Many people come to Andalucia for a beach holiday. This usually means soaking up as much sun as possible at the beach. Nothing wrong with that. After all, Andalucia has some of the best beaches Europe has to offer.
However, if you want to know what the country is really all about, then why not experience many of the other cool things to do in Southern Spain?
Here are some suggested activities that you can do next time you’re in Al-Andalus. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it should get you started in planning your Andalucia trip.
1. Cycle Andalucia’s countryside – Want to take the slow route around Andalucia? Get cycling. Venture the golden hills of the countryside and the narrow village streets and see Spain at your own pace. There are many routes to take for both beginners and more seasoned riders — from the relaxing via Verdes to the rigorous routes that the pros take.
2. Go skiing. In the winter, head off to the Sierra Nevada in Granada. On this mountain is a small skiing resort with over 95km of pistes. And if you so fancy, you can even head to the beach on the same day.
3. Get Walking: Like many places in Spain, Andalucia is a walker’s paradise. Try the newly rebuilt Caminito del Rey or go up La Maroma for a day out and a view of Africa.
4. Extreme sports for the adrenaline junkie – Whatever is your choice of adrenaline-pumping activity, from canyoning to microlighting, you’re bound to find it here.
Now if you’re in Andalucia to get some much-needed rest and relaxation, leave your adventure gear at home and get renewed by the many soul enriching and body revitalizing things that you can do.
5. Choose Your beach. The South of Spain is best known for its beaches. Many popular beaches get buzzing in the summer but if you’re the type who fancies a quiet beach, you’ll be surprised to know that it’s just as easy to find one on the Andalucian coast. Also, there are many different kinds of beaches that you can choose from.
6. Explore The National Parks
From the snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada to the Marshes of Doñana in Huelva and Seville, the national parks of Southern Spain are a nature-lovers paradise.
These national parks not only have great walking holiday possibilities but also offer very interesting flora and fauna great for bird watchers and nature spotters.
7. Go Camping
For those who want to commune with nature and get down and dirty, 🙂 camping in Southern Spain is the way to go. There are many camping areas to choose from. From luxurious glamping sites to no-frills ones.
Camp by the beach, by the lake, on a mountain or at the National park. The choice is yours.
8. Tapas Tours: And of course, there’s food. Glorious food. Learn how to cook Spanish food or if you would rather not do the cooking, then there are many great restaurants to fill your craving.
Here, there are opportunities for fancy Michelin-star dining. But make sure you also try the local olives, cheese and wine in whichever province you plan to visit.
9. Wine Tours: Many Spanish tour companies now offer wine or bodega tours. And you dear foodie are going to enjoy a day spent with the people who produce your wine. The bodegas look pretty cool too for you Instagrammers out there. And did I say there’s wine? Yes, wine. and You get to drink it too.
10. Walk around the White Villages: Nothing evokes Andalucia as much as white-washed villages with cobblestone streets, geraniums hanging on the balcony, and the backdrop of the golden Andalucian hills.
Some of the popular villages are Arcos de la Frontera, Zahara and Ronda. But these are by no means the only interesting villages to visit in the region. In fact, I suggest going to the less popular ones if you want to experience Spain’s local life and culture.
It’s common for people to visit 3 or more white villages during their stay. I suggest going to just 1 -2 and then staying for a longer time in one of them. Have coffee at the square in the morning and get your menu del dia from one of the restaurants. You can even join a local town fiesta if one is happening during your stay
11. Historical Tours: For any history buff, Southern Spain is a place waiting to be explored. The Mezquita, Alhambra and Sevilla’s Alcazar are a must see. But so are the less known places like the roman ruins of Baelo Claudia in Tarifa or the renaissance-style cities of Ubeda and Baeza.
12. Go to a Flamenco Show: The purists will probably say that you will not find Duende in a Flamenco show set for tourists. But to be honest, if you’re only visiting, chances of you finding an impromptu one is next to nil. Besides, some of these shows are good and it’s a good birds-eye view of the magic behind Flamenco.