When I was little, I travelled so many times to Andalusia with my family. In fact, it was almost every year. We were going to a different camping every time and I remember having so much fun. Spanish are very welcoming and the country has so much to offer. It is easy to reach no matter where you come from in Europe (no more than 2 hours flight from South England) and the prices are very low, therefore very helpful for a big family.
Best beaches of Andalusia
Andalusia has nothing to envy to the Caribbean littoral. In fact, several tourist guides and websites consider some beaches of the Costa Almeriense, Costa del Sol or Costa de la Luz as the most beautiful in Europe or even in the world. I personally love the region of Cádiz and Tarifa. On the Atlantic Ocean side, it is a surfers paradise and the beaches are kilometres long. Furthermore, it is not much frequented by tourists and has kept its authenticity.
You will find amazing beaches on the Mediterranean side as well. Lose yourself driving around Nerja and Maro in the province of Malaga and you will find small wild beaches. You can also go to the famous Cabo de Gata, in Almería. They probably are the most Caribbean-like beaches of the Hispanic peninsula, hence there are many more visitors.
Culture and History
I’m always impressed how rich Spanish culture is. History of the country is thriving and all the influences are still very present. Andalusia has long been under the domination of Muslims. Most of the monuments are preserved and without the shadow of a doubt, the Mezquita-Catedral of Córdoba is the most beautiful. I recommend you take a guide to fully enjoy your visit. Do not miss the Alhambra of Granada and its architecture either; as well as the sunset from the mirador San Nicolas. Sevilla and its square should also be on your list!
Food is an essential part of the Andalusian culture and oh my! you won’t be disappointed. You can eat fresh products in Chirringuitos, these typical beach bars. Do not forget to try local beers, whine and fish. Stay away from touristic restaurants in the centre. They are expensive and often don’t offer good quality. You can check out my article about how to eat healthy while travelling. It won’t be hard in Spain, the country is full of fresh fruits and vegetables! Just be careful to prefer raw olive oil than cooked.
The famous white villages of Andalusia
How many times have you seen a white village on a postcard? They are possibly more emblematic than the beaches. Their walls are whitewashed in order to keep the heat away. My favourite one is Mijas! It is located on top of a mountain, overlooking the sea. Full of charm, you can spend an entire afternoon just walking about. The botanic garden is quiet and amazing. You also have the village of Frigiliana, probably the most famous. Just over Nerja and its beaches, you can see both in one day.
In a word, if you’re looking for a cheap and spectacular destination, go to Andalusia! I advise you to learn a few words such as ¡Hola! (hello) or Gracias (thank you). Locals always appreciate it and will be even more talkative with you. On the other hand, if you plan on only visiting (not everyone’s a beach lover as I am), I strongly suggest you to avoid July and August as the heat can become unbearable.
What about you? Have you been to Andalusia yet? Where is your favourite place?