Jewish Espana - GRANADA
From Friday 24th January - Andalucía Spain up to 3 nights

Sefarad actually means Spain - In 711 the forces of Islam crossed into Spain and conquered the whole Iberian peninsula. It ushered in one of the greatest periods of Jewish Diaspora history, known as the golden age until the inquisition, which changed our history forever. This deep Sephardic Jewish heritage of Spain is still firmly implanted in our national psyche that mixes both glory, betrayal, peace, prosperity and pain. It is a rich history that goes back 1,500 years in Spain, from this exotic land emerged great sages and Kabbalistic mystics epitomized by key figures like Maimonides, Ibn Ezra and Yehuda Halevi, in which they worked and lived harmoniously with Muslims and Christians.

Vivtor Hugo once wrote : Alhambra Alhambra palace which a genii have adorned like a dream flowing with harmonies

Join us as we travel to the heart of the medieval Jewish experience and visit the main sites connected to the rich and illustrious sites of the beautiful city of Granada. You will understand why this area of Spain has become the most visited area by tourists in the world today, a land that vibrates with the colorful passions of swirling flamenco and guitars; you will find its deep beauty unforgettable. Enjoy a blend of Moorish, European and Jewish influences as we travel in luxury through the legendary land of Cortes and Ponce de Leon. A delight for the senses and for the soul !

INDEED Granada was the last province in Spain which both the Moors and Jews were admonished in 1492 and legend says Moorish Chieftain Boabdil on leaving his beloved Alhambra Palace turned in retreat for one last look and wept to be admonished by his mother with the infamous words:

‘do not weep like a woman for what you could not defend like a man’

Our Hotel Hesperia in central Granada is 4* is rather special has been selected for up to 3 nights because it is on the edge of Realejo the former Jewish quarter see - special group rates agreed of £62 per night double and £56 per night single this includes breakfast - Address is Plaza Gamboa s/n 18009 Granada.

We have selected the B A flights from London City airport which in the days of budget airlines is a comfortable way to fly and suggest Friday 24th January 2014 BA 3289 leaves 9.40 am arrives 13.20 - There are no Thursday flights Cost £92 returning either on Sunday at 18.30 BA3290 Lands at 20.10 at London City Airport cost at £108 so £200 return or there is a Monday 27th January flight No BA 3290 at 14.00 lands at 15.40 at a cost of £92 so the return price would then be £184 - There is no Tuesday flight back to London - You will need to book your own flights. There are 2 ways to the hotel from the airport Taxis are 28€ so sharing is suggested or a bus to the city centre for 3€ then taxi

Agenda for organised 2 day trip

Day 1 Friday 24th January - 3pm Guided walk from our Hotel of the atmospheric and former Jewish quarter of Realejo once so important it was known as Granada of the Jews. We visit the main sites and the city centre before we visit a new Jewish Museum only opened in April 2013 by Gabriel & Beatrice see where we have asked permission to hold Shabbat services in their Museum inviting the few dozen Jewish families in the town to join us.

Day 2 Saturday 25th January - Guided tour of the Alhambra Palace and Generalife Gardens. Evening a group decision will be made for booking at a restaurant combined with a Flamenco show

Day 3 Sunday 26th January - Last day, free for people to decide if they wish to visit museums or relax or indeed if there is demand an organised group trip

Cost £387 pp sharing a twin/double - Single £437 Covers BA flights subject to BA price increases Hotel B & B for 2 nights only Friday afternoon guided walk and Jewish Museum fees - Guided Alhambra Visit and Saturday night flamenco show. Does not include transport - meals other than breakfast or additional nights. The trip will only proceed once 10 rooms are booked so to reserve a place a £125 deposit [refunded if trip does not proceed] is required to be sent to West End Travel and once we achieve necessary number we will only then confirm trip proceeds and direct you to book your own flights. Please also complete attached booking form and return with cheque or you can pay by credit card.

You can also download the required booking form on bottom left hand margin of our website

Itinerary :-
Day 1
Met at airport by Marcel with Minibus - taken to Hesperia 4 * Hotel town centre Granada
Time to check inn and a quick tapas & drink
2.45pm Guided tour with Fedirico of Realejo and Albacien quarters of the city with visits to the new Museums of the Forgotten and the Jewish Museum where we will also be welcoming the Sabbath
Will make group diner reservation for say 8pm - please let me know if you wish to be excluded, each person to pay for themselves will select somewhere with good vegetarian and permitted fish choices
Day 2
9.30am From Hotel all morning Alhambra & Generalife visit with Federico
Afternoon free
Evening programme - 8.30 Collection from hotel by minibus to Albacien quarter for 9pm FLAMENCO show includes free drink followed by short tour of this quarter at night overlooking Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada mountains
Day 3
Free - Potential visit if desired to suit those leaving Monday to Olive Press and factory that supplies kosher virgin olive oil to Israel then on to Sierra Nevada mountains ski resort.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Friday 24th January in Granada ESPANA.

We are all in for treat as over the last few months in preparation for our forthcoming trip I have been in discussion with MOLLY an English guide living in the former Jewish quarter of REALEJO. This quarter was once known as GARNATHA AL YEHUD ‘CITY OF JEWS’ which we will tour Friday afternoon at 2.45pm from our Hotel. She has passed over the responsibility as our guide by finding us a Seferad expert called Federico introducing himself as follows :-

Hello, My Name is Federico and I will be the guide conducting your Granada tour next 24th and 25th.
I have been verifying all the details regarding the visit focusing on the Jewish heritage in Granada
This mail is to suggest you a by far more interesting visit to the recently inagurated "Palacio de los Olvidados" (Palace of the Forgotten).The new cultural space (none of then can be called museums, since they both are private initiatives) icould probably be considered the best permanent exhibition of sephardic culture you can find in Andalusia.
You can visit the web site of the "Palacio de los Olvidados" even though they don´t have it in English for the moment.
As a guide who has always been interested in the sephardic oriented visits in my city, and out of my experience I would suggest a visit to this cultural space, where we can enjoy the fabulous documents about inquisition, find elements of the Kabbalah and see the Tree of Life with its Sephirot, a set of Teffillin from Sefarad, a nice capitel with a Lulav from the Sinagoge of the Water in Ubeda, a Torah written in Massoretic, and many other ritual and everyday objects dating back from the sephardic period.
Looking forward yo seeing you in Granada.

We will visit the above exhibition which opened 1st January this year HOW LUCKY ARE WE plus we will also be visiting a new Jewish Museum opened last April where we will end the Friday tour with lighting shabbos candles a shortened Kabbalat service. So if you wish to participate please bring siddur [men couples] we will be making Kiddush and a blessing over challa. This could be a special experience.

I am arriving a day earlier on the Thursday and will be awaiting at the airport with a minibus so check the weather forecast bearing in mind the city is at the foot of the sierra mountains where they ski in winter so when the sun drops it will be cold any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me ?

See the famous decree that sealed the fate of Spain’s Jews banishment from Spain in 1492 Queen Isabella is buried apparently in Granada’s Cathedral.