaper flights. Fly direct from Stansted to Seville in under three hours. Hotel prices are much lower at this time of year too. We stayed in the Casa Romana hotel which had a beautiful courtyard and a jacuzzi on the roof.
The historical centre of Seville is fairly small so it’s easy to see most of the main sights on foot. We did a lot of walking but with temperatures around 17 or 18 degrees and no real hills to speak of, it was very manageable.
Queues for the main tourist attractions are shorter. We didn’t make any advance bookings but planned our visits carefully to avoid the busy times. Afternoons tended to be quieter.
Seville is truly beautiful. There are orange trees everywhere. Lose yourself in the narrow winding streets of the old town and look up to see pretty window boxes and intricate ceramic tiles.
The architecture is stunning, reflecting its Roman, Moorish and Christian heritage. The magnificent Gothic Cathedral dominates the skyline. You can walk up to the top of La Giralda, the bell-tower, which was a minaret for the mosque that originally stood on the site.
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan you might recognise some locations in the beautiful palace, the Real Alcazar (pictured). Even if you’re not, you will love the exquisite detail in the buildings and the tropical gardens.
Don’t miss the Metropol Parasol, the biggest wooden structure in the world. Known locally as Las Setas (mushrooms) it’s like a huge waffle floating over the square below.
Fancy a pre-dinner tipple? Many of the lovely hotels in the centre have rooftop bars. We enjoyed a Manzanilla sherry or two on the roof of the Hotel Palacio Alcazar whilst watching the sun set behind the Cathedral.
The dining style is relaxed and convivial, sharing plates of tapas whilst drinking wine and craft beers. My favourite place was No-Lugar, opposite our hotel. It was quirky, arty and so good, we went twice.
If you want to sit and watch the world go by, head for the Plaza de Espana and the Maria Luisa Park. A little canal to row on, fantastic architecture to admire and the added warmth of the Seville sunshine. Perfection.
You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk