Guests who are making a special journey to Spain for the Zende Creative spring retreat might want to extend their trip to make the most of the experience. Ahmad Zaruq at Al-Andalus Experience, a Muslim-friendly tour company based in the heart of Granada’s old town, has some tempting offers up his sleeve.
Option 1 (prior to course, 23rd-24th April):
If you’re flying into Malaga, you’re not too far from Córdoba, seat of the famed Cordoban Caliphate, which ruled most of the Iberian Peninsula for over 300 years.
We recommend two days here, between the museums and ruins at the spectacular old town of Medinat Az-Zahra, where the caliph’s family lived; the unmissable Mezquita of Cordoba, with its bold red and white stripes and endless colonnades of tiered arches; and Selma Garaudy’s Caravanserai, a restored inn that served today as a tearoom and informal museum of Muslim Andalusian life.
This mini-tour can be added with a minimum of 6 guests, working out at €255 a head and reducing in price as the group grows in number to as little as €185 per person for a group of 15. This includes admission to and tour guide in the monuments, hotel room, breakfast and transfers from Malaga airport and to Orgiva via Granada.
Option 2 (after course, 28th-29th):
If the visit to the breathtaking Alhambra Palace complex at the end of the retreat leaves you wanting more of Granada, we recommend a further two days here to explore the old Moorish quarter, the Albaicin, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a real, living piece of history.
We can also arrange for extra activities in this stage of the tour, such as workshops on leatherwork, ceramics, Moorish cookery and traditional agricultural techniques.
The basic course fee covers a tour around the Alhambra and a walk through the Albaicin (the old Moorish quarter) to Plaza San Nicolas, an open square with the best views of the Alhmabra of anywhere in Granada, situated right next to the Mezquita Mayor (main mosque).
Hotel room sin Granada start at €20 a night for a hostel bed, and range between €30 and €70 for hotel rooms. As manager of Al-Andalus Experience, Ahmad Zaruq can take you through all the possibilities on offer and create a tailor-made tour to round out your retreat experience. The larger the group, the more the prices drop, so planning ahead with friends is really worthwhile.