With autumn beckoning, we have just a few weeks left to savour lunch breaks alfresco and parade our sandals on the tube. If you’ve been toiling away while colleagues sizzle on foreign beaches, September heralds a smug season of off-peak travel prices and cooler temperatures on the continent. What better time to visit sultry Seville where you can gorge on tapas and flamenco to your heart’s content without the crowds. Read our top five things to do on an autumn short break to Seville.
1) Get on your bike: Boasting one of Europe’s safest and most sophisticated cycling infrastructures, (take note London), ditch the jaded bus orientation tours and pick up a free sevici bike from stations around the city. A short-stay subscription costs a bargain 5 Euros for up to a week. You can also delve deeper into Seville’s rich history on one of the many guided bike tours of the city – ranging from £16.00-£25.00. Read the rave TripAdvisor reviews.
2) Upstage the Alhambra: Vying for supremacy with Granada’s mythical mansion is Seville’s sumptuous Alcazar. Built by the Arabs in the 1300s, the castle’s intricate interior is a mish-mash of Moorish, Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance details displayed in a mesmerising labyrinth of endless room. Gently swaying palm trees and glittering fountains welcome you to the formal gardens where you can take in the 16th century porticoes in the Galeria de Grutesco or lose yourself in the maze without the summer masses.
3)Swap Moorish for modern: From time-less masterpieces to modern monstrosities – whether you love it or loathe it – the controversial Espacio Metropol Parasol is a must-see. Designed by Jurgen Mayer-Herman, the giant structure consists of six mushroom-like parasols designed to replicate the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville. Take in the jaw-dropping views from the panoramic terraces before delving deep into the underground Anitquarium which house Roman and Moorish remains.
4)Gorge on Tapas – as the home of tapas, Seville is brimming with moreish morsels tantalisingly displayed in tiny dishes all over town. For a truly authentic experience, head to the legendary El Rinconcillo – Spain’s oldest restaurant. Trading since 1670, the traditional tapas dishes have been honed to perfection over the centuries. For a hearty autumnal snack, try their Iberian pork cheeks for size.
5) Let your flamenco feathers fly – as the birthplace of Flamenco, no short break to Seville would be complete without a polka-dot flutter at the (Museo Del Baile) Flamenco Museum in the vibrant Santa Cruz quarter. Housed over three floors in an 18th century palace, you can browse dresses and shawls while taking in videos and photos of the strutting Flamenco greats. As the autumn nights draw in, follow the clatter of castanets to the nightly concerts in the on-site courtyard from 7.00pm, (20 Euros). If you’re in the Strictly Come Dancing spirit this autumn, group lessons can also be arranged. You have been warned.