Andalucia

"Land of Gypsy Passions, White Villages and Sun-drenched Beaches Steeped in History."- Reviewed by Lisa

Andalusia is one of the warmest regions in Europe. If there is a characteristic feature of the Andalusian atmosphere, it is the luminosity. The result of many hours of sunshine, it marks the cheerful and hospitable character of the Andalusian people.”- Elena Domecq – TRIPWIX Host for Seville and Jerez

Known for its romance, year-round sunshine, magnificent beaches, white villages and warm people – this fascinating region in Southern Spain never fails to disappoint.

Looking for the glitterati, nightlife, shows, and five-star hotels? From Marbella to Málaga the choice of marinas, towns and private developments on the famous Costa del Sol, will not disappoint.

Perhaps its warm, sultry days tracing history from the Moors to the Franco era that pique your interest? With miles to travel, villages, towns and cities packed full of tradition and sightseeing opportunities – your cultural cravings will be satisfied.

Maybe the idea of following the footsteps of the gypsies is what your dreams are made of? Again Andalucia comes to the rescue! With fiery flamenco and mournful Spanish guitar riffs, there could be no more romantic location to discover.

Food and wine, too: the unique taste of Sherry from the town of Jerez, the famous jamones (hams) of Jubugo, Gazpacho and its cousin Salmorejo. This is the home of olive oil, so expect lots of lightly-fried foods, especially fresh fish from the Mediterranean.

If sports and adventure take your fancy, then try your hand at everything from pure-bred Andalucian equestrian activities in Jerez and Seville to world-class surfing, wind-surfing and kite sailing in the coastal town of Tarifa.

World-class golf courses abound, too. Try to outshoot the pros at the famous Valderrama course in Sotogrande. If you visit during the winter months, try to tear yourself away from ocean activities long enough to drive up to the Sierra Nevada and try some fun, family skiing.

Just to round out a truly unique destination, take a quick trip across the border to feed the monkeys on the fascinating Rock of Gibraltar. Or, enjoy a day trip across the historic Straits of Gibraltar over to Morocco. All add spice and great stories to your vacation.

Andalucia spans almost the entire south of Spain and is bordered to the west by Portugal. At its southernmost tip lies Gibraltar, which is only a few miles from the north coast of Africa.

Covering an area of about 87,000 sq km, Andalucia is home to some of Spain’s most famous cities, including:
Seville — The heart of flamenco, the region’s capital and largest city
Almeria — On the west coast — lots of medieval remains and fortresses
Granada — Home to the magnificent La Alhambra Palace
Jaén — The largest olive oil producing area in the world
Córdoba — With its fascinating history dating back to the Middle Ages
Málaga — A large gateway city on the Costa del Sol. Its interiors reach as far as the Sierra Nevada foothills and it is home to many famous “white villages” including one of the loveliest and most traditional – Ronda.
Marbella — Heart of the glamorous Costa del Sol
Jerez de la Frontera – For equine activities, bull-breeding and sherry
Cádiz — Steeped in history, this is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula.  Home to miles of magnificent beaches, it{s also a great place to practice all types of water sports.

LOCATION

  • 690 km (about a 6-1/2-hr drive) from Madrid

EXPERIENCES

  • TRIPWIX tailor-made “Spanish Classic Countryside Pursuits” program
  • Sherry Bodega Tours with TripWix Ambassador Elena Domecq
  • Boat/Ferry Rides: Take a day trip to the African coast; visit one of several Spanish enclaves; or head out on a day-long excursion to the Canary Islands.
  • Beaches: Andalucia has over 1000 km of coastline ranging from the popular Costa del Sol to isolated fishing hamlets that have hardly changed over the centuries.
  • Caving and Speleology: Andalucia has a surprising number and variety of natural caves to explore
  • Water Sports: Kite-surfing, wind-surfing, parasailing, snorkeling, diving, surfing, whale and dolphin watching.
  • Flamenco: Take in a show of this passionate and seductive art form.
  • Sightseeing: Visit the Alcazar, or Moorish palace.  See the Roman ruins of Italica. Or take a tapas tour to some of the finest eateries around in Málaga, Granada and Seville.
  • Skiing: The Sierra Nevada offers world-class skiing facilities and has hosted a number of European and international skiing events.
  • Horse riding and equestrian events: From stunning equestrian displays in Jerez to fast-paced polo matches to basic riding lessons – Andalucia has something for everyone.
  • Golf: With over 100 courses, Andalucia is one of Europe’s foremost golfing destinations, especially in the provinces of Málaga and Cádiz where the highest concentration of greens can be found.
The Spring Festivals

The ferias de Sevilla, Granada and Jerez are held in April, May and June.
If your vacation programme allows, the highlights of the Andalucian calendar are these fantastic, colorful fairs. To really understand how deep the traditions and history still run in Andalucia, these event needs to be attended.

Acres of colourful fabrics abound in the shape of swirling flamenco dresses, carnations in braided horse manes, and other unique sights, sounds, flavours are all on beautiful display for the world to appreciate. Bullfighting aficionados and lovers of all things Spanish will never fail to revisit the unique memories of these incredibly vibrant festivals.