Southern Spain - three ways...
Besides having a reputation for being the place to go for sun, sand, and sangria, the southern end of Spain has so much more to offer.
Andalusia is a region filled with diversity, from the Sierra Nevada Ski resorts, the many attractive beaches surrounded by olive groves and orange orchards flanked by the numerous quaint traditional mountain villages with their typical white-walled haciendas.
Keep reading to find out more about some of southern Spain’s lesser known cities alongside its most famous gem:
Benalmádena-Costa is a vibrant town on southern Spain's Costa del Sol, known for its safe and attractive beaches, the Tivoli World theme park and its multimillion-dollar Puerto Marina, home to the Sea Life Benalmádena aquarium and moored yachts. It’s also known for its easy access to the Andalucia region, the city of Malaga and its convenience for airport transportation. It boasts a wide selection of shops, hotels, tapas bars and restaurants catering for every taste and is popular with both Spanish citizens and tourists, young and old alike.
Situated inland from the coast is the pretty village of Mijas, famous for its donkey taxis and easily accessible by car, taxi or public transport. Take pleasure in wandering through the narrow, whitewashed cobbled streets enjoying the spectacular coloured Andalucian geraniums spilling out of plentiful plant pots on tiny windowsills. As with Benalmádena-Pueblo, Mijas offers spectacular views of the Mediterranean coast enhanced even more so when riding on the nearby cable car.
Benalmadena, along with all Andalucia was under Moorish rule from the 8th-15th centuries leaving an architectural legacy that is proudly displayed to this day in many of Spain’s prominent and well-conserved buildings; however, it shares its heritage with other cultures as can be found in the Benalmádena Stupa, a large Buddhist temple nearby. Souvenir shops, restaurants, bars, and hotels ensure it remains a favourite destination for many Spaniards and foreigners alike.
Located in the peaks of the Spanish mountains east of the city of Malaga, Alcaucin is the perfect spot for anyone wanting the traditional Spanish experience. It is rich in culture and heritage, housing traditional Spanish architecture, whitewashed villages and never-ending summers of festival celebrations. Whether it is the annual foam festival or a nut festival, Alcaucin goes all out providing weeklong entertainment, with Flamenco dancers, music, food and activities continuing well into the early morning hours.
Situated in the Sierra Tejeda Mountain Ranges, Alcaucin is perfect for ramblers and hikers, providing peaceful tracks, natural parks and beautiful views of the Axaquia, as well as being a stone's throw away from the enchanting Granada, its neighbouring province. The Natural Park just a few kilometers from the Alcaucin village can be found boasting all kinds of wildlife, wild boar, ibex but to name two species. Look skywards and you will often see the impressive site of eagles hovering while searching for prey.
You might like to conclude your trip to the southern end of Spain by doing one of the many day trips to Gibraltar, located just a two-hour drive from Malaga. As the unsurpassable rock in the doorway between Spain and Africa, Gibraltar is not only a unique destination but is also a town built on a labyrinth of underground bunkers and tunnels. Built by the British Army the passages remain today as a historic landmark from the late 18th century. The rock stands at 426meters high and despite being a bit of a hike trekking to the top is a must, displaying picturesque views of the Mediterranean.
If you are lucky enough to find seats to one the St. Michael’s Cathedral Cave’s grand performances, held inside the rock of Gibraltar you won't be disappointed. As the rocks auditorium is said to be one of the world’s most audible halls due to the natural elements in the limestone enhancing the projection of sound, creating music like no other.
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