What is the attraction for tourists in Andalusia, Spain?

Andalusia

A great guide to the region of Andalusia. What to see interesting, what cities to visit and what natural attractions to visit. And also a selection of the best beaches in Andalusia.

Which city will you go to?

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Andalucía is the birthplace of flamenco. This is where you will see the most sensual dance in all of Spain, hear the passionate singing of the “cante jondo”, appreciate the art of the best performers. Andalusian land is the pride of the country – the legendary Arab citadel of Alhambra, which has survived different times and many rulers. There is a unique legacy of Moorish architecture, monuments of the Muslim era, which brought prosperity to Andalusia.

Granada

Albaicín - the white quarter of Granada

Granada is the most beautiful city in Andalusia. Expressive architecture of the old quarters is combined here with elegant white buildings of the new buildings and amazingly colorful nature scenery. The history of the city, built on three hills, goes back to Roman times. During Roman times, Granata was part of the wealthy Iliberis, but the Moors invaded the area in the 8th century. Thus appeared the majestic “red” fortress Alhambra, one of the iconic architectural complexes of the world. Today its visits are limited, and the excursion to the Alhambra is better to book in advance.

Malaga

Panorama of Malaga

Malaga is a picturesque and colorful resort, a famous shopping center and seaport. The city has preserved the monuments of Roman times and the magnificent Palace of the Moorish kings. The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Incarnation (La Catedral de la Encarnación) is an architectural masterpiece of European importance. Málaga is the birthplace of Picasso; there is both his home museum and gallery of his works.

Seville

Plaza de España in Seville

Sevilla is the capital of Andalusia, founded, according to legend, by Hercules himself. The years of Arab rule have left an indelible mark on the architecture of Seville. The rich history of Andalusia is visible in the old quarters of the city. The Spanish Gothic-style architecture of Seville’s Cathedral reaches its full grandeur. If you want to experience authentic Andalusian flamenco, the tablaos are the best. The grandest bullfight awaits you in Seville.

Cordoba

Roman Bridge in Cordoba

Cordoba is a fascinating city. Its historical ensemble, which has preserved its authentic layout, is included in the UNESCO list. It traces the heritage of Phoenician and Roman, Berber and Moorish, Christian and Jewish cultures. There is a unique architectural monument of Muslim epoch – Mosquita Mosque. Cordoban craftsmen are famous all over Spain: jewelers, tanners and ceramists.

Ronda

Puente Nuevo - Ancient Stone Bridge

Ronda is a white city above the abyss, one of the most picturesque in Andalusia. It stands on two mountain plateaus, above the deep gorge of El Tajo with steep cliff walls. The Guadalevin River runs below. A symbol of the city is the ancient stone bridge Puente Nuevo. Ronda is considered the birthplace of Spanish bullfighting: there is the oldest and largest arena in the country, Plaza de Toros; there is also a museum devoted to the art of bullfighters. The old center of Ronda preserves the atmosphere of the Moorish era and fragments of ancient Arab walls. On the site of the main mosque stands the magnificent Cathedral of St. Mary, founded in the 13th century.

Cadiz

City of Cadiz

Cadiz is considered to be one of the oldest European cities. Its historic quarters are located on a narrow peninsula: in Arab times Cadiz was the location of the military flotilla. The symbol of the city is the ancient Fort San Sebastian. The main attraction is the Santa Cruz Cathedral – an expressive combination of Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical architecture. Cadiz is a popular resort with decent beaches and excellent fish restaurants, which have no equal in Andalusia. The Carnival of Cadiz is a colorful event, the third largest in the world in scope and mass.

Jerez de la Frontera

Tio Pepe statue in front of Cathedral

Jerez de la Frontera is famous for its famous wine, horse breeding and the art of horseback riding, incendiary flamenco. Wine cellars occupy most of the territory of Jerez and have become an important part of the city’s culture. Several of the city’s museums are devoted to wine. Unique Cartesian horses were bred in the Cartesian monastery near Jerez. Riding masters of the Royal Andalusian School demonstrate virtuoso dressage and challenging equestrian exercises. The city is also famous for its original school of flamenco. In early spring there is a festival with performances of leading flamenco artists and master classes.

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Cathedral and mountain views

Jaen is surrounded by extensive olive groves. Hailed as the ‘Pearl of Andalusia’, many of its architectural monuments are part of UNESCO heritage. The medieval Arab baths of Jaén are the largest of their kind in Spain. The Cathedral of Jaén is a striking example of the Spanish Renaissance. Santa Catalina Castle on a rocky hill – medieval stronghold of Christianity in Spain, a majestic symbol of Jaén.

Tarifa

Access to the Mediterranean Sea through the Strait of Gibraltar

Tarifa, or rather the Marroqui promontory on its outskirts, is considered the southernmost, closest point to Africa in continental Europe. The small town is respectfully called the “capital of the winds”. Its name is consonant with the word “tariff,” and for good reason – it was here that they first levied duties on the goods that traders carried through Gibraltar. There are monuments from the ancient era, the Arab and Christian city walls. The port of Tarifa still harbors legends of pirate times. Local many kilometers of snow-white beaches attract tourists, and the steady winds attract surfers.

El Chorro

Beautiful landscapes in the protected area of El Chorro

El Chorro is a protected area in the province of Málaga. There are three extremely beautiful turquoise lakes surrounded by pine forests and limestone cliffs. From the village of El Chorro begins a unique hiking trail along the steep walls of the canyon at an altitude of one hundred meters, impressive and dangerous. It is called the Royal Trail (El Caminito del Rey). The Caminito del Rey has recently undergone an extensive renovation, has been reinforced with safety equipment, equipped with reliable railings and lighting, and is fully equipped for tourists.

Sierra Nevada

Snow in the Nevada Mountains

Sierra Nevada is a mountainous region, the southernmost European ski resort. Just thirty kilometers away from here splashing Mediterranean waves, and here, on the high peaks of the snow lies from November to April. The Sierra Nevada trekking trails attract tourists during the warm season. The national park is home to mountain goats and wild boars, rare Spanish ibex, and many birds. In the local settlement of Trevelez you can taste the best Andalusian Jamon de Trevelez made of white pig meat. Read more…

Guides to the Cities of Andalusia:

Almodóvar Castle 1

Castle Velez Blanco 2

Los Pedregales Park

Feeding the hippos

Riding Lessons

Paseo Marítimo Quay

Parque Natural Sierra de María-Los Vélez 3

The Royal Route (My Report) 4

Málaga, Costa del Sol

Sierra de Huétor Park 5

Magical Ronda

The City of Carmona, Andalusia.

The Cueva de la Pileta

Cordoba, a wonderful city with a rich history.

City of Jaén

View of the castle

Sierra Mágina Park 6

Sierras de Cazorla Park 2 times 7

Jerez de la Frontera

Sevilla

The Alhambra Palace in Granada, Andalusia

Venus Beach

The White Houses of Cadiz.

Torremolinos

This side of the Mediterranean Sea

Benalmadena Beach

Drive through the Torcal Natural Park

Fuengirola

Setenil de las Bodegas

Beach Regions of Andalusia

The four beach areas of Andalusia

Costa de la Luz – Coast of the World

Tarifa Beach

If you want to swim in the Atlantic Ocean, you should choose the beaches of the Costa de la Luz, the boundaries of which are defined by the two provinces of Cadiz and Huelva. A small part of the Costa de la Luz, east of Cape Marroqui, is washed by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The main resorts of the coast are Punta Umbria, Chipiona, Rota, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Puerto Real, Chiclana, Conil, Barbate and Tarifa.

The name “Coast of Light” is given to the southwestern coast of Andalusia because of the bright sun, which is reflected in a special way in the sands of the coast in the evening, during the order.

Costa del Sol – Sunny Coast

Puerto Banus beach

To the “sunny coast” of Spain refers coastal communities of the province of Malaga. This name was given not by accident, there are 325 sunny days a year.

Here are the major seaside resorts of Costa del Sol:

Marbella

Marbella is a sophisticated and fashionable resort of the famous Spanish Costa del Sol. Beautiful local beaches stretch for 24 kilometers along the city. San Pedro de Alcantara and Carihuela are recognized as the best in infrastructure and grooming: the most popular are Venus, Puerto Banus. Windsurfing enthusiasts prefer Playa Guadalmina. The clearest water is on Artola beach, and the most crowded is considered Playa del Faro.

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Fuengirola

Fuengirola is located between Marbella and Malaga and is one of Spain’s most famous beaches, being awarded a Blue Flag for its 8km long beaches. Santa Amalia is the most popular beach in the area.

Benalmadena

The beaches in Benalmadena are free, mostly sandy and pebbly; in the western part they are located on the cliffs. All beach areas are perfectly landscaped and groomed; their total length is 8 km.

Torremolinos

The beaches of Torremolinos are 6km long: La Carihuela beach area on the west, with a gentle slope and sandy bottom; and Bajondillo beach area on the east, with dark sand.

Estepona

The Estepona coastal area covers 22 km. The most popular local beach is La Rada, while El Cristo is considered the coziest.

Costa Tropical

Costa Tropical - Salobrena

The coastline in the province of Granada is called Costa Tropical, which means “Tropical Coast”. Due to its geographical features, this area, with a subtropical climate, is suitable for the cultivation of exotic fruits: mangoes, cherimoya, avocados and papayas.

The seaside resorts are Almuñecar, Salobrena and Motril.

Costa de Almeria

Beach Muertos

Costa de Almeria is one of the newest resorts in Spain and is still gaining popularity among tourists. The coast of Almeria province is characterized by a variety of contrasts. Here arid deserts alternate with green forests, and rocky plains with rocky massifs. Among the beach resorts is the capital of Almeria, for vacationers with children – Rockets de Mar. It is also worth paying attention to the quiet beach Mojacar.

Andalusia (Spain) and Malaga through the eyes of the tourist

It so happened that except for the islands and Catalonia we were nowhere in mainland Spain. So by mid-autumn 2021 we decided to make amends and go to one of the warmest places in Europe – the Spanish region of Andalusia. Since Czechs love to vacation here, it’s easy to take a cheap direct flight from Prague to Malaga airport.

What I liked about Andalusia

Under this subheading I will describe what I liked about Andalusia.

Weather

The first thing you get a kick out of in Spain after the dank central or northern fall of Europe is the weather. We arrived in Málaga on October 7, the sun was shining brightly outside, and there was not a single cloud. After changing into shorts, we immediately went to the sea to swim and recharge with vitamin D.

Weather in Andalusia and Spain in Autumn in October

Plants

The second thing that is a thrill is the plants and parks. Almost the entire promenade of Málaga, even outside the city, is planted with tall palm trees, the parks of the cities of Andalusia are drowned in flowers, and the abundance of plants and trees in the Alhambra Palace in Granada, any city dweller will be delighted. Also spotted in Andalusia were endless groves of olive trees.

Park in a Spanish town

Few dark outsiders.

In contrast to the major cities of Italy or France, in the cities of Andalusia we have seen very few dark newcomers, about whom it is not customary to talk badly, because for this the search engines can block the site!

So, for 2 weeks we were nowhere tied up not a very nice ponazhivshie who want to vtyupat some unnecessary crap, no one wanted to steal the camera and did not shoot the little things.

Pickpocketing.

Compared to Mallorca and Barcelona, where you can’t leave things unattended for a second, people on the beaches of Andalusia are comfortable leaving their bags behind when they go swimming. Virtually no one carries backpacks in front of them in the cities, and in restaurants they don’t strap bags to their feet.

Rumor has it that the pickpocketing has been put in order by a mafia that benefits from other businesses and doesn’t want its peace of mind disturbed by petty thieves.

Safety in Andalusia and Spain

Drivers always pass on crosswalks!

After the Czech Republic or Poland, where drivers often ignore the instructions to let people cross and are ready to crush them, drivers in Spain in almost 100% of cases are ready to let you pass, just after spotting you at the zebra.

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This behavior of drivers is very impressive. In Madeira and Lisbon, by the way, the drivers behave the same way.

Crosswalk in Spain

Stunning sights

Andalusia’s majestic architectural sites attract tourists from all over the world. Despite the many places in Europe we have already visited, we walked around the towns with our mouths open after arriving here and marveled at the many monuments of architecture.

We especially liked the Plaza de España in Seville, the Cathedral of Seville, the Alhambra in Granada, the white city of Frijillana, the resort town of Nerja, the historical part of Marbella, the Roman amphitheater in Malaga and the fortress of Gibralfaro.

Spain's Most Famous Sights

Stylish people and fragrances

After the Czech Republic, where people mostly dress very simply and tasteless, the population of Spain is pleasing to the eye. Women wear heels, beautiful dresses, skirts and blouses. Men walk in slacks and shirts and wear stylish shoes.

But most of all I enjoy smells. The Spaniards are great at selecting delicious, interesting and alluring scents. Needless to say, the country produces quite a few quality inexpensive perfumes. Every time we come from Spain, we bring back a couple of fragrances that are not supplied to central Europe.

How the Spaniards girls look like

What I didn’t like about Andalusia

Now it’s our turn to talk about the negatives we constantly encountered in Andalusia.

People rest a lot and get up late.

It’s good for the health of the nation when people get up late and rest a lot, but it’s very bad for tourists, because you are constantly faced with the problem of food and traffic collapse.

For example, we were never able to get to the market in Málaga to buy delicious fruits and vegetables. And all because of holidays, weekends and non-working days, which never end.

In Granada, we were amazed that there was no traffic on the streets of the city at 6 or 7 in the morning on a weekday. We thought of taking the subway to the train station, but there were no subway or buses. Moreover, there were no cabs available through the Uber or Bolt apps. By some means we managed to catch a free cab on one of the main streets.

Spaniards like to rest

Rising holiday prices

Prices for the coronavirus pandemic and in recent years in Spain have risen sharply. So you can hardly go to Spain on a budget. Prices have risen for everything: entrance tickets to attractions, flight, accommodation, transportation, food. Find a decent hotel or apartment for 70-100 euros per day is already a problem.

Once in the mall El Corte Inglés in Málaga we met a group of fat Russians in red Soviet T-shirts, who walked around the store and in foul language protested at the high prices.

Prices for vacations in Andalusia in Spain

Expensive transportation and cabs

Prices for train travel in Spain are quite high by European standards, and they are much higher than in Italy or Portugal. But most of all we were surprised by the prices of cabs. For example, in Granada, Uber offered a ride of 2 km for 29 euros! And it was a weekday, there were no traffic jams, and about 10 cars were available.

In Malaga or Seville an Uber is more reasonable, but the drivers know very little about the cities, drive very twitchy and cancel about 50% of the time. In doing so, Uber charges you money.

Here are the cab drivers, caught off the wheel, are more professional.

How to order a cab in Spain

Language barrier.

Somehow it turned out that the majority of workers in the tourism industry, in supermarkets, transport facilities completely ignore the English language. And sometimes there were those who were willing to respond to questions in German. So Ksyusha had to remember Spanish. It was especially important for orientation at transportation facilities and while ordering food.

The rudeness of

In Andalusia, as nowhere else in Europe, we have constantly encountered rudeness. More often than not, it came from adult women. I never understood why people had such problems. Maybe the neighborhood with Morocco has such an effect on the population.

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At the same time, young people behave more decently and politely, especially young girls.

Spanish Mentality

Poor organization of sightseeing

In Spain, just disgusting organization of sightseeing.

At most popular attractions you need to buy tickets in advance. But the ticket will not tell you exactly where the entrance is. And, it turns out that you arrive at the site, where there is no information and no clear signs. You stand in the sun of the queue, and you end up being told that you have to visit another place at the site first, and then come back here, back in the queue.

At the same time, the sightseeing staff is rude, and they hit on tourists. If anyone doesn’t believe me, you can read the reviews of foreign tourists about visiting the Alhambra in Granada or the Alcázar of Seville.

The Tomb and Burial Place of Christopher Columbus

Spain is noisy everywhere

As you know, Spaniards are a very noisy people, and by the end of the trip it was starting to stress us out. Noise and loud talk people everywhere: in public transport, on the streets, in cafes, in apartments. So it would be hard to fall asleep in hotels in the center of Andalusia, because people are constantly sitting in bars until 1 am.

We liked the apartment in Seville best, where the apartment was heavily recessed into the building, and thanks to the long balcony, there was almost no sound. After noisy Málaga and Granada we managed to sleep it off.

Bar in Spain

The poor state of technology

In this region of Spain, we had to constantly face the poor state of technology. For example, often the doors to the toilets on the trains don’t work or don’t close. Ticket machines may not have a money receiver, card payment, or just freeze. The scoreboard in trains may also not work. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that ticket offices often do not work during the siesta, and it becomes problematic to get somewhere.

But the cherry on the cake was our departure. Having arrived before the flight by train to Malaga airport, we went out of the station, and the turnstile jammed Xusha with her suitcase. Yes, unlike the civilized Prague, where everything is without turnstiles, in Spain the entrances and exits of the subway/electric trains are equipped with very brutal turnstiles that do not scroll through, but clamp a person very firmly.

So Ksyusha managed to navigate and dodge the squeeze, and our small suitcase for hand luggage was very hard pressed. And I did not have enough strength to open the turnstile doors and pull it out. An English-speaking man helped me and the two of us pushed the suitcase to the opposite side, and he handed it to me with a smile. The station attendant, a nasty lady, just turned away and was not going to make any effort to help the passengers.

Repairs in Spain

Baggage and luggage inspections at the entrance to the facilities and on the trains

Unlike in Eastern Europe, in Spain you will face the fact that before boarding the train you have to go through the inspection and scan all your belongings. This is most likely done after the terrorist attacks. But it’s inconvenient for passengers, especially considering that the inspection tapes are dirty and filthy.

Also, all people are screened before entering landmarks and temples.

Baggage Check in Spanish Stations

Andalusia is dirty!

Unlike the Canary Islands, Andalusia, like Catalonia, is very dirty and has a very strange approach to cleaning.

People and cleaners for some reason do not wash surfaces of dirt (floors, sidewalks, surfaces in apartments, tables in cafes), but pour everything with chlorinated chemicals and just rub it. That is why in the cities in the morning there is a strong smell of disinfectant and puddles of chemos.

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At the same time, surfaces in transport are gray and dirty, on the street the soles stick to the sidewalks, white clothing and sneakers get dirty very quickly.

Can you imagine, the streets and indoors are so dirty that after my trip to Andalusia, I scrubbed the wheels of my suitcases 5 times with cleaners and they continued to be dirty! That said, they weren’t wheeled on the ground anywhere, just a little on sidewalks, train stations, and Malaga airport. Probably the only place in Europe with more dirt was Bulgaria.

Separately, I want to tell about the apartments. We rented the apartments with the highest rating, and almost everywhere was far from perfect cleanliness.

Is Spain Clean?

Masked insanity.

Despite the porkiness, the people in Andalusia have a mask madness. They put on masks on deserted beaches, on ventilated promenades, or when no one is around and you’re alone overtaking people.

But at the same time, people are not embarrassed, gathering in crowds, kissing when they meet, sitting on each other’s heads in bars. And, of course, they don’t disinfect their hands before eating or taking off their masks.

I want to clarify that because of the heat and the large number of smokers in Spain, wearing a mask is very difficult and harmful, especially for people with large lungs and allergies. Your face sweats under the mask, and the fabric itself soaks up the smell of cigarettes. As you can imagine, under the conditions described above, masks are clearly detrimental.

Coronavirus in Spain situation

Unpalatable food in restaurants.

At this point I want to make it clear that this is purely my opinion and it may differ from the readers!

Both in Catalonia and Andalusia, I was very upset by the food in restaurants. All these greasy tapas, soaked seafood in vinegar sauces, pouring oil on everything. The funny thing is that the food tasted better in the tourist spots.

In the end, for most of the trip we ate food from supermarkets and cafes with empanadas in our apartments.

Reviews of Restaurants in Andalusia

Security

If the situation with pickpocketing in Andalucía is not critical, then security is not so smooth here.

Apparently, Málaga is not very safe, because there are guards on duty in the trains. There are bars on the windows in every part of the city. In the evenings and at night there are drunk, aggressive youths who break windows and kick the shutters of stores. Some areas of Málaga, like La Palma and Lagunillas, are ranked as the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in cities in Spain. I also read in the news that Málaga is considered a major transshipment point for drugs delivered to many European countries. And the drug mafia likes to organize bloody showdowns.

So it’s better to move around the cities during the day and not walk in the wilds. In one of these areas we went just to take pictures of graffiti, and there two thugs tried to chase us away and were very aggressive.

Dangerous regions in Spain

To summarize, I want to say that if you distract from negative memories, it is worth to return to Andalusia for the sake of interesting nature, cities and great beaches.

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Andrey Sekachev

I was born and grew up in Siberia and have been living in the Czech Republic in Prague since February 2012. In my free time I love visiting new cities and countries. To date, I have been to 36 countries and 400 cities. I love Italian cuisine, swimming in the sea and long walks. I am a bit afraid of planes, so I understand ground transportation.

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