Andalucía is a popular holiday destination for British and Europeans alike and understandably so. Sandy beaches line its coast, first-class seafood can be found in the local restaurants and a range of historic and cultural attractions fill its cities. Its main draw is its warm temperature and excellent sunshine record, which make it a great place to visit especially in autumn and winter.
1. Visit Bolonia
A town at the end of a no-through road, Bolonia has Roman ruins, modern bars and a gorgeous sweep of sand lapped by an azure sea and flanked by a pine-forested dune. There’s a keen breeze too, which attracts water sports enthusiasts.
2. See the Alhambra
A stunning Moorish palace with an exquisitely decorated interior, the Alhambra in Granada is a UNESCO monument constructed in the 9th century. You’ll find impressive paved courtyards, pools and fountains and beautifully intricate carvings, as well as lush gardens.
3. Have a sherry tasting
The town of Jerez is famed for its production of sherry, and touring the bodegas offers you a chance to see how this fortified wine is made and enjoy a tasting to fully appreciate it.
4. Get back to nature
The Doñana National Park is Europe’s most important wetland, and recognised as such by its UNESCO status. It is home to an enormous variety of birds, many of which are rare breeds such as the Spanish Imperial Eagle. There are also mammals such as lynx, otters and wild boar.
5. Stand on the Balcony of Europe
Along the coast from Malaga is Nerja, where the Balcony of Europe affords picturesque views along the coast. Formerly a fortress to guard Spain against British pirates, it’s now a must-see site for holidaymakers.
6. Watch a flamenco performance
Flamenco is a mysterious, passionate art form that has been part of Andalucían culture for almost 500 years. You can watch performances in commercial tablaos, but for a more authentic experience, visit the flamenco peñas, which give a more traditional insight into the dance.
7. Visit replicas of Columbus’ ships
In the late 15th and early 16th century, the explorer Christopher Columbus set sail from Andalucía on his voyages to the Americas. Near Huelva city, at the Harbour of the Caravels, you can climb aboard life-size replicas of his three ships.
8. Explore Seville
Seville’s winding lanes and romantic plazas are well worth a day trip. It’s one of Europe’s largest historical centres, with monuments such as the Alcázar Palace and the imposing cathedral earning UNESCO status, and has an infectious vibrancy that’ll leave you smiling.
9. Try the seafood
Andalucía is a seafood lover’s paradise. Besides paella, the coquinas (clams) cooked with garlic parsley and white wine are delicious, as is the tender grilled squid. If you want to spice things up, try the gambas pil pil – juicy prawns in a garlic chilli oil served with white, crusty bread.
10. Pop to Picasso’s
Malaga was the home of celebrated Cubist, Pablo Picasso and his birthplace is open to the public. It features exhibition rooms and pictures, as well as an overview of the artist’s early years in the city. A few minutes down the road is the Picasso Museum, which offers further insight into his life and works.