” The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only a page ” – Saint Augustine.
In today’s fast paced world, amidst all the chaos and hustle of the cities is situated a surreal countryside of Spain, Andalucia. Spain is one of the most lavish, jaunty countries and is a nation with many traditions and cultures to its name. Should you need the unforgettable experience of peace, placidity and find the connection with the beauty of a lush countryside, Campo Andaluz is the perfect destination for you. Bull-fighting, Flamenco, wine, sandy beaches, the majestic Sierra Morena, the soothing countryside, joyful people and the imperial architecture that has been influenced by the Moorish, are home to this beautiful place in the South of Spain.
Andalusia forms the southern part of spain and is divided into 8 provinces, each one being named after its capital city – Cadiz, Cordoba, Jaen, Huelva, Almeria, Malaga, Granada and Seville, Seville being Andalusia’s capital.
This was once believed to be one of the poorest areas of Spain, especially Granada, Seville and Malaga. With the ever-developing tourism and many attractions for people from the world over, it has become one of the most visited places in Spain. The most striking feature of this place is the remnants of its Moorish past. The Moorish were a mixture of Arabs and Berbers who had ruled this place for over 7 centuries. They had crossed in through the straits of Gibraltar and named the place Al Andalus. Each of its towns tell tales of the erstwhile Moorish civilization like the unarguably everlasting classic architectural marvel, The Alhambra palace in Grenada. Apart from from its sparkling shores and busy cities, it also has some beautiful white-washed towns and unspoiled villages that show the high contrast of this countryside.
For nature lovers, Andalusia is home to a different variety of unique ecosystems and has many protected areas too. The rich flora and fauna of this place are impeccable. It boasts of 150 protected spaces, 2 national parks and and many more nature parks and many more of nature’s sites and reserves. The famous Andalusian horse and the Iberian Wolf are major attractions.
A well known thing about andalucia is that it is the birthplace of many famous painters like, Zurbarán, Velázquez and Pablo Picasso. Picasso was one of the most influential painters and artists of the 20th century.
Andalusia is also known for its characteristic and famous genre of music, the Flamenco. Its know world over and is appreciated by many. Cante flamenco- vocals, toque flamenco – guitar and baile flamenco- dance are the parts of this interesting art. Andalusia is also the center of Bull rearing and Bull Fighting. Plaza de Toros, the oldest Bullring is still in use in Ronda which was built in 1784. The Andalusian government sponsors the route though bullfighting region of Andalusia.
PLACES TO SEE
1. Alhambra Palace, Grenada
This palace was constructed by the Moorish King, Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Andalusia. A person with a keen interest for Architecture should definitely pay a detailed visit to this masterpiece.
2. Pueblos Blancos
The white towns of Andalusia are places that were whitewashed in the 1920′s, its all white! The narrow streets distinctly give a touch of the Arab world and these villages are famous for their rock paintings. If you are looking for a nice stroll which gives a succinct account of Andalusia tradition, Pueblos Blancos it is.
3. Picasso Museum
The people and town of Malaga take pride in the fact that Picasso was born there. The king and queen of spain inaugurated this museum for him in 2003. Art and craft enthusiasts should definitely pay a visit to this place.
4. The Mezquita
The mosque at Cordoba was built by one of the greatest emperors of the Islamic History, Abd ar- Rehman. This was one of the greatest architectural marvels of its time. The walls and the pillars are decorated with exquisite art forms using the Byzantine Mozaic. This is a must visit for people going to Cordoba.
These are the gardens of paradise of Granada. The annual festival of Music and Dance is performed in this garden. This place is famous for its layout and stair-cased waterfalls. This place has been registered as a UN World Heritage Site in 1988.
The capital city is know as city of joy and happiness. It is believed to be founded by Hercules and its famous for its widespread architectural attractions and cuisine.
HOTELS AND ACCOMMODATION
Spain’s hospitality is one of the best in the world. Accommodation is never an issue. There are excellent hotels and resorts that give you the exact comfort and stay you are looking for. The Granada Luxury Resort is at the Mediterranean sea and its perfect location makes it a brilliant place to stay.
DELICACIES OF ANDALUCIA
Andalusian cuisine is famous for gazpacho, pescaito frit or fried fish and jamon, dry -cured pork ham. The wines of Jerez or sherry are famous, the world over. they have been appreciated by many all over the world including the famous playwright William Shakespeare. Some famuos andalusian dishes are salmorejo, migas de harina, gachas, flamenquin, etc. Food lovers, Andalucia is home to a varied and typical southern spanish cuisine.
Andalucia is one of the very famous tourist locations in the world. It is always a treat for people who visit the sandy beaches, country side and experience a nice holiday is the Iberian land of the Moorish. I would definitely make this place as one of the top contenders in my list for a superb holiday.