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A brief guide to Andalucia, Spain
Andalucia is probably one of Spain's most varied areas with its mountainous regions leading down to the Costa del Sol, Costa Tropical, Costa de Almeria and to the far west bordering Portugal, the beautiful Costa de la Luz. It is ideal for a holiday in winter as well as summer as there is skiing in the Sierra Nevada.
An Andalucia vacation has much to offer from its National Parks to a visit to Jerez for some sherry tasting. Also not to be missed are a day out to the wonderful city of Granada with its Alhambra Palace, Jaen or similarly Cordoba which also has much Moorish history.
The white towns (pueblos blancos) named because of the Moorish tradition of whitewashing the buildings are a glance back in time to traditional Spain. Towns such as Ronda, Gaucin and Jimena de la Frontera to name but a few.
Inland, rural Andalusia has three wonderful cities to explore, namely Cordoba, Granada and the capital of the region - Seville. In addition to these historic cities with their Moorish past, there are many traditional and picturesque whitewashed villages to visit, as well as nature reserves or simply walking or hiking in the scenic countryside.
Western rural Andalusia is home to the wonderful city of Ronda. It has a spectacular setting being located on a huge outcrop of rock. It is also famous for its bullring, which is the oldest in the country. The Punte Nuevo - 'the New Bridge' spans the gorge and links the old part of Ronda with the new. This part of Andalusia is also home to the whitewashed villages - pueblos blancos - of Gaucin, Jimena de la Frontera as well as picturesque towns and villages such as Alhaurin el Grande, Alhaurin de la Torre and Coin. Also in this area near the village of El Chorro is the geographical wonder of the Garganta del Chorro, a vast natural chasm in the limestone mountain. The national park of El Torcal is also popular with walkers, hikers and nature lovers.
In the east of the Malaga region Antequera is a busy market town within easy reach of Malaga for a day trip. It is a more traditional town and is well known for producing olive oil. It is possible to walk around the walls of the 13th century hilltop castle from where there are wonderful panoramic views over the surrounding area.
Some of the smaller rural villages in this area are Villanueva de la Concepcion, Alcaucin and the pretty white village of Competa. Here and in similar villages you will find a wealth of culture and a taste of real Spain. We have many holiday fincas and cortijos to rent as well as charming village houses all set in rural andalucian locations, yet the sea in most cases is within an hours drive. If you are looking for a vacation rental to get away from it all, then this is the area of choice.
About the Author: Warren Ward runs the vacation owner rentals website of www.ChooseSpain.com which advertises hundreds of holiday villas and apartments throughout Spain.