What to see in Andalusia

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Pau Monfort
@paumonfort
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

THEAndalusia it is a magical land and literally full of things to do and see: from cosmopolitan cities to villages that seem to have remained intact over the centuries, from places besieged by mass tourism to evidence of the region's Islamic past.



A tour of this area of ​​Spain touches the sea, cities, enchanting landscapes and much more. There are so many attractions not to be missed, and in this article we want to give you the idea for one top ten of what to see absolutely in Andalucia, of course, to be modeled on the basis of your interests, the duration of the trip and the budget available.

Seville

The Torre del Oro along the Guadalquivir in Seville.

Seville it is par excellence the symbolic city of Andalusia and of the traditions of this land, first of all the dance of Flamenco. Capital and largest city of the Region, it is famous for its Easter processions and for the historical one April Fair.

If you have the opportunity to visit Seville during the Easter period, you will be able to experience the intense atmosphere of the Christian processions up close. The same involvement is the one that will take place during the Feria de Abril, which opens after Easter and lasts for 10 days. Colorful flamenco costumes and bottles of manzanilla wine are never lacking during the celebrations.


Among the monuments of the city you absolutely must not miss the Cathedral with the famous tower of the Giralda, from which you can see a beautiful panorama of the center. Visit theAlcazar andGeneral Archive of the Indies: all three monuments are UNESCO heritage.


Dedicate yourself to exploring the center on foot, passing through Spain Square, Parque Maria Luisa and the districts of Triana and di Santa Cruz. And if you are curious to see a bullfight, make sure you get tickets at the box offices around the city: the shows of bulls and bullfighters are certainly not lacking in Seville.

If you still have a few hours to spend in the city, take a trip to the area ofExhibition, which still offers various fairs and events of high interest.

Find out more about Seville

Malaga

The Picasso Museum in Malaga

Although the coastal city of Malaga and its neighboring towns are famous for their beaches and nightlife, the old quarter of the city should certainly not be forgotten. The old center is definitely worth a visit.

Malaga, which was the birthplace of the painter Pablo Picasso, has its own fortress, known as Alcazaba, and its well preserved Roman amphitheater, which recall its historical origin.

The views from the Alcazaba and from the neighbor Castle of Gibralfaro, which overlook the seafront and the harbor, are certainly worth the walk up the hill.


Explore the center, walking on foot, observe the typical life of the city. Stop at one of the many kiosks selling flowers and don't miss the chance to buy traditional white jasmine. known as biznagas, really a great souvenir to take home.

Don't forget Larios Street, the main shopping street or the bar Piglet, a classic stop for anyone visiting the city. If you want to learn a little more about Picasso's history, don't miss the opportunity to visit his birthplace and also the Fine Arts Museum, which also houses a collection dedicated to the painter.


To allow yourself a few hours of relaxation, take a nice walk along the promenade to the beach of the Malagueta, or in Park Retreat. Malaga enjoys a very pleasant climate and can be visited all year round.

Find out more about Malaga

Cordoba

Ancient capital of the Arab Caliphate, Cordoba it is the meeting point of three cultures, which have alternated in 1000 years of history.

Among the monuments to visit certainly are the Mezquita, theAlcazar, the Torre de la Calahorra, and the Palazzo Viana. Don't miss a ride in Jewish quarter, still well preserved today. If you are passionate or intrigued by bullfighting, a visit to the museum dedicated to it will certainly be worthwhile for you.

Among the attractions of Cordoba, the number 1 is without a doubt the Mosque, UNESCO heritage. The construction of this impressive mosque dates back to 786 AD and lasted for over 200 years, until its completion.


The mosque is located in the center of the old quarter of Cordoba. The central wing, not to be missed, is decorated with a succession of arches and columns. Think that many of these columns arrived in Cordoba from many other countries belonging to the Arab Empire.

Cordoba is also well known for its festival, la Courtyard Fair, organized during the month of May; if you visit the city during this period, you have the opportunity to be in the middle of the celebrations. The patios, that is the typical Andalusian courtyards, are adorned and decorated with flowers and plants for the occasion. The courtyards can still be visited throughout the year.

If you want to take an unforgettable photograph, don't miss the sunset from the ancient Roman bridge: the place is romantic and landscaped sublime. If you want to add a touch of originality to your visit, explore the streets of the center at night; the atmosphere is truly magical.


Learn more about Cordoba and the Mezquita

Granada and l'Alhambra

Revered for its sumptuous palazzo dell’Alhambra and consecrated in medieval history as the last stronghold of the Moors in Western Europe, Granada is Seville's lesser known and more closed cousin.

The best way to discover and fall in love with Granada is to let go of the tourist guides and let yourself be carried away by intuitions. In this way you will get lost in the narrow streets ofAlbayzín, until you get to Giardini of the Realejo quarter. Granada develops between the Sierra Nevada range and hides many treasures within itself. The Alhambra, as we will see, is the main attraction; you should not miss a visit to the Cathedral and Royal Chapel.

I Banuelos they are a classic example of an Arab hammam, dating back to the eleventh century; they are beautifully preserved. To explore the center, walk along the Darro Race and Walk of the Sad, which will offer you spectacular views over the city.

Then stop at New Square, the oldest square in Granada, and sip a refreshing drink, while observing the typical life of the city.

THEAlhambra however, it will certainly be the heart of the visit to Granada. It is the most visited attraction in Spain. It is at the same time a palace and a fortress surrounded by walls. It was the residence of the Sultan Nasrid between the 13th and 15th centuries. Its buildings, its towers, its royal apartments show the splendor of Granada during the Nasrid Dynasty. Consider a full visit to the Alhambra and the neighbor garden of the Generalife it will take at least half a day.

Learn more about Granada and the Alhambra

Cadiz

This coastal city is one of the most important ports in Spain, and a town almost completely surrounded by water. Its original name was Ghadir, so called by the Phoenicians. Today it is a commercial port, but Cadiz has no short history: the first settlements date back to the XNUMXth century BC, making it one of the oldest European cities.

During the Age of Discoveries it played an important role in trade with the "new world". It is often called the "Silver Tacit ”, or the silver cup. There is something special about Cadiz, which has always attracted many peoples and civilizations, and the downtown atmosphere and friendly population make the visit even more enjoyable.

Go and taste some tapas in the The Pala neighborhood, a few minutes from the beach. Take a walk along the fortifications along the sea and visit the castle of San Esteban. Visit the Cathedral, the Roman Theater and the Tavira Tower.

For a cultural day, treat yourself to a few alternative hours on the beach, where you can enjoy a great sunset. If you visit Cadiz in February, remember to join in the celebrations for the carnival, which is taken very seriously in these parts.

Find out more about Cadiz

Ronda

Ronda it is located in the hinterland of the province of Malaga, and is divided into two parts: the old town and the new town. Meanwhile, the surrounding countryside and the views from the river are ideal places to take beautiful souvenir photos.

And it is the bridge itself, the Puente Nuevo, who inspired Ernest Hemingway in writing the book For Whom the Bell Tolls. Don't miss the Andalusian museum, in the Plaza de Toros, dedicated to various aspects of the Spanish tradition.

THEBullfighting arena it was built in 1785 and is one of the oldest in all of Spain. Inside the city there is also one of the best examples of originals hammam arabi.

Going beyond Plaza de Toros there are two spectacular walks, named after two illustrious visitors to Ronda: the Ernest Hemingway Walk and Paseo by Orson Welles, both very attached and affectionate to the city.

And it is precisely the Paseo de Hemingway that leads to the great green lung of Ronda, the nineteenth century Alada del Tajo. On weekends, the locals indulge in hours and hours of relaxation among its green meadows. It is a park that welcomes you to the city, in a center where hardly anyone has a private green space.

Ronda it is a great destination for a day trip during a Costa del Sol holiday.

Find out more about Ronda

Marbella

Marbella it is part of the Costa del Sol, and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. It is a very populated holiday resort, especially during the summer, by foreign tourists, who are attracted by its style.

In addition to being a seaside resort, Marbella is known for its landscape close to the Concha mountains. The city suffered in the past the Arab domination, which is still visible in many parts of the city, thanks to numerous style buildings. There old City it is still partially surrounded by Arab fortifications.

Stroll through the cobbled streets, admiring squares and small churches, which alternate with fashion shops. The heart of the old city is Piazza degli Aranci, overlooked by the splendid town hall. Do not miss the visit to the Mosque, which is located less than two kilometers west of the city center.

But the Arab period is not the only one still witnessed today: of the period Roman for example, a villa with its superfine mosaics and the thermal baths can still be visited today, not far from the beach in the town of Guadalmina.

Among the museums in the city, the one that arouses most curiosity is undoubtedly the one dedicated to Bonsai. It is a permanent collection of these small plants and the museum has an international reputation, precisely for the care and detail kept in the exhibition.

In the evening, the focus shifts to the seafront, where most of the restaurants and clubs are concentrated. It becomes pleasant to enjoy a dinner of fish or tapas, have a drink and stroll along the Mediterranean.

Find out more about Marbella

Costa del Sol

La Costa del Sol for many years now it has attracted both foreigners and Spaniards, who come here in search of a holiday of relaxation and fun, with a wide choice of services and attractions.

Despite the advent in the years of mass tourism, along the Costa del Sol there are towns and small villages that have managed to keep within themselves a picturesque and traditional spirit. It is these more intimate views that alternate with the presence of shops, hotels and restaurants with an international and commercial flavor.

At the heart of the Costa del Sol is the town of Malaga; the part that develops to the left of the city is called Costa del Sol Orientale, which is slightly less cosmopolitan than the western part. It is precisely on this last stretch of coast that the most famous nightclubs are found, a reference point for many boys and girls who come here in search of fun.

However, the Costa del Sol is not just sea: there are in fact many small, well-preserved villages that testify to the past of this land, once under Arab influence and later under Spanish rule.

Remember to taste the tasty and tasty cuisine of the coast; whether you are traveling as a couple, as a family or with a group of friends, the Costa del Sol it will not disappoint you.

Find out more about the Costa del Sol

Tarifa

Tarifa is a town not far from Cadiz, near the Strait of Gibraltar. At first glance it may seem like a small town, but it actually has a lot to offer!

Just think of the 10 kilometers of white beach that follow one another, without interruptions, offering breathtaking scenery, making it the ideal destination for a holiday of sun and sea. For lovers of dolphins and whales, this is the place to go on a boat trip, hoping to spot these mammals.

The small Old Town it is a succession of alleys and bottlenecks overlooked by welcoming clubs and shops. Even if it is not very big, it will be easy to get lost in the small streets, and then suddenly find yourself on the beautiful central square.

Among the walking routes to follow, we recommend you to walk along Sancho IV el Bravo Street until ancient times church of San Matteo, and then get to Santa Maria Square e Miramar Square.

The town is a very popular destination for kitesurfers, so much so that many sportsmen come here from all over Europe. Even for those looking for a lively nightlife this is the ideal place, in fact there is no shortage of bars, clubs on the beach and discos.

Not far from Tarifa is the Los Alcornocales National Park, which can be a great destination for a day trip. Among the beaches, do not miss that of the north Dunes Valdevaqueros, you will feel like you are in a small desert overlooking the sea!

Find out more about Tarifa

Gibilterra

The little ones red bricks of the houses, the stalls of fish and chips and the hotels now dated from the 70s, are some of the elements that at first glance will catch your attention.

Gibraltar looks like a typicalSouthern England, overlooking the English Channel. This aspect certainly reflects its past at the center of the colonial interest of various nations, first of all England.

Gibraltar is just a rock, bare and naked, which juts out into the sea. Its strategic position, on the border between Europe and Africa, has influenced the mix of architecture, culture and traditions. The African influence, and in particular from Morocco, is felt strong, and differentiates Gibraltar from the rest of the other places along the coast, first of all Cadiz.

From a landscape point of view, Gibraltar is famous for being just an imposing one limestone ridge, 5 kilometers long which rises 426 meters high with cliffs overlooking the sea on the north and east sides. The site is a World Heritage Site and is the perfect place for day trips on foot.

Thanks to the military use of the outpost over the years, there are many caves and shelters on the promontory. Don't miss the Grotto of San Michele and the shelters that date back to the Second World War.

Among the monuments, visit the Sikorski Monument inspired by the Polish resistance, i pillars of Hercules and Royal plaque, commemorative of Queen Elizabeth II.

Find out more about Gibraltar

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