Spain
Andalusia

Here you’ll find travel reports about Andalusia. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

522 travelers at this place:

  • Day4

    Seville, Spain

    April 8 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 15 °C

    Seville is the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region. The Gothic Seville Cathedral is the site of Christopher Columbus’s tomb and a minaret turned bell tower, the Giralda.

    Started our day with a visit to the very beautiful Plaza de Espana which is in the Parque de María Luisa and which was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. It is a landmark example of the Regionalism Architecture, mixing elements of the Renaissance Revival and Moorish Revival (Neo-Mudéjar) styles of Spanish architecture. Designed by Caidon Fox, it was a principal building built on the Maria Luisa Park's edge to showcase Spain's industry and technology exhibits. The Plaza de España complex is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous bridges representing the four ancient kingdoms of Spain. In the center is the Vicente Traver fountain. By the walls of the Plaza are many tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain.

    The Plaza de España has been used for filming scenes for the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia and in the Star Wars movie series Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002).

    Next a sightseeing tour with a local guide to learn about the city's role in Roman times, its conquest by the Moors in 1712, and its contribution to the discovery of the new world. We viewed the Maria Luisa Park, the Golden Tower on the Guadalquiver River, and the university that was once part of the tobacco factory of Carmen fame. We then walked along the narrow lanes of the Santa Cruz quarter which is one of the oldest areas of the city. The old Jewish Quarter of Seville was settled here. In this neighbourhood is the narrowest street in the city: the street popularly known as the ‘Calle de los Besos’ (Street of Kisses).

    And then a tour of the magnificent Casa de Pilatos. The Casa de Pilatos is a combination of Italian Renaissance styles and the Spanish Mudejar style. It is considered a prototype Andalusian palace. Construction of the palace began in 1483 at the initiative and desire of Pedro Enríquez de Quiñones (IV Adelantado Mayor of Andalusia) and his second wife, Catherine de Ribera, the founders of the Casa de Alcalá. The work was erected on several plots that had been confiscated during the Inquisition. In 1493, the death of Pedro Enríquez left Doña Catalina in charge to undertake the initial configuration of the palace. His son, Fadrique Enríquez de Ribera, and his grandson, Per Afán de Ribera y Portocarrero, expanded and completed the decoration. Today, part of the palace is a museum and is open to the public. There is a separate wing where the present Duchess of Medinaceli lives with her descendants and family.

    Then some time to wander around the shopping areas and stop for some tapas and a beer and glass of wine. Sampled one of the local specialties - steak in whiskey sauce and a Spanish omelette......and then gelato!!!

    What a wonderful city!!!
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  • Day182

    Cordoba

    November 22, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    We are at a very quiet site north east of Cordoba - at Villafranca de Cordoba.
    We took the bus into Cordoba and took a walking tour of the city. The city is preparing itself for the Christmas festivities and the Christmas market had just opened up.
    The walk took us through the historical city where we saw roman ruins (nearly - they are in fact 1950 recreations on the site of the old roman temple), the Plaza de la Corredera, Plaza del Potro then through the arch into the very old city to see the Mosque/Cathedral, roman bridge, Kings Palace (Alcazar de los Reyne Cristianos). We then took in the old Jewish quarter to finish the walk outside the old city walls at an original Roman gate.
    Once again we took advice from our guide Maddy and tried the recommended tapas bar. This time it was a very modern establishment - Bar Sancho- the food was delicious. We tried the local Salmorejo which was recommended and very tasty.
    The bus back was bedlam - it coincided with the end of the school day and it was full of lively teenagers discussing their weekend plans
    We drove into the city the following day so we could see inside the Cathedral and the Alcazar. We parked a short walk from the south side of the roman bridge. The city was more busy with tourists than the day before.
    We did the Alcazar first which was very interesting and the gardens beautiful - all very well kept and now owned and maintained by the local council.
    We lunched at the 101 Tapas bar which was very nice - a much older establishment - and tried the wild boar stew which is a local favourite, also very tasty.
    In the afternoon we visited the Cathedral and took the audio guides. A truly remarkable building with a long and varied history - a must see for any visit to the city.
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  • Day5

    Algeciras - Strait of Gibraltar

    April 9 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Traveled to Tarifa where we boarded the ferry to cross the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. Followed North Africa's infamous Barbery Coast to Rabat, the country's capital with a population of nearly 3 million people. Morocco is a country with a rich culture and civilization. Throughout Moroccan history, it has hosted many people coming from the East (Phoenicians, Jews and Arabs), the South (Sub-Saharan Africans) and the North (Romans, Andalusians). All of those civilisations have affected the social structure of Morocco. The history of this country is fascinating. Requires reading to learn more.

    The major resources of the Moroccan economy are agriculture, phosphates, and tourism. Agriculture accounts for around 14% of GDP and employs 40–45% of the Moroccan working population. We traveled past lush, fertile green fields with a wide variety of crops such as strawberries, potatoes, bananas, citrus, olive trees and more. Local people working in the fields, carts drawn by donkeys. Lots of sheep in the fields as well as a few cows.

    Sales of fish and seafood are important as well. Industry and mining contribute about one-third of the annual GDP. Morocco is the world's third-largest producer of phosphorus.

    Two cautions in Morocco......do not drink the water, only bottled water) and public facilities may only be a hole in the ground; of course, no toilet paper provided. This is a Muslim country so no alcohol - reference to Moroccan whiskey is mint tea - delicious! 😊😊😊
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  • Day13

    Marbella, Spain

    April 17 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Excursion to Gibraltar which is linked to Spain by a narrow isthmus. Our route required driving across the runway of the airport! Viewed the Rock of Gibraltar, views from the Moorish Castle, St Michel's Caves (a network of limestone caves at a height of over 300 metres above sea level with magnificent stalagmites and stalactites), and the Barbary Apes. Got to encounter, at close quarters, the Barbary Apes/monkeys in their environment. The legend says that the British will leave Gibraltar when the monkeys disappear from Gibraltar. When the number of monkeys was dwindling during World War II, Winston Churchill sent to North Africa for replacements. Churchill’s plan worked, and the colony thrives to this day. There are approximately 300 monkeys roaming freely waiting for visitors to arrive. If you are carrying a bag (which they think holds food), they will steal it from you. We were able to walk amongst them, photograph them and watch them bounce off cars and buses as they played.

    Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory and headland, on Spain's south coast. It’s dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar, a 426m-high monolithic limestone promontory. First settled by the Moors in the Middle Ages and later ruled by Spain, the outpost was ceded to the British in 1713. Layers of fortifications include the remains of a 14th-century Moorish Castle and the 18th century Great Siege Tunnels, which were expanded in WWII.

    The day was overcast and rainy so we were unable to see the coast of Africa over the Strait of Gibraltar even though the coastline is only 18 miles away.

    In the evening, an excursion to Mijas Puebla, one of the pretty whitewashed villages in the Costa del Sol with donkey-taxis. A beautiful drive up the mountain with an incredible view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Delightful evening enjoying an Andalusian dinner at La Carihuela beachfront Restaurante Juan Marisqueria. Green salad, roasted pepper salad; then tapas of clams, fried sardines, calamari, halibut bites; main course consisted of paella or sea bass prepared in salt; plus wine or sangria, and ice cream for dessert. La Carihuela is the original fisherman's district in Torremolinos, famous for the best seafood in the region. Entertainment was provided by Pepe, 87-year old local singer and guitarist - fun night!
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  • Day16

    The drive to La Santa

    March 8 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Oh what a drive! We left our charming Delta Hotel after a lovely breakfast of Iberian ham, cheeses, fruit, yogurt and delicious bread. As with last night, we had the dining room to ourselves and they turned on the English adult pop when we walked in! Another cloudless day, about 17 C; a good day to drive.

    Our 5 hour drive to Tortana was pretty uneventful. Good roads, only one toll for a tunnel, through rugged, rolling hills. The main agricultural products seemed to be oranges and fruit trees, just starting to bloom. Our first sign of trouble was that the GPS did not recognize the address we had, the name of the hotel, or any other information that we had. The tourist office in Tortana closed just before we got there so our only option was to ask various residents for directions to La Jardine De la Santa. No one spoke much English but we all used hand-signals. We did finally find the hotel after asking a woman walking on the street, a bar tender and a patron in a bar, a group of 10 high school students, and a man cleaning the tombs in a cemetery!

    The hotel, a renovated nunnery was very high on a hill near a town called Aledo. Tortana was only the mailing address (like trying to find Streetsville with only Mississauga as the location). We finally found it by trying every choice on the last traffic circle.

    But it was worth it! The convent is a beautiful old building set in a garden in a valley. Tory and I walked 1 km uphill to see a statue of Jesus and a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. The path was lined with the stations of the cross and the bells in the tower rang at regular intervals. Just lovely.

    Tomorrow, we do our final leg of driving to get to our timeshare on the Costa Del Sol.
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  • Day17

    The Costa Del Sol

    March 9 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    We started out a bit worried as, once again, the GPS did not recognize any of the information that we had on the timeshare resort. We drove through an ever changing landscape; fruit trees in rocky fields, dry river beds, several tunnels through the mountains, fertile valleys and even glimpses of the Sierra Nevadas with snowy peaks.

    Trying to learn from yesterday, we stopped at a big hotel in Mijas to get directions. The woman in reception was very helpful and drew us a map of where to go. The communities on the Costa Del Sol are very dense with lots of small roads to endless condo buildings. But with only one additional stop for directions we got to the Club Calahondo.

    We have 2 two-bedroom units. Tory’s brother, Charles, is joining us for a few days so they will make good use of the second bedroom. The units are smallish but clean and well appointed. A trip to the Mercado (and 77 Euros later), we were too pooped to go back out. Dinner of wine and pizza was just perfect.
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  • Day19

    Mijas

    March 11 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    After another twisty drive up a mountain, we got to the lovely village of Mijas, famous for its donkey wagons. We parked the van and wandered the picturesque town. The photos say it all.
    Dinner was another adventure. Tory and Christine had spotted a restaurant on the water they wanted to try. We set out in the van and after many wrong turns parked in a MacDonalds over flow lot near where they thought the restaurant to be. We walked about a kilometre along the boardwalk in the dark and came to the place they thought might be our destination. Not about to explore any further, the men decided to stop and eat. Two days later, we walked the boardwalk only to discover the same restaurant was right below our hotel!Read more

  • Day20

    Ronda

    March 12 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    We thought yesterday’s drive was a challenge but we were wrong. Today had more twisty mountain roads coupled with a harrowing trip through the town up a narrow cobblestone road that was almost vertical! Thankfully we found a good parking lot near the “I” and set out to explore a unique city divided in two by a very deep gorge.

    The bridge area was crowded with picture takers but the rest of the walk was fairly quiet. This city is known for its location on cliffs and also for its history of cave dwellings. A few of them have been preserved and we stuck our heads in for a look. Christine’s and Charles’s lunch of lentil stew at an out of the way little restaurant was a highlight. Upon our return, Charles used the Internet to find a lovely restaurant (La Taverna) for our dinner. The waiter couldn’t be more helpful or gracious and the Tapas were the best we had had. The evening finished with all of us singing with the local guitarist......too much wine at dinner?
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  • Day21

    Torremolinos, Spain

    March 13 in Spain ⋅ 🌬 18 °C

    For a welcome change, Brian and Christine made the short drive to Torremolinos. Roger, Tory and Charles went off Nerja to see caves and Frigiliana to see friends.

    Torremolinos has a VERY long boardwalk, lined with restaurants and shops. We walked about an hour and then stopped for lunch. Christine had anchovies “cooked” in lemon juice. Delicious! She had not had them since Italy. Brian had a huge salad and gazpacho. The presentation was interesting. First he got a bowl of puréed tomato soup then they brought a tray of chopped tomatoes, chopped green peppers, croutons, chopped celery so you can customize your soup.

    Christine's watch died shortly after we got here so she bought a 9 Euro replacement and a summer clutch. We have not done much shopping but there is still time.

    We tried to visit the Old Town but our GPS had other ideas and took us home!

    There were a number of intricate sand sculptures on the beach. The only pictures we took!
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  • Day22

    Different Paths

    March 14 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Today the group went in different directions.
    Tory, Roger and Charles drove to Gibraltar and the Delaney’s walked the boardwalk for a few kilometres. We regrouped in the evening to share stories then went to dinner.

    Their trip to The Rock was a big success. They left their car at the border and hired a cab to take them to the top, the caves, the monkey spa and the tunnels. They enjoyed it just as much as Brian had the week before.

    Our walk was quite pleasant but not half as exciting. The boardwalk extends as far as the eye can see in both directions.

    Dinner at Bogarts was a lovely experience. Within walking distance, the only problem we experienced was trying to find the front door! Fortunately our gracious waitress saw us out the window and came to our aid. Waiting for the paella to cook, we shared tapas and wine.....yummy. Coincidentally, the guitar player we met on our previous outing appeared to serenade us again.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Andalucía, Andalucia, Andalusien, Andalusia, Andalusië, أندلوسيا, اندلوسيا, Əndəlus, Андалусія, Андалусия, আন্দালুসিয়া, Andalouzia, Andaluzija, Andalusie, Ανδαλουσία, Andaluzio, Andaluusia, Andaluzia, اندلس, Andalousie, Andalosie, Andalûsje, An Andalúis, آندالوسیا, 𐍅𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌰𐌻𐌹𐍄𐌾𐌰/Wandalitja, אנדלוסיה, Andalúzia, Անդալուսիա, Andalúsía, アンダルシア, ანდალუსია, 안달루시아 지방, Endulus, Andalousi, Vandalitia, Andaluziya, Andalūzija, आंदालुसिया, Andalosia, Андалуси, Andaluzja, Andalusìa, Andalusiya, Андалузија, แคว้นอันดาลูซีอา, Endülüs, Andalusiye, 安達魯西亞

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