Visit Andalusia Spain For So Much To See And Do
When we headed south to visit Andalusia Spain we found so much to see and do. We visited many of the larger cities – Granada, Cordoba and Seville. But we also enjoyed some great small towns as we went into the hills and also explored the Costa Del Sol region.
There were many reasons to visit Andalusia Spain. It was a region of Spain we enjoyed and will re-visit again. Let us show you why ….
About The Andalusia Region In Spain
The Andalusia region is a large area on Spain’s southern coast. The Guadalquivir River flowed south and west across Andalusia. We saw this river in Córdoba and Sevilla before it finished at the Atlantic Ocean west of Cádiz. This river created large fertile areas and resulted in large agricultural areas in Andalusia. This included large wine growing regions.
From the 8th-15th centuries, this area of what would become Spain was under Moorish rule. This Moorish legacy was evident in the architecture when we visited amazing sights such as the Alcázar castle in Seville, Córdoba’s Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral and Granada’s Alhambra palace.
With 800 kilometers of coastline, this region was well known for its sunny climate with great beaches. We explored many of the beach towns along the Costa Del Sol.
We were delighted by the Andalusian traditional activities such as bullfighting, flamenco, Andalusian horse shows and the Moorish hammam spas we found through that area. And the food and drink was perfect for our tastes!
1) It Was Easy To Get Around
We found it easy to hop from town to town on the train. Trains typically ran several times a day between most bigger cities with many stops along the way. We generally visited for many weeks at a time. It was not always easy to haul all of our bags up onto the train. But it was far less expensive than paying for baggage for short hop flights.
On our visits, we chose hotel bases inside the city. We walked a lot. But the heat and cobblestones often forced us to look for alternatives. Public transit in all of the major cities in Andalusia was great with a mix of buses, trams and subways.
Most places we stayed were relatively flat, so biking was also an option. In some places eBikes were available. Biking was certainly a fun activity along the seaside boardwalks. In some places we could even grab a pedicab and sit back.
If we wanted to be spoiled, we found horse and carriage rides were easily accessible. A more comfortable ride and a tour too!
For day trips, we chose local buses. Trips to visit Ronda high in the hills or along the coast were part of the fun experience. We considered renting a car but did not need to. If we returned and explored more of the smaller towns or headed into the park areas, a car would definitely be considered.
We found it easy to get around on our visit to Andalusia.
2) Old Towns Provided A Great View of Spain’s History And Architecture
Many of the sites in the old cities of Andalusian Spain were designed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Staying inside the Old Towns provided easy access to the amazing cultural sights we found.
We loved the Moorish architecture we found when we explored Old Town Granada. From everywhere in the city we saw Alhambra high on the hill. We explored Alhambra for a day and were awed by the architectural detail we found in stone carved like lace.
In the Santa Cruz area of Seville, we spent days as we explored the Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcázar Palace Complex. We found fascinating historical sites with beautiful architecture.
When we wandered through the Maria Luisa Park in Seville, we found several architectural gems. The Pabellon Mudejay building and the Plaza de Espana were not UNESCO sites. But we were glad we didn’t miss these architectural gems.
Our hotel in Cordoba was inside the Mezquita and Historic Centre. The whole Old Town area was designated as a UNESCO site. We explored the Old Town and spent days as we wandered through the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos and then visited the Cathedral-Mosque.
The big cities took us many days to explore. But one day we headed to the small white hill town of Ronda. This provided another view of the architecture and history of the Andalusia region.
We were delighted with so many UNESCO sites when we visited. But we were sorry we missed a day trip to see the two small Renaissance towns of Ubeda and Baeza in Jaen province.
3) Andalusian Experiences Provided Great Entertainment
We started our Andalusian experiences with a flamenco show in Seville. Our visit started with a walking tour with stops at a guitar shop and local costumer. I would have loved to buy an authentic flamenco dress. All I went home with was a large supply of fans! We had great seats at the show as we enjoyed the Spanish guitar and dancers.
In Córdoba, we enjoyed an Andalusian horse show. The coordinated moves of the horses kept us mesmerized. We even got more flamenco dancers!
Córdoba had a strong Moorish history. We found bath houses in the Moorish gardens at the Alcazar in Córdoba. We also found a whole site in the old town of Córdoba for baths at Los Baños Del Alcazar Califal.
After many days walking in Old Town in Cordoba, one afternoon we took a relaxing break at a hammam spa. The bathing ritual and calming atmosphere left us ready to head back out and explore more.
Bull fighting was an Andalusian tradition that we did not experience on our visit. But we did see the massive bull fighting ring in Seville. And when we visited Cordoba, we found the bull fighting museum on our walk around Old Town.
We were glad we experienced some of the unique traditions. Some fun entertainment on your visit to Andalusia Spain.
4) Relaxing Green Spaces For Regular Breaks
We found the southern region of Andalusia Spain to be very hot in the summer. But we were happy when we discovered that so many of the streets had tree lined boulevards with lots of shade. There were fountains everywhere. And even if we did not splash in them, the trickling water had a cooling effect.
Many of the large tourist sites also had massive gardens. We wandered through the Maria Luisa Park in Seville and found lovely gardens, ponds and fountains.
In Seville when we visited the Alcázar palace complex we enjoyed a relaxing break as we wandered by the gardens and fountains.
The vast gardens at the gardens at the Alcazar in Córdoba were an attraction in themselves. Topiary, fountains and statues drew our interest as we wandered.
There was so much to see on a visit to Andalusia Spain. So we were glad we took time our and enjoyed the vast green spaces we found in the cities.
5) Sandy Beaches And Blue Waters
The Andalusia region has about 800 kilometers of coastline. So it was no wonder that we spent a lot of time as we explored the beach towns. For part of our visit, we used the beach town of Marbella as our base. Long boardwalks let us enjoy this view. Restaurants lined the boardwalk. And beach clubs offered beach essentials like chairs and umbrellas.
On day trips, we wandered along the coast. On one day trip from Marbella we took the coastal local bus and went into Fuengirola. The ride was the ultimate milk run with frequent stops and slow travel. The bus ran as far as Torremolinos but we didn’t go that far when we visited. We enjoyed the small town sites and then headed for the water and the view.
From our stay in Malaga we got on the local milk run bus and explored the lovely town of Nerja. We wandered the cobblestone streets to the Balcon de Europa and joined the rest of the tourists gawking at the sea way down below us.
The beaches were a great reason to visit Andalusia Spain.
6) Great Food Was Available Everywhere
We found tasty food and drink everywhere we visited in Andalusia Spain. As seafood lovers, there was no end to the fresh seafood we found along the coast.
As Canadians, we were not used to the very late hour for dinner in Spain. Maybe because we were often wound down for the day when locals headed out. We generally had our big meal at lunch. And then enjoyed a great spread of tapas for dinner. We loved to share a wide variety of tasty small plates.
On our stay in Seville, we did an amazing food walking tour and tried local food and drink treats. We loved hearing so much about the local history and traditions.
As chocoholics, we sampled chocolate churros at every stop. While locals might take their churros without the dark chocolate, we never passed on that treat. When we finished our visit in Madrid, we made sure we visited Chocolateria San Gines for one final treat.
When we wanted a treat to cool down, we found ice cream and gelato shops everywhere. There was an amazing selection of flavours. But you know we did not pass on the dark chocolate!
So much great food and drink on our visit to Andalusia Spain. We had local wine with our meals. And we tried many different sherries on our food tour in Seville. But we were sorry we missed the chance to tour the wineries in Andalusia Spain. A great reason to head back.
7) Interesting Sights Everywhere We Looked
We found something interesting to look at everywhere we walked. Iconic images of Spain decorated the walls of buildings.
On our stay in Marbella, we were fascinated with the unique displays of metal sculptures. Many of them were attributed to Dali.
When we crossed the Guadalquivir River in Seville, we explored the Triana neighbourhood. The fancy iron work on the balconies and colour tile work drew us through the streets.
In Cordoba we found more colourful tile displays as we walked through the Old Town. And fun statues and street art made us stop many times.
When we went into the churches in Andalusia Spain, we were amazed at the intricate and ornate details we found.
A visit the the old Synagogue in Córdoba provided a different religious view. And the inside of the building showed what might have originally been the private synagogue of a wealthy man.
We found so many big tourist sites when we visited Andalusia Spain. But we also found time to just wander and take in the interesting and beautiful sights that were everywhere.
We Found So Many Reasons To Visit Andalusia Spain
We loved our visits to Spain. It was easy to look back and recall the many reasons to visit Andalusian Spain.
There were great historic sites, many with vast gardens. It was never hard to find good food. This region was the birthplace of many traditional forms of entertainment. We were immersed in tradition as we watched a flamenco show, enjoyed an Andalusian horse show and relaxed at a hammam. Awesome beaches and beach towns provided a break from sight seeing.
We visited many of the larger cities and some smaller ones too. And we explored the Costa Del Sol region. But we will have to visit Cadiz and Almeria on a return visit.
We missed the chance to hop over to Gibraltar. If we headed to Gibraltar, we wanted to see the Gorham’s Cave Complex with its steep limestone cliffs and four caves with archaeological and paleontological deposits.
Our visits focused mostly on urban areas. So we missed the two National Parks (Doñana and Sierra Nevada) and numerous other Natural Parks. Since nearly a fifth of Andalucia was protected areas there was much left to explore in the outdoors.
With so many reasons to visit Andalusia Spain, we know we will return again and again.
Do you have other reasons to visit Andalusia Spain? Have we missed a major stop that should be on the plans for our next visit?
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