Today I’m taking you with me back to seductive Seville, the capital of southern Spain ‘s Andalusian region.
Last fall, my husband and I had a fabulous two-day stay there during See Spectacular Spain in September. I had originally planned to highlight each town or city we visited. So far, however, I’ve only gotten around to posting, Remarkable Ronda Gorge.
Seville is known for its rich history, fabulous architecture and authentic culture that includes tapas tasting and Flamenco dancing. In additional to Seville’s historical core, are charming neighborhoods, bars, markets, and a riverfront to explore. Must-sees include the cathedral, the Plaza de Espana, and the Real (royal) Alcazar palace and gardens.
Before we can visit the Real Alcazar, I have to introduce you to seductive Seville in the way our visit there enfolded.
I use affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission that helps to offset website operating costs with no additional cost to you. Your support is appreciated! Disclosure Policy.
Staying in a Palace Built by a King
Seville was our favorite Spanish city. During the two nights and full day there, we only scratched the surface.
Seductive Seville began to draw us in as we entered the old city and arrived at the majestic King Alfonso XIII Hotel.
The hotel was commissioned by the King of Spain to play host to international dignitaries during the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is an iconic cultural landmark of seductive Seville.
How enticing is that pool, especially on a hot Andalusian afternoon?
The hotel’s distinguished architecture and Moorish details showcase Andalusian design.
“The interior puts forth a display of wealth and status: arches and columns, decorated with elaborate coffered hanging lamps and fine carpets. Ornamented ceramic tiles decorate walls, ceilings and all manner of structures. The luxurious rooms were designed to accommodate kings, presidents, celebrities and other guests.” Wikipedia
Our room was, well fit for Arabian royalty. Check out that bed! And, all the beautiful architectural details illuminated with dramatic lighting.
This was definitely the nicest hotel, and most incredible room on the entire Tauck tour, A Week in Spain. And that’s saying something! Because, all of our accommodations were luxury properties in the most desirable locations.
Even with seductive Seville beckoning outside, I couldn’t help but want to linger in our room.
And check out the bath — fit for a harem! The extensive bath area was covered in metallic tile from floor to ceiling. Literally. You can also see our private entry with doorbell! Check out the wood and details in the door below.
To be honest, we would have never sprung for a costly room at the King Alfonso on our own. But, the luxury accommodations in the package made them an excellent value. So much so, we added nights in Barcelona and Madrid at the beginning and end of the official tour.
Central Courtyard Worth a Visit
The best part was that every single hotel was not only centrally located, but usually in the heart of cultural or historical settings. All you had to do was waltz out the front door. All the hotels included scrumptious breakfast buffets too, adding to the value.
The King Alfonso served breakfast around or outside this gorgeous inner courtyard. It’s also a popular spot for lunch, tapas and dinner. Even if you don’t stay at the hotel while visiting seductive Seville, I highly recommend walking through its public areas and enjoying a light refreshment in the courtyard.
Our room overlooked the interior courtyard. It’s in the upper center with a set of grand double doors opening to the surrounding balcony.
Flamenco: Seductive Seville Signature Dance
Seeing flamenco was one of the cultural experiences I most looked forward to. Our group had a private performance in one of Hotel Alfonso’s parlors, while sipping refreshing sangria.
At first, I was a little disappointed in the costumes. I was expecting something more flamboyant, with lots of lace and ruffles. But, once the music starts and the dancers move, it’s mesmerizing.
This is Andalusian style flamenco. Seville claims to be the birthplace of the art form, which is full of big personalities, passion and sound. The guitar music and dancing is intoxicating — and I only had one big glass of sangria LOL!
Flamenco is a very sensual dance. They flirt, tease and toy with each other.
Some of the pictures are a bit of a blur as the dancers spun and twirled. And, I sipped sangria and fanned myself …
I wish you could hear the guitar music! And that footwork — just exhilarating.
For a better appreciation of flamenco, check out the video on my Instagram page. The dance really turns up the “heat” in the room. Oh lay baby!
Seeing a flamenco show in seductive Seville is an absolute must! Have you ever seen flamenco?
Exotic, Romantic Dinner
After the flamenco performance, hubby and I had drinks at the hotel’s Bar Americano. Then, a private table for two awaited us at Restaurante San Fernando. It was a marvelous dinner, set in opulent surroundings.
Piano music in the background added to the romantic atmosphere. The pianist played famous movie tunes that evening. There’s nothing quite like the alluring theme of Lawrence of Arabia.
Especially while dining in seductive Seville with the love of your life.
Accessorize Spanish Style
The fan was a gift from my dad. He traveled to Spain often in the 1970’s. I was so glad I packed the fan; it’s the perfect Spanish accessory! Sometimes it pays to be a pack rat. I knew it would come in handy one day!
We had a fabulous meal with delicious Spanish wines. It was the best included meal, restaurant experience of our trip. I’m not gonna tell you the Tauck tour is a bargain. But, it is an excellent value for the money. That’s probably why almost all their tours sell out well in advance.
There was no need to be torn choosing dessert. The waiter presented us each with our own sampling of five delicacies!
Two elaborate weddings were taking place in our hotel that evening. We couldn’t help but observe the beautifully dressed wedding parties posing for photographs. I would have loved to take pictures, but felt that would be too intrusive.
Much later, the parties spilled into the streets and night to party until dawn. I know that because my husband saw them staggering home when he went running the next morning. Me? I was fast asleep in that bed fit for an Arabian princess!
An Evening Stroll to the Cathedral
After eating that multi-course meal and plate of desserts, we needed to walk off some of those calories! Well I did. Remember, I didn’t go for that run the next day!
Centrally located in the historic quarter of Santa Cruz, the King Alfonso Hotel sits a short stroll to both the Real Alcazar and Seville Cathedral. Here is one of the beautiful squares and large fountains right in front of the hotel.
We strolled down the main street a couple of blocks to the cathedral. Along the way were many restaurants and shops. And, beautiful, decorative architecture, ornate ironwork, gas lanterns flickering, and guitar music in the air.
Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, or Seville Cathedral, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As is the adjoining Alcazar complex.
Seville Cathedral is the largest in the world. Today, it is the also the largest Gothic, and third-largest church in the world. Its royal chapel holds the remains of the city’s conqueror Ferdinand III of Castile. Christopher Columbus is also interred there.
The Archbishop’s Palace is located on the northeastern side of the cathedral.
Originally, the cathedral was the site of a grand mosque, minaret and courtyard close. The mosque was converted into the city’s cathedral after Seville’s conquest by Ferdinand III.
Here’s the cathedral from a different side the next morning. At the time, it was undergoing external restoration. Can you see the Arabic architectural influences? Look closely and you’ll spot the original mosque dome and minaret turned into a bell tower.
While the cathedral was closed to tourists, we attended afternoon Sunday Mass. The golden altarpiece masterpiece was on full display.
To the right of the cathedral, is the walled entrance to the Real Alcazar. I’ll take you there in a second post on seductive Seville. Promise. That’s where the peacocks were hanging out in the gardens. The same gardens used extensively in the filming of Game of Thrones.
Seductive Seville #1 City to Visit
You don’t have to take my word for it! In 2017, Lonely Planet named Seville, The #1 City You Should Visit Next Year. And according to the Huffington Post article, Seville definitely belongs on your bucket list.
I hope you get an opportunity to travel there and explore this incredible place.
Have you ever been to seductive Seville?
Related Post Picks
I regularly participate in: Tablescape Thursdays, Metamorphosis Mondays, Merry Monday, Celebrate & Decorate, Beautifully Made, Thursday Favorite Things, Best of the Weekend, Saturday Sparks, Dishing It & Digging It, and Snickerdoodle Sundays