Holiday rentals in Andalusia
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Your guide to Andalusia
Welcome to Andalusia
Encompassing the southernmost part of the Spanish mainland, the wide coastal region of Andalusia teems with a richly varied and utterly unique heritage. Arabic tribes from North Africa ruled here from the 8th to 15th centuries; their legacy endures, not least in the eye-catching Moorish architecture of the Alhambra in Granada and the Mezquita (mosque) in Córdoba. The abounding culture of the inland cities, which include Seville and Jaén, are complemented by Andalusia’s famously pretty pueblos blancos (white villages) and the rugged beauty of its landscape, from the white-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada to the wetlands of Doñana National Park. Its Mediterranean coastline is well known to holidaymakers; the Costa del Sol is a popular vacation spot, and Malaga has become a major art destination. But the wilder, Atlantic-facing cliffs and beaches have just as much to offer, from kitesurfing in Tarifa to picturesque fishing towns and the historic port cities of Cadiz and Huelva.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Andalusia
Summers are hot in Andalusia, which can make touring, sightseeing, and other outdoor activities quite burdensome between June and August. The best time to visit one of the area’s villas is spring, when it’s pleasant to be out and about and the countryside is alive with colourful flowers. It’s also when many of the region’s most lively and important festivals and ferias (fairs) are staged. In the days leading up to Easter, the streets of Seville fill with the Holy Week processions of Semana Santa, and they’re followed two weeks later by the equally popular April Fair. Horses are the centre of attention at Jerez’s Feria del Caballo in May, which is also the month for Córdoba’s Fiesta de los Patios, when the residents throw open their private courtyards to all comers. Autumn and winter are mild enough to offer good hiking weather, and come February, Cadiz is the place to be for its huge annual Carnaval.
Top things to do in Andalusia
In the southern valleys of the Sierra Nevada sit a string of 50 villages built in the Berber style, their flat-roofed, whitewashed houses gleaming from the surrounding countryside. Unique local crafts and cuisines have flourished here for centuries, and the villages are connected by awe-inspiring hiking trails.
Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
This national park is home to Europe’s only desert – but don’t let that thought put you off. There’s magnificence to its vast, untouched beaches and the cliffs of volcanic rock that back them, with ancient fishing villages dotted here and there along the length of the coast.
Suspended across a 500-foot gorge, this town of two halves in the mountains of Málaga is an extraordinary spectacle. The Puente Nuevo that bridges the El Tajo ravine is a miracle of engineering completed in 1793 and the focal point of the town. But there’s plenty more history to be had in this ancient place, from its 13th-century Arab architecture to its Renaissance square.