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Exploring Andalusia

30th November, 2020

Located in the south of the Iberian peninsula, Andalusia is the southernmost, and most populous, autonomous community in Spain. Boasting beautiful beaches, historic towns and cities, and a rich cultural heritage that’s still evident to this day, the region has plenty to offer visitors - no matter what kind of holiday you prefer.

From the prehistoric beginnings of neanderthal man living on the Rock of Gibraltar to the Roman invasion, and the impacts felt from the Moors, you can see the wealth of history that’s set deep into the roots of Andalusia. In fact, as recently as the 1970s the area felt the unrest of civil war, although this is fortunately a distant memory for those who call the region home.

Andalusians are proud of their local culture; proud of the beautiful blend of natural sights and pristine beaches paired with historical monuments and community-based traditions. As a visitor to this wonderful area, you’re met with plenty of opportunities to explore and experience - from the beaches of the Costa Tropical to the buzz of Marbella and the history of Seville.

If you’re thinking about exploring Andalusia for the first time, then we’ve highlighted a small handful of the many incredible things you can do during your stay.

Five things to do on your visit to Andalusia

Put on your walking boots

Castle and white houses of Salobrena, Andalusia

Lacing up your walking boots and setting off on foot is the perfect way to explore a new area. Not only can you head off the beaten track and explore lesser-known spots, but you can also take things at your own pace - whether you want to prioritise beachside ambles or head inland to one of the region's mountain ranges.

If you’re not sure where to begin, our walking holidays in Andalusia take care of everything for you; including full day walks, accommodation and transport, and much more. Find out more about our Walks of Andalusia tour.

Discover Doñana National Park

An Iberian Lynx in Doñana National Park

Considered one of the most important natural protected areas in Europe, Doñana National Park is a must-see destination if you want to experience the spectacular landscapes found in Andalusia. Located in Huelva, the park’s varied terrains include marshes and Mediterranean forests, all of which play host to a vast array of fauna and flora. Keep a special eye out for the resident king of Doñana - the Iberian Lynx, currently the most threatened feline on Earth. It’s a beautiful place to get away from it all and take in the sights and sounds of the region’s non-human inhabitants.

Marvel at the history of Seville

Seville Cathedral

The capital city of the Andalusian region, Seville is a bountiful destination to visit all on its own. From the Gothic cathedral in the heart of the city to the winding lanes, with their Medieval vibe, it’s impossible not to get sucked in by its charm. From tapas in bustling bars to traditional flamenco shows, the magic of Seville can be felt everywhere you go. The city also boasts a number of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Semana Santa and Feria de Abril, which are thrilling to watch if you’re lucky enough to plan your visit around the right time.

See the Alhambra of Granada

The famous Alhambra Palace in Granada

The Alhambra is widely recognised as Granada’s ode to Moorish culture, comprising a palace and fortress complex originally constructed on the remains of Roman fortifications.

With a backdrop of the breathtaking Sierra Nevada peaks, the fortified palace includes some of the finest Islamic buildings in Europe - and was once used as the royal residence and court of Granada in the mid 13th-century. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors can explore the palace and surrounding areas, including the Generalife gardens, in all its glory - although tours get booked up quickly, so getting a ticket in advance is advised.

Get to the art of Malaga

An aerial view of the city of Malaga, including the bullring and the port

Malaga, the city of Picasso’s birth, has transformed over the centuries, becoming a cultural hub and a city that art lovers should have at the top of their list on a visit to Andalusia. You’ll find something to observe around every corner, from trendy new art galleries to the Museo Picasso - a museum dedicated to the city’s famous offspring, which took 50 years of planning to achieve. The city is not just for art lovers, however. Look out for Moorish fortresses and Roman amphitheatres alongside Michelin-starred restaurants, all dotted along the re energised port area. A true cultural and cosmopolitan combination.

Visit Andalusia with Saga

Wherever you want to visit first on your adventure to Andalusia, we can help. With hotels dotted throughout the region, from Huelva to Malaga and the Costa Tropical, we make sure you never miss a moment of the incredible sights. Whether you’re looking to book a walking holiday, a sightseeing grand tour, or just the ultimate adventure away - choose Saga to help you get there.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.