The province of Andalucia in Southern Spain is one of the best places for travellers in Europe.
It has everything you could want yet I’ve met many travellers who have never made it there.
So I wanted to reach out to those people who have never been and were thinking of maybe going.
I first visited the region when I was living in Gibraltar on the southern tip of Spain for 2 years at 9 years old. Naturally, they are just hazy childhood memories, but very good ones.
We would head out on many weekends to explore the area and especially loved the seaside parts.
I went back again for a few weeks and fell in love with the place all over again.
So here’s why I recommend Andalusia so much for those planning travels in Europe.
The ancient towns and cities of Andalucia are full of beautiful architecture and old towns with narrow winding streets, which you could get lost in for hours.
You can get lost in time there exploring all the history.
One of my personal favourites is the city of Granada which I rank as one of the best cities in Andalucia.
The location near the Sierra Mountains with one of the best old towns, along with a bohemian vibe and big student population, makes it perfect.
But every city and small town is a pure delight to wander around.
Seville is the capital of Andalusia and there are loads of things to do in Seville when there. Wandering around the grand architecture is worth it alone.
Eat some of the freshest seafood at a Cadiz market.
Drink some of the best sherry in the world in Jerez.
See traditional festivals all over the region, with some of the best in Malaga.
See and feel some of the chilled atmosphere of Cordoba.
Spain has some of the best festivals/fiestas in Europe, and hopefully, if you plan right you can experience one.
In the two photos below you can see part of the Samana Santa (holy week) in Malaga.
The festivities go on day and night for a week. But before that all over Andalucia, you can see the marching bands out practising.
Food in Andalucia
Let’s not forget about the food!
It’s very cheap by Western European standards and very tasty.
With plenty of cafes and bars around you can gorge yourself on regional delights and plenty of traditional Spanish desserts to try that are mouth-watering.
One essential to try, which thankfully is everywhere, is the tapas. A selection of different foods in smaller portions.
You can go to a relaxed cafe/bar and be happily full.
In the picture below the tapas cost five euros along with the beer! Some places are even cheaper.
This particular bar was in Cadiz.
Spain is well known for its Jamon (ham). You can find it all over and definitely, should try some. Not the cheapest in the world but worth it!
As well as great seafood along the coast, from the small town of Tarifa, which is famous for its large beach, to the city of Cadiz with its large market, and plenty of others in-between.
The fruits are very fresh and there are some of the juiciest oranges in the world.
Plenty of chilled out bars in Andalucia. Such a relaxed vibe there, which is another reason for visiting.
Knocking back a few local lagers or wine and getting to know some local people is part of the Andalucia experience.
Sherry anyone? Apparently, in Jerez and their breweries, it has the best anywhere.
Wandering the Cities of Andalucia
Yeah, this is great, mainly in part to the winding lanes of the old parts.
Getting lost and coming across hidden bars, architecture, and the friendly people that inhabit these areas is a highlight of travel there.
Watching old people hang their laundry out to dry while passing the day slowly, a mellow pace of life is one of the stand out feelings you will go through.
By the sea, you can feel the fresh breeze pass through the narrow lanes of the buildings. If in summer it will be a welcome relief from the heat.
Watch the locals go about their daily lives. Grab a fishing rod and pass the time chilling with fishermen in Cadiz.
And generally, disappear in the beauty of the whole ambience in the region.
But most essential of all is the people of Andalucia.
You can go to one of the best places in the world, but if the people are assholes then no matter how amazing the area is, it will be marred by the bad vibe.
Thankfully Andalucia is full of people that are friendly and helpful. The fact that part of their lifestyle is taking siestas in the afternoon is perfect!
Maybe it was the time of year (March) or the fact that travellers seem to stick with the main city attractions in the north and centre of Europe, like London, Amsterdam, Paris, Prague etc.
If on a short trip that’s understandable, but for travellers with more time on their hands then you should go there.
One of the best ways to see the area is to rent a car and do a road trip in Andalucia.
There are plenty of cheap flights into Malaga on budget airlines, and that’s a good starting point to then head up to Granada and the rest of the area.
You could also fly into Madrid then bus it down in 5-6 hours, which may be a cheaper option if flying in long distance to Europe, as Madrid will have more flight options being the capital.
Hell even if you’re just coming to Europe on a short trip, choosing Andalucia as the main region to explore would be a very, very good choice.
Take a look at my other article about travelling to Andalucia and Lisbon in Portugal.
If you are exploring a lot of Spain then try to get to the Balearic Islands as well. You can take a ferry from Barcelona for example. Here is what to do in Majorca to give you an idea.