There's an awful lot of Andalucia. Stretched out over 87,000km² it's made up of eight separate provinces - each with its own historic cities, landscapes and sights to see. But after many hours…
To really get to know Andalucia it’s often best to head away from the crowds and instead seek out the quiet solace of village life. This is the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing villa break here in Spain.
In “Los Pueblos Blancos” you can escape the daily grind, and take a step back in time to a place where gentle fountains animate quaint town squares, and the slow pace of life is often interrupted only by children kicking around a ball, or by the town’s old folk enjoying animated debates at their favourite bench.
When you choose to spend a villa holiday on the Costa del Sol you can find a surprising number of charming sleepy villages within easy reach, just waiting to be explored. Here is a quick run through of some of our favourite white villages in Andalucia:
Casares is fifteen kilometres inland of Estepona, to the west of Marbella, in the Mšlaga province of of Andalucía. It is perched on the side of a mountain close to the Sierra Crestellina national park, approximately a twenty five minute drive from Estepona.
It is a breathtaking village which has been described as ‘sugar cubes’ on the side of the mountain and looks particularly stunning when lit up at night with the blue/green street lights. The best view is from the approach into Casares so be sure to take the time to stop and take in the sights before you get there.
Casares has a spectacular 12th century Moorish castle, several churches and chapels, each one as beautiful as the previous one, a visitor centre, fountain and is close to the Baths of La Hedionda which are Roman baths and sulphur springs said to have been used to cure a skin infection of Julius Caesar! It is known as the ‘Hanging Village’ due to its precarious location on the Cliffside. There are many great restaurants and tapas bars and lots of village shops to explore, if you are lucky you will see some eagles soaring above the cliffs around Casares.
As well as the national festivals such as of Andalucía day on the 28th of February, the Easter festivities and the Three Kings parades on the evening of the 5th of January, Casares has its annual feria in the second half of July and a second feria in the first week of August so it’s a great time to visit around then.
Frigiliana is to the east of Mšlaga and only a ten minute drive from the coastal town of Nerja in the area of Andalucía known as the Axarquia.
Voted most beautiful village in of Andalucía for several years running, the village’s cobbled streets gently wind up through the beautifully maintained white houses of the old town, splashes of colour wherever you look from the balconies and doorsteps full of beautifully kept flowers. The houses are painted every year and it is traditionally the women of the village who carry out this work.
Frigiliana has a great infrastructure including many shops, bars and fabulous restaurants, several hotels and a working molasses factory right in the centre of town. The streets are hilly here and there are beautiful mosaic covered steps leading to the tiny narrow residential streets from the main road.
The very famous Frigiliana festival, Festival de las Tres Culturas, is celebrated at the end of August each year, drawing crowds of hundreds to watch the fabulous concerts and many other festivities. There are also other fiestas throughout the year including Saint Sebastian day in January, the patron saint of Frigiliana. The day of the cross is in May each year and the annual Frigiliana feria is in June.
North of Casares, also to the west of Marbella, in the Mšlaga province of of Andalucía, is the white village of Gaucin. It is approximately nineteen km from Casares and a thirty minute drive from the coast.
Gaucin is around 600 metres above sea level in the Sierra del Hacho and has great views over Gibraltar and Morocco. It is surrounded by cork forests and because of this the local shops sell many items made from cork to tourists. The surrounding mountains provide a fabulous backdrop to the pretty white village, with contrasting colour from the wild poppies, orchids, olive groves and almond blossom.
At the very top of the village is a medieval castle, Castillo del Aguila or Eagle’s castle, where you can see eagles over the mountains as the name suggests. It is a sleepy, laid back town with a few similarly laid back bars and restaurants serving the traditional fayre of the area. The narrow winding streets of Gaucin have always been an inspiration for artists and photographers and there is a large artistic community here.
Among the many festivals of Gaucin, of particular note are the release of two bulls on Easter Sunday which are left to run around the village and chased by the more adventurous or crazy villagers. The annual feria is in August, around the fourth, and involves three days of live music, eating, drinking and dancing.
Located north of the Costa del Sol in the Cordoba province of Andalucía is the beautiful town of Iznšjar. It is around one hour drive from Mšlaga and one hour from Granada.
Iznšjar has a unique location overlooking the Embalse de Iznšjar which is the largest lake in of Andalucía and has a lovely clean, sandy beach which is very popular in the summer months with whole families arriving in their cars, driving straight onto the beach, unpacking gazebos and tables and spending the day there swimming, sunbathing and eating. The village is nestled on a rocky outcrop with amazing views of the lake below. It is dominated by a majestic Moorish castle which is sadly in ruins but is lovely to walk to and the views from there are spectacular.
The village offers bars, restaurants and a lakeside hotel as well as a municipal museum. On the lake you can go fishing, learn to sail and you can rent out pedalos and kayaks from the campsite right on the beach. The lake is clean and safe to swim in and there are several beach bars to shelter from the sun in the hot afternoons.
The local festivals of Iznšjar include a fabulous carnival, with parades and dressing up, in February. The patron saint of Iznšjar, San Marco, has a special day on the 25th of April where the whole town heads off for picnics in the countryside. The feria is around the 7th of September every year and usually lasts for three days and includes a candlelight procession through the town.
Jimena de la Frontera is in the province of Cadiz in Andalucía, it is about a thirty minute drive west of Gaucin and directly north of La Linea and the border of Gibraltar.
The village is surrounded by the Alcornocales Natural Park and is overlooked by a Moorish castle which was built around 750 A.D. It has been occupied since prehistoric times and here you can see cave paintings, at the archaeological site of La Laja Alta, which are the only examples of maritime cave paintings from the Bronze Age in Spain.
Transport links make Jimena easily accessible from all directions and the road and rail network is much improved in recent years. There are several beautiful churches and other buildings to visit. Other activities in the area include bike riding, horse riding and hill walking due to the proximity of the beautiful Natural Park.
As well as the national festivals of Spain, Jimena has several of its own throughout the year. The Carnival with parades of floats is in February, the agricultural fair is in the second week of May every year. There is an annual music festival in the second week of July and the Jimena feria is generally in the first week of September.
Mijas pueblo (village) is a short twenty minute drive from Mšlaga airport in the Mšlaga province and is only fifteen minutes from the coast at La Cala de Mijas and Fuengirola.
Mijas is situated in the Sierra de Mijas mountains and is surrounded by beautiful pine forests. It has the best of both worlds with its white village charm, winding cobbled streets, breathtaking views and close proximity to the sea. If bullfighting is your thing, Mijas has its own bull ring which is still in use and is also used for horse displays. There is an auditorium which is used for concerts throughout the summer and there are also two museums to visit.
As well as being close to the coast, Mijas has its own fabulous infrastructure which includes shops and a wide and varied range of restaurants, all the usual supermarkets and other food shops and, perhaps best of all a chocolate factory!
Special festivals in Mijas include Mijas International day which is a multicultural festival giving people from all over the world the opportunity to tell others about their culture and lifestyle, it is usually held in the first week in May. San Juan is celebrated on the night of the 23rd of June and is the celebration of the longest night of the year with festivities including dancing and fireworks.
Ronda is in the Mšlaga province of Andalucía and is a one hour twenty minute drive from the airport at Mšlaga. It is situated north and inland of Marbella and Estepona.
The village of Ronda is third only to Seville and Granada in the most visited places in Andalucía. It is famous all over the world for being perched on the edge of the El Tajo gorge and offers fabulous views and countless photo opportunities. It is the modern birthplace of bullfighting and its bullring ‘Plaza de Torros’ is now a museum and attracts many thousands of visitors each year.
Ronda is accessible by road and rail, the drive to the village from the coast or from further inland is quite spectacular. There are two tourist offices here and a whole host of fabulous shops selling traditional, and not so traditional, Spanish crafts and other goods.
The ‘Fiesta de la Virgen de la Paz’ is the celebration of the patron Saint of Ronda and is held on the 24th of January every year. The feria is around the 20th of May and the main events of the year are held in the first week in September with the International Folklore Music and Dancing Festival and other festivities.
Viñuela is another white village in the Mšlaga province of Andalucía. It is inland of Velez Mšlaga, to the east of Mšlaga city, and is approximately fifty minutes from Mšlaga airport.
The stunning village of La Viñuela is set in the breathtaking landscape of the Axarquia and situated next to the man made reservoir of Lake Viñuela which provides the majority of drinking water for the local area. There are many luxury villas nestled in the hills with beautiful views over the lake and the lake itself boasts pretty beaches and non motorized water sports for all. There are picnic areas and barbecue areas all around the lake and the surrounding pine forests provide shade and a peaceful atmosphere for visitors.
La Viñuela was named after the local grape vines from which a delicious sweet wine is still produced today. The town is also famous for its local olive oil which is of particularly good quality. There are many arts and craft shops here including basket making and leather goods. There are also archeological sites in the village dating back to prehistoric, Roman and medieval times.
In May in La Viñuela there is a pilgrimage from the village to the hamlets of Los Gomez and Los Romanes for the Romeria which is a traditional gypsy festival. The annual feria is in mid July and there are three more ferias locally in early August, mid August and mid September.
Our readers would love to hear about your favourite white villages to visit from the Costa del Sol, just leave your comments below.
If you love the idea of exploring authentic Andalucia, then here are our top villa recommendations from our Andalusia Collection
[av_portfolio categories=’25’ columns=’2′ one_column_template=’special’ items=’4′ contents=’excerpt’ preview_mode=’auto’ image_size=’portfolio’ linking=” sort=’no’ paginate=’yes’]
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 102656 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-03-12 10:30:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-12 10:30:02 [post_content] => There's an awful lot of Andalucia. Stretched out over 87,000km² it's made up of eight separate provinces - each with its own historic cities, landscapes and sights to see. But after many hours discussing everything it has to offer, we've come up with what we think is the definitive guide to the best things to do in Andalucia. Here goes...
1. Visit the Alcazar & its enchanting GardensThis UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most outstanding examples of Mudéjar architecture in the whole of Spain. An active royal palace, it's swathed in gorgeous, sprawling gardens full of swaying palms and tinkling fountains. Address: Patio de Banderas, s/n, 41004 Sevilla. Alcazarsevilla.org
2. Climb La Giralda & Get a Bird's-eye View of sevilleThis iconic minaret turned bell tower has changed with the city over the course of its eight century-long life. Ramps rather than steps lead most of the way up (so that the muezzin could ride his horse up to call the faithful to prayer). From the top, you're rewarded with a view out over beautiful Seville. Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla
3. See Columbus's Tomb in Seville CathedralSheer enormity aside, there's so much to see inside the world's largest Gothic cathedral. There are artworks by Murillo and Goya, the largest and richest altarpiece in the world, a beautiful orange tree-filled courtyard, a stuffed crocodile (really!) and the tomb of Christopher Columbus. The legend goes that its original planners said: “Let’s build a church so beautiful and so majestic that those who see it finished will think us mad”. We wonder if you'll agree. Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla. Catedraldesevilla.es
4. Go Boating in Plaza de EspañaBuilt in the 1920s, this highly decorative, Renaissance/Baroque Revivalist plaza makes for the perfect photo opportunity in Seville. Putting the camera aside for a moment, between it, an ornamental boating lake and the surrounding leafy Maria Luisa Park, it's a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
5. get lost in Santa CruzThe most attractive quarter of Seville - making it quite possibly Andalucia's most beautiful neighbourhood - the barrio of Santa Cruz is the history-packed old Jewish quarter of the city. It obviously gets more than its fair share of tourists, so head there at daybreak. Then you can have it all to yourself, and see the sunrise wake each of its squares and fountains. Magical.
6. experience Flamenco at Tablao El ArenalOpened over 40 years ago by the dancer Curro Vélez, Tablao El Arenal is one of the best places to experience flamenco in Seville. To get the most out of flamenco we always recommend hiring a guide: this UNESCO protected art form is incredibly complex, and newcomers always benefit from a little bit of explanation. Address: Calle Rodo, 7, 41001 Sevilla. +34 954 21 64 92. Tablaoelarenal.com
7. taste the finest Spanish Cuisine at AbantalThe interiors and the food compete with each other for attention at this chic and contemporary Michelin star restaurant. In terms of choice, you can opt for the 'Daily Chef' or 'Grand Daily Chef' tasting menus. Just make sure you book first. Address: Calle Alcalde José de la Bandera, 7, y 9, 41003 Sevilla. +34 954 54 00 00. Abantalrestaurante.es
8. Relax in Arabic BathsAn entire building given over to the concept of sheer relaxation through water, this is another level entirely of spa experience. There are whole rooms of pools of different temperatures, along with massages and treatments. Don't miss the rooftop pool: sip Cava, nibble fresh fruit and take in the views of the Cathedral. Stunning. Address: Calle Aire, 15, 41004 Sevilla. +34 955 01 00 24. Beaire.com
9. Visit Roman Spain at ItalicaThis dramatic ruined Roman city just outside Seville was the birthplace of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian. With its huge amphitheatre, extensive temple and remarkable mosaic floors, it's one of the most fascinating historic sites in southern Spain. Address: Av. Extremadura, 2, 41970 Santiponce, Sevilla. +34 955 62 22 66.
10. Travel back through time - Alcazaba & GibralfaroIt's a journey through Spanish history. Start at the Roman amphitheatre ruins, then make your way through the Moorish Alcazaba fortress, and finish at the Gibralfaro castle overlooking the sea. Address: Calle Alcazabilla, 29015 Málaga. Malagaturismo.com
11. Drink Like an Andalucian at Antigua Casa de GuardiaStand at the bar and sample some of the most delicious sweet and dry fortified wines from the barrels at Malaga's oldest tavern. Address: Alameda Principal, 18, 29005 Málaga. +34 952 21 46 80. Antiguacasadeguardia.com
12. Admire Ronda from the Bottom of the GorgeThis town of Ronda is all about its dramatic position, and the vantage point it provides to the surrounding landscapes. Take the walk from Mirador de María Auxiliadora to the bottom of the gorge. Here you get some of the best views of the mind-blowing bridge (pictured above), which took more than three decades to build and has a small prison cell at its heart.
13. See the (second)Oldest Bullring in SpainAndalucia's oldest bullring might be in Seville, but if you're a Hemingway fan, the Plaza de Toros is a must. Ronda’s matadors inspired many of his stories, including Death in the Afternoon. Address: Calle Virgen de la Paz, 15, 29400 Ronda, Málaga. Rmcr.org
14. Pay Homage to Pablo Picasso at The Picasso MuseumMalaga was, famously, the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, and this museum holds a very personal collection of works by the artist. If you've got more than a passing interest in modern art, it's simply a must-do while in the city. Address: Palacio de Buenavista, Calle San Agustín, 8, 29015 Málaga. Museopicassomalaga.org
15. Stargazing at El Torcal Astronomical ObservatoryHaving watched the sunset among the weird and wonderful natural rock formations of El Torcal, head to the observatory to enjoy one of its frequent evening explorations of our galaxy. Check the website for up-and-coming events. Address: Carretera de acceso MA-9016, km 3,5 desde la A-7075, Junto al Centro de Visitantes "Torcal Alto", 29200 Antequera, Málaga. +34 600 70 37 00. Astrotorcal.es
16. Eat like a Local – Beach-side Espeto de SardinasAny self-respecting malagueño chiringuito – or typical beach bar – will serve you up a plate of espeto de sardinas. This simple dish consists of freshly caught sardines, normally cooked over a fire on a spit, in a large, sand-filled fishing boat. Crusted in salt, they're delicious with a squeeze of lemon and a cold beer.
17. Walk the Caminito del ReyWhile it may not be the death-defying scramble it once was, the Caminito del Rey still has plenty to recommend it. This award-winning 8km hike includes a cliff-face clinging walkway, pinned 100m above the gorge of El Chorro. Address: Barriada Conde de Guadalhorce, s/n, 29550 Ardales, Málaga. +34 902 78 73 25. Caminitodelrey.info
18. Be awe-struck by The AlhambraTake a trip back to Spain’s Moorish past marvelling at the splendours of the Alhambra Palace and see why it has had such an impact on architecture, art, music and literature, through the ages. A joint UNESCO World Heritage site with the Generalife gardens and the Albayzin, it's Andalucia's most captivating monument. Address: Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada. Alhambra-patronato.es
19. sit & Reflect in the GeneralifeWander through these gorgeous Moorish gardens with fountains and fantastic views of the Albayzin area of Granada, find a shady spot and take in the peace. Address: Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada. Alhambra-patronato.es
20. Watch a sierra Sunset from the mirador de san nicolásHead to the Albayzin’s Mirador de San Nicolás to watch the sunset over the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada. Then take a walk through the labyrinth of the old town to stop at tapas bars, sip on some cervezas and enjoy your (free) tapas. Address: Calle Mirador de San Nicolás, 18010, Granada.
21. Visit Carmen de la Fundación Rodríguez-AcostaMost carmens (a house surrounded by walled gardens that's typical of the Albayzin neighbourhood of Granada) are private residences and only accessible only through guided tours (if at all). However, one is open to the public - Carmen de la Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta. The dream-like strangeness in the architecture of the house and gardens of the once private house of the artist Rodríguez-Acosta - now a museum - are only surpassed by the medieval Alhambran escape tunnels he converted into a labyrinth; eccentric beauty at its best. Address: Callejón Niño del Royo, 8, 18009 Granada. +34 958 22 74 97. Fundacionrodriguezacosta.com
22. Ski in the Sierra Nevada National ParkDuring winter and early spring months you could be skiing down the mountain in the morning and having sundowners on the beach in the evening at Europe’s southernmost ski resort. Address: Andalucía Plaza, 18196 Pradollano, Granada. Sierranevada.es
23. spot the WATCHTOWERS OF CADIZThe skyline of the ancient port city of Cadiz is dotted with watchtowers. Used by merchants and traders to watch as their boats came in after long and risky Atlantic crossings, there are 126 in total that come in five different shapes. Torre Tavira is one of these watch towers, and the 360-degree views from the top can be experienced in fascinating detail via a camera obscura. Address: Calle Marqués del Real Tesoro, 10, 11001 Cádiz. +34 956 21 29 10. Torretavira.com
24. Bolonia Beach & Baelo ClaudiaStretching 4km along the gorgeous Cadiz coastline, the golden-sanded beach of Bolonia rises up dramatically to a huge sand dune - great to climb up and roll down - at its western end. Gazing out to sea, just a short distance back from the beach is Baelo Claudia, one of Andalucia’s best preserved Roman sites. Address: Ensenada de Bolonia, s/n, 11380 Cádiz. +34 956 10 67 97.
25. go Kite Surfing in TarifaWhether you're an experienced kitesurfer or a rank beginner, head to one of the many schools offering lessons and make use of Tarifa’s famous combination of fabulous beaches and strong winds. Surf’s up!
26. Get a taste of Village lifeThere are countless white-washed villages in Andalucia, and many of them are utterly picturesque and charming. Cadiz, though, has two particularly good examples: Vejer de la Frontera and Setenil de las Bodegas. While the former is lovely, the latter is... unusual. After marvelling at the jaw-dropping houses, directly built into the rock walls and caves of its gorge, make sure you stop and try some of its famous chorizo at one of the village bars.
27. Los Alcornocales Natural ParkGrab a picnic, jump in the car and wind your way through this national park. After taking in the spectacular scenery, find your spot in the shade of Spain’s largest cork forest. Address: Carretera A-2228 Alcalá de los Gazules - Benalup Casas Viejas, Alcalá de los Gazules, km. 1, 11180
28. Whale Watching in the straits of gibraltarThe Gibraltar Straits are a famous migration route for many dolphins and whales, so hop on one of many tour boats operating and scan the horizon for those arching fins. Visit the town of Tarifa and there are a few whale watching boats that head out daily from the port.
29.watch the sunset over Playa La CaletaThe fact that Cadiz is one of the oldest cities in Europe is probably reason enough for a visit. Watching from the Playa La Caleta as the sun sinks slowly into the Atlantic in a blaze of reds and oranges definitely seals the deal.
30. Restaurante El Faro de CadizAfter listening to the applause as the sun drops into the ocean at Caleta Beach, it’s a three-minute walk to Restaurante El Faro de Cadiz. If you can’t get a seat in the formal restaurant, politely push your way through the crowds to the standing tapas bar and order some seafood. Address: Calle San Félix, 15, 11002 Cádiz. +34 956 21 10 68. Elfarodecadiz.com
31. Beach Horse Racing at sanlucarThis rather unusual event takes place every year in August in the lovely town of Sanlucar de Barrameda. A horse race where riders hurtle along a 1,800m stretch of beach, it's a wonderful cultural experience. More information: Sanlucar-de-barrameda.com/beach-horse-racing
32. The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian ArtBook a show at one of the world’s most respected classical riding academies and watch Andalusian horses dance an equestrian ballet. Address: Av. Duque de Abrantes, 11407 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz. +34 956 92 25 80. Realescuela.org
33. understand sherry aT Bodegas TradicionMake your way to the beautiful city of Jerez de la Frontera. Literally translated, Jerez means sherry. So when in Jerez, and all that... Having rescued some of the oldest ageing and bottling methods, Bodegas Tradicion tours combine the wine tasting with a viewing of their excellent collection of art. Address: Calle Cordobeses, 3, 11408 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz. +34 956 16 86 28. Bodegastradicion.es
34. Wonder at a Church inside a Mosque - The MezquitaA UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Catholic cathedral was built within a pre-existing mosque. It's home to several gems of Moorish architecture including a prayer room containing more than 850 arched columns and the portal of the Mihrab, to name just a couple. Address: Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba. Monday – Saturday: 10:00 – 19:00 & Sunday: 08:30 – 11:30, 15:30 – 19:00. Mezquita-catedraldecordoba.es
35. See Cordoba at NightStart at the Roman Bridge of Cordoba - for views of the Mezquita lit up against the night sky - before heading in to explore the city, its food and architecture under cover of darkness. Address: Av. del Alcázar, s/n, 14003 Córdoba
36. Fiesta of the Patios in CordobaEvery May for two weeks the private courtyards of Cordoba are thrown open to the public and visitors are delighted by dazzling displays of flowers. Cordoba was given the award for Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO back in 2012 for this heart-warming fiesta. More information: Turismodecordoba.org
37. Fall of MOORISH Spain - Medina AzaharaBack in the 10th century Medina Azahara was built to be the administrative centre of Andalucia. Unfortunately in the early 11th century, it got burnt to the ground during a period of civil unrest. Just outside Cordoba, the romantic ruins of the palace and mosque still remain today, a dusty memory of a once great civilisation. Address: Ctra. Palma del Río, km 5.5, 14005 Córdoba. 957 10 36 37. Museosdeandalucia.es
38. explore ubeda & BaezaA long way from the well-worn tourist trail, the neighbouring towns of Ubeda and Baeza share joint UNESCO World Heritage Site status. They're home to countless fine examples of Renaissance architecture, including the Vázquez de Molina Square, the Palace of Marqués de Mancera, the Hospital of Santiago and the Plaza del Pópulo. Addresses: Palace of Marqués de Mancera: Calle María Soledad Torres Acosta, 1, 23400 Úbeda, Jaén; Hospital of Santiago: Calle Obispo Cobos, 28, 23400 Úbeda, Jaén; Plaza del Pópulo: Plaza de los Leones, 4, 23440 Baeza, Jaén
39. hike the Cerrada de ElíasStretching 22km in total, this walk runs through lush green valleys and shady canyons full of babbling rapids and waterfalls. In the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park, it takes in some of the most stunning countryside in Andalucia. Address: 23476 La Iruela, Jaén
40. Wonder at the 11th-Century AlcazabaFrom perfectly preserved citadels in the towns and cities to lonely piles of crumbling rocks in the middle of nowhere, southern Spain isn’t short of a Moorish castle or two. Almeria’s 11th-century Alcazaba, though, is the biggest of the bunch and, rising above the city in a series of impressive battlements and towers, one of the very best. Address: Calle Almanzor, s/n, 04002 Almería. +34 600 14 29 82.
41. see some ancient geological features at Níjar Natural ParkTucked away in the region's southeasternmost corner, the largest protected coastal area in Andalucia is part of UNESCO's Global Geoparks Network. The spectacular Playa de Mónsul and Isleta del Moro (above) are home to vast volcanic rock formations, wide sandy beaches, salt marshes, sea grass beds and coral reefs. Address: 04118 Níjar, Almería.
42. get your cowboy on at Mini HollywoodThis immersive American Western theme park was originally a set built for Sergio Leone’s For a Few Dollars More and used again for the Clint Eastwood classic The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. A great family day out, it's ideal for kids (of the small and not so small variety) to get their cowboy on and yee-haw their way through the Western-themed saloon, shops and scenarios. Address: Carretera Nacional 340A, km 464, 04200 Tabernas, Almería. +34 950 335 335. Oasysparquetematico.com
43. Tabernas DesertWhether by foot or by horseback, a trek through Europe’s only true desert - an amazing arid and lunar nature reserve - is breathtaking.
44. hit the columbus trailDiscover key historical sites linked to Christopher Columbus as he planned his epic voyage to the Americas – including life-size replicas of his ships. Addresses: Paraje de La Rábida, s/n, 21819 Palos de la Frontera, Huelva; Diseminado de la Rábida, s/n, 21819 Palos de la Frontera, Huelva. Monasteriodelarabida.com
45. go wild in Doñana National ParkCovering a whopping 530-odd kilometres, this UNESCO World Heritage Site - and the largest nature reserve in Europe - is one of Spain’s great wildernesses. Explore the marshy wetlands in this birdwatchers' paradise - by foot, by horse or by 4x4 - and seek out endangered species such the Iberian Lynx and the Spanish Imperial Eagle. Address: A-483, Km.38,7, 21760, Almonte, Huelva. +34 959439629.
46. Gruta de las MaravillasMore great hiking and walking but underground this time. Escape the heat in Spain’s oldest public cave system including sights such as the Emerald Lake. Address: Calle Pozo de la Nieve, s/n, 21200 Aracena, Huelva. 34 663 93 78 76. Open daily: 10:00 - 13:30, 15:00 - 18:00
47. dine at AzabacheAn award-winning restaurant with a very simple philosophy: let the seasonal produce speak for itself. This one-time tapas bar serves up a range of classic Andalucian dishes - but done very, very well. Expect lots of fresh seafood hauled straight off the dock that morning. Address: Calle Vázquez López, 22, 21001 Huelva. +34 959 25 75 28. Restauranteazabache.com
48. Experience a FeriaNothing says 'Andalucia' quite like a feria. And if you're in the region during the height of summer, then the chances are there'll be one on somewhere. These local fairs are a colourful explosion of partying, flamenco dresses, horses, dancing, music and fun fairs. Find out the best time to visit, and see our list of ferias.
49. just... Sit in a squareA Spanish plaza is all about soaking up the atmosphere - people-watching, sun-taking, reading and chatting. Order a glass or two of wine and linger; let the buskers come and go, and just enjoy being in the moment. Some of our favourite squares in Andalucia include: Plaza Duquesa de Parcent in Ronda; Plaza la Candelaria in Cadiz; Plaza de los Naranjos in Marbella; Plaza de la Corredera in Cordoba; Plaza de Doña Elvira in Seville; Plaza de la Merced in Malaga; and Plaza de Bib-Rambla in Granada.
50. Learn about Spanish ham & OLIVE OILNo matter where you are in Andalucia you can sign up to a culinary day that specialises in two of the region's greatest gastronomic achievements: ham and olive oil. Here you'll learn all about jamon from Huelva, and taste your way through Spain’s largest olive oil producing region, Jaen. (Of the 100 extra virgin olive oils included in EVOOLEUM’s official 2020 guide, no fewer than 81 were from Spain - with the winner hailing from the Jaén region.) Like our pick of the best things to do in Andalucia? If you book a villa with The Luxury Villa Collection, we'd be delighted to help you plan your trip around them. [post_title] => 50 Things to Do in Andalucia [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => best-things-to-do-in-andalucia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-15 10:02:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-15 10:02:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=102656 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 99694 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2020-02-19 12:42:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-02-19 12:42:37 [post_content] => There was a time when visiting Spain as a vegetarian was tricky and to eat out as a vegan, well forget it. Ah, those ever common charming conversations about whether Jamon is vegetarian or not. Those days of travelling the Iberian Peninsula for vegetarians and vegans was akin to going on some crazy fasting diet are now gone. There are now often vegetarian and vegan options on menus as well as a choice of vegetarian and vegan restaurants. So, if you're staying around Marbella or Puerto Banus and have a love of all things plant-based here are our selection of the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Marbella: -
Organic Market & Food MarbellaThe people behind Organic Market and Food say, “From organic garden to your table with minimal environmental impact and maximum quality of products”. The dining room is light, earthy and comfortable. It is only open until 20.00hrs so breakfasts, brunches, lunches and very early dinners are the call of the day. We love their nutritious bowls, they are packed full of tasty delicious ingredients. Address: Centro Comercial Expo 14, Av. Bulevar Príncipe Alfonso de Hohenlohe, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Phone: 952 92 52 76
ManukaThis is a health food restaurant with a strong leaning towards vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Quinoa bowls, interesting salads, pad Thai, pasta and burgers are the emphasis, all enzyme and protein rich. It has a huge selection of pressed juices, smoothies and shots too. Closes at 21.00hrs so early suppers or pop in during the day time. Address: CC Plaza del Mar, Calle Camilo José Cela, Local 9, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Phone: 952 77 26 86 https://www.manukamarbella.com/
Gioia Plant-Based CuisineConveniently next to the Hotel Guadalpin in Marbella this lovely vegan restaurant serves up organic, gluten-free, plant-based and raw food. There’s a great selection of smoothies and fresh juices too. Open for lunch and dinner. Address: Calle Velázquez, 1, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Phone: 630 44 18 34
The FarmacyMore a relaxed brunch/lunch/coffee shop than restaurant but the food is great. Fresh, tasty, all allergies catered for as well as a yoga shop, studio, massages and nutrition expert. Opens at 7am too. Address: Boulevard Alfonso Von Hohenlohe Centro Comercial El Caprichio local 11, 29602 Marbella, Málaga. Phone: 952 77 14 11 farmacymarbella.com
Hustle n FlowHustle n Flow isn’t solely veggie or vegan but it offers so many options that we thought we’d include it. It’s a great brunch or lunch spot in San Pedro and it closes at 16.30 so it’s more a café than restaurant. We love the beyond meat options and the additional toppings you can add to any dish. Calle Andalucía, Calle Lagasca, Esquina, 29670 San Pedro Alcántara, Málaga. Phone: 663 86 09 91 [post_title] => Best Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurants in Marbella [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => vegetarian-vegan-restaurants-marbella [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-03 14:02:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-03 14:02:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=99694 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1