Highlights of Andalusia, Spain’s Most Spectacular Region

Posted on 14. Dec, 2011 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, Spain

Back in 2009, I spent a fair amount of time touring through the highlights of Andalusia, one of the most stunning European regions I have had the chance to visit. The landscapes, the beaches, the tapas, the people… it was nothing short of amazing! What were my favorite places, you wonder? Read on.

Sierra Nuevas

  • Torremolinos beach. Very close to Malagà, without the enormous crowds. Even in May, the sea was very warm and enjoyable… I can imagine how refreshing it must be in the summer!
  • Ronda. This village is absolutely worth the detour, for two reasons. First, the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain, Plaza de Toros. Quite an impressive building! And second, the stunning views from the 120 meters bridge, Puente Nuevo, over the Andalusian mountains. Do wander on both sides of the bridge to take in the different vantage points.

One point to keep in mind is the sinuous, steep roads in the Sierra Nuevas mountains. Make sure to carry some motion sickness tablets with you as the journey will challenge even the bravest ones. If you are not dizzy from the pills, do take some time to get out the car to enjoy the many paradors and the spectacular scenery.

Gibraltar

  • Gibraltar. Not technically a part of Andalusia, but very much worth a visit. Once you cross the border (which is an airplane tarmac), make your way up to Europa Point, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. You can even catch a glimpse of Morocco on clear days! And of course, a visit to Gibraltar wouldn’t be the same without a stop to its most famous attractions, the macaques park!
  • Cadiz. Often forgotten Mostly known for its quirky and hugely popular carnival, Cadiz also has an important place in Spanish history due to its geographical position: it’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of Europe, and also a port of departure of Christopher Colombus.
Andalusia wouldn’t be the same without its Moorish heritage, both in its culture and architecture. Make sure you dedicate some time to explore its many influences!

Plaza del Triunfo, Cordobà

  • Cordobà. Home to the 3rd largest mosque in Europe, the famous Mezquita, Plaza del Triunfo will certainly make you feel like you are in a remote Maghreb village rather than Southern Spain. I especially loved the Festival de Patios, held every May, that’s basically an open invitation to explore the most beautiful, private patios and gardens of the city.
  • Granada. My ultimate favorite. From the free tapas (!!!) to the striking Alhambra, the Sacro Montes and its Albayzìn to the lively souks and the beautiful Plaza Bib-Rambla. The city is effervescent to say the least and boasts an excellent nightlife, true to authentic Spanish traditions, whether you opt for a shots bar, flamenco in a cave or a tapas crawl.
highlights of andalusia, grenada

Plaza Bib-Rambla, Grenada

Have you been to Andalusia? What are your highlights of Andalusia? Any recommendations?

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6 Responses to “Highlights of Andalusia, Spain’s Most Spectacular Region”

  1. fotoeins | Henry

    14. Dec, 2011

    After having visited Granada and Sevilla (all too briefly), I entertain dreams of going back and spending a couple of weeks in Andalucía! Thanks for your post and for bringing back some of my own memories, Marie-Eve!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      19. Dec, 2011

      You’re welcome! It’s such a great, beautiful place. And yummy tapas!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Abby

    16. Dec, 2011

    Ohhhh, this post went straight to my heart! Years after studying abroad in Granada, I took an amazing road trip with a friend through some of these areas. I also went to the carnival in Cadiz when I was so young… Did you make it to Miami-like Marbella? Chill Nerja? I love that part of the world!

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      19. Dec, 2011

      I haven’t had the chance to make it to Marbella, but I’ve heard great things about it. Definitely next time :-)

      Reply to this comment
  3. Christine

    16. Dec, 2011

    Great post on my region! After 2 years, I still have so much to explore.

    Reply to this comment

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