Romantic Ideas for Valentine’s Day in Seville

If my children ever ask me how their father and I met, I won’t have much to tell (drunken exchange in a bar).

The real romance is how we fell in love and where we did it.

Take a dashing Spanish hombre with a job as a fighter pilot and impeccable English, and set the story against Spain’s most romantic city, Seville, and it’s easy to see why I felt trapped in a fairytale with acento andalú and no talking animals. Truth be told, we fell in love over beers at a typical Spanish tavern, sharing a plate of stewed bull’s tail, but our first year of dating felt romantic given the beauty of Seville and it’s most famous lover, Don Juan Tenorio.

As a city marked by bandoleros, kings, Moors and Christians, Seville is architectural eye candy for even the most hardened heart. Quaint plazas are hidden away under the shade of orange trees, sidled up to soaring churches from the 16th century. There’s a steady hum of chatter spilling out of bars as sevillanos have their afternoon glass of fino, a dry sherry that matches well with brine-soaked olives. Sunlight glints off of fountains during the day. whereas the twilight affords a dressing up of monuments, flooded with light.

But southern Spain’s capital is all feeling and less seeing: haunting flamenco chords echo through empty cobblestone streets, the smell of orange blossoms and incense rife in early Spring, the viscous liquid gold of the olive oil that graces every plate. Seville captivates the senses and makes falling in love easy – with the city, with its people, with the perfect caña and the chico who stole your heart.

My top picks for a romantic day in Seville:

Take a dip in the Baños Arabes: The Moorish reign of Seville have left a stamp on the cozy Santa Cruz quarter, which nuzzles the Alcázar palace. After having breakfast (try La Cachererría on Calle Regina for toast kissed with olive oil and crushed tomato), relax in the low lights and pools of the Arabic Baths. Located on an alleyway so slim you can touch both sides, the restored building offers a thermal bath circuit and massages for upwards of 58€. (Calle del Aire, 15).

Horse Carriage Ride through María Luisa Park: Seville’s city center is clogged with pedestrians, tourists and an eye sore of a light rail, but the green lung is located just past the university. The park, crowned by the half-moon Plaza de España,  was built to commemorate the 1929 Iberoamerican Expositin held partly on its grounds. The leafy refuge, with tiled fountains and plenty of grass for a picnic, is best seen from a carriage, which are available for rent in the park.

source: flickr

Stop by the monument dedicated to Gustavo Adolfo Béquer, a Sevillian poet of the romantic period. His most famous work, Rimas, is the inspiration for a marble statue situated at the north end of the park. It depicts Cupid throwing arrows at three women.

When your stomach rumbles, have dinner on the Guadalquivir: Known for its tapeo, or tapas hopping, Seville also boasts world-class restaurants. Among the most romantic are those that line the Guadalquivir river on the Triana side of town, particularly on Calle Betis. From here, the bullring, Masetranza theatre and Torre del Oro are the protagonists of the riverfront, with the Giralda Tower and the spires of the cathedral in the forground. Go all out at Abades Triana (Calle Betis, 69), or try Kiosco de las Flores (Calle Betis, s/n) or El Faro de Triana (at the end of the Triana bridge) for budget options with unparalleled views.

Following dinner, have a cocktail at one of the terraces in the city center. Hotel EME’s bar has a hip vibe, while ROOF’s views include the Metropol, a mushroom-like wooden structure that has taken over Plaza de la Encarnación. If that’s not your style, you can tuck into a peña flamenco and cozy up to cantaores while drinking Agua de Sevilla.

What is Spain’s most romantic city, in your opinion? How would you spend a romantic day in a city?

This is my entry to the February 2013 Carnival of Europe hosted by Aleah Taboclaon of Solitary Wanderer with the theme “Most Romantic Places in Europe

 

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living among pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she wrangles babies at an English Language Academy and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.

Comments

  1. Nicole says:

    I think Santiago Compostela is very romantic because it’s a city full of legend and mystery.
    Nicole recently posted..Today’s Workout: PilatesMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      I LOVE Santiago! Will be going this summer when I finish the Camino, just received my guide in the mail!

  2. Gayla says:

    You’ve sold me on Sevile. I’d love to go back and stroll through Maria Luisa Park. The photo of the statue is beautiful. Though, from what I’ve experienced of Southern Spain, Nerja for me is the most romantic. Rooftop restaurants, fresh seafood, a nice glass of wine, and the views of the sea at sunset. We had a lovely time there. The top of my list, however, is Paris…sitting on a bench eating fresh strawberries and chocolate, drinking delicious chilled champagne and watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle with light. We’ve yet to surpass that evening :-)
    Gayla recently posted..A bit of Delft historyMy Profile

  3. Cassandra says:

    Aw, I love the idea of having a dinner overlooking the Guadalquivir. On our recent trip to Sevilla we passed so many classy restaurants lining the river and it did seem quite romantic.

    I want to nominate Palma as another one of Spain’s most romantic cities! (Perhaps I just have a penchant for cities perched on the water…)
    Cassandra recently posted..Alcalá-lá-láMy Profile

  4. Que romantico!!! I definitely want to spend Vday in Esapaña one year!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..A Photographic Look At My Thanksgiving In 2012 + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      My boyfriend isn’t romantic, so we call it “San Ballantine’s” and always go out for a drink!

  5. I’m sold on Seville as the most romantic city in Spain. I LOVE LOVE your story. So romantic ;) Thanks for joining the carnival!
    Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com recently posted..The Most Romantic Places in EuropeMy Profile

  6. Catherine says:

    I haven’t been to Seville (yet). That’s why I think Barcelona is the most romantic Spanish city for me (at the moment). But would go there and give it a try. Gracias for the tips! :D
    Catherine recently posted..Morocco in PicturesMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Funny you should say that, I just published why I’m not a fan of the city! Looking forward to your submission, and thanks for visiting!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] smell of oranges, good food. But a romantic city is also about your memories about it, see a post Seville Romantic places from Cat about her memories when she felt in love in Seville at  and her favourite spots about the [...]

  2. [...] Spain, the country of music and wines, of poetry and sensuous dances. For Cat Gaa of Sunshine & Siestas, no city there is more romantic than Seville. She started out by telling about her tale of finding love in this romantic city, and indeed, who can resist the charms of Spanish hombres? Based on her personal experience, Cat shares her romantic ideas for Valentine’s Day in Seville. [...]

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