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The highlights of Andalucia

Did you know that Andalucia has the same surface as the whole of Portugal? No, well, how about the fact that it is twice the size of the Netherlands? So when it comes to highlights, we thought we would make it easy for you, since we don’t want you to have to trawl through pages and pages of information. We want to bring you an idea of some of the most beautiful places in Southern Spain.  Places to see when you are only here for a short break, 3 or 4 days.

We don’t want you to miss a thing! WHERE DO WE START?
Easy, without great cities! Chances are, you will fly into an airport in one of them. Seville: The capital of Andalucia!  Take a walking tour of this incredible city. See the Cathedral and Plaza de Espana and enjoy and evening drink on the roof top of the Hotel Dona Maria. Granada: Visit the Alhambra but buy tickets in advance here…Shop at the Alcaiceria Market, Relax at the opulent Arabian Baths (again, book in advance).  Take a tour for the best tapas in Granada. Cordoba: Visit the Great Mosque known as the Mezquita and then explore the streets surrounding this magnificent building with their colourful patios. Have lunch in the Juderia, the Jewish Quarter. 

Visit the Andalucía’s first gastro market, Mercado Victoria. Ronda: Soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful Spanish city, on the top of a mountain. Cross the Puente Nuevo, the magnificent bridge that links the old town with the new. Stroll through the gardens of the Mondragon Palace. Head to the Predicatorio restaurant for dinner for the best views in Ronda.  Or, take a tour of the numerous wineries, all within a 30 minute drive.

Traditional Andalusian Food: We thought we would share with you some of the best food to eat in Southern Spain.  Andalusian food culture has been influenced by decades of deprivation and also by the fact that homes did not have indoor ovens because it was and still is, too hot!  Today you can enjoy a rich variety of dishes. The Paella made of fish, seafood, meat – whatever is available, to be shared by everyone.  Gazpacho, a cold soup of ground vegetables, garlic and bread in a bse of freshly pickleyd and pureed tomatoes. Jamon Serrano, papanduas (cod fish cakes), pato con acitunas (ducks with olives), alboroinia (a vegetable stew) and of course fresh olives!  Music: Flamenco, especially the Rumbitas and Bulerias are popular among tourists. Also the Sevillana is quite known, as it’s the dance you usually see at ferias or Romerias.    

Nature: La Doñana Reservation Park, El Torcal, Sierra Subetica, Sierra Norte de Sevilla National Park…  Skiing: in the Sierra Nevada (only from December-February). Surfing: In Tarifa and the beaches and towns north of it. Golf: The Costa del Sol (from Nerja to Marbella to Sotogrande). White villages: Drive from Marbella to nearby Ojen, and then towards Monda, Guaro, Alozaina, Casarabonella and on. Nearby: Taking the ferry from Tarifa or Algeciras to Tangiers in Morocco.  And, definitely not inland Andalucía: the vibrating Costa del Sol. From the nightlife and shopping of Puerto Banus, to the bars and beaches of Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Benalmàdena, and of course calmer, splendid Nerja. 

Last but not least, that one highlight towering over all others: the Andalucian atmosphere. Laidback, and with the adage: ‘We work to live, not the other way around’.   

Call it a Spa for the mind.

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