Beautiful villages and towns, beautiful nature, mountains and beaches. And then also good food and drinks. You can indulge yourself in Andalusia, Spain. The region is not without reason a favorite holiday destination and . But in addition to the well-known highlights, there are also many other highlights of Andalusia to discover.
Special towns and villages
You should definitely visit the towns of Úbeda and Baeza in the province of Jaén in the north of Andalusia. Just like in the more famous cities of Andalusia, you will find beautiful buildings, cathedrals and palaces here. You will not be surprised that these Renaissance cities have been declared Unesco World Heritage Sites.
Another city with a historical past is Jaén, the eponymous capital of the province. In the cathedral, the El Santo Rostro is preserved, the canvas with which Saint Veronika would have wiped the face of Christ. Believe it or not, it’s impressive. Just like staying at Hotel Parador de Jaén-Castillo de Santa Catalina, perched high on a castle hill and with great views over the city.
Guadix is located about 50 kilometers northeast of Granada and is known as one of the oldest settlements in Spain. But there is another reason to look in Guadix: the cave dwellings in the Casas Cuevas district. There are no less than 200, some even with two floors.
You can discover the world from Huelva City. At least, that’s what Columbus did in 1492 when, according to tradition, he exported from Huelva to map India. Choose your Huelva hotel and take a look at the Monasteries of Santa Clara and San Francisco.
Another nice city to visit is Vejer de la Frontera. This city has the typical Andalusian look with white buildings. Stroll through the small picturesque streets and discover the nicest local shops and restaurants. Vejer de la Frontera is located high so you have a nice view of the surroundings in many places. For the adventurers among us you can also go paragliding here!
Vejer de La Frontera
The beautiful nature
In the province of Jaén lies the Parque Natural Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y las Villas, the largest protected nature reserve in Spain. Are you a lover of olive oil? Then you have to go here: in this region, a fifth of the total world production is grown on olive oil. You cannot count them yourself, but there are reportedly more than sixty million olive trees in this area. There are several places where you can see (and taste) how the olive oil is produced and processed. There are also numerous vineyards in this area where you can enjoy a delicious glass of wine in the bodegas. You will notice that a good glass of wine in this region is extremely affordable, this is certainly also one of the highlights of Andalusia.
If you go for gold, you can mine it in an old mine shaft in the Cabo de Gata Nature Park, the largest protected coastal area in the south-east of Andalusia.
Birdwatching, wild boar and mouflons? Then you can’t skip nature reserve La Doñana, a national park at the mouth of the Guadalquivir. Here you can also experience the annual pilgrimage in honor of the virgin of El Rocío at Pentecost. The pilgrimage starts in Sanlúcar de Barrameda to end via the park in El Rocío. All in all, this tour with classic wagons and a colorfully decked-out company takes three days. And every night there’s a party.
Another highlight in Andalusia that is not so well known to the wider public is whale and dolphin watching in Tarifa. During the tour you even have the chance to spot killer whales. Especially between July and early September you have a good chance to see killer whales. Dolphins or other cetacean are almost always spotted.
Orcas spotting in Tarifa
Discover the last desert in Europe
The last part of europe’s desert can be found at Tabernas, about 40 kilometres north of Almería. You feel like you’re in the wild west here, and that’s almost literally true. This piece of nature includes a number of well-known westerns, such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and a Fistful of Dollars with Clint Eastwood.
Who doesn’t know it: the Costa del Sol with seaside resorts like Marbella and Torremolinos. You would almost think that the entire coastal list of Andalusia is occupied by these large tourist cities with high-rise buildings along the boulevards. Yet there are ‘other beach highlights’ such as the Costa de la Luz. The Costa de la Luz runs from Tarifa in the south-east of Spain to the west with the border of Portugal. Just a little less crowded, but with the same nice climate and beautiful villages where you can still see the Moorish influence. And with great hotels, such as the Hotel Riu Nautilus which gets a big ten from Piet and Marjan: ‘Great service oriented hotel, where we have been coming for years! Always coming home for us! All the staff a big 10.’
The Costa de la Luz is also a popular region among the Spaniards themselves. They like to celebrate holidays in, for example, Conil de La Frontera and Novo Sancti Petri. Around these seaside resorts are numerous beautiful beaches. In this area it is definitely recommended to rent a car and discover the most beautiful places. Visit the long-stretched beach of Zahara de los Atunes or go surfing in El Palmar. There is more than enough choice of beautiful accommodations. For example, how about Hotel Royal Hideaway Sancti Petri or Hotel Fuerte Conil?
Bolonia Beach at Tarifa
The food in Andalusia
Another highlight in Andalusia is the delicious and affordable food. This region is known for its tasty tapas and fine wines. You can also enjoy delicious, fresh tuna in Andalusia. This one is caught in the Strait of Gibraltar and will look back a lot on the menus. The nice thing about this region is that in the small villages you can enjoy traditional tapas but for example on the beaches you can relax with a gin and tonic in a chiringuito. These are beach huts where you can often eat with your feet in the sand. Thanks to its seaside location, fish dishes are very popular.
In addition, it is especially normal outside the tourist areas that you get a small dish with your drink. One thing is for sure, the delicious food is definitely one of the highlights during your holiday in Andalusia.
Bars in Vejer de La Frontera
Book your holiday to Andalucia
With these beautiful highlights you will have a wonderful holiday. From the busier seaside resorts on the Costa del Sol to the picturesque seaside resorts on the Costa de la Luz, Andalusia has a lot to offer. Lovers of culture, nature, gastronomy and beach are all right in this beautiful region. Book your holiday and discover the beautiful highlights of Andalusia.