Semana Santa

Traveler: Arzu Atabarut – Businesswoman

What is your most unforgettable escape? It’s our trip to Andalusia on the last week of March in 2013. We specially picked the dates of the Holy Week (Semana Santa) while setting dates for this trip, and had amazing couple of days in Seville.

With how many people did you travel? We were a group of eight people: Me and my husband, five French friends and a Sevillian friend of ours who organized this trip for us. Thanks to our Sevillian friend who opened each and every door that led to many unforgettable moments.

Where did you stay? We preferred staying at Hotel Alfonso XIII.

arzu atabarut

What did you most like about the trip? During our trip to Seville during the Holy Week (Semana Santa), we witnessed the most impressive scenes of course while watching the religious corteges and listening the pretty striking, pretty dramatic music from different orchestras as part of the ceremony.

Could you share an unforgettable memory about the trip? Between our tight schedules filled with intense emotions, we had the opportunity to visit the Duchess of Alba at the Palacio las Dueñas (Palace of the Dukes of Alba) in Seville, and had a talk with her. Duchess of Alba, who unfortunately passed away in the previous days, held the world record for most nobility titles. She had a very colorful personality. None of her palaces are open to public access, that’s why this visit will always enshrine in our memories.


Your most surprising find during the trip? We were invited to a 17th Century Farm House for lunch. The owners had a horse cart collection from the 18th and 19th centuries. After lunch, we enjoyed an unforgettable show of carters wearing epochal costumes riding various breeds of horses.

Favorite restaurant or food you have tried during your trip? We were mostly invited to private house dinner parties but I can highly recommend Spanish salami and cheese.

What is the must tries of the city? Flamenco clubs (peñas) and church visits first come to my mind.

Any hidden gems you could whisper to us? I recommend visiting Casa de Pilatos (Pilate’s House) in Seville.

Would you go back? Absolutely yes! I’d like to see the Flamenco Festival as well.

Could you list a few of your favorite finds you came back with? These can be anything from traditional finds to airport finds to hotel creams. Hand-dyed hand fans, Spanish salami, brittle nougats.

Any tips that might be useful to know before going there? If you are going during the Holy Week (Semana Santa), the best thing to do is booking a seat with a direct view of the main entrance door of the Cathedral where the religious corteges gather.

Next stop you would like to visit? Our next destination is to a completely different direction, to Myanmar…