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What to See and Where to Go: Granada, Malaga, Cadiz and Huelva

The coastal area of Andalucía holds numerous man-made and natural attractions. Apparent in the structures, art, and culture of the region, are the fusion of Catholic and Islamic elements, as well as influences of African and European migration, which shaped the region over the centuries. Let us go around the provinces of Granada, Malaga, Cadiz and Huelva to see the best spectacles that the region has to offer.

Granada

The town of Granada was the last stronghold of the Moors when Catholicism dominated Spain. A melting pot of culture, it is filled with spots to rave about.

The Alhambra just happens to be the crème of the crop. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it used to be where Moorish royalty resided. Apart from the majestic walls and towers, it also has landscaped grounds and the Generalife gardens that will transport you to a romantic era of patios, fountains, and terraces.

The Alhambra in Granada

Image:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Vista_de_la_Alhambra.jpg

Albaicin is another must-see in Granada which is also a UNESCO Listed World Heritage Site. A hillside Arab quarter with labyrinth alleys and whitewashed houses, it overlooks a magnificent view of Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada mountains. You can also catch the Church of San Salvador, San Nicolas and the Baños Arabes in the neighbourhood.

Albaicin in Granada

Image:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2f/El_Albayz%C3%ADn_panorama_%282010%29.jpg

To fully experience Granada, pay a visit to the hilltop Gypsy village of Sacromonte, and marvel its vibrant houses. The Sacromonte caves serve as shelter to Gypsies and artists to this day and is also the stage for authentic flamenco performances. During Semana Santa, the Cristo de los Gitanos procession also takes place in Sacromonte. Definitely worth seeing, should you find yourself in the area during Lent.

Sacromonte Cave Houses

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Cuevas_of_Sacromonte_GM.JPG

If you want to take a break from culture and art, you can also check the Parque de las Ciencias. Be warned though, that it is bound to get crowded and noisy with students.

Parque de las Ciencias

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/ParqueCiencias_Macroscopio.jpg

Malaga

Veering away from the usual fanfare of palaces in the region, boasting a lengthy coastline, Malaga is host to some of the best beaches in the region, Playa El Cañuelo is just one of which. A secluded cove with pebbles and sand, you’ll need to trek to get to its crystal clear waters.

Playa El Cañuelo

Image: http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/750333.jpg

Malaga has the most museums in the whole of Andalucía, which spans varying subjects as cars, wine, art, and much more. The Picasso Museum can be found here and is one of the most popular spots in the area. Housing a collection of Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece throughout his life, the museum is the birthplace of the world-famous artist.

The Picasso Museum

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/MuseoPicassoMalaga.jpg

With the dramatic views of the Puente Nueva and El Tajo Gorge, Ronda is a town in Malaga that you simply cannot miss. Reflecting the warm light of the sunset, it is truly marvellous to see this fine union of the natural and the man-made. At one end of the bridge is the La Ciudad with cobblestone streets and ornate houses.

Ronda, Malaga

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Bullfighting is quite big in Ronda with its Plaza de toros. They celebrate the Feria Goyesca annually, which is a week of festivities, through a parade and a bullfight with participants dressed up in 18th-century fashion.

Plaza de Toros in Malaga

Image:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5d/Plaza_de_toros_de_La_Malagueta,_Malaga,_North_view_20090412_1.jpg

Cadiz

The southmost area of Andalucía, Cadiz features beautiful beaches, including Bolonia Beach, which is known as the best beach in the region. If not beaches, lovely coastal cities showcasing Mediterranean seafronts are available, ideal for an afternoon or evening stroll. Parque Genoves is one of the most exquisite seafront landmarks which shelters a variety of plant species.

Parque Genoves, Cadiz

Image: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/PE-4ccW0_gM/maxresdefault.jpg

Catedral Nueva is a massive monument built in the 18th century that should be explored when in Cadiz. It features a collection of olden Catholic artifacts and treasures, as well as the tomb of Manuel de Falla, a well-respected composer from Cadiz, and several bishops. Next to it is the Old Cathedral, (also worth visiting), that is filled with works of arts.

Catedral Nueva, Cadiz

Image:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Catedral_de_C%C3%A1diz%2C_Espa%C3%B1a%2C_2015-12-08%2C_DD_56.JPG

The Cadiz Carnival is one of the best festivals to catch in Andalucía seven weeks before Easter Sunday. A religious holiday, it involves festivities, with locals and tourists dressed up in costumes, joining parades, and street parties with music, dancing, and a Carnival Queen pageant.

Cadiz Carnival

Image: http://strippedbacktravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/carnival-cadiz-float.jpg

Sherry Tasting is one activity you can do when in Cadiz. Tours uniquely for sherry tasting are being done between Jerez and Cadiz. The tour includes trips to sherry bodegas / cellars tasting their best sherries, and end with a seafood and sherry lunch.

Sherry Tasting tours

Image: http://0.tqn.com/d/gospain/1/S/G/q/-/-/sherry-tasting-jerez.JPG

Huelva

Huelva lost much of its historic structures in a destructive earthquake back in 1755 but retained its non-architectural appeal.

Best known as the departure point of Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World – or what is now America, one of the must-see spots of Huelva is the Columbus Trail. Here, travellers revisit history by going on the trail which Columbus took when he stayed in Huelva prior sailing to America.

Columbus Trail

Image: http://www.4fashion.ro/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/huelva-8488-1024×681.jpg

Doñana National Park is a well-preserved natural sanctuary for numerous plant and animal life. A UNESCO heritage site, several species, some rare ones, may be seen here like the Iberian Lynx, Purple Heron, and Spanish Imperial Eagle. Geologists have even hypothesized that this area is likely to be the site of Atlantis.

Wetlands in Doñana National Park

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Wetlands_in_Donana.jpg

Matalascañas is a beach surrounded by the Doñana National Park, where the ancient upside down tower can be found. A concentrated area of the beach has cafes and restaurants, and during the summer, people gather around chiringuitos in the area where they drink and get merry, experiencing the nightlife.

Upside Down Tower, Matalascañas

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/Tapon_de_Matalasca%C3%B1as.jpg

That wraps up the tour of the best spots and activities to take part in on the seaside provinces of Andalucia, namely: Granada, Malaga, Cadiz, and Huelva. Exploring these will positively make your Andalucía trip truly memorable, and those photos social media worthy.

What to See and Where to Go: Seville, Cordoba, Jaen, and Almeria

The intertwining of Christian and Islamic influences of Andalucía, coupled with its strategic location as a gateway to Europe and Africa accounts for the rich culture evident in the architecture, cuisine, traditions, and art of the region. Here, we go through the top attractions in the Spanish region of Andalucía. For the first part, we go through the best sights in the busy cities of Seville and Cordoba; and the laid back and quaint towns of Jaen and Almeria.

Seville

When in Seville, one will never run out of majestic sights to visit.

One of which is a colossal gothic architecture, the Seville Cathedral. This dates as far back as the 15th century, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Seville Cathedral

Image:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/46/Seville_Cathedral_(6931812488).jpg

Real Alcazar is another opulent structure to see, historically a sanctuary for rulers, it is still being used as residence occasionally by the Spanish Royal Family.

Alcazar of Seville

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Patio_de_las_doncellas.jpg

Barrio Santa Cruz is a community that used to be a Jewish settlement. It is situated between Seville Cathedral and Real Alcazar, with cobbled alleys, charming houses, and quaint bars and cafes. Two museums can also be found in the neighbourhood, also worth a visit.

Barrio Santa Cruz

Image: https://kanwalkwilltravel.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/barrio-de-santa-cruz-3.jpg

A grandiose attraction with fairy tale appeal, Parque de Maria Luisa is a public park with its grounds covered in lush greenery. A romantic place to walk around, take a boat-ride or ride a carriage, to just marvel in its natural and man-made beauty.

Parque de Maria Luisa

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Parque_de_Maria_Luisa,_Sevilla.jpg

A visit to the Museo del Baile Flamenco Sevilla will bring you to a cultural immersion as you witness an important aspect of Andalucían lifestyle through the art of flamenco dancing. You can reserve tickets to a show or if you want to truly experience the culture, maybe book a dance course.

Museo del Baile Flamenco Sevilla

Image:http://enjoyssevilla.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/museo-del-baile-flamenco.jpg

One activity you’d want to see in the streets of Seville is the Semana Santa or the Holy Week. From Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday the streets are closed from traffic as processions portraying the passion of Christ takes place. Solemn activities commemorate the days prior to Christ’s crucifixion and the suffering of the Virgin Mary. Nazarenos parade the streets wearing robes and cone shaped head gear seeking forgiveness for their sins. Quite a display of religiosity, this is one of the things you must witness once in Seville.

Cordoba

The city of Cordoba is just as rich in grand attractions to feast your eyes on.

La Mezquita or the Great Mosque is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the 8th century. Originally an Islamic edifice, it was converted to a cathedral by Catholic rulers, which created a somewhat confusing but oddly enchanting aesthetic. Nearby, and walking distance to the Mezquita, is the Callejon de las Flores, with narrow cobblestone streets decorated with flowers in bright colours.

La Mezquita

Image:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Mezquita_de_C%C3%B3rdoba_desde_el_aire_%28C%C3%B3rdoba%2C_Espa%C3%B1a%29.jpg

Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos is another hybrid of Moorish and Christian architecture, with a morbid history that involved execution of Christian Martyrs in one of its squares and served as a prison.

Alcazar of Cordoba

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/Jardin_alcazar_cordoue.jpg

The Puente Romano crosses the Guadalquivir River, and is a remnant of the ancient Romans, renovated numerous times, including one substantial makeover during the Moorish rule. Given the long history of immigration this bridge has seen, it is truly a pleasant spectacle. At one end of the Puente Romano, you will see the Torre de la Calahorra, a gate originally built to defend the city from attacks.

Puente Romano / Roman Bridge

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/01/Puente_Romano_Cordoba.jpg

If you want to see more art in Cordoba, you can drop by the Museo de Bellas Artes. It was founded in 1844, and now a Cultural Heritage Monument, and houses a substantial collection of Spanish artwork from the 15th century to more contemporary ones.

Museo de Bellas Artes

Image:http://www.artencordoba.com/museos/FOTOS/MUSEO_BELLAS_ARTES/MUSEO_BELLAS_ARTES_CORDOBA_14.jpg

Jaen

Dubbed as a hidden gem, Jaen is more laid-back and is not much of a tourist staple, perfect if you want to get away from the crowd. The town is just as interesting as the rest with its share of wonderful spots to catch.

The Jaen Cathedral, an elegant Renaissance structure that stands tall in the town is one spot to drop by when in the vicinity.

Image: http://static.thousandwonders.net/Ja%C3%A9n.Cathedral.original.31474.jpg

The Castillo de Santa Catalina is a castle atop a hill with an impressive view overlooking the city of Jaen, built in the 8th century by the Moors, and has undergone continuous transformation through the centuries.

Castillo de Santa Catalina

Image:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/53/Castillo_de_Ja%C3%A9n_III.jpg

Another interesting thing to do when in Jaen is to visit one of the many olive plantations. Known as the “World Capital of Olive Oil,” there’s more than 60 million olive trees in Jaen producing the world renown liquid gold. Go on an olive oil tasting quest. There are also some events dedicated to Olive Oil that you can catch.

Olive Plantation in Jaen

Image: http://www.u3amoraira-teulada.org/wp-content/uploads/Jaen-Olive-Trees.jpg

Ancient Roman Baths, turned into Arab Baths, are also well kept in Jaen’s Villadompardo Palace, and are worth a visit.

Arab Baths in Jaen

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Almeria

The east-most city of Almeria likewise, exudes a silent elegance. With mostly rocky and dry terrain, Almeria maintained its natural beauty, with its beaches and is the sunniest, warmest area in the region.

Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park is the south-easternmost spot of Almeria, a coastal spot that faces the Mediterranean Sea. It has hills, mountains, cliffs, immaculate beaches, and other picturesque spots worth witnessing scattered in a desert climate backdrop. The area features volcanic rock formations, flamingo-filled areas, peaceful Spanish pueblos and tranquil coves and beaches, perfect for frolicking during the summer days.

Cabo de Gata, Almeria

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Playa-de-monsul.jpg

You can also find in Jaen the La Alcazaba, originally built as a military walled fortress. As with other buildings in Andalucía, it started as an Arab fort which, after centuries, was renovated by Catholic monarchs.

Alcazaba of Almeria

Image:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/Alcazaba_de_Almer%C3%ADa.jpg

A sequel to this top attractions article is also available, featuring the best places to go to in the coastal cities of Granada, Malaga, Cadiz and Huelva.

Explore the Beaches of Andalucía this Summer!

Going to the beach has to be the quintessential idea of what a vacation should look like. Relax, refill on your sun-supplied vitamin D, eat some fresh seafood, or even catch a wave and surf in the many coastlines at the Southern portion of Andalucía. I’ll be listing some of the beaches recommended for you to visit, should you find yourself in the middle of a Mediterranean summer, itching to get some dose of vitamin sea in Andalucía. Provided are beaches that cater to different interests so there should be something here for everyone.

Andalucían Waters

Image:https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5977193087/in/photolist-a7bFge-a7eyDU-eaRZVq-dWVFPc-dWVFCr-efyU4k-ddrUJa-7MHiky-e99ojE-dX2kCY-dX2iSf-dWVENH-dX2jU3-dWVGDK-dWVF1D-dX2kMh-dWVDWH-dWVGoM-dX2mto-dWVDND-dX2jM7-dWVEKa-dX2kkJ-dWVFtr-dX2kw5-dWVFVa-dWVDS8-dWVGw6-dWVEdB-dX2iJ9-dX2j45-dWVHh2-dWVEDD-dX2mAW-dX2m9L-dWVDAV-dX2nsN-7C4ccc-bNRwNV-7C51pT-etwQHk-etAqQh-etAVfu-etAX45-etAD53-etAtYm-etAJqu-etzUHw-etxyY4-etwEZi-etAPFA 

Bolonia Beach

Revered as the best beach in the whole of Andalucía, found in the Costa de la Luz, 25 km North of Tarifa and off the beaten track, you can reach Bolonia by going through a dusty, rough road. Once you’ve reached your destination, it will be worth the effort, dust, and dirt of getting there. Bolonia’s fine golden sand beach and clear waters is a sight to behold. The beach forms a long curve with the south part with waves big enough for surfers to ride, while the middle area is lined with lounge chairs and sunbeds, perfect for sunbathing and dipping in the waters. It also has beach restaurants, should you find yourself craving seafood and cold refreshments. You’ll also see the stunning ruins of Baelo Claudio within the vicinity, and step back in time to when Romans walked the same earth, which is just as equally scenic as the beach nearby.

Bolonia Beach

Image: https://www.ruralidays.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/bolonia-tarifa.jpg

La Herradura

La Herradura, a horse-shoe shaped bay in Costa Tropical, is the perfect place for families who have members with different interests. Adventure seeking father-son duo who’d love to do water sports? Check – windsurfing, among many other water activities that attract crowds to this place. Moms who’d love to taste all the delectable cuisine this side of Andalucía? With restaurants and bars surrounding La Herradura, you’ll never run out of dining options. For the marine-life loving daughter, there’s a snorkelling site in the area to marvel at all the life forms underwater, or even try scuba diving for a more immersive (literally) experience. Children’s parks and play areas are also present for the young ones. Bathrooms and showers are spread all over the beaches; there’s something for everyone at La Herradura.

Playa El Cañuelo

Dubbed as Costa Del Sol’s best beach, Playa El Cañuelo is an off-the-beaten-path, secluded cove with rocky shingles, and sands a little bit on the rough and pebbly side. You will need to walk a good 1.5 kilometres to get to Playa El Cañuelo. The trek will be well worth it, as the crystal clear waters will greet you, inviting you to take a dip. It’s ideal for snorkelling, with schools of fishes crowding onto you the moment you step into the water. Given the remote location of Playa El Cañuelo, it is highly advisable to bring your own packed food and drinks, though there is a beach bar in the area. Just remember to pick up after the food and bottles you bring. Remember, as travellers, we only leave footprints.

Playa de Cantarrijan

For those nature loving folks who are inclined to the hippie and au naturalle lifestyle, Playa de Cantarrijan is the place to be. This is the kind of place you only hear stories about, and you will find yourself curious about visiting, even if you’re not necessarily the hippie type. Playa de Cantarrijan is Costa Del Sol’s prime nudist beach, neighbouring La Herradura. The beach may be distinguished by two segments, the first one being the more sedated area, and the second completely nudist. Separated by a large rock from the rest of the beaches, Cantarrijan Beach is the perfect sunbathing heaven with its beach comprising of a mix of sand and pebbles, and calm waters. With its reputation as a naturalist beach, artificial installations like sunbeds, umbrellas and tables are available in the beach to keep you comfortable, so no need to worry about sitting naked in the pebbles. Despite all the buzz that surrounds Playa de Cantarrijan for being nudist, one must remember how picturesque the area is.

Playa de Cantarrijan

Image: http://img.actualidadviajes.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/cantarrijan.jpg

Matalascañas

Matalascañas is a beach in Huelva and is surrounded by Doñana National Park. It is also the site of an ancient and historic upside down tower that dates back to the 16th century, built as a defense tower by Phillip II. There are also sand dunes nearby Matalascañas. Its beach is roughly 7 kilometres long with fine white sand. East and west of Matalascañas are deserted beaches, while a portion of it is urbanized with high-rise buildings, hotels, cafes and restaurants nearby with amenities like showers, deck chairs, and sunbeds. During the summer, Matalascañas is filled to the brim with chiringuitos, the local term for beach bars, and crowds of young people who gather around the area for the loud music and night life.

Matalascañas

Image: https://cdns3.eltiempo.es/eltiempo/playas/new/images/ply231_imgMatalascanas1.jpg

Experience the Andalucían Lifestyle with Class

Vacations are meant to be enjoyed and spent to the fullest, and that is why sometimes splurging on trips is the best way to go to give yourself a reward for working your butt off all year. Sometimes planning your trip can create so much fuss, so we have created this resource so you can enjoy the fuss-free Andalucía experience that you truly deserve.

Getting There and Going Around

Air

Chartered flights are available to you if you want to avoid the stressful queues in airport check-ins. Air Charter International offers chartered flights to and from almost any part of the world. Depending on the distance, planes and helicopters are available to get you from one place to another minus the fuss.

If you’re looking for comfort, but something slightly less pricey than chartered flights, book first class or business class from any of your favourite airlines for a flight experience that is comfortable, it’s just like being at home.

Land

If enjoying the magnificent European and Andalucían scenery is your style, you can join the Luxury Train Club and access their fleet of luxury trains that run through a big part of the rails around the world, which are able to bring you to Spain; specifically Andalucía.

Al Andalus is the exclusive train provider that runs through Spain which provides a few itineraries that can run for a couple days throughout Spain. The Al Andalus has air-conditioned sleeper carriages, lounge, and dining cars that serve fully catered meals. The train provides wi-fi connectivity and lavish accommodations, as well, that measure up to hotels’ standards. The trains also stop by cities to experience its offerings in terms of dining, attractions, and entertainment.

Al Andalus Luxury Train

Image: http://www.worldtraintravel.com/images/trains/ratios/original/1024/101370599777Al%20Andalus%20Standard%20suite%20day.jpg

If you find luxury train itineraries restricting, you also have the option to drive by yourself with a Luxury Car Rental or a Chauffeured Car Rental. AutoEurope provides car rental services starting at €200 with the best brand luxury and exotic cars. There is also the option to get a chauffeur for an additional fee, to bring you to all the amazing attractions of the region.

Water

Cruises are also available given the expanse of Andalucía’s coastlines. Saga Travel, Iglu Cruise and the Luxury Cruise Company offers cross-country cruises that can bring you to Andalucía. There are also cruises that tour the different provinces in Andalucía’s coastline and navigate the Guadalaviquir river. Prices go as low as €1000 depending on the number of nights, and countries or cities to visit.

Cruising to Andalucia

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Accommodation

Andalucía evokes a magnificent feeling with its grandiose attractions, but you can definitely take it a step further by getting the poshest accommodation. Andalucía is brimming with luxury options to be your refuge.

For about €400 per night, Malaga’s Finca Cortesin Hotel, with its amazing views of the Mediterranean and the countryside, as well as access to the beach club, will be your home away from home. Palm trees, emerald-tiled pools, golf course, spa, and suites with high ceilings, (some of which even have their own mini-pool inside), are some of the amenities they provide. Living here is truly the lap of luxury.

Adjacent to the dramatic landscapes of Ronda is Molino del Santo Hotel with its rustic charm, which feels like a secret sanctuary. Truly exclusive, it only has 18 suites, with views of the limestone hills and river, with a pool and a restaurant that serves top-notch Spanish and International cuisine.

If you’d rather have a full house, you can check this modern Airbnb property in the middle of Seville that goes for €250 a night that can house up to 12 guests.

An 18th century palace in Cadiz is also available in Airbnb for roughly €400 a night.

18th Century Palace, Cadiz.

Image: https://a2.muscache.com/im/pictures/57043847/6309973e_original.jpg

If a seaside villa is more your style, you can opt for this Airbnb stunner in Cadiz with views of the sea. It’s a white washed stone villa with a pool overlooking the Atlantic sea and it looks like paradise.

Food and Drinks

Food is one of the best things to splurge on and going on a gastronomic adventure in Andalucía is something worth enjoying with its many bistros and cafes serving various cuisines.

Spanish Tapas

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Seville is teeming with some of the best restaurants. A few worth trying are Restaurant Abantal with Chef Julio Fernandez, La Azotea, and Eslava. When in Almeria, it is highly recommended to visit Casa Puga and La Mala. If you find yourself starving in Cadiz, Balandro and El Faro are two of the best restaurants out there. Cordoba’s Garum 2.1 and El Portillo Español are some of its best bistros. Should you walk the streets of Granada and crave something to eat, drop by Café Elvira and Bodegas Espadafor. Azabeche and Acanthum are two popular must-try restaurants in Huelvo. Jaen, likewise, has its crowd-favorite restaurants Juanito and Casa Antonio. Malaga also features a gastronomic spectacle with the city’s most famous food spots: El Pimpi, Cortejo de Pepe, and the bohemian attraction, Café con Libros.

With this expansive guide on what to do and how to travel Andalucía in style, you’ll never feel stressed arranging your trip. You won’t run out of ideas on what to do or where to dine once in Andalucía.

Explore and Enjoy Andalucía on a Budget

The thought of a vacation sometimes seems expensive. Between the plane tickets, hotel accommodations, food, and the attractions, the imaginary price tag that comes with a vacation piles up in your head. We created this guide to help you plan your trip accordingly, and give you tips and tricks on how you can make the most of your trip on a limited budget.

Getting There and Going Around

Air

If you want the straight forward travel style of planes, you might want to check Skyscanner, Expedia, or a travel deal site to scour for the cheapest flight tickets from your origin to Andalucía.

Within Andalucía, domestic flights are also relatively cheap which you can take if you’ll be traversing one province into another.

Land

However, if you are more interested in watching sceneries instead of clouds as you travel, then a train ride might be what you need. Andalucía’s rail system links to other European cities; it is an efficient way to get from one point to another, saving you accommodation money if you take night trains. Within Andalucía, there is also a vast rail system (the Spanish State Railways aka RENFE), which is quite economical, too.

RENFE trains in Andalucia

Image: http://bonbytes.eu/spa/spa_renfe_class598nr006_sdecompostela_2009_L.jpg

Buses are also an effective land travel arrangement, Alsa.es lets you book your trip ahead of time and provides a fare table you may use to budget your transportation money. Though not quite as fast as the first ones mentioned, buses are cheapest and the staple transportation system across Andalucía.

Alsa buses in Andalucía

Image: https://blog-assets.busbud.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Supra-interior-35-745×494.jpg

If you can drive, and if you have an international driver’s license, renting a car is an option. Motorists drive on the right-hand side, though take note that Seville and Granada tend to be congested, especially during rush hour. For car rental needs, EasyCar.Com and RentalCars.com rents cars for as low as €8 per day or around €120 per month.

Water

Ferry systems also link the Spanish Peninsula to Morocco, Algeria, Melilla, and the Canary Islands, among others. You can check Direct Ferries for the prices of ferry trips from Andalucía to neighbouring regions.

To determine your mode of transportation, it will be a debate over what you value better: time, money, comfort, or the journey.

Accommodation

If you want to save on accommodations, you might want to skip hotels and look for budget rentals. Agoda, Booking.com, Hostelworld and Airbnb will give you access to hostels for as low as €12 a night. Though not the most luxurious of accommodations, it has a clean bed to sleep in, a place to keep your belongings and a bathroom – most probably shared, to get you by for the length of your budgeted trip. Some of these even have a decent internet connection included.

You also have the option to try Couchsurfing and Workaway and maybe get accommodations entirely for free, in exchange for a few good conversations, over a bottle of beer or volunteer work.

Another option is to get a cheap full apartment which is priced at around €20 a night or €400 – 500 a month. While this might not be as cheap as the dormitory-type hostel accommodations, full apartments give you the convenience of cooking your own meals, thus saving you money on food.

Food and Drinks

Getting cooked meals in inexpensive restaurants can set you back €10 per meal; beer offered in pubs are priced around €2-2.50, and coffee costs about €1.60.

To really save on food, cooking it yourself is the way to go. Groceries and basic necessities are cheap in Andalucía. That one week’s worth of food will cost you between €20 – 50, which is way more economical than getting three €10 meals, which will equal €210 a week.

Supermarket in Ronda

Image: http://www.rondatoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/supermarkets-672×372.jpg

You can also drink some and party at a much cheaper rate if you buy your beer and wine from the grocery store instead of the pub.

Prices of basic foods you might need in a week are outlined below:

Milk – €0.77
Loaf of white bread – €0.92
1kg Rice – €0.94
A dozen eggs – €1.59
½ kg of chicken – €3.00
½ kg of beef – €5.00
½ kg potato – €0.44
½ kg tomato – €0.70
½ kg onion – €0.50
½ kg lettuce – €0.45
1.5 l bottled water – € 0.55
½ kg apples – €0.75
½ kg banana – €0.75
Local beer – €0.80
Imported beer – €1.16
Bottle of wine – €4.50

Things to Do

When it comes to things to do, there are lots of activities that you can partake in which does not charge fees, or if it does, will cost you minimally, for you to join in.

Walking tours in the town plazas, in the magnificent monuments and architectures that abound can fill your phone’s memory with photos of the most picturesque sights Andalucía has to offer.

Bike rental and tours

Image:http://sunshineandsiestas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Andalucia-Tours-and-Discovery-Bike-Rentals.jpg 

There are also bicycle and Segway tours if you are not fond of walking around. Bikes can be rented for €10 – 30 per day, depending on the type, brand, and specifications of the bike.

A day at the beach can also be enjoyed for a minimal cost by going to the non-exclusive beaches that surround the massive coastline of Andalucía. Bring along packed food and beverages and you’ll enjoy the refreshing beaches minus the cost of buying food from the juice bars and restaurants surrounding it. Or maybe you can spoil yourself and splurge a little on the freshest seafood.

By cooking your own meals, not getting a super fancy accommodation, not going crazy with the nightlife, and maximizing the public attractions all over Andalucía, you’ll have an unforgettable experience touring a parcel of the Spanish Peninsula at an estimated cost of about €30 a day, or even lower.

What You Need to Know About Andalucía

Planning to go to Andalucía for a vacation? You came to the right place for your resource on everything that you need to know as you plan your itinerary. Andalucía, an autonomous region on the southern coast of Spain, boasts of a culture so rich, no wonder you’re so captivated and now planning to spend a portion of your lifetime there. But first things first, how do you get there? How are the people there?

Getting to Andalucía

South of Spain, Andalucía can be reached by land, sea or air. How you specifically will be getting there is of course, dependent on where you will be coming from.

Air

If coming from a country disjointed from continental Europe, (or basically any place that will take more than a day through sea or land), and a long road trip or cruise is not within your luxury, then taking the plane towards Andalucía is your best bet. There are four domestic airports: Almeria, Cordoba, Granada, and Jerez de la Frontera which can take you from one point in Andalucía to another. Meanwhile, there are two international airports in Malaga and Seville which can serve as your entry point from other areas of the world.

Malaga Airport

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A1laga_Airport#/media/File:Malaga_aeropuerto.jpg

You can fly to any of these airports dependent of the places you want to visit in Andalucía and based maybe on personal preference like airline of choice, fare prices, and convenience.

Water

With about 800 km of coastline, entering Andalucía through its numerous ports through a ferry or liner is always an option with sea vessels coming from parts of Africa and Europe. Come in Andalucía through a mini-cruise, this way making the journey part of the adventure.

Image: http://www.andalucia.com/travel/image/ferries-map.gif

Land

Traveling by land is also an option. An extensive railway network is available across Europe and throughout Andalucía. People are inclined to choose to travel via train given its more affordable fares, unrestricted luggage options, better sustainability to the environment, and the scenery to behold amidst travel.

Buses also available, running to many towns and villages. Driving a private car is also always an option. The main road towards Andalucía is on the A-4/E-05 of Jaen Province or the A-92N in Velez Rubio and A7/E-15 of Almeria Province; N-433 of Rosal de la Frontera and N-630 in Huelva Province; N-432 in Fuente-Objeuna and the N-420 in Cordoba Province.

Safety

In terms of traveller’s safety, pickpockets and thieves are one of the issues you must look out for. It is recommended not to stay out when it is late, as this is the time such issues are mostly reported. It is recommended that you remain aware of your surroundings to be on the side of safety.

Cost of Living

As with other countries who are members of the European Union, the currency in Andalucía is the Euro (€).

Accommodation rentals start at about €12 per night for the most basic room with air-conditioning and a basic bathroom, roughly around €350 per month. For a full apartment, it is about €880 a month. Prices for the most expensive hotels in the city are at around €300 a night. Most accommodations include wi-fi connectivity. In the case that it is not available, to remain connected, internet data is around €33.25 for 10 Mbps a month.

Taxi fares start at €3, and a one-way train ticket is at €1.50, while a one-month pass is at €45. You also have the option to get a car rental for only around €8-20 per day, or €125 for one whole month. Gasoline is at €1.17 per liter.

Inexpensive restaurants serve meals at €10, or around €40 for mid-range ones, if one was to eat out solely for a month it would cost around €900 – 3,600.

Living La Vida Local

To make the most of your Andalucian adventure, you must consider the duration in which you’ll be visiting the region. Filled with many events and fiestas, there is always an activity to see and take part in so you can immerse yourself in the local lifestyle.

Semana Santa

Semana Santa or Holy Week, is the biggest event to catch when in Andalucía. Processions of floats with statues of Mother Mary and Jesus, plus Nazarenos or penitents parade the streets. While the event is very busy and tends to inflate prices of services and products within the region, it is still a highly recommended event to witness, as it is a one of a kind experience. Just be ready to brave the crowd.

Semana Santa Procession

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/easter-holidays-spain-malaga-751703

Bullfighting

Bullfighting season takes place between April to October, and spreads all over the different provinces. Ronda’s Corrida Goyesca is one of the more popular bullfighting events, which happens around September with fighters dressed up as 18th century toreros.

Bull and bullfighter

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/torero-bulls-spain-bullfights-1247617

Carnival

Seven weeks before Easter Sunday, the Cadiz Carnival takes place. A religious holiday, it involves a procession, festivities, dancing and a Carnival Queen pageant. You will want to be a part of it, if not for the religiosity, for the festivities.

Malaga Feria

This is a week-long street party that includes fireworks, lights, music, flamenco dancing, and Ferris wheels. It’s a good way to interact with the locals and experience the Andalucian night life.

These are just five of the countless festivities, mostly religion-centred, that take place and are worth witnessing in Andalucía.

Familiarize Yourself with Everything Worth Knowing About Andalucia

Looking for a place to spend those vacation days? Your hunt ends here. Andalucía on the south coast region of the Kingdom of Spain is a great place to witness centuries of history, culture, and tradition; as well as feel the joys of travel with a gustatory experience with its amazing food, and its amazing sights and attractions. But before you start writing down your itinerary, let us indulge you with the must-know and background of the awesome Andalucía.

History

Andalucía is an autonomous region in Spain as per a referendum circa 1980. It also currently happens to be its most populated, concentrated mainly on the provincial capitals and the coasts.

Geographically, Andalucía is at the extreme south of Europe and serves as the entryway between the continents of Europe and Africa. It has eight provinces, namely: Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Malaga and Seville.

Gateway to Africa and Europe

Image: http://www.map-of-spain.co.uk/maps-of-spain/spain/large_map-of-spain2.jpg

Early history is traced with it being associated with the ancient Roman empire, the Byzantine, as well as Islamic empire. The spread of Islam in the area accounted for the Moorish background. During the early 10th century, it was reconquered by Christianity, with Muslim-Christian conflicts recurring for a couple more centuries.

These interlocking influences and its strategic location likewise influenced its culture and traditions. A rich culture shaped by religion and immigration is apparent in its architectures, visual arts, music, literature, cuisine, and traditions.

Tapas. Andalucian cuisine.

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Jam%C3%B3n_de_Huelva.jpg

Climate

Sitting in the Mediterranean, Andalucía is generally a sunny region with four seasons. The months of June to August is its summer, in which July tends to be the hottest. Its fall goes from September to November. Its winter runs from December to February with January being its coldest time. March through May is spring, and March is mostly rainy.

Spring is considered the peak season, followed closely by summer if you want to take advantage of the region’s long coastlines and enjoy its beaches.

The region’s climate is greatly diverse due to its proximity to the sea and the mountain ranges surrounding it. Depending on which part of the region you are in, you can experience deserts, subtropical coasts, snowy peaks and, in some parts, a good deal of rain.

Language

Andalucian Spanish is the dialect that is spoken by the locals, which share similarities to the Spanish spoken in Latin America. Andalucian Spanish is also the most recognized dialect, which is also spoken in Ceuta, Melilla, and Gibraltar.

We have enumerated some words and phrases which might help you as you traverse the streets of Andalucía.

Vale /va-lay/ – OK.
Venga /vain-guh/ – Come on; faster
Cuanto /koo-an-toh/- How much?
Hasta luego /has-tah loo-eh-goh/ – See you later.
Gracias /grah-see-as/ – Thank you.
Tapear /tah-pay-ar/ – Going for tapas
Delicioso /deh-lee-si-yo-soh/ – Yummy; tasty; delicious

These basic words and phrases can get you through a short vacation in Andalucía, but should you decide to live there for a longer period and want to learn more Spanish, it always helps to get professional assistance; maybe through a personal tutor, or by enrolling in a class. After all, being multi-lingual is always an advantage.

Currency and Costs

As with other countries who are members of the European Union, the currency in Andalucía is the Euro (€). Exchange rate is 1USD = 0.94 Euro.

Accommodation rentals start at about €12-20 per night for the most basic room with air-conditioning and basic bathroom. Prices for the most expensive hotels in the city are at around €300 a night. Taxi fares start at €3, while a one-way train ticket is at €1.50. You also have the option to rent a car for only around €8-20 per day. Inexpensive restaurants serve meals at €10, or around €40 for mid-range ones.

Top Attractions in Andalucía

The city of Seville has got to be the epitome of Andalucía with its romantic architectures that traces itself to centuries ago. Visit the Seville Cathedral, as well as the Alcazar, the Giralda, the Torro del Oro by Guadalquivir River, Plaza de España and Parque Maria Luisa.

Granada, which served as the fortress for the Moors, at the foot of Sierra Nevada, has the world’s most beautiful building, the Alhambra, and the Alpujarra Villages with spectacular scenery. Flamenco dancers are also lovely to witness in this area.

Inside the Alhambra

Image:https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Alhambra_L%C3%B6wenhof_mit_L%C3%B6wenbrunnen_2014.jpg

If a more laid-back scene is what you’re craving, Marbella’s coastal villages is the perfect spot. It is now a stretch of sprawling beach resorts lined with palm trees and the most luxurious homes. It also houses some historical monuments and museums in its cobblestone streets.

Meanwhile, Ronda holds a very dramatic scenery that is so picturesque, it is like being transported into another time. The streets of La Cuidad and the parks surrounding it will also leave you breathless.

Picturesque City of Ronda

Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/Ronda_La_Ciudad2004.jpg

These are just a few of the many sites to explore in Andalucía. More detailed accounts will be provided in the pages that tackle specific subjects.

The 3 Benefits You Can Get If You Go On A Vacation

All of us need a vacation no matter how busy we are. We can’t just go on and do nothing but work. There are a lot of stuff that we can get from a vacation. If you haven’t made up your minds if you should go or not, check out the advantages that can be acquired if you go out for a break.

1. Reduce your stress

Pure work and no rest are going to be the end of you. No matter how vigorously we work for our future, we need to make sure that we have enough time to relax for our benefit. Stress is a problem that we need to take seriously. There are a lot of illnesses that it can bring if we will continue to carry the burden. We will be burned out and eventually lose interest even with our work.

2. Productivity improvement

If we can get some time off, our bodies will be well rested and be recharged. If we have enough rest, it can boost our productivity, and we can perform better when it comes to work. It is the reason why there is the so-called vacation leave in an office.

3. Happiness Booster

A vacation can help us be happy afterwards. It is because we can go out and experience a different kind of fun. We can see a better perspective on the things around us. The result is that we will smile more often because all our system will function well.

There is nothing wrong if you need to take a break from time to time. It will do you good so grab any opportunity you can to have a vacation. The benefits you can get out of it is worth more than the money you will earn for just a given day.

The 3 Most Incredible Beaches In The World That You Have To See

During vacation, the top choice of the people is to go to a beach. People love to dip themselves in the water and enjoy the great scenery. With that being said, let’s get to know the most incredible beaches in the world that we must visit. It is the right time to create a list of the next beach destinations you want to go.

1. Sunset Beach
Oahu, Hawaii

I’m sure you already have an idea on what is the best asset of this beach. Of course, it is none other than the beautiful sunset that you can witness if you are on the shore. Just make sure you know the right timing of the visit. If you want to go dive and snorkel, make sure to drop by during summer. However, the place is also known for the big waves that are perfect for surfing.

2. Blue Beach
Vieques, Puerto Rico

It is one of the top rated Caribbean beaches due to the clear blue water that you can enjoy once you step foot in the place. There is a stony part of the beach, but it just adds more appeal to the site because the pristine water is even more highlighted.

3. Praia Mole
Florianopolis, Brazil

It is one of the best if not the best beach in Brazil. It can give you a nightlife that you will never forget. It is not just about nature because while you are enjoying the water of Brazil, there are a lot of bars available where you can get something to drink once you get tired.

Start making your list now and make sure that you will be able to include these top three must-visit beaches in the world. Plan your vacation now, and you will never regret choosing these places to be your next destination.

The Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Get The Services Of A Travel Agency

Planning a holiday can be stressful because there are a lot of things that we need to take care of. From the flights to accommodations as well as the activities that you will do while you are there. However, there is a way to avoid all the stress because we can seek assistance from a travel agency. Here are the top reasons why people get the services of an agency when they want to travel.

1. Added Amenities

If you book your vacation using the agents on an agency, there are bigger chances that you will be able to get more than what you have paid for. Since these firms have big connections through different hotels and resorts, you will be treated like a VIP without paying too much amount of money.

2. Lower rates and fares

We already know that people from travel agencies are well connected through numerous hotels, but it doesn’t stop there because they are also known in different airlines. You will be able to get the lowest prices available rather than if you will have it booked by yourself. There are special rates given to the travel agents when they are the one who makes the reservations.

3. Find available rooms

We have all seen some hotels from different websites that their rooms are fully booked. Most of the time, it’s not true. There are special room acquisitions that are already given to the agencies intended for the guests that they will bring.

If you want to take advantage of getting a lot of perks and freebies, book your trip now with a travel agency. It will be beneficial on your part and cheaper as well. There is no need to waste your money if you can get the same rooms and amenities for a lower price.