The southern Spanish region of Andalusia is famous for its fascinating history and infectiously exuberant lifestyle. Its towns are always lively, and you’ll love exploring its scenic coasts and picturesque whitewashed villages. And the main cities are easy to reach from central Spain and other regions thanks to the high-speed train, or AVE.
For nearly eight centuries, Andalusia was under Islamic rule, leading to the golden age of al-Ándalus, a period of intellectual development now known as the Andalusian legacy. The impressive cultural heritage of that time has left some of the world’s most beautiful and significant buildings, such as the Great Mosque of Cordoba, the Giralda in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada, which are all well worth a visit.
Flamenco shows: did you know that UNESCO has designated Flamenco as Intangible Cultural Heritage? And the birthplace of this unique Spanish song and dance form is in Andalusia. It is well worth seeing a show in a traditional tablao.
Food: you are also sure to enjoy the cuisine of Andalusia. It still owes a great deal to the Arab dishes of al-Ándalus, based on vegetables, fruit, fish, and delicious virgin olive oil.
Beauty and wellness: if you want to relax, in Andalusia it is easy to find beauty and wellness centres and spas, but the area is particularly well-known for its Arab baths, with their traditional series of steam rooms and pools, as well as tea rooms.
If you are shopping for souvenirs, it is always a good idea to visit the local workshops to find a Manila shawl embroidered with fine silks, leatherwork, and other traditional crafts. You'll also find exclusive jewellery at the different municipalities on the Costa del Sol. Some areas, especially marinas and resorts such as Marbella, also offer top designer boutiques. Additionally, in Marbella you'll be able to shop in the El Corte Inglés department stores. More information
Andalusia is the ideal destination for family holidays. As well as plenty of beaches and family-friendly accommodation, there is a huge range of leisure parks, including some of the best-known in Spain.
If you like animals and you’d like to see them in their habitat and interact with them, you can choose from Bioparc Fuengirola, Selwo Aventura Estepona, Selwo Marina Benalmádena, Seville Aquarium, or the Castillo de las Guardas Reserve, just 50 kilometres outside Seville.
Do you prefer to get your thrills at amusement parks? Then you’ll love Isla Mágica Theme Park in Seville, or Tivoli World in Benalmádena. There are also places which are perfect for children to learn while they have fun, like the Granada Science Park Museum.