All Ways Spain – fiesta Andalusia

Andalusia: the beating heart of Spain

The country’s most pop­u­lous region is also invari­ably the one to which people’s minds turn when they think of Spain. Andalu­sia has long rep­re­sent­ed to the out­side world all that is seen as “most Span­ish”: the sen­su­ous grace and bravu­ra of fla­men­co, the machis­mo and verve inher­ent in bull-fight­ing, a scorch­ing sum­mer cli­mate induc­ing the deli­cious indo­lence of the sies­ta, and the vis­i­ble roots of the Roman and Moor­ish con­tri­bu­tions to the country’s quite spec­tac­u­lar his­tor­i­cal trea­sure trove. Although firm­ly embed­ded in truth, this image is also only a par­tial vision of a rich­ly com­plex and end­less­ly sat­is­fy­ing place to vis­it. Rur­al Andalu­sia abounds in nat­ur­al bless­ings, from snow-topped moun­tains to fer­tile plains, vast dune beach­es to delta marsh­es teem­ing with birdlife. The region has the high­est pro­por­tion of its ter­ri­to­ry ded­i­cat­ed to pro­tect­ed nation­al and nat­ur­al parks of any in Spain, as well as the great­est bio­di­ver­si­ty in fau­na and flo­ra and a cli­mate that sur­pris­es in its vari­ety but where sun­shine is sel­dom lack­ing. Inspired by these sur­round­ings man has built here some of the most pleas­ing vil­lages and small towns that you will find on any jour­ney, such as Ron­da, Vejer de la Fron­tera, Ara­ce­na, Úbe­da, Cazor­la, Alhama de Grana­da — to name but a few.

Its cities are among the most dis­tinc­tive and attrac­tive in all Spain. There is majes­tic Seville, full of April Fair pomp and East­er Week cer­e­mo­ny, a sybarite’s par­adise where time seem­ing­ly stands still over a Sat­ur­day lunchtime glass of fino and plate of jamón ibéri­co, and a live­ly talk­ing shop where pol­i­tics, sport and soci­ety are debat­ed with pas­sion and wit. Fur­ther up the Guadalquivir, the “mighty riv­er” which forms the shoul­ders of the region, lies Cór­do­ba, with close on three mil­len­nia of his­to­ry and cul­ture behind it, a fact which secured UNESCO recog­ni­tion in 1984 with the dec­la­ra­tion of the entire his­toric quar­ter as a World Her­itage Site. At the feet of the moun­tains of the Sier­ra Neva­da, the roof of the Iber­ian Penin­su­la, lies Grana­da, where the Alham­bra palaces and maze-like streets of the Albaicín dis­trict stand as trea­sured reminders of a city which stood as a byword for beau­ty in the late medieval Mus­lim and Chris­t­ian world, and where now a young, cos­mopoli­tan uni­ver­si­ty city has devel­oped around its ves­tiges. Men­tion should also be made of Cádiz, reput­ed­ly the old­est city in Europe, going back beyond Phoeni­cian times, and whose con­stant role in world events shapes its salty, pun­gent char­ac­ter of today. Its province is per­haps the most var­ied in land­scapes of all Andalu­sia, rang­ing from the marshy delta of the Guadalquivir to cork-oak plan­ta­tions, jagged lime­stone moun­tains, pic­turesque pueb­los blan­cos and vast dune-fringed Atlantic beach­es.

With such abun­dance of nat­ur­al and man-made beau­ty, Andalu­sia can tru­ly lay claim to being one of Europe’s most out­stand­ing des­ti­na­tions for all types of trav­el. Our mis­sion is to show you this rich diver­si­ty through a range of Sam­ple Itin­er­aries, intro­duc­ing you to some of the won­der­ful sights, tastes and expe­ri­ences that this extra­or­di­nary region has to offer.