Andalucia is a region in the south of Spain. It is a region of contrasts: ancient cities and deserts, amazing beaches along the Costa del Sol and Costa de la Luz and the Sierra Nevada mountain range where the highest mountain in Spain is found and also the most southerly ski resort in Europe.
Andalucia encompasses an area of 87,268 km2 with a population of just under 8 million people. It spans almost the entire south of Spain and is bordered to the west by Portugal. To the south in the Province of Cádiz at the very tip of Spain lies the British colony of Gibraltar where it is separate from North Africa by just a few miles.
Provinces of Andalucia, Spain
Andalucia is divided into eight provinces, each having the same name as its respective provincial capital city.
Costa del Sol — sunny beaches and beautiful villages along Spain's southern coast
La Alhambra — one of the most interesting palaces of the country
La Alpujarra — a mountainous district south of the Sierra Nevada
La Axarchía — area north-east of Málaga, recently 'discovered'
Sierra Nevada — the highest mountains in the Iberian Peninsula, excelling for skiing and hiking
Andalucia has a rich Moorish heritage, including many fantastic examples of Moorish architecture which were built during the eight centuries when Andalucia was the centre of the Arab population in the Iberian peninsular. The Moorish rule effectively ended in 1492AD when the Christians recaptured Granada.
Nowaday, the region is a very popular tourist destination with a lot of British and German package holidayers coming to stay in the concrete resorts on the Costa del Sol. But if you stay away from the concrete resorts you will find lots of culture, amazing scenery and great food.
Like most of the rest of Spain, Andalucia's main language is Spanish, but with a local dialect. The local dialect is somewhat similar to the Spanish spoken in parts of Latin America such as Mexico and Colombia.
Major airports: Seville(Sevilla), Malaga, Almeria, Jerez de la Frontera.
Spain's railway network isn't as developed as those of many other European countries, but Algeciras, Almeria, Cadiz, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Malaga, Cordoba and Sevilla are all served by regular train services. Spain's highspeed AVE network connects Malaga, Cordoba and Sevilla to Madrid. Some of the other smaller towns are served by less frequent services, see individual city guides for further details. For more info, see the RENFE website.
Alsina Graells provides bus services around Andalucia. Timetables and ticket booking available at the website.
Moorish architecture in Granada, including the Alhambra
Lake Negratin, Andalucia
Lake Negratin is situated at the foothills of Mount Jabalcón. As one of Europes largest lakes, it really is worth seeing not least for the most magnificent lunar-landscape that surrounds it. I would liken the rock formations and the colours it produces during different times of the day to those of the Grand Canyon. There is a manmade beach where you can laze the day away, a number of restaurants dotted round the lake and on a nice day you can swim or take out a pedalo boat, which might lead you to pink flamingos and various other wildlife.
Seron is nestled on the lower slopes of the Sierra de los Filabres and is a picturesque town that cascades down the hillside. Dominated by its Castle, which sits at the very top, Seron is famous for its ham and provides a more traditional experience of Andalucian life. It is a beautiful location to start your exploration of the Filabres, or visit at the right time of year and you might find yourself submerged in a vibrant fiesta.
Las Menas, an old mining village abandoned thirty years ago, makes an interesting stop in the Sierra de los Filabres. You can investigate old ruins crumbling amidst the most breathtaking countryside, stop for coffee and cake at the hotel and even camp for the night.
Rock Climbing Company, ☎ +34 952 742 962 / +44 (0)1492 641430, . High quality rock climbing and scrambling courses in Andalucia. Courses based in Malaga province both on the coast and also inland near to the El Chorro gorge.
Windsurfing and Kiting in Tarifa Spains southern tip
Horse riding and Spain go hand-in-hand and with such spectacular mountain ranges at your disposal as the Sierra Nevada and Alpujarra Hills; you have a feast of beautiful Andalucian trekking land to indulge in astride your faithful friend. There are several stables situated in these areas and all offer the option to ride for an hour, a day or even as long as 7 nights. Accommodation and food are included in prices and the whole experience offers a truly magical and unique way to see this amazing part of Spain. Prices vary from 25 to 1200 EUROS and there are so many options to choose from that you will undoubtedly find something to suit your level and requirements.
Walking and cycling holidays in rural Andalucia []
Flamenco is the all-Andlusian art with a history stretching back over 3,000 years. The Museo del Baile Flamenco (Flamenco Dance Museum) is the ideal place to learn more about this phenomenon. Shows are offered on Friday and Saturday nights at 19:30, too. www.museoflamenco.com
Altiplano Tipis (Altiplano Tipis), Canada SoSal 18800 Baza, Spain, ☎ +34 664835417, . Altiplano Tipis is a boutique accommodation offering where guests can experience eco-glamping (glamorous camping!) in a tipi or stay in a cave dwelling studio in the rugged, unspoilt countryside of Andalusia From €45 a night for two people.
CasaMasArab, lugar CasaPalma sn (Rio Grande), ☎ +34 609390990, . checkin: 4PM; checkout: noon. In the countryside. Panoramic views, sunny and shady outdoor area, design swimming pool and special architecture are some of the features of this venue. Limited but refined Mediterranean gastronomic services.€46.
Casa Rural El Reguelo, Fuensanta de Martos, ☎ 0034 953 564211, . Three-bedroom rural house with enclosed garden and dip pool, excellent base for day trips to Granada, Cordoba, Jaen, Ubeda, Baeza and more.
Generally very safe; take usual precautions,especially in some parts of Algeciras, Malaga, Seville, etc...