If you are more tapas than Torremolinos, and are looking to experience the real Spain, leave Marbella behind and travel to Seville, the capital of the autonomous region of Andalucia in Southern Spain.
Below is a complete guide to the best hotels in Seville, best restaurants in Seville and the best things to do in Seville.
Best hotels Seville
The luxury, 5 star Hotel Alfonso XIII was commissioned by the King of Spain in 1929 and is the best hotel in Seville.
The residence has been architected in the style of a Moorish Palace and is a beauty to behold inside and out, opitomised by the large open air atrium where breakfast is served daily.
The hotel’s ample pool provides the perfect setting to chill out and read a book whilst soaking up the sun in western europe’s hottest major city.
Be sure to book a roof terrace room to enjoy views over the city and watch the swifts and swallows swooping as the sun goes down.
Best restaurants Seville
El Rinconcillo, established in 1670, is the oldest restaurant in Spain and comes recommended by Rick Stein no less, and the king of Padstow wasn’t wrong. Watch while your waiter carves Iberico ham istraight off the bone, and then chalks up your bill on the wooden bar in front of you. The tapas is fresh, tasty and cheap.
In the evening head to Abades Triana, an up market restaurant set on the banks of the river Guadalquivir with views across to the Torre Del Oro.
Be sure to book ahead and ask for a table outside.
The food in the Alfonso XIII is good with Paella by the pool a particular highlight. Make sure to enduldge yourself with a cocktail at sunset in the hotel’s outdoor bar whilst listening to chilled house music and watching the birds swoop among the rooftops of Seville.
Things to do Seville
Explore the maze of alleyways in the old town and marvel at the historical Moorish influence. Wander streets lined with Orange trees and covered in Bougainvillea, refueling yourself with tapas and Rose as you go.
Visit the Alcazar, the oldest active royal palace in Europe during the day and then head to the Cathedral after sundown when it is beautifully illuminted.
If time permits, you should also tour the worlds oldest bullring and the Plaza De Espana, which sadly we didn’t get around to as the lure of the pool at the Alfonso XIII was too strong!
What to wear
Seville is hot most of the year and has a youthful casual, vibe, so men should pack for the summer with shorts, chinos polo tops and Havaianas. Girls pack light, summery frocks, maxi dresses and sandals. Wedges are a good option for the evening.
How to get there
You can fly direct from London with Ryanair, Easyjet, Iberia or BA. We flew from Gatwick with British Airways using our Avios points thanks to Amex, but you can expect to pay around £150pp on the low cost airlines.