Andalucia Region

A brief guide to the beautiful Andalucia region of Spain


The Andalucia region is very well known outside of Spain, many a time its cities Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla and its culture flamenco, bullfighting and fiestas have been identified with the image that is Spain.  I am not surprised as it is a region with a very strong personality that has enchanted travelers throughout the world.  Undoubtedly, the strong presence of the legacy of Arab rule (about 800 years) has given a unique character to its towns and cities mainly to the three most famous Andalusian cities and theirandalucia-mezquita-de-cordoba monuments:  the Alhambra in Granada, la Mezquita (Mosque) in Córdoba and la Giralda in Sevilla.  But make no mistake Andalucía is deeply Catholic, as shown by the beautiful Cathedrals of Seville, Granada and Cádiz.  Some manifestations of popular religiosity have strong appeal, as the Holy Week in Sevilla or the pilgrimage of El Rocío in Huelva.

From Andalucía sailed the ships that discovered the Americas, Palos de Moguer, Huelva and from Andalucía came the two capitals which ruled the Spanish American Empire:  first Seville and later Cádiz.  Both of these cities offer numerous examples of greatness from their past particularly Seville full of palaces, churches and convents.

Travelers are always enchanted by the towns of Andalucía, pueblos blancos (white towns), cheerful, with flowers in the windows and courtyards.  Towns like Mojácar and Níjar in Almería and Arcos de la Frontera in Cádiz.  Mountain towns like Cazorla in Jaén, Ronda in Málaga and the Alpujarras in Granada and Almería as well as fishing towns like Sanlúcar in Cádiz or Marbella in Málaga.  Marbella, the capital andalucia-view-of-rondaof the Costa del Sol, is known around the world as an elite destination for jet setter.  Anyone seeking quiet beaches should opt for those of the Atlantic Ocean in Huelva or Cádiz or for the secluded beaches of the Parque Natural del Cabo de Gata in Almeria.

The jewel of Spanish and European nature is in Andalucía, el Parque Nacional de Doñana in Huelva, a treasure visited in winter time by hundreds of thousands of very peculiar tourists, birds migrating from Northern Europe in search of milder climates.  Here you will also find the last of the lynx species that survive in Spain.  Doñana is a National park located along the coast while another very important national park lies in the mountains of Granada, the Sierra Nevada, one of the most important ski areas in Spain.

The variety of landscapes in Andalucia region is astonishing from the desserts in Almería, to the pine forests of Cádiz, the endless olive groves in Jaén, Sevilla and Cordoba and the highest mountains of the Peninsula in Granada.  Let’s not forget the ocean in Huelva, Cádiz, Málaga, Granada and Almería.

We must not forget the Andalusian cuisine, no need to go on and on about it suffice is to mention the succulent Jamón de Jabugo, the rich olive oil and the Sherries from Jerez.  Olé!


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