Across the Atlantic Ocean and reaching to the Mediterranean Seas lies the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. History of the past inhabitants such as the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans and the Moors is still felt in the region’s historic towns like Seville, Granada and Cordoba. Small towns and villages decorate Southern Spain and you will find good wine, folklore, and architectural and natural wonders. Andalusia’s climate is similar to Africa where stark landscape diverges from the lush subtropical climates. There are so many possibilities for a traveler that I chose to write about just one portion at a time so that you, Dear Reader, can truly inhale and imagine the beauty, the adventure and the taste of this amazing place.
Costa del Sol (“Sun Coast”) is a popular destination because the Mediterranean Sea makes the climate sunny and mild. With 9 regions and 101 towns and villages every person can find their own private paradise. Alicate beach in Marbella, Malaga Cathedral, Tornillo monument at El Torcal in Antequera, or Sierra de las Nieves Nature Park are just some of the gems this area offers. Eastern Costa del Sol is where you will find Nerja Caves, which stretch out for almost 5 kilometers and you will find a naturally made amphitheater where concerts are held. Rappel at Sima del Diablo; imagine walking into the heart of a mountain and caving in the Cueva del Gato. From your vantage point on Maro-Cero Gordo Cliffs natural area, enjoy spectacular views and look across the waters to the African coast. Hike in Ardales Park to Los Gaitanes gorge in Alora where you can enjoy breath-taking views from a suspension bridge that spans the gorge.
Costa del Sol also has your leisure time, eating, and nightlife covered. Take a risk at Casino de Marbella or Casino Torrequebrada. Not a gambler? More than 30 shopping centers offering not only exclusive items but also hand crafted goods to cart home. In the Historical District of Malaga enjoy a mixture of the centuries with churches, convents, and palaces going back to the 17th and 18th century. The streets are lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants that let you taste the food being offered. In the daytime, wander the streets sightseeing, shopping, visiting the tapas bars, and at night return to continue in the hundreds of bars and discos.
Still looking for more, maybe feeling like you need some culture, get a little authentic taste of the region? Costa del Sol is there to take care of you after a few days of diving, caving, hiking, swimming, eating, dancing and shopping. The Arabic Bathhouses in the ancient Jewish quarter were built in the thirteenth or fourteenth century. Floodwaters buried them and were not rediscovered until 1935. Excavations have recovered three chambers connected by semicircular arches and barrel-vaulted roofs. Star shaped openings filter in sunlight and create a quiet peaceful atmosphere. They are one of the best-preserved bathhouses from that timeframe in Spain. Visit the town of Ronda, one of the oldest cities in Spain. This mountain top city still bears the influence of the Moors who built walls, gates and arches that are still intact today. Visit the House of the Moorish King and its gardens. With its narrow streets, museums, churches, plazas and sidewalk cafes you might find yourself finally relaxing.
Who can go to Spain and not experience Spanish wine? In Ronda Cuesta La Vina Winery, Descalzos Viejos Winery and Bodge Dona Felisa all provide the visitor a glimpse into the creation of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, petit verdot and more. Enjoy not only beautiful outdoor scenery but take in the history at Descalzos with a restored chapel of the Covent of S.Trinity XVI and convent garden terraces. Experience the excitement and passion of traditional Flamenco in either Malaga or Benalmadena. If you are feeling brave, visit historical bullrings in Ronda or Cortes de la Frontera.
What kind of traveller are you? Do you crave excitement and want to push yourself physically? Perhaps you are looking for luxury accommodations, shopping and dining experiences. Are you the person toting around your camera snapping thousands of photos, looking to capture the feeling and experience of your trip in a photograph? Maybe you like to lie on the beach, enjoy a swim, and take in a few pubs and dancing? Costa del Sol is there to greet you warmly, deliciously and decadently at every turn.
Who wants this great destination on our travel clubs itinerary? I do!