Most tourists who visit Andalucía predictably head straight to the Costa del Sol to relax on the golden, sun-kissed beaches of the region’s most famous coastline, but there’s much more to this region than most people could ever dream of.
If you want to experience Spain in all its diversity, then Andalucía – sometimes written in English as Andalusia – is the perfect destination for absorbing yourself in true Spanish culture and history. It’s difficult to imagine a more varied landscape, where you can witness dramatic mountain terrain, stunning coastal scenery and bustling city life all in the space of a day.
One of Andalucía’s largest cities is the ancient city of Málaga. Spend a day in this vibrant city and you could almost forget that Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world. With a history that goes back nearly 3,000 years it’s a city with wonders to explore, both ancient and modern. Climb to the top of Alcazaba, a huge fort dating back to the 11th century, and you’ll be rewarded with an astonishing view of the city, including La Malagueta, the city’s historic bullring. Málaga is also famous for being the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, and if you can stand the queues outside the Museo Picasso Málaga, you can get an opportunity to see a huge number of original Picasso paintings.
Of course, Andalucía has much more to offer than busy city life. If walking holidays in Spain are more your thing, Andalucía is a fabulous region to explore to discover some of the country’s best towns and monuments. The city of Ronda is a fantastic place to start, perched high above the El Tajo canyon, with an incredible jaw dropping view down to the Guadalevín River. Its most famous landmarks are its three bridges that span the canyon, which offer a fabulous photo opportunity.
Any tour of Andalucía simply must include a visit to the region’s capital city, Seville. This ancient city has over its long history been influenced by various cultures, including the Moors and the Romans. Seville is blessed with several unique landmarks, some of which have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Cathedral of Saint Mary is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and definitely worth a visit. Complete your trip with a walk across to the Alcazar, an astonishingly beautiful royal palace.
Discovering Andalucía’s most spectacular monuments can be exhausting, and with so many fabulous places to visit, you can only touch the surface of this fabulous region. If you’re looking for a place to unwind after a long day of sightseeing, you’ll find some of the best beaches on the Costa de la Luz. There are also plenty of opportunities to take part in various leisure activities and water sports. The stunning coastal scenery combined with the natural beauty of Doñana National Park makes this area a popular tourist spot.
It is impossible to appreciate everything that Andalucía has to offer in a single visit, but that’s why this region draws people back year after year.
Photo credit: Carlos Paes