Spain, like many nation-states on this planet, comprises a number of regions that vary tremendously culturally, linguistically, and topographically. The landscape of the Basque area, which was covered with the stunningly green peaks of the Pyrenees, varies drastically from that of the more arid and sun-filled Andalusian region. Likewise, the Basque language and Castellano, the language we know as Spanish, are entirely disparate. While each region offers wonders of its own, Andalusia, making up the southern portion of Spain, is particularly charming. Here are a few cities you should explore upon visiting this area.
The capital city of the Moorish empire that ruled this area from the eighth to the fifteenth century, the city is steeped in history. Granada is perhaps most famous for the Alhambra, the imposing and awe-inspiring palace and fort of the Moors, that is perched upon a hill overlooking the streets of Granada. Just beyond the city sits the snowcapped mountains of the Sierra Nevada range. Granada is on one of the few locations in the world from which you can go both skiing and sunbathing on the beach with less than hour of travel.
Situated on the Costa del Sol (Sun Coast), this city is known, and rightfully so, for its beautiful beaches. Málaga with a population upwards of 500,000 is a true metropolis and boasts a rich cultural history in its own right. Be sure to explore the city’s cathedral as well as the Alcazaba.
Sevilla, the largest city in the region, serves as the capital of Andalusia. The city experienced its apex during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, an epoch defined by Spanish dominance. Sevilla, which is situated about forty miles from the coast, is split into by the Guadalquivir river. The city served as the primary port for all vessels that were leaving for and coming from the New World. In such a strategically advantageous position, Sevilla quickly became one of the richest cities on the planet. With such wealth, the citizens were willing to spend the funds necessary to construct the stunning architecture that exists today. Must visits of any Sevilla excursion include the Cathedral, La Giralda, the Alcázar, Plaza de España, The Torre del Oro, and the Parque de María Luisa. Additionally, try to make it to a Flamenco show as Sevilla serves as the mecca of this art form.