Andalusia, the southern region of Spain, reminds us of the most widespread images of this country: bullfights and women dancing flamenco with flowers in their hair, magic and adventure. It is the region of contrasts: of deserts, ancient cities, wonderful beaches and mountain highs. Roam the charming medieval streets of its cities, indulge in local delicacies, go for skiing in the Sierra Nevada or linger over tapas and a cool glass of manzanilla at one of its sunny beach terraces. Andalusia is great any time of year!
In this article, we focus on three beautiful inland Andalusian cities, known as Andalucia’s Golden Triangle: Seville, Granada and Cordoba. The best time to visit is the spring – with its vibrant festivals, gorgeous blue skies, and orange trees in full bloom. These ancient gems are only a few hours’ drive from each other, so all three can be enjoyed during a single trip. They will spoil the lovers of art and culture with fabulous offerings.
The Moors ruled Al-Andalus between 711 and 1492, and here you will find the best surviving examples of the amazing Moorish architecture: La Mezquita in Córdoba, the Alhambra in Granada and the Giralda in Seville.
In Seville, the romantic capital of Andalusia, wander around the charming Old Town, where Roman, Gothic, and Renaissance jewels stand side by side with spectacular Moorish architecture. Catedral de Santa María de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See) in Seville is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral and it has the largest altarpiece in the world. Emanating splendour and magnitude, it was built between 1402 and 1506 in striking Moorish, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical styles. Inside lie the remains of Christopher Columbus. Right next to the Cathedral, you will find another beautiful Moorish building, Real Alcazar of Seville, the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe.
Experience Cordoba by strolling the town’s ancient cobblestone streets among the Roman Ruins and the enchanting gardens behind the Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos. One building alone is enough to put Córdoba high on any traveller’s itinerary: the mesmerising multi-arched Mezquita (the Great Mosque of Cordoba) is one of the most awe-inspiring places you’ll ever visit. Cordoba also has a rich history of flamenco music and dance, and you can enjoy the authentic experience during the White Night of Flamenco in June and the International Guitar Festival in July.
For the most astonishing display of Moorish architecture and one of the greatest wonders of Europe, visit the Alhambra Palace in Granada. This amazing palace of the Moorish kings is the No. 1 tourist attraction of Spain, getting 3 million visitors a year. The name Alhambra comes from an Arabic root which means “red or crimson castle”. Getting tickets can be hard, so you should book them online.
This magical tour with just the right combination of history, culture, and laidback Andalusian way of living makes for an enchanting experience any time of year.