The southern Spanish region proved irresistible to UK holidaymakers this year.
Andalucia holidays have been consistently the most popular choice among British visitors to Spain this year, according to the national tourist board.
The second largest of all the Spanish communities, encompassing the cities and provinces of Almeria, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville, this southern region is perhaps most famous among tourists for the Costa del Sol, although many of Spain’s most distinctive cultural features, such as bullfighting, flamenco, and Moorish-influenced architecture have their roots in Andalucia.
Its diversity means that Britons looking for cheap holidays in Spain can choose from lounging on the beach in Cádiz or Málaga, gasping at the marvels of Granada’s Moorish palace the Alhambra, or experiencing the fantastic foods, history and culture of the Andalucia capital Seville on a city break.
The region came out top in a good year overall for Spanish tourism, the tourist board reported this week, boasting of a “surge” in British visitors between January and September,with over 11 million Brits booking cheap flights to one of the many popular destinations on the Spanish mainland or its islands – a year-on-year increase of 9.2 per cent.
The summer season is traditionally the best period for Spanish tourism and 2011 is shaping up to be a record, with around 6.7 million UK tourists taking cheap holidays in Spain, compared to just 6.2 million the previous year. September was a record month, with a stunning 11.4 per cent year-on-year increase in British holidaymakers.
Although Andalucia was the most popular mainland destination, the Spanish islands were also highly sought after over the nine-month period. The Balearic Islands, which include Ibiza and Mallorca captured 24.3 per cent of the British holiday market, while the Canaries ensnared 23.7 per cent.