Friday, January 23, 2015

Andalucia; Granada, Sevilla, Malaga, Cordoba


Andalucia is the southern part of Spain. Beside the Muslim and Romani cultures, it is also possible to see Iberians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines as well as Castillian and Jewish tracks.

The area is also well known with its hot weather. In summer time 40C is pretty normal to see. In the winter time the sun shines though, at nights it gets really cold.





Granada

Ruken Zilan



Granada is the capital city of Andalucia with the average population of 300.000. Although, this lovely city has many charming places, Alhambra is the first place to remember. This big castle includes gardens, fortifications and charming palaces. It is constructed for the Arab Sultans which governed the area for years. It is one of the most visited monuments of Spain. Generally it is hard to find the ticket's of Alhambra so reserving or buying the ticket in advance can help you to save time. Keep in mind that visiting Alhambra can easily take half of the day or even a whole day. Also be careful about the visiting hours of Nazrettin palace (a special part of Alhambra) which is stated on your ticket.




Another intresting part of the city is Albayzin. It is the old Arabic part located on the hill opposite the Alhambra. The area is known with cobble stoned streets and small white houses. Walking in this area and climbing to the top may surprize you with the small squares, painters, gypsies, flamenco dancers and with the impressive views.














Sacromonte is another place that presents traditional gypsies's life, and flamenco.

The Catedhral and the shopping streets around it are also extremely touristic destinations.

 Unlike other parts of the country Tapas culture is still alive in Andalucia. The food comes together with the selected drink.
In Granada there are two main areas for bars: Pedro Alarcón and the area around Plaza Nueva and the Calle Elvira.




Sevilla



Sevilla is another unique city of Spain at the heart of Andalusia. Summer time it is really hot, for example it is possible to see 48C easily. The city is also known as the home of bullfights, flamenco and tapas. 












Places must be seen:
- Plaza de España (Amazing, detailed painted structure)
- The Moorish-style Alcázar palace (A royal palace reminds Alhambra).
- The cathedral ( the biggest Gothic Cathedral in the world from the 15th century)
- The  Giralda Tower (the bell tower of the cathedral)
 - Santa Cruz (the old Jewish quarter)

Also walking through the streets of Sevilla is a source of joy.




Malaga

Malaga has its own charm in the heart of Andalucia. Having beautiful sunny coasts and smooth weather, its history, the multicultural structure, being close to the other cities, and good transportation opportunities give a special flavour to the city.



 Places must be seen:

- The Alcazaba of Malaga (it is thousand-year-old and once it belonged to the old Muslim rulers)
- The Roman Theater (constructed at the 1st century BC and have been in use until the 3th century. right behind the Alcazaba.)
- The old city (at the heart of the city where you can find Picasso museum (Málaga is the birth city of the Picasso))

- The Catedral de la Encarnación (a nice piece from the Renaissance)
- Gibralfaro castle (built in 14th century)
- The beaches and water parks of the beautiful coasts.








The interesting buildings that you can find when you are walking in the downtown are 
- Aduana (The Custom), 
- Ayundamiento (The City Hall), 
- Banco de España (The Bank of Spain),
- Correos (The Post Main office), 
- Palacio de Congresos (The Congress Palace), 
- Palacio Episcopal (Episcopal Palace).


Day Trips from Malaga:
- Take day excursions to Granada, Sevilla, Ronda, Cordoba and Gibraltar,
- Visit beaches of Nerja; an hour from Malaga (has a nicer beach than the one in Malaga),
- Take an excursion to the Caves of Nerja,
- Visit the magnificent El Chorro Gorge and national park of El Torcal.



 



   Distances to other cities :

to  Ronda,  118Km,  2 hours by car.
to Granada 129Km, 2 hours by car.
to Sevilla     216km - 2h24 by car, 2h45 by bus, 2h30 by train.
to Cordoba 160 Km, 2.5 hour by car.
to Gibraltar 130 Km,  2 hours by car.
to Madrid    537km - 5h26 by car, 6h by bus, 3h45 by train, 1h flight.
to Barcelona 1,016km - 10h by car, 17h by bus, 13h30 by train, 1h30 flight.


Cordoba



Cordoba, a small lovely city of Andalucia, has an interesting historic background. In the 11th century it was one of the important capitals in Europe. It was the zone where Jews, Muslims and Christians were living peacefully together, and creating art and science. Also, it has the second largest old city center in Europe declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The city is also famous with flamenco, bulfighting.


Places that must be seen:
- the Great Mosque of Córdoba and current cathedral (la mezquita),
- the Roman bridge,  
- Roman Temple, 
- the old Jewish quarter (close to the cathedral and includes beautiful original streets),
- the Synagogue and the Sephardic House. 
- the Roman walls (Surrounding the large Old town) 
- the Old Town (in addition to the cute streets there are several palaces such as Palacio de Viana)
The Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (in the old town)









Beside the monuments, it is a wonderful experience to be in Cordoba in spring in their famous festival which is called Patios Festival/Contest.Also known as Battle of Flowers. During the fest the residents of the old town open their decorated patios to public.









Also upper north part of the city, the luxurious zone of the city, is a nice area to see and to inhabit (there are several options for tourists).
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Enjoy Andalucia !