If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, then you might remember that I spent Christmas and New Years in a small town near Málaga in Andalusia last year. We made the very same town our last stop on the world trip, and it was the perfect end to our three-month-long journey.
Andalusia is a lovely area of Spain, and there are lots of places to explore. Today, I’m introducing three of my favourites. I definitely recommend getting a rental car when you’re visiting; any of these would be a nightmare to get to with public transport.
Sierra del Torcal
The Torcal mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers a stunning view in every direction, which you really shouldn’t miss. The roads leading there are long and winding, so be prepared if you get carsick easily. It’s a completely free experience, and often not many people are there. The limestone rocks from the Jurassic age, which are around 150 million years old, have a unique pattern, which derives from times in which this site used to be a sea. There is a viewing platform with unbelievable views and three different hiking trails. Even if you’re not much of a hiker, I highly suggest putting your boots on and taking a walk around. A blissful few hours with no phone signal but stunning nature is guaranteed. And if all the sights and walks got you hungry, there’s a restaurant on site.
Antequera, also known as ‘the heart of Andalusia’, is a little village you really shouldn’t miss. Quaint, cobbled streets, 33 churches and a beautiful castle on a hill with amazing views over the city centre make this place well worth a visit. Entry to the castle and its adjacent church is €7, and there’s a free audio guide included. Antequera is also famous for its Dolmens, another UNESCO World Heritage site, which are scattered all over town. They are internationally recognised as outstanding examples of megalithic architecture and historically immensely important, so definitely check them out if that’s something you’re interested in.
Ronda is worth a weekend trip in itself. Famous for its bullring and its bridges with the magnificent views, it’s a beautiful town with a rich history that oozes from every building. As with lots of areas in Andalusia, the Moors’ influence is present in many ways, which is super interesting. Make sure you don’t miss the Casa Del Rey Moro, hidden away at the end of a cobbled road between shops and bars, with its hanging gardens, peacocks and the water mine. No wonder Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles also spent a lot of time there and have written about Ronda’s beauty plenty of times. Oh, and before you leave, head into Sabor a España (9, Calle Cuesta de Santo Domingo, not far from the bullring) and get the caramel-coated macadamia nuts and the almond pastry filled with almond cream.
Which are your favourite places in Andalusia?
’til next time x