A land of culture, history, nature areas and excellent food. You’ll be able to visit everything from outstanding monuments to a wide variety of different natural landscapes… and you’ll have the chance to take part in several unique popular events and sample a range of delicious gastronomic products. One way to discover the culture of Andalusia is by exploring the sites which have been awarded the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
In Granada, you’ll see the Alhambra Palaces, the Generalife gardens and the medieval Albaicín neighborhood; in Cordoba, its historic center with the great Mosque; in Seville, the cathedral, the Royal Alcazar and the Indies Archive; and in Jaén, the monumental sites of Úbeda and Baeza. You’ll also be able to experience festivals such as Easter Week, the Carnival in Cadiz, the Rocío pilgrimage in Huelva and the April Fair in Seville. You’ll find a variety of natural landscapes which range from the beaches of the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz and Almería to the extensive olive groves of Jaén. You can visit the Doñana National Park –also declared a World Heritage Site–, or go skiing in the Sierra Nevada ski resort.
Finally, remember that Andalusia has a thousand different flavors waiting to be tried. From the sherries of Jerez (Cadiz) and Montilla – Moriles (Cordoba), to the classic platters of fresh fried fish known as “pescaíto Frito” from Cadiz and Malaga, cured ham from Huelva and Cordoba, olive oil, and other such typical dishes: gazpacho, salmorejo, albondigas (meatballs) or desserts like arroz con leche (rice pudding). All dishes enjoyed by al-Andalus courts more than a thousand years ago.
Some of the cities in Andalusia that are unmissable
The south of Spain is a land of picture-postcard landscapes, wide-open natural spaces and little whitewashed villages – however, you’ll also find lively cosmopolitan cities with a thousand interesting sites to discover and explore, as well as delicious cuisine, in which the famous tapas take centre stage. If you love big cities, always know your way about and have a good nose for sniffing out incredible places, take note and check out these great cities.
‘La tacita de plata’ (the little silver cup), ‘ancient Gadir’ or ‘the oldest city in the West’ … This lovely city, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC, has many nicknames. It’s a place where you can enjoy incredible sunsets and beaches like that of La Caleta, as well as an impressive historic quarter and ancient buildings such as the Santa Catalina Fortress – dating from the 16th century and offering wonderful views of the sea, framed by its walls.
The Pópulo neighbourhood is an intricate warren of narrow streets that hides a good few secrets, such as the church of Santa Cruz, Cádiz Cathedral and the Roman ruins.
Well known for the citrus aroma of the more than 90 orange trees that adorn the patio of the Mosque-Cathedral, Córdoba offers up a historic quarter that has been enriched by the presence of many different cultures and which was awarded World Heritage status in 1994. Wandering through the old quarter you’ll find the Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs, the Synagogue and the Roman bridge. As well as a stroll through the city’s culture, you can also enjoy a few tapas in streets adorned with flowers and squares made up of ancient stone. And if you’re looking to relax, a visit to the Arab baths in the Jewish quarter – also known as the hammam – is a great experience.
This is another of Andalusia’s must-see cities, and one of the most beautiful in all of Spain, thanks, above all, to its most famous monument, the magical Alhambra. This palace is sure to enchant with each of its sections: the Generalife, the Palace of Carlos V and the Alcazaba. Later, head for the beautiful Albaicín Moorish quarter, and lose yourself in its ancient, winding streets. One of the major attractions of the city is its markets or zocos that sell all sorts of interesting items. When the sun goes down, its time to enjoy art in its purest form, and take in the thrill of a flamenco show. Here in Granada, you’ll find the real deal – particularly in the Sacromonte district with its famous caves.
The capital of the Costa del Sol has much more to offer than just beaches. In Malaga, you’ll find a cosmopolitan city with a great number of things to see and do.
First of all, you can visit key monuments such as the Alcazaba, the palatial Moorish fortress that represents Malaga’s most important tourist attraction. This site dates from the 11th century, and remains perfectly preserved today. We also recommend visiting the Gibralfaro Castle, a construction whose role was to defend the Alcazaba itself, and which offers a great spot to enjoy a magnificent sunset.
What’s more, you’ll need to make room for some of the city’s numerous museums on your itinerary: such as the Picasso Museum or the Carmen Thyssen, for example. Without a doubt, you simply must take a stroll down the famous Calle Larios and sample a few delicious tapas – you can’t possibly leave without trying the typical espetos de sardinas (sardine skewers) by the sea.
A city with a distinctive colour all of its own, the capital of Andalusia is not to be missed if you really want to understand the region’s culture and soul. Seville presents an impressive architectural heritage in a mixture of styles – Moorish, Mudejar, Gothic and Baroque – all proof of the city’s long history, and the diversity of cultures that have passed through it.
A visit to the Royal Alcázar of Seville is a must; while you’re there, be sure to stop off at its gardens too. Another of the city’s most famous sights is the monumental Plaza de España, where you’ll find benches that take their inspiration from 48 Spanish provinces. However, the most timeless symbol of Seville is without doubt la Giralda Tower, an old Moorish minaret from which you can discover the city from the heights.
But, if you really want to fully experience the culture of Andalusia and of Seville, you should visit during the Holy Week celebrations or the April Fair, when the city reveals its most magical and authentic side.
The Route of the Caliphate of Al-Andalus
Hillside castles and fortified towns invite you to travel back in time to al-Andalus. In the Middle Ages, Muslims followed a route that took them from Granada to Cordoba, which has now been classed as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. This is known as the Route of the Caliphate and you can follow it to explore the history of Andalusia.
Various battles between Muslims and Christians took place in this area of Spain, the site of ancient cultures and current traditions that date back 10 centuries. Over 200 kilometers long, it is one of the best locations to visit in Andalusia and a destination that is suitable for all ages.
These are some of the places and historical facts that can be discovered along this journey through Andalusia:
- Heritage buildings in the province of Granada you will find the Arab bridge in Pinos Puente and the Nasrid castle of Moclín.
- Córdoba is home to the Luque fortress, the Lucena and Priego castles in Córdoba, and the Muslim street pattern of Baena’s old town centre.
- In Jaen, you will discover La Mota Castle in Alcalá la Real.
The Route of the Caliphate can be completed with a hiking excursion. So if taking this route through Andalusia, it’s a good idea to bring sturdy footwear and walk through the Sierras Subbéticas. And as you do so, you will be following in the footsteps of history.
Explore Seville’s historic heart with our guide to the most enchanting streets in the city’s center. From the famous Calle Sierpes, lined with shops and tapas bars, to the cobbled beauty of Calle Mateos Gago near the iconic Santa Cruz neighborhood, discover the perfect routes for leisurely walks. Immerse yourself in the neoclassical allure of Tetuán Street, the artistic ambiance of Regina Street, and the riverside views of Betis Street in Triana. Whether you’re seeking shopping, history, or tranquil beauty, Seville’s historic streets have it all.
Discover Cordoba’s Rich Islamic Legacy: Explore the fascinating Mezquita-Catedral, Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, and More. Immerse yourself in the city’s multicultural history with our guide to Cordoba’s must-visit landmarks for Muslim travelers.
Explore Seville’s rich Islamic history with our guide to the top landmarks and cultural sites for Muslim travelers. From the stunning Alcázar to the Giralda Tower and hidden gems like the Santa Paula Mosque, uncover the city’s captivating heritage.
Embark on a mesmerizing journey through the enchanting city of Granada, where the echoes of its Islamic past reverberate through its streets, architecture, and culture. This SEO-friendly Islamic tour of Granada invites you to explore the rich history, breathtaking landmarks, and spiritual significance that define the city’s Islamic heritage.
The exotic charms that captivated poets and artists in the late nineteenth century are more valid than ever in this town in Malaga.
New Bridge One of southern Spain’s most famous attractions, Ronda’s epic Puente Nuevo or New Bridge, spans the 328-feet-deep El Tajo gorge, linking El Mercadillo (The Little Market), the newer part of town, with the old Moorish quarter. Completed...
It is said that this city in Andalusia is the most ancient in the Western world. In fact it was founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 BC. To really get a feel for Cadiz, you simply have to take a stroll along the seafront promenade, while you admire the spectacular...
“Indulge in the flavors of Ronda, Spain, as we unveil the city’s delectable sweet offerings. From the iconic Yemas de Ronda to the irresistible Almendrados, this guide takes you on a culinary journey through the region’s famous sweets. Explore the traditional Tortas de Aceite and Alfajores, or savor the festive Roscos de Vino during your visit. Whether you’re strolling through the charming streets or enjoying a cup of coffee, these delightful treats are a must-try for any food enthusiast. Join us in uncovering the rich heritage and flavors of Ronda’s sweet delights!”
Discover the enchanting city of Seville, once known as Ishbiliya, during the illustrious era of Al-Andalus. Immerse yourself in the rich history and explore remarkable landmarks that offer a glimpse into this bygone era. Follow our suggested itinerary for a captivating day visit.
The historic centre of Cordoba has conserved its medieval plan and the irregular layout of its narrow streets. The squares, promenades, ornamental lakes and magnificent gardens are integrated into the landscape of the city, which is constructed on the bank of a...
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