What to see in Andalusia: the 10 most beautiful places to visit

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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It is the hottest region of Spain, where the Arab domination in Europe has left a remarkable mark by giving us architectural masterpieces of great craftsmanship. Here the sea and the mountains come together to create a very long summer. Ancient mosques transformed into churches, impressive cathedrals, fragrant gardens, fountains and alcazabas create a unique panorama. A picturesque region who will surprise you thanks to his undoubted charm. Let's find out together 10 places to visitEtc.


  1. Alhambra, Granada
  2. La Mezquita, Cordoba
  3. Ronda and the Tajo Gorge, Province of Malaga
  4. Beaches in the Provinces of Almeria, Cadiz and Malaga
  5. City of Cordoba
  6. Plaza de España, Seville
  7. Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos (Route of the White Villages)
  8. City of Seville
  9. Malaga city
  10. City of Cadiz
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Alhambra, Granada

Granada is a nice city, but if you are in those parts it is absolutely a must to spend a day visiting one of the masterpieces of Arabian art in Andalusia: the Alhambra. It is a palace complex and its name means red citadel, it is thought for the pink color of the walls that surrounded it. The Alhambra could function independently from Granada because it contained all the services necessary for the inhabitants who lived there. The complex covers more than 100.000 m² of surface and is so spectacular that it will take you hours to admire its incomparable beauty. The buildings that compose it are: the Alcazaba, that is the military zone and center of defense and surveillance of the Alhambra itself, and Palacios nazaries with both administrative and private functions, as well as the seat of the court. The rooms and internal gardens are incredibly more beautiful than the other, rich in decorations, colonnades, water features, openings, fountains, ceramics, domes and decorated floors. A unique, imposing and incredibly beautiful building. incomparable!

  • Typology: art
  • Ideal for: adults, a bit boring and tiring for the little ones
  • Best time: spring and summer, to be able to admire the splendid blooms of the gardens
  • Cost of entry / visit: entry with guide from 44 to 49 Euros (depending on the number of people) - all inclusive entry (including Generalife, the royal rooms with the garden) from 49 to 55 Euros (depending on the number of people) audio guide 29,80 Euro - entrance with audio guide app to download on your smartphone 23 Euro (only in the afternoon)

2 - La Mezquita, Cordoba

La Great Mosque (or Mezquita) is a rectangular building surrounded by a high wall. Currently it is seat of the Cathedral of Cordoba and is considered the most important Muslim monument in Spain. Its construction began in 785 AD under the reign of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān I on the plan of the Basilica of San Vincenzo. It was later enlarged and finally transformed by San Ferdinando III in 1236 into a cathedral with the addition of an imposing bell tower. A work that will leave you amazed and that will certainly surprise you. There curious union of the typical architectural and artistic structure of the Mosque with that of the Cathedral it is devoid of continuity solutions and therefore generates one strange and impressive effect which made her famous all over the world. Furthermore, next to the mosque-cathedral there is the Patio de los Naranjos: a large garden of about 130 meters by 50 with splendid orange trees. Unmissable!

  • Typology: sacred art
  • Ideal for: adults, a little boring for the little ones
  • Best time: spring and summer
  • Cost of entry / visit: entry without guided tour 8 Euros, children from 10 to 14 years 4 Euros, children under 10 years free

3 - Ronda and the Tajo Gorge, Province of Malaga

Ronda is a wonderful and ancient city perched on the Tajo gorge, about 100 meters deep. In the past, several famous people, including Hemingway and Dumas, have been fascinated by evocative views and from the popular traditions of this Arab city. Ronda was the capital of a small independent state until the Christian Reconquista of 1485. Today it is one artistically and culturally very lively city, separated from the mass tourism of the Costa del Sol despite its proximity. In addition to admire the gorge with its three bridges, absolutely not to be missed the ancient Arab village, La Ciudad. The water garden of the Palacio Mondragón, the tree-lined Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, the Ayuntamiento and the th century door to the Almocabar are very beautiful. Another Muslim heritage is the Arab baths: dating back to the th century, they are located on the banks of the river and are well preserved. Appointments not to be missed on Flamenco Festival Semana Santa, the holidays for the commemoration of the Reconquest and Pilgrimage of Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza.

  • Typology: river city
  • Ideal for: everyone
  • Best time: spring and summer
  • Cost of entry / visit: Arab baths entrance 3 Euros - 2 Euros for groups

4 - Beaches in the Provinces of Almeria, Cadiz and Malaga

There are aunt, all different and all beautiful. In province of Almeria there are some beautiful and wild ones. TO Tarifa, just 14 km from Morocco (which you can see with your eyes as if you were on the shore of a lake) you can admire the division of the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean thanks to a strip of land. You can also enjoy a really huge beach with also an area (Bolonia) with natural dunes. The beaches of Tarifa, the European homeland of kitesurfing, will allow you to learn how to ride the waves or play with colorful kites. Cabo de Gata will enchant you with its rocks, while the most famous Marbella e Torremolinos they will let you enter the typical Spanish summer nightlife.

  • Type: beach
  • Ideal for: everyone, you can choose the beach that suits you best
  • Best time: spring and summer
  • Cost of entry / visit: free

5 - City of Cordoba

An interesting city, with a great Arab past, which will conquer you. It owns many architectural works to admire, including his Roman bridge and its fortification at the end of the bridge itself over the Guadalquivir; his palaces and its towers; the churches; the small one synagogue, the only remaining Spanish along with the two remaining in Toledo; there Juderia, the ancient Jewish quarter with its labyrinthine and very narrow streets; the suggestive "alley of flowers"; i patios of the old houses in the historic center, enriched by fountains, mosaics and trees. Do not miss theAlcazar of the Catholic Kings erected by Alfonso XI. A splendid construction enriched with gardens, fountains, baths and water tanks. A splendid work especially when colored by the various flowers present. To taste the typical dishes, including the famous gazpacho (a cold tomato soup), the Gazpacho from Cordoba (with the addition of boiled egg) and its wines. For those who love them, a must Wine tasting in May, where you have the opportunity to taste the typical wines of the region. As in all of Andalusia, here too the Semana Santa, the week of Easter. All the streets of the city are crossed by the processions of the various hermandades (brotherhoods). In May instead you will find the Festival de los Patios (gardens) and the Feast of Las Cruces on the occasion of which crosses composed of flowers are placed in various squares of the city, around which many people gather. This is the start of a party with typical music. However, the feast of Córdoba par excellence is that of Madonna of Health, from 25 to 31 May. It should absolutely be lived both during the day to be able to admire the women in traditional costumes, the horses and to eat in the casetas, and in the evening with the many young people who dance until late.

  • Typology: city
  • Ideal for: everyone, but very young children might get bored
  • Best time: spring and summer
  • Cost of entry / visit: calculate about 150 Euros for entrances and typical food - 37 Euros per person and children under 8 free for a guided tour of the main city attractions

6 - Plaza de España, Seville

A particular place you don't expect to find! The Plaza de España in Seville it is one of the most spectacular architectural spaces in the city and neo-Moorish architecture. Is located inside the Maria Luisa Park. The entrance to the square is free, but to avoid vandalism it is closed at 22 pm. Its total area is 50.000 square meters. The square is semicircular in shape and it represents the embrace of Spain and its ancient colonies. It is no coincidence that it looks towards the Guadalquivir River and symbolizes the road to follow for America. The square is decorated in exposed brick, marble and ceramic which give a Renaissance and Baroque touch to its towers. The work was very expensive and the channels that crosses it is surmounted by four decks representing the four ancient kingdoms of Spain. Leaning against the walls is a series of benches and ceramic ornaments which form spaces that allude to the forty-eight Spanish provinces, placed in alphabetical order. On each of them are represented maps, mosaics depicting historical events and coats of arms of each provincial capital.

  • Typology: architecture
  • Ideal for: everyone
  • Best time: spring and summer
  • Cost of entry / visit: free

7 - Ruta de los Pueblos Blancos (Route of the White Villages)

The Pueblos Blancos are i typical Andalusian villages. You will find them surrounded by olive groves and all painted white. This traditional color did not have and has only an aesthetic function, but rather the purpose of better resisting the heat of the summer in the region. The white color of the walls makes that of the walls even more lively flowers and to the geraniums that embellish them, thus creating a truly picturesque setting. Among these villages Arcos de la Frontera is one of the most characteristic. But the White Villages itinerary also includes Alcalá del Valle, Algar, Algodonales, Benaocaz, Bornos, El Bosque, El Gastor, Grazalema, Olvera, Prado del Rey, Setenil de las Bodegas, Torre Alháquime, Ubrique and Villaluenga del Rosario.

  • Typology: typical villages
  • Ideal for: everyone
  • Best time: spring
  • Cost of entry / visit: free

8 - City of Seville

Carmen, Don Giovanni and Figaro "live" here. This is just to give you a rough idea of ​​what that might be charming Seville. Of Phoenician origin and with 700 thousand inhabitants, Seville is the fourth city of Spain, as well capital of Andalusia. It owns numerous monuments, squares, gardens and a lively nightlife. Don't miss the Giralda Tower, the ancient minaret of the mosque which later became the bell tower of the splendid cathedral. It is now the symbolic monument of Seville. It reaches a height of 103 meters and for this reason its presence in the city is constant. On its top there is a crowning representing the Triumph of Faith, called Giraldillo. THE Alcazar (the royal fortresses) are defined in the plural because they constitute an architectural ensemble that goes from the first Arab alcázar to the subsequent extensions of courtyards and palaces. In addition to the beautiful halls, rooms and courtyards, the magnificent gardens are also worth admiring. L'General Archive of the Indies it is one of the most important in the world, with millions of precious documents. There Torre dell'Oro it is, with the Giralda, the most emblematic monument of Seville. It is an old surveillance tower on the banks of the Guadalquivir river. It seems that its name derives from the fact that it was once covered with gilded majolica. It currently houses the Naval Museum.

  • Typology: city
  • Ideal for: everyone
  • Best time: spring and summer
  • Cost of entry / visit: calculate about 50 Euros for entrances

9 - City of Malaga

It is a beautiful city with a varied historical and archaeological heritage. Among the many things to see, don't miss it its Alcazaba. Just above the Roman theater, the Muslim fortress-palace stands out with its two walls: a lower one, more external, and an upper one, placed inside the first. Both adapt perfectly to the orography of the terrain, thus enhancing their defensive function. Inside the upper enclosure, the Moorish palace now houses an archaeological museum that collects Phoenician, Roman and Arab artifacts. The Gibralfaro Castle, located on the hill of the same name, dominates the city and the port. It is connected thanks to a long wall, called La Coracha, at the Alcazaba. A part of the castle has now been used as a parador whose terrace offers a splendid panorama of the city. The Picasso Museum of Malaga, his hometown, pays homage to the famous painter. The Center of Contemporary Art (CAC) it houses a permanent collection of 400 works, mostly photographs. The city is also known for its folklore. Don't miss the Feria of August, popularly known as the Gran Fiesta del Verano, which commemorates the reconquest of Malaga by the Catholic kings who entered the city in August 1487. On the first evening citizens gather on the beaches of the Malagueta to listen to the "Pregon de la feria" , or the inauguration of the party. At midnight, the fireworks display begins at the port and in the surrounding areas. During the 10 days of celebration, from morning until late evening, you will find all kinds of shows and people on the streets. Almost all women and girls wear the classic traditional gitanas dresses (long flounced skirts with lace and a snug bodice). It is not uncommon to meet some with their hair tied with the bun, the large comb and the black mantilla, as they dressed in Spain until the beginning of the twentieth century. She is also elected the Queen of the party, chosen among the most beautiful women in the city. In addition, the Romería, the procession, takes place on the first Saturday of the Feria. In the evening, after the pilgrimage and mass in honor of the patron saint, the Real della Feria is inaugurated at sunset. The mayor of the city pushes the switch that activates the spectacular lighting that will illuminate the city during the days of the festival. There Holy Week of Malaga (Semana Santa), together with that of Seville, is considered among the most spectacular in Andalusia. There Cavalcade of the Magi (Cabalgada de los Reyes Magos) is, instead, a parade of the Three Kings through the streets of the center on floats from which sweets and gifts are thrown to children.

  • Typology: city
  • Ideal for: everyone
  • Best time: all year round
  • Cost of entry / visit: calculate about 150 Euros for entrances and typical food

10 - City of Cadiz

For its location on the sea, Its climate and its colors is called Habanita, little Havana. Different from most of the cities close to it, as it lacks the presence of Islamic works and medieval buildings, it has, instead, important Roman remains. It enjoys a particular position, stretched out over the Atlantic Ocean. Of particular interest are two buildings of the eighteenth century: the Gran Teatro Falla and Tavira Tower. The latter has a kind of dark room where visitors can see the panorama of the old city reflected. The historic center is also worth a visit, which develops around the Pópulo neighborhood.

  • Typology: city
  • Ideal for: everyone
  • Best time: spring and summer
  • Cost of entry / visit: Gran Teatro Falla the price of the chosen show - Torre Tavira € 6; groups (+10), adults over 65, disabled visitors and students with a card € 5

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