Andalucia, Spain, is one of the warmest and sunniest regions in Europe. With a colorful array of foods, carnivals, and history, and a lively culture, Andalucia is one of the most incredible places to visit in Spain.
Known for bullfighting, architecture, and flamenco dancing, Andalucia has much to offer the traveling enthusiast. If you are an art lover, many museums will capture your curiosity about Andalusian exquisite art talents. The Museum of Fine Arts in Seville has numerous works from the Golden Age of Sevillian painting, designed by renowned artists such as Valdés Leal and Murillo. It also houses the popular sculpture by Pedro Millán, Crying Over the Dead Christ.
Envelope yourself with Renaissance, Islamic, and Baroque architecture. Some buildings are from thousands of years ago, which still stand today. Visit the Great Mosque of Cordoba, developed by the Umayyad Caliphate, the second of the four Arab Caliphs. Or tour Ronda, where the oldest bullring, the Plaza de Toros, is still in use, constructed in 1784 CE.
Explore Andalucia during Holy Week and attend the Procession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Take a pilgrimage to Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza in Andújar and Listen to saetas. Visit the cathedrals and enjoy the fascinating history of Andalucia.
Another popular festival in Andalucia is the Cádiz Carnival. This festival commences with the legend that the brightest people in Spain reside in Andalucia. Chirigotas, groups of performers, practice sarcasm and wit all year long to sing at the carnival. Anyone can join in the celebrations and dress in costumes that usually mimic recent politics. The festival lasts about a couple of weeks and has lots of other performers as well. Romanceros, Choirs, quartets, and comparasas perform during the carnival to show off their cleverness and wit.
The Seville Fair is another wicked festival held along the Guadalquivir River where you can find people singing, dancing the sevillanas, eating tapas and drinking sherry, dressed in traje cortos and flamenco dresses.
If a green landscape is what you prefer, Andalucia will not disappoint you. With everything from hilly ranges to stunning seacoast, Andalucia is a fabulous place to see Mother Nature at her most elegant. The lands are filled with almonds and olive trees, poplars, elms, and pines. The more forested regions smell like Grandmother’s kitchen with all the natural thyme and rosemary thriving. The lovely warm weather and natural coasts of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean are excellent places to relax and enjoy the open skies and calm waters.
Andalucian dining shines on the Mediterranean bounty. Dine on fried fish fresh from the ocean and deepwater rose shrimp. If you ram yourself on the seafood, try the famous Plato alpujarreño, a sausage and ham combination. For dessert, enjoy pastries with honey and almonds. Polvorones and Metcados are made from Andalucian shortbread and are a delicious local treat. Andalucian wines are loved throughout the world and for a good reason. The sherries and wines from this region are diverse and are sweetened with white grapes or Pedro Ximénez.
A holiday in Andalucia would not be complete without exploring a flamenco performance. Flamenco dancing is provocative, seductive, and enigmatic. The women wear ornate gypsy dresses of different colors and the men wear colorful vests with tight pants and normally pair them with a light-colored (mostly white) undershirt. Flamenco music has evolved over history but usually sounds like classical guitar or jazz. You haven’t seen Andalucia until you’ve witnessed flamenco.