In Andalusia, you’ll find a whole host of attractive cultural destinations such as Seville, Marbella, Granada, Cordoba, Cadiz, Úbeda and Baeza. Cities you’ll never tire of rediscovering. However, the vastness of Andalusia means that it’s also home to several other locations that definitely deserve a spot on your list of places to visit. The following cities might just convince you to discover more of the south of Spain than you’ve already seen.
On the banks of the Genil river, you’ll find the famous City of the Sun, or City of Towers: Écija. Given its climate, we recommend visiting during the cooler months of the year.Écija is like an open-air art gallery: a great exhibition of Baroque art in the form of eighteenth-century convents, palaces and churches whose towers reach for the heavens. It’s considered the most Baroque city in Andalusia.You can kick off your visit with a stroll around the Plaza de España, surrounded by the city’s monuments - such as the Church of San Juan or the Valdehermoso Palace. Its palaces are of great cultural interest and architectural beauty, as is the case of the Palacio de Justicia, built in a Neo-Mudéjar style similar to that of Granada’s famous Alhambra. Or, for example, the Benamejí Palace with its Historical Museum. This consists of various rooms filled with archaeological items, with exhibits of mosaics and other Roman artefacts unearthed in the city itself. In fact, Écija was built on land that was once occupied by the ancient Roman colony of Astigi.
Sanlúcar de Barrameda is a city with a little bit of everything, from the historic monuments of its Barrio Alto neighbourhood to restaurants with sea views in the Barrio Bajo. A wander through the steep, narrow streets of the Barrio Alto will lead you to such stately structures as the Santiago Castle and the Palace of the Dukes of Medina Sidonia. Here, you can enjoy a coffee in the beautiful indoor garden. What’s more, today this Renaissance palace also serves as a guest house.As you leave the Barrio Alto, you’ll find streets decorated with tiles that pay homage to Magellan and Elcano’s circumnavigation of the earth. Once you reach the area around the Plaza del Cabildo, the atmosphere starts to get a lot more lively, with streets filled with bars and shops, the city’s central food market (the Mercado de Abastos), and wineries producing Sanlúcar sherry (protected under the Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda Denomination of Origin).If you want to eat at some of the best restaurants in Sanlúcar, you might want to head over to the Bajo Guía area. This is an old fisherman’s neighbourhood where you can try some of the most traditional dishes in Sanlúcar cuisine (seafood stews, shellfish, and delicious fish).
Antequera is worth much more than just a flying visit on your way to the Caminito del Rey or nearby cities such as Cordoba, Malaga, Granada and Seville. Thanks to its location between these famous Andalusian destinations, you can add it to your itinerary without having to travel too far out of your way. One of Malaga’s most prized monuments is the Alcazaba of Antequera. This is an eleventh-century Arab palace and fortress consisting of walled precincts and a myriad of towers that dominate the horizon. The most notable of these is the Keep, the tallest tower in the Alcazaba, from which the bells can be heard ringing out.Other sites of significant tourist interest include the historic town centre, the Renaissance Santa María la Mayor Royal Collegiate Church and the Antequera Dolmens. The latter is an archaeological zone and UNESCO World Heritage Site, in which you can also find the Peña de los Enamorados mountain, a landscape with its own legend and a statue honouring the eponymous lovers located in the Plaza de Castilla.Andalusia is home to yet more enchanting towns overflowing with heritage and exciting leisure activities. Fortunately, here in Spain, we have enough hours of sunlight to enjoy everything on offer!