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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.