Welcome back to our #ExperienceOfTheWeek mini-series where we introduce you to some of our most favorite tour guides and travel experts across the globe. This week, we talked to Claudia, in Italian expat who’s been living in Andalusia for more than 15 years now. She has fallen in love with the region ever since she came there and today, she shares her love and educate fellow travelers about the history, culture, and local cuisine through Discover Andalucía y Sevilla travel agency. Shall we get into more details?
Q1: Hi Claudia, how are you doing?
Hi, I’m doing well, thank you!
Q2: Tell us more about the history of Discover Andalucía y Sevilla. How did it all start?
I am Italian and I have been living in Andalusia for about 15 years. When I arrived here I was immediately struck by the magic and splendor of these places, by the culture and joy of local people.
I immediately had the need to let people from all over the world know how to live in Seville and why people who come here don’t want to leave anymore.
I started selling attraction tickets, then where did what come from and here we are with Discover Andalucía y Sevilla!
Q3: Andalusia is an amazing destination and I bet there are dozens of things to show to fellow travelers. How many guides do you have in your team? Are you all locals?
Of course, Andalusia is waiting to be discovered! From north to south and from east to west. All its provinces have their very interesting peculiarities: Seville, the capital, Granada, with its enchanting Alhambra, Córdoba, with its grandiose Mosque, Málaga, the city of Picasso, Jaen, with its immense olive groves, Almería, with its coasts and breathtaking landscapes, b, with its exquisite gastronomy and Cadiz with its paradisiacal beaches. We have around 10 local official guides working for us.
Q4: The region of Andalusia has quite a few spots worth discovering. In which locations are you based with your tours?
We are based in Seville in which we offer various tour options from walking tours to bike, segway, cruise and skip the line tours. From Seville there are numerous day trips to the most interesting sites. We also operate in Costa del Sol where we have our partners.
Q5: Your selection of experiences is literally endless. What are the most popular tours among travelers who come to you?
The most popular tours are: Monumental Seville (visit to the Cathedral, Royal Alcázar and Santa Cruz District), Alhambra in Granada, Córdoba (visit to the Mosque and Jewish quarter), Day Trip to White Villages, Day trip to Gibraltar and also Day Trip to Tangier, Morocco.
Q6: Today many people travel and plan their itineraries on their own. Why would you recommend booking one of your experiences to our travelers?
I too like to travel on my own, however, there is an abysmal difference between when you go to visit an important monument or an emblematic location alone or with an expert guide.
As much as you can find information online or read a guide during the visit, you will never be involved as in a passionate story told by a local guide, an expert connoisseur of the place with his legends, anecdotes, and secrets. The experience is totally different and will remain etched forever in the visitor’s memories.
Q7: Travel industry is in uncharted waters right now but we all hope travel will rebound soon. What does the situation in Spain look like right now? Are you expecting tourists to come back soon?
The pandemic, here in Andalusia, has not had such high numbers as elsewhere, fortunately. In any case, tourism in the world has always started again, even after tragic events and sooner or later everything will start running again, as always. Seville has received the Safe Destination Label from the World Travel and Tourism Council and the city airport has restarted 72 international flights already.
Q8: Last but not least, what is your favorite spot in your region that you’d take your friends to see or experience? Tips from a true local are always worth it 🙂
In truth there are several! I always tell of my experience the first time I went to Granada, and I was enchanted by a dinner at the restaurant “The gardens of Zoraya” in the Albaicin district. That place seemed so romantic to me, as well romantic is the legend of Zoraya and the Sultan of Granada…
Book some of the most popular tours by Discover Andalucía y Sevilla here:
Granada Private Walking Tour Albaicin and Sacromonte
Seville Cathedral Private Guided Tour – Skip the Line Entry
White Villages Route from Costa del Sol: Private Day Trip
Private Day Trip to Tangier, Morocco, from Seville
3 Hr Private Andalusian Gourmet Tapas Tour