So you’re planning a trip to Spain, but not sure where to go? How about Andalucia? Not only is this region is extraordinarily beautiful, it’s also filled with historical monuments and architecture from the Roman and Moorish times.
This article delves into the top places to see in Andalucia as vetted by the locals, which one do you want to see first?
Granada is one of the most famous towns in the region, and is home to the iconic Alhambra Palace. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit this picturesque city every year to enjoy the beautiful nature (the city is nestled in the heart of the mountains) and Moorish architecture.
In addition, the local cuisine is delicious, featuring a combination of Spanish and North African flavours to satisfy your gastronomic needs.
Although you could spend hours wandering through the pretty streets of Granada, the reason most people visit the city is for the Alhambra Palace complex. Built by the Moors, the majestic yellow brick buildings, intricate courtyards, and gigantic fortified walls featuring slit windows (which were part of the city’s defence system) is up there with one of the greatest monuments in the world
The UNESCO listed palace oozes centuries-old history, whether you choose to explore it on your own, or as part of a tour you no doubt get a sense of what life was like here. The knowledgeable guides will tell you so many historical facts that you could easily write an essay on it. If essay writing isn’t your thing, you can always delegate it to Essay Pro.
If you are interested in spending a couple of days in Granada, check out our article about what to do on a weekend in Granada.
The Great Mosque of Cordoba
For a long time, Cordoba was an integral part of the Mauritanian state which is reflected in the city’s culture and architecture. Standing proud in the centre of the old town is the The Great Mosque. Although, originally a place of worship for Muslims, it was converted into a Catholic church. However, much of the architecture from the Moorish reign still stands today, as the styles of both religions have become intertwined.
If you come to Cordoba on a day trip, check out our article about the things to do in town when you have only a short time, by clicking here. Also, if you are interested in other things to see, check out our article on top things to do in Cordoba.
The beautiful city of Ronda is considered to be a tourist Mecca because of its iconic bridge, the Puente Nuevo which connects the two sides of the city. Thousands of tourists visit this city every year to view the bridge, taste the delicious local cuisine as well as to party at great music festivals and concerts.
View the bridge from both sides from the top along with the Miradors that look out over the surrounding countryside, or, if you’re feeling energetic, take a walk down in the gorge to look up at the bridge from below. The ancient moss-covered stones, will make you think what a feat of engineering this was several hundred years ago, historically, the river powered mills and eventually fled out to the countryside providing water for farms.
There are plenty of bridge view restaurants to where you can relax and enjoy the delicious food, with the backdrop of this stunning bridge. If you want to read more about Ronda, check out our article dedicated to the town by clicking here.
If you’re into your beach-chic, then head for Marbella. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax on the beach, this is the place to go. The quaint old town and beach front resorts is a great place to unwind, while you relay on the soft white sands and bathe in the warm sea.
A multitude of great restaurants line the seafront, just make sure you book a table in advance, especially during peak season. If you’re looking to get out on a day trip, a number of excursions such as coastal cruises depart from here as well as a multitude of beach front activities.
Malaga is probably the most cosmopolitan of cities in Andalucia, attracting tourists from all over the world. Here is where you’ll find a hub of international chains, shopping malls and international comforts. Despite this, there’s a more sympathetic side of Malaga.
Surrounding the bustling city are a range of hiking trail from the coast, heading into the surrounding hills, allowing you to get off the beaten track. If you head away from the main tourist beaches, you also find some of the widest and prettiest sands in the region with it’s beautiful blue seas.
Like many cities in Andalusia, Malaga also boasts Moorish castles, you’ll find remnants of this era dotted all over the historical centre. Notable places are the Alcazaba and the Castillo de Gibralfaro, which inform you about how the ancient Moors lived. These castles are perfectly preserved and are examples of how ancient architects used primitive technologies to create magnificent buildings. If the history doesn’t interest, you then check out the local festivals and wine competitions.
Baeza is a unique place where Christian, Moorish and Roman architecture are harmoniously combined. The city has dozens of UNESCO locations worth visiting dotted throughout the city, wander the old streets long enough and you’ll stumble across plenty of historical monuments. Once in the city, be sure to visit the Catedral de Baeza. Whether you’re religious or not, you can’t fail to be impressed by this huge cathedral with large arches, columns and bas-reliefs.
If you visit on a Sunday, you’ll hear the choir singing. The acoustic characteristics of the cathedral are quite unique and the sounds rebound off the walls giving in an ethereal ambience to the monument.
You’ve probably seen the picturesque images of the Pueblos Blancos on any internet image search of Andalucia. These white villages are dotted all over the province and feature hillside settlements, sometimes just a cluster of houses, and other times, the size of a small town. They are characteristically painted white and have narrow cobbled streets, with pretty flower clad courtyards. The white facade of the buildings reflects the sun and gleam against the hillside they are nestled in.
Spend time visiting several of the Pueblos Blanco, meandering the pretty streets of the small towns, be sure to visit the local church, sometimes they are perched up on a hill just outside the town so give beautiful panoramic views of the town. Sometimes, there are town halls, or Moorish buildings, if they have towers, be sure to climb them for a different perspective and to capture some perfect travel photos.
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Please note this is a collaborative article that was written by an external collaborator.