Andalusia is a popular tourist region that stretches along the southern border of Spain. It includes the major cities of Seville, Malaga and Granada. The region comes to a point just short of including Gibraltar, the most southern point on the Iberian Peninsula and a British Territory. Andalusia is known for its long stretches of southern beaches that have the moniker of "Costa del Sol". It is not only the beaches that draw the tourist to Andalusia, but the extensive history of this region has contributed to numerous styles of architecture, cathederals and forts which draw millions of visitors each year. Andalusia also has a strong agricultural flavor, with 46% of the territory dedicated to farming. Driving through the area, you will see fields upon fields of olive orchards, sunflower farms, and grape vineyards that are dedicated to the delicious Andalusian wine industry.

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Andalucia Vacation Ideas

Geography of Andalucia Vacations

Andalusia is an autonomous community and region of historical importance in Spain. This region consists of provinces; Huelva, Sevilla, Cadiz, Cordoba, Malaga, Jaen, Almeria and Granada. On the south part of the region, Andalusia borders with the communities Castle-La Mancha and Extremadura to the north side, on the east Murcia, the southeast – Mediterranean Sea, southwest with Atlantic Ocean and on the west Portugal. It is the perfect destination for enjoying an Andalucia vacation.

Andalusia was officially established with autonomy on 30th of December 1981, with its capital town Sevilla. The overall total area is 33.189 sq. mi. and the population number is 8.959.461 people.

The Andalucia region has incredibly varied vegetation and terrain, compared to other Spanish areas. There is a contrast between the pine forests and alpine mountains, the deserts are barren and the plains are fertile and irrigated so that they support all kinds of plantations, mostly subtropical fruits. The topography includes mountain ranges that divide in several zones, each one from southwest to the northeast side. The northernmost range is Sierra Morena, and it crosses the north parts of the provinces Cordoba, Jaen, Sevilla and Huelva. The mountains are somewhat desolate ridges with narrow valleys.

On the southeast region of Andalucia, the land has abrupt rise to Baetic Cordillera, a range of Sierra Nevada and it has the highest elevations noted in Iberian Peninsula that is on the south side of Pyrenees. Southward from the province Jaen there is the Baetic Cordillera, into Almeria and Granada.

Between Baetic Cordillera and Sierra Morena is the center of Andalusia, the plains and Guadalquivir River. This river flows to the southwest across whole Andalusia, it flows near the cities Sevilla and Cordoba, and it flows to the Atlantic Ocean, west side of Cadiz. The lower basin of the river, the region La Campina has dense settlements and is a productive part regarding agriculture.

The steppes of Andalusia are basically arid area of badlands on the southeast, they cover parts of Granada and Almeria. Costa Del Sol, the most famous tourist Riviera, extends east and west of Malaga city along the Mediterranean cost.

The climate is Mediterranean in the lowland of Andalusia, the winters are mild and rainy, and the summers are hot and dry. The yearly precipitations are somewhere from 80 inches (Sierra Nevada) and the Grazalema Mountains, to as little as just 8 inches in the more desert-like steppes. The lowland and coast of Andalusia get 3.000 hours hot sunshine and this made tourists head to this region. The lower part of the basin of Guadalquivir River has fertile soil, but with the sparse rains irrigation is obligatory there.

The western Andalusia population was mainly dense in the big rural towns with many agricultural workers on the surrounding areas, named ‘cortijos’. In modern times though, the people are mostly in provincial capitals, compared to the past. East of the Baetic Cordillera, there are mostly small villages near water areas.

The climate is Mediterranean in the lowland of Andalusia, the winters are mild and rainy, and the summers are hot and dry. The yearly precipitations are somewhere from 80 inches (Sierra Nevada) and the Grazalema Mountains, to as little as just 8 inches in the more desert-like steppes. The lowland and coast of Andalusia get 3.000 hours hot sunshine and this made tourists head to this region. The lower part of the basin of Guadalquivir River has fertile soil, but with the sparse rains irrigation is obligatory there.

The western Andalusia population was mainly dense in the big rural towns with many agricultural workers on the surrounding areas, named ‘cortijos’. In modern times though, the people are mostly in provincial capitals, compared to the past. East of the Baetic Cordillera, there are mostly small villages near water areas.

History & Culture of Andalucia Vacations

All early records of civilizations that settled here depict the occupation of colonies of Pre-Roman time. In 12th century BCE, there were formations of colonies from the Phoenician empire, all along the coast. This Phoenician settlement was called Tartessos that later became a huge political force for that area.

These colonies had lost their power with time following the disintegration of the Phoenician Empire too. The next big force of politics that appeared was city of Carthage with focus on trade. This trade aim gave the channels of Andalusia and Gibraltar a good economic strength. Carthage as trade center, saw this channel control value and campaigned for more control there. After the first and before the second Carthaginian war, Carthage expanded all over Andalusia and used their coast for invasion launching on Rome. When Carthage declined, Andalusia kept well briefly, but it had no political strength or identity. The vacuum was filled when Rome took over and renamed this area to ‘Betica’.

Romans were in control for a short while and then Vandals took over. Vandals passed here on their way to North Africa, so they had to pass on Andalusian land. They were followed by the Visigoths, and they were followed by the Muslims in 8th century CE. This Muslim invasion was influential for the later forming of the unique Andalusia identity and strength.

With the Muslim rule during the Middle Ages period, Andalusia became incredibly rich, strong, wealthy and influential in politics. It cultivated scholarships and had success in almost all areas. The largest and richest city in Western Europe was here, the Cordoba city and was even one of the biggest worldwide. There were universities established in Andalusia, by the Moors who also respected focus on scholarship and contributed to the greatest successes here. Jewish and Moor scholars have revived astronomy, mathematics, medicine and philosophy.

Castile ruled over Seville in 1248. When Seville fell, Andalusia witnessed a Moors’ influx that fled from the Reconquista.

In the 16th century, Spain declined, and Andalusia suffered too, but still the Cadiz and Seville ports flourished from trading. In 1833, Andalusia had division into 8 provinces.
In 1981, Andalusia became region of autonomy and later in 1982 it had its first parliament of elections.

The most colorful region of Spain today is Andalusia, with impressive ornamentation seen in clothing as well as regular decorations. Music and dance are vital here and the dance flamenco is famous even worldwide. This dance originally is performed by Roma Gypsies that are widely popular for their culture. Andalusian flamenco is of two types – with and without choreography. The one with no choreography is called ‘cante jondo’ and its music is less structured.

Landmarks of Andalucia Vacations

The history of Andalusia is rich because the Moors had a huge role in it and left their influences. A lot of this is what makes Analucia vacations to popular. The Moorish culture is mainly visible in the historic buildings of Analucia Spain.

*The ‘Alhambra’ is a Moorish palace that is gorgeous and it overlooks the Granada city. This is an official monument recognized by UNESCO World Heritage and inside it has stunning patios, fountains, decorated halls and much more. The colors inside are stunning; pastels blending with fiery and deep tones for a magical look.
*Mezquita’ represents a cathedral that is inside a mosque. The décor is stunning and incredibly mosaic-like, with the colors red and white mostly. There are artistic patterns all over that mesmerize.
*Alcazar and Cathedral & Giralda. They show and blend Gothic, Islamic and Baroque style. This cathedral is considered the largest one worldwide. The windows, halls, paths are all stunning with gilded décor too.
*The ‘Alcazaba’ of Almeria is a Moorish fortress located on a hill above the port.
*The so-called ‘Museum Capital’ of Andalusia is the Malaga city with its impressive collections of cars, wine and pieces of furniture that complements Picasso, as well as paintings of 19th century.
*The best beaches in Andalusia are found on Cadiz Costa de la Luz, with gorgeous palms all over, nice sand that is golden and some hidden coves and rocks.
*The Donana National Park was recognized by UNESCO and represents the most important wetland in Europe. Here can be seen rare species of birds, and the Iberian lynx that is endangered.
*If you especially like sherry, you can take ‘bodega’ tours in Jerez de la Frontera and taste the gorgeous wine and sherry too.