• A look at Andalucia’s best destinations: the true essence of Spain

    A look at Andalucia’s best destinations: the true essence of Spain

    Spain’s most southern region is brimming with beauty, stunning beaches (800 kilometres worth!) and heaps of culture. In fact, a holiday to Andalucia will have you in the deepest depths of Spain, where you can discover the country’s most authentic self. It might be the sunny weather, the traditional tapas, or the fascinating historical touches that will have you enthralled… but one thing is for sure. Andalucia is a place you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with!

    The region is huge, so you’ll never run out of places to visit. Whether you’re lapping up the waves in Malaga’s top beach resorts or admiring the enchanting Alhambra in Granada… the list is never ending in Andalucia.

    Hit the beach in Malaga

    Why we love Malaga: offering a mixture of old and new, city life and beaches, Malaga has the perfect holiday blend.

    Don’t miss: Gibralfaro – a historical castle in ruins, complemented by epic views of Malaga.

    The city

    The province of Malaga is full of stylish beach resorts, picturesque whitewashed villages and of course its bustling centre. Malaga’s city centre is home to buzzing squares (Plaza de la Merced and Plaza de la Constitucion), cosy eateries and historical sights. Make sure you check out the Alcazaba (a Moorish palace) and Gibralfaro, a hilltop castle which boasts some of the most stunning views of the city.

    view of Malaga city

    Image by Tabea Damm | Unsplash

    Aside from that, Malaga’s centre is also home to an exciting art scene. Not only will some of the tallest buildings also be a canvas for street art, but you’ll have a great range of museums to check out too. Centre Pompidou has a collection of modern artwork, but one of the highlights has to be the duo of Picasso museums. Born in Malaga, Picasso’s former home is open to visitors displaying some of his most famous masterpieces, as well as another museum showing off even more of his collections. Plus, don’t miss the Carmen Thyssen Museum which specialises in 19th-century Andalucian art.

    The beaches

    The city centre also boasts an urban beach, La Malagueta, where you can take a break away from the hustle and bustle and just lounge and laze the day away instead. It’s not called the Costa del Sol for no reason! Malaga is also home to top beach holiday hotspots including Benalmadena and Torremollinos, both of which are very popular among families. Plus, partygoers will love Marbella for its beach bars, the touch of exclusivity and exciting nightlife. During your holiday in Malaga, make sure to visit Nerja for an even more exciting beach experience. Nerja’s Playa Burriana is especially good for watersports. We recommend trying out kayaking and discovering the stunning backdrop of Maro Waterfall…

    Malagueta beach

    Image by Joel Casey | Unsplash

    The whitewashed villages

    Perhaps you see yourself exploring the narrow alleys and cobblestone streets of Malaga’s beautiful white villages? Traditionally called pueblos blancos, during a visit to these beauties, you can get a dose of authentic Spain. Our favourites include Mijas (to the west of the city) which takes you high into the mountains and overlooks the sea. We also love Frigiliana! Expect steep and narrow streets, but with quaint shops and all the charm you can possibly imagine. Make sure you stop off at a café for Frigiliana’s famous miel de caña (molasses) which is drizzled on eggplants, fritters and more.

    view of white village of Frigiliana

    Image by Hyosun Rosy Ko | Unsplash

    Experience Spanish culture in Seville

    Why we love Seville: the iconic sights reel us in, but the cultural experiences keep us wanting more.

    Don’t miss: a traditional flamenco show.

    The sights

    Seville is the capital of Andalucia and this big city is jam-packed full of great things to see and do. Get started with a trip to all of Seville’s best sights, including the Royal Alcazar of Seville, a stunning Moorish palace filled with intricate details and design. Plaza de Espana is also a must-see, boasting a range of styles including Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival. This is undoubtedly a breath-taking spot and instagram-worthy. Your trip to Seville means you’ll almost definitely encounter the massive Catedral de Sevilla – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The outside of it will have you in amazement, but if you have a peek inside too, you won’t be disappointed.

    couples on boats in plaza de espana

    Image by Shai Pal | Unsplash

    The flamenco

    Seville is also known for being the home of Spanish flamenco. Once you’ve found a place (there are many to find flamenco performances, including Casa de Flamenco and Los Gallos), get prepared for a show packed full of passion, energy and rhythm. The hypnotic dancing, the flair of the beautiful dresses, the hum of singing voices and the sound of castenets each play a part in creating an unforgettable performance.

    woman dancing flamenco in plaza de espana

    Image by V2F | Unsplash

    The fiestas

    On top of that, Seville sure knows how to party! If you really want to experience the best of Spanish culture, make sure you head to Seville during one of the city’s main celebrations of the year. Feria de Abril is one of our favourites… It takes place a couple of weeks before Semana Santa (Easter Holy week) and the celebrations are massive. Expect over 1000 casetas (private party tents) filled with delicious food, sherry by the bucket loads, lively music and of course, flamenco. There’ll be plenty going on to keep you entertained, so trust us when we say, it’s not one to be missed!

    table of small plates and drinks

    Image by Evelyn Semenyuk | Unsplash

    Uncover traces of the past in Granada

    Why we love Granada: the stunning views and sights make Granada a must-visit.

    Don’t miss: the beautiful Alhambra for its fascinating and detailed interior.

    The historical gems

    Granada offers visitors a small city feel, with a big emphasis on the past. There are loads of sights to see, including the Royal Chapel of Granada. The burial place for the Spanish Catholic monarchs, Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand, the chapel offers an audio guide so you can learn even more about Spain’s intriguing history. On top of that, you can explore the Catedral de Granada which has interesting art features inside, as well as a magnificent presence outside. Like many of the cathedrals in Andalucia, the Granada Cathedral was once a mosque which was then converted during the conquest of Granada.

    exterior of Granada Cathedral

    Image by Sergio Rota | Unsplash

    A trip to Granada also warrants a trip to Palacio de Generalife which was once home to the Nasrid rulers. Fall in love with the natural surroundings, the beautiful views and the picturesque fountains and gardens.

    The highlight

    After a visit here, you’ll be prepped and primed to witness the spectacular Alhambra. Often considered the highlight to any Granada holiday, the Alhambra is in a league of its own! Situated on a hilltop, there are gorgeous views all around the Moorish complex. Once you enter the Alhambra, the charm and character will simply take your breath away. Trace the walls and admire the intricate detail of each pattern on the surface. And spot the well-placed windows which look out towards the mountains. Exploring the Alhambra may take a while (it is huge!) but it is well-worth pencilling out a day in your calendar.

    family inside the Alhambra

    Image by Hari Nandakumar | Unsplash

    Has Andalucia caught your eye? Well it was bound to! With so many experiences on offer in this Spanish region, you won’t regret visiting.

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