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Things to do in Seville

Cruise along Spain's only navigable river

Spain's only navigable river, the Guadalquivir, winds through Seville's city centre, making a cruise quintessential in the Andalusia capital. Cruceros Torre del Oro (tel: +34 954 561 692; www.crucerostorredeloro.com) sail two routes: a one-hour ride through the heart of the city, and a longer journey to the beautiful Sanlucar de Barrameda, the gateway of Doñana National Park.

Keep cool in the water

Seville has sweltering summers, so seek out the river for a cooling respite. From swimming and sailing to windsurfing and canoeing, there is an abundance of activity on the Guadalquivir River, with rental companies perched along the riverbanks. For a bigger splash head to Aquapolis (tel: +34 902 345 010; www.sevilla.aquopolis.es), which opens during the summer months.

Power through the city on a bike

For those who prefer exploring under their own steam, speed around the city on two wheels. With the introduction of a proper cycling route network, Seville has transformed into a bicycle-friendly city. Sevici (tel: +34 900 900 722; www.sevici.es), the city's automated bicycle system, is convenient, whilst Cyclotour (tel: +34 954 689 666; www.cyclotour.es) organise brilliant bike tours that include audio guides.

Seek out the Seville's best hiking trails

Straddled by mountain chains, Seville is surrounded by tumultuous slopes with excellent hiking trails and mountain trekking routes. Sierra Norte is a popular daytrip, so lace your boots and take the leisurely trail to Cazalla de la Sierra or join one of Pedal y Aventura's (tel: +34 954 331 775; www.alaventura.com) small excursions to Sierra de Grazalema.

Take a romantic horse and carriage ride

One of the most romantic ways to see Seville is by horse and carriage, and you'll see them elegantly trotting all over the city's cobbled streets. Hop on one just outside the Cathedral and ask to tour the magnificent Plaza de España and Palace of Saint Telmo, and don't miss the Torre del Oro. 

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EME Catedral Hotel

Stylish and chic, the EME Catedral Hotel stands out for its juxtaposition of avant garde and rustic. Rooms are tastefully decorated with modish touches while the bricked walls and vaulted ceilings take on a rugged appearance. The rooftop swimming pool and terrace bar have spectacular views of the Cathedral, and dining options include a rustic Italian restaurant. The hotel also features glass floors that reveal Roman ruins under the hotel.

Hotel Holos

A little further from the historical centre, the calm and oasis of Hotel Holos is blissful retreat in a neighbourhood lined with orange trees. What this boutique stay lacks in size, it certainty makes up in fantastically helpful staff, style and silence. Inside its post-modern exterior there are just six doubles and a single, all of which are clean and comfortable, and its wooden rooftop terrace is delightful where the sun is out. It’s also just a few streets away from the Real Betis football stadium. All rooms come with air-conditioning, and bikes are available for guests.

Corral del Rey

Set on a narrow street in the old town, this stylish boutique hotel is set in a 17th century palacio. The rooms are set in two buildings around a central courtyard and furnished in antiques with Moroccan touches. If you don't treat yourself to the suite with two terraces and a private plunge pool, the rooftop garden has a pool too. Downstairs, there's a tapas bar. The hotel arranges insightful tours of the city too.

Hotel Abril

Located along Calle San Jerónimo Hernández, one of the main shopping streets of Seville, Hotel Abril is a humble bolthole with reasonably good prices. Rooms are spacious and clean, with homely decor; some have windows opening into the lobby but they are quieter than those opening onto the street. For those keeping to a tight budget, free coffee and tea is available throughout the day. A hearty breakfast buffet is also available for an extra fee. All rooms are en suite and come with free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning.

YH Giralda

A former house of the abbots, the YH Giralda is a perennially popular option for young couples seeking affordable comfort. The 2-star hotel is just metres away from the Giralda, in the midst of tapas bars and shops. The tastefully-furnished rooms are small but comfortable and are all en suite. Ask for the patio-facing rooms as they are quieter than those overlooking the streets.

Hotel Boutique Elvira Plaza

This small boutique hotel - there are only nine rooms, two of them suites - is set in a charming pedestrianised square in Santa Cruz, the former Jewish district. Although the rooms are on the small size, they are light and stylish. A roof terrace looks out onto the city, and there are plenty of restaurants nearby.