Andalusia, also spelled "Andalucia," is a region in the southern part of Spain and is one of the country's most popular vacation destinations. With towering peaks rising into the majestic sky, beautiful beaches, and countless traces of the area's Moorish heritage spanning the countryside, Andalusia makes for an exciting and enchanting vacation. It also rewards travelers who venture off its beaten paths with outstanding cuisine, quaint towns, and striking architecture.
Some of the places in and around Andalusia you should visit include:
-Seville: Andalusia's capital and largest city is also the birthplace of flamenco dancing, and the city's residents fiesta with legendary fervor. Seville is also home to beautiful cathedrals, excellent galleries, and winding neighborhoods ripe with distinctive Spanish charm.
-Costa del Sol: This popular area's name, literally means "sun coast," and for good reason. This is the stretch of Andalusia with the best beaches, so if you're coming to southern Spain to soak up the sun, Costa del Sol merits, at the very least, a stop of a few days.
-Gibraltar: This British colony lies just off the southern coast of Andalusia, and the famous rocks of Gibraltar are definitely worth a look if you're in the area. Gibraltar's mysterious web of winding caves and tunnels makes for excellent spelunking.
-Sierra Nevada: Comprising the loftiest peaks in the entire Iberian Peninsula, the Sierra Nevada region offers excellent hiking and nature trails. If you're visiting in winter and want to go skiing, you're in luck; this is also where continental Europe's southernmost ski resorts are located.
-Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park: There's a lot more to Andalusia than beaches and beautiful cities, as you'll see if you spend a day in the great outdoors at this celebrated nature preserve.
Choosing a vacation rental instead of a crowded hotel is a wise idea for travelers who want a spacious place to relax after enjoying Andalusia's many charms. Options are many, ranging from mountain chalets and cabins to beach villas and apartments in the cities.
Further exploration of the Mediterranean region is easy from Andalusia. You can cross the Mediterranean Sea into North Africa, which is just a few miles from Andalusia's southernmost reaches or visit Portugal, which also borders Andalusia directly to the west.