Andalusia is a fascinating region of Southern Spain whose population is made up of people of diverse backgrounds; Moorish, Jewish, Catholics and Romani. Bathed in the Mediterranean sea and boasting an astounding number of daylight sunshine hours, the city provides its inhabitants with a festive and welcoming atmosphere. Its origins and location mean that this region a good mix of Eastern and Western culture, which can be seen and heard in its architecture, its gastronomy, its music… From Seville to Granada passing by Sierra Nevada, welcome to Andalusia!
We start our Andalusian journey with the region’s capital, the beautiful Seville. “Quien no ha visto Sevilla, no ha visto maravilla.” (extract from a traditional song) He who has not seen Seville, has not seen wonders. Like the entire region, the fourth city of Spain is packed with an incredible architectural heritage and you will be enchanted by the Plaza de España, la Plaza del Triunfo and the Real Alcazar palace (photos below). The list of these architectural jewels is quite impressive and the dynamic city has a great nightlife. In spring, you can discover the city from a different angle during the the Feria de Abril. Make the most of a forward-facing city that knows how to preserve its andalusian traditions and its legendary zest of life.
Next, we’ll take the route of Arcos de la Frontera, the village famed as being the first of the “Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos” (route of the white villages), that is made up of fifteen areas which surround El Torreón, a 1654m (5420ft) high summit. The white colour of these lime painted houses is typical of these charming little villages bordering this world renowned mountainside. Don’t forget to try the famous ajoblanco. This token dish of these white villages is a cold soup similar to the traditional gaspacho, but here it is mainly made up of bread, almonds and garlic.
Ronda is one of the oldest towns in Spain, established at 740m (2400ft) above sea level on a platform that has been naturally dug-out by the canyons of the River Guadalevin. The Puente Nuevo, constructed in the 18th century, allows a passage between the cliffs as well as a breathtaking landscape. It’s also here where you can visit the oldest arena in Spain, la Plaza de Toros. Constructed in 1785, what was once the birthplace of the bullfighting is now a bullfighting museum that you can visit, along with the Arabic baths, the palace of the Marquais in Salvatierra and other small treasures of Spanish heritage.
Andalusia is also miles and miles of coastline, and for lazing in the sun, Nerja is the perfect short stop. Situated to the South of the Costa del Sol, it is without a doubt one of the only seaside towns to have preserved its traditional architecture and escaped the lure of concrete blocks. Make the most of over 9 miles of beaches and tourist activities that Nerja has to offer (waterskiing, sailing, diving…) but don’t leave the town without having paid a visit to the famous caves and without having admired the horizon from the famous Balcón de Europa.
On the way to Granada, you must take a detour passing by the majestic Sierra Nevada, the highest mountain range in Europe after the Alps and the highest on the Iberian peninsula, most of it has been classed as a national park thanks to the richness of its plants and wildlife. You will fall in love with the Sierra Nevada and its rich landscapes.
Granada, capital of the last Muslim reign in the country, was constructed at the foot of the mountain range. Today, it is renowned all across Europe for its famous palace complex the Alhambra. This medieval Acropolis is a symbol of Islamic architecture where its gardens are praised worldwide for their beauty. The city is also scattered with many lookout points (miradors) which offer spectacular views over the surrounding Sierra Nevada, with other architectural wonders to be discovered.
Our tip: in order to make the most of the wonder of the Alhambra, we advise you to reserve your entrance tickets on their website and to bring a picnic (there are no restaurants inside).
We’re taking to the road again for our penultimate stop in the direction of the twin queens of Andalusia: Baeza and Ubeda. Both have benefited from the dynamic “golden age” of Spain and are rich in a very diverse heritage. You will be enchanted by their jewels of art and of architecture, symbols of the grandeur of the Andalusian Renaissance in the 16th century. Today classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, they are really an unmissable visit in order to fully discover Andalusia.
Anecdote from the team: don’t set off home without your bottle of local olive oil, product of the surrounding olive groves and réputée renowned in the region.
Our Andalusian adventure finishes in Cordoba. Known for its famous Mezquita or Mosque-Cathedral, Cordoba is also classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its monuments and history. The Mezquita is of course the main tourist attraction but there are other discoveries to be made in the city’s streets, like the Juderia quarter or the Médina Azahara.
Our piece of advice: benefit from a discount at the Hammam Al Andalus when you show your entry ticket to the Mosque-Cathedral.
To help you better organise your Andalusian escape, we advise you to use the services that Caramaps has to offer, which show you the service areas near to you. If you decide to take to the roads of the Southern Iberian Peninsula, or if you have already visited the region, don’t hesitate to share you logbooks, photos and travel stories on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
Have we sparked your interest to take to the road? Then don’t wait any longer and find your ideal travel buddy with motorhome or campervan hire in Spain with Yescapa.
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