Endless hours of sunshine paired with sizzling heat. Sevilla in August is nothing for the faint hearted. This is when Sevillans desert their city, head to the beach and leave Seville to sun worshipping tourists. A sun seeker by profession, La bonne Vivante took the opportunity to escape the cold front which had spread across Switzerland and head to sunny Andalucia!
Seville, Andalucia’s capital offers amazing food and a fascinating mix of Moorish and Spanish design. Sevilla is a compact city and its major sights can be visited within a day. However, Seville isn’t just about its admittedly impressive historic sights. Instead, its relaxed atmosphere invites visitors to indulge in long leisurely lunches “tapeando”, an activity which consists of hopping from one Tapa restaurant to the next, strolling through the cobbled streets of Santa Cruz and enjoying the flamenco filled atmosphere. In August the sweltering heat reduces anybody’s urge to move to a bare minimum, making Seville an excellent place to decelerate.
What to do:
Cathedral: Sevilla’s cathedral is an absolute must see. It is the world’s largest gothic church and the third largest church only surpassed by the Vatican and Westminster Abby.
The cathedral hosts various monuments and tombs amongst them. Its most famous “resident” is Cristofer Columbus whose tomb rests upon four carriers who represent Spain’s former kingdoms.
Make sure you climb up the Giralda, the Cathedral’s impressive bell tower which offers a stunning 360 Degree view of Sevilla.
The Alcazar is another absolute must see. A deserving Unesco world heritage, this gem combines gothic and Moorish architecture, historic paintings and beautiful gardens. It has been the setting of many historic events and also served as a set for movies such as Lawrence of Arabia and, more recently, for the 5th session of Game of Thrones.
Tip: To ditch the queues and learn more about this impressive sight, take a guide.
Flamenco Show: Visiting a Flamenco show is an absolute must when in Seville. The unusual tonation paired with a dance performance which express a full range of emotions anywhere from utter rage to sheer euphoria can be a bit unusual for a Flamenco newbie. Go for a 1 hour show to see if you like it. Whilst I won’t be downloading Flamenco songs for my Sunday afternoon chill play list any time soon, the dance performance and guitar play were interesting to watch.
Where to eat:
Seville is arguably the capital of Tapas and whilst you will find non-Spanish cuisine here we indulged in Spanish local food. The small plate concept of Tapas makes it particularly easy to snack your way through the menu and by the end of your trip you will have selected your all-time favourite Tapas. A downside of visiting in August is that some restaurants will be closed due to the holiday season. Therefore, we were left with a somewhat smaller set of choices.
Azotea: This restaurant has an overall 3 branches spread across Seville. Compared to Seville’s mainly traditional Tapas Restaurants, Azotea’s menu is a refreshingly innovative take on Spanish cuisine. The tomato burrata salad topped with lemon sorbet was delicious and so was a chocolate cake served with orange blossom ice cream.
Tip: You can’t reserve a table here however if you call them in advance, your name will be put on the waiting list and you’ll be given seating priority when you get there. To reduce your waiting time come early (anything prior to 9.00 pm is considered early for dinner in Spain).
Lobo Lopez is a rather new outlet which offers Spanish cuisine with an interesting twist. The restaurant doesn’t offer outdoor seating however the airconditioned patio is lovely too. Try the truffled carpaccio which is amazing! The service is beyond friendly and helpful and will go out of their way to ensure that you have a good time here.
Where to have a drink:
The bar of EME hotel offers a great view of Seville’s Cathedral and barkeepers who will fill your glasses very generously. Head here for a night cap (or perhaps two).
If your itinerary allows for it, take a trip to Cordoba which is only a 40 minute train ride from Seville. This cute city houses the Mezquita, a mosque which was transformed into a church showcasing impressive Moorish architecture coupled with Castellian design. The dimly lit Mezquita provides a feel of what it must have been like to live in Cordoba 500 years ago. The city itself is well worth a stroll.