Trips, tours and treats
Granada Grade Booster
R&R in Granada
The last outpost of Moorish Spain, Granada boasts breath-taking Islamic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, a rich cultural heritage, and the spirit of one of Spain’s greatest writers, making this city the perfect place for A-Level students to appreciate Spain at its best.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, and the most visited monument in Spain, the Alhambra is a palace, fortress and citadel dating back to the 8th century. The Alhambra is the only surviving palatine city of the Islamic Golden Age and a remnant of the Nasrid Dynasty, the last Islamic kingdom in western Europe.
Our resident guide, Isabel, will take students on a cultural journey through the palace, the fortress and the gardens, tailoring her Spanish commentary to the A-Level topics and inviting students to take an active part in the tour. The visit will ensure a learning experience like no other.
Rising above the river Darro and on the opposite bank to the Alhambra is El Albaicín, the Moorish quarter still steeped in Islamic remnants.
With narrow streets, whitewashed houses, and a mosque, the Albaicín district will take students back to the Islamic Golden Age so crucial in Spain’s history.
Built along a hillside, this picturesque corner of the city is famous for its cave houses and was home to Granada’s gitana or ‘Roma’ population until the 1960s. Some of them remain in the district, now one of the most fashionable in the city.
At the top of Sacromonte there is a museum set out in a series of caves where students will learn about the Roma culture intrinsic to traditional flamenco.
La plaza de toros
Considered an historic emblem of Granada, the ornate bullring blends the culture and tradition of los toros so synonymous with Andalucía. A tour of the plaza will enable students to understand the historic ritual of the corrida and appreciate the artistic talent of the matador. Armed with knowledge, they’ll form their own viewpoint of the controversy and develop a convincing argument, complete with relevant terminology.
Literature & Lorca
Granada was the home and inspiration of Federico García Lorca, one of Spain’s greatest poets and dramatists. Lorca plays a significant role in Spain’s literary and political history; an understanding of his life is fundamental for all A-Level students of Spanish, especially those studying his final play, La Casa de Bernarda Alba.
That’s why we include a Literary Lorca Day in our itinerary.
We start the day with a trip to Valderrubio, the town where Lorca spent much of his early life. It is here, in this very town, where he found the real-life inspiration for the dramatised tale about his Aunt’s neighbours – the family Alba.
The specialist tour starts in his house, left exactly as it was when the family lived there, and we learn more about the young Federico and his life in the town.
Next, we visit La Casa de Bernarda Alba, the actual house that forms the setting of Lorca’s play, wandering the oppressive rooms where the drama’s action unravels.
To really bring the play to life, students will be treated to professional performances of key scenes in the same rooms that Lorca set them. Shoulder-to-shoulder with the characters themselves, we are immersed in Lorca’s world to such a degree, students will come to understand the play in ways they never could in a classroom.
From Valderrubio we head to Granada for a tour of the family’s summer house, La Huerta de San Vicente. Students will step foot in the rooms where Lorca spent his time from 1926-1936, taking in the views he mused over, and even the desk where he wrote his final play.
After lunch, we arrive at the heart of the city for a tour with a company that specialises in literary heritage, and we visit the places Lorca frequented most. Students will have the chance to ask the experts anything they want to know about Lorca’s life and work in a tour that will open their hearts and minds to a literary legend. The Spanish tour also includes a visit to the Lorca Centre, and comes to an end in his favourite restaurant where we’ll reflect on our experience.
Not only will students come to appreciate literature in new and exciting ways, but they’ll have first-hand experience of the life behind the work they’re studying.
Granada has a delicious tradition of providing a tapa with every drink you order in a local bar.
From pinchos to paella to patatas, students will sample local delicacies in bars the locals love.
R&R in Málaga
The second largest city in Andalucía and capital of the province, Málaga is an important Spanish port that oozes culture and charm.
Perhaps best known as the birthplace of Picasso, the city is a hub for art and architecture, both new and old. No trip to Andalucía is complete without a visit.
Life as a Local City Tour
To understand the local culture, it helps to understand the culture of the locals, and that’s just what Isabel will show students in R&R’s tour of Málaga, the city where she lives.
With native insight into how locals go about life in the city, and visits to local businesses and a busy church, students will talk with those they meet and come to understand just how malagűeños live their everyday lives.
But what makes this tour unique, so utterly andalúz, is the chance to witness the city’s strongest tradition – preparation for the Easter processions. We visit one of the forty guilds in the city (una cofradía) working on two of their own vast figures (los tronos) for the famous Easter processions, and we chat with those so passionate about the cultural and religious heritage of the city’s Semana Santa celebrations.
Students will come away with an authentic take on a malagűeño and all that makes Málaga tick.
Widely acknowledged as the most important artist of the 20th century, Picasso was exceptionally prolific in his lifetime producing an estimated 50,000 artworks, 285 of which are housed in the Málaga museum.
Set in the beautiful Buenavista palace, the chronological exhibition traces Picasso’s versatility and cyclical style, offering students an educational glimpse into the life and expression of this influential artist.
The paseo marítimo and the clean sandy beach of La Malagueta offers an alternative perspective of city life.
In a typical chiringuito, we’ll sample the catches of the day, like an espeta de sardinas, and cool off in the clear water of the Mediterranean Sea.
One final treat
On the final evening of the trip, students will be treated to an authentic performance of the dance so symbolic of Andalucía and its Roma culture, listed by UNESCO as ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity.’
With the guitarist, singer and dancers from the Sacromonte gitana population, students will experience the magic of local flamenco in an intimate setting. ¡Un gran final!
Residential AAP for the
Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award
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