Discover A Side Of Spain That Many Tourists Have Never Even Seen…
Spain has benefited massively from the influx of tourism that has hit its coasts since package holidays became de rigueur, but this has caused some Spanish destinations to lose their authenticity as their tapas bars disappear behind streets of English breakfast restaurants and their traditional inns are taken over by hotel chains. Not so with Andalucia which has retained all of its natural charm ,while still welcoming tourism: if you want to discover the real Spain without having to learn the language, this is the place to come.
Just because it’s authentic doesn’t mean Andalucia doesn’t have some excellent modern, well-appointed resorts. Calahonda was built in the 1960s to play host to the influx of tourists visiting the region and has been designed with tourists in mind, acting as an ideal base for visiting the surrounding Andalucian towns, particularly Mijas. Set into the mountains, this authentic Andalucian pueblo is so full of sugar-cube shaped whitewashed houses that it practically shines in the sun. Stocked from foot to peak with traditional Spanish restaurants serving delectable dishes and quaint hillside shops, the bullring at the top of Mijas is a big hit with tourists and locals alike. Try the gambas pil pil at the Alcazaba restaurant which is built right on the edge of the mountain and affords stunning views across the coast.
When you’re done with Calahonda and Mijas, Ronda should be your next stop on your search for real Spain. Ronda is so beautiful it is said to have provided inspiration to Ernest Hemmingway, Orson Welles and Pablo Picasso and is home to Spain’s oldest bullring, which is apt as Andalucia is where bullfighting began. Moorish architecture is everywhere you look in Ronda and its medieval quarter is no exception.
If beaches are more your thing than mountains and history, you’ll be glad to hear Andalucia has ample supply with a huge 800km of coastline and the famous Costa del Sol and Costa de la Luz. Costa del Sol literally means “sun coast” which is a fitting moniker for this bright stretch of beaches where water temperatures can reach a stunning 24 degrees C in August. If you want to cool off in the Costa del Sol you’ll need to head to Aqualand Torremolinos and throw yourself down one of its many thrilling waterslides. Whether you’re on a family holiday or a getaway with your friends, a visit to this waterpark is a must!