Overview

Introduction

One of the best known and loved regions of Spain, Andalucia is an autonomous community with a total area which is 10% larger than that of Scotland and the northern islands or 4 times the size of Wales.  It has a population of 8.5 million and represents 17.84% of the land area of Spain. It is the most populated region in the country.

This is an area that has, over time, come under the influence of Iberians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Byzantines, Moors and of course the catholic kings who finally expelled the Moors, who had occupied the region for 500 years, in 1492.

On its Mediterranean coast, the region encompasses one of the most popular sun and beach locations in Spain, namely the Costa del Sol in the province of Malaga, including Marbella and Puerto Banus.  On the Atlantic Coast is the Costa de Luz, within the Cadiz province, which is one of the least known coastal stretches and one definitely worth exploring.

But it is the culture and physical beauty of inland Andalucia which attracts the more discerning traveller.  There are mountain ranges like the Sierra Morena, Sierra Nevada and the Sierra Blanca.  National parks include that of Sierra Grazalema, Donana, Los Alcornocales, Sierra Nevada, Sierra de las Nieves, Alpujarras in Granada Province and Cazorla Natural Park in the province of Jaen.

Andalusian towns and cities are a stunning melting pot of Roman, Medieval, Moorish and Christian influences. Names like Granada, Seville, Cordoba, Jaen, Cadiz, Jerez de la Frontera, Almeria and Huelva are particularly well known.  However, it is the many small ‘white villages’ like Arcos de la Frontera, that capture the imagination and romantic towns like Ronda and Ubeda which are all there to be explored.

Don’t forget, that Andalucia was the birthplace of Flamenco, the pure bred Andalusian horse, the source of Sherry wines and, some say, tapas.

This is an enormous and diverse region.  Some parts are well known yet others not known at all and there to be explored and enjoyed.

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Activities in Andalucia

RONDA

Take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Ronda, absorbing every detail of this ancient Arab medina (city) on the south bank of the Guadalevín River. Cross the Puente Nuevo (new bridge) from which you will be treated to a marvellous view and wander around the Alameda del Tajo where you can absorb history at every corner. Then restore your strength in one of the restaurants offering an abundant selection of dishes from the local cuisine.

The town itself is divided into three clearly distinct areas: the city, or old Arab Medina, which is the most important from an historical point of view; the neighbourhood of San Francisco, separated by the city Walls; and the Mercadillo neighbourhood, which is on the other side of the Guadalevín River.

Buggy driving - RONDA

This guided experience allows you to steer a two-seated buggy to areas rarely visited by tourists. Follow the guide for a 20km ride and enjoy some breathtaking views off the beaten track.

Price is £87 per buggy (two people)

Notes

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Daily departures all year
  • 2nd driver sharing a buggy pays a supplement of £18
  • 4 seats per buggy
  • Driver’s must be aged 25 years or more and have held a valid driving licence for a minimum of two years
  • Suitable for children aged 5 years upwards


Vineyard Tour - RONDA

Get to know the local vineyards and wineries and learn all about the wine making process. This tour will start with a welcome reception at the winery followed by a visit of the vineyards and end with some wine tasting accompanied by a selection of Andalusian tapas.

Price is £35 per person (minimum 4 persons)
Prices for less than 4 people on request

Notes

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Daily departures all year
  • Minimum no: 2 people
  • Maximum no: 15 people
  • Children under 18 years are free (wine tasting not included)


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GRANADA

At the foot of the Sierra Nevada stands the province’s capital city, Granada, which is a fusion of western and eastern civilisations. The capital of the former Nasrid kingdom, the old city preserves an urban atmosphere with picturesque areas. The Alhambra, one of the most fascinating monumental sites in the world, overlooks the city.

Alhambra Palace (Guided tour joining a group) - Granada
 

Price is £29 per adult, £21 per teenager (14-18 years) and £14 per child (8-13 years)

Divided into four main areas – the Palaces, the Alcazaba, the Medina and the Generalife Estate, either a full morning or afternoon visit is recommended to really appreciate this wondrous monument. Reachable on foot (1.6km) or by public transport, due to its popularity and limited visitors per day, it is recommended to book visits to the Alhambra in advance, subject to availability.

Notes

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Daily departures all year (except 25 December and 01 January)
  • Minimum no: 2 people
  • Maximum no: 12 people
  • Children under 8 years are free of charge



Guided Bike Tour - Granada

Visit Granada by electric bike and discover the some of the many marvels this beautiful city has to offer. The guided tour explores the typical districts of Albaicín and Sacromonte, the gypsy caves and San Nicolas viewpoint.

Price is £52 per person

Notes

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Daily departures all year  
  • Minimum no: 2 people
  • Maximum no: 10 people
  • Suitable from 15 years upwards


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ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA

Guided walk – Arcos de la Frontera

Take a guided walk along the narrow, steep streets and under ancient archways to discover the ancient quarter. Monumental treasures in this part of the town include the Los Duques Castle (15th century), the Matrera Gateway (11th-14th centuries) and the remains of the walled town, with its palaces and manor houses, the Santa María Basilica, the San Pedro Church, as well as numerous churches, chapels and convents. All these places of worship house valuable images which are paraded through the streets of the town during Easter Week.

Price is £18 per person

Notes

  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Daily departures all year
  • Minimum: 2 people
  • Maximum no: 12 people
  • Suitable from 5 years upwards


Kayak Tour - Arcos Lake

Arcos Lake is only a few kilometres from the town where visitors can try their hand at various water sports. The tail of this reservoir has been declared a Beauty Spot.

Price is £21 per person (minimum 2 people)

Notes

  • Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Daily departures all year
  • Minimum: 2 people
  • Maximum no: 12 people
  • Suitable from 4 years upwards
  • Included: Wetsuit, life vest, and waterproof container for belongings (camera, mobile, food etc)


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LOS CAÑOS DE MECA

Horse Riding

Horse riding along El Palmar beach (weather dependent), located 10km from Los Caños de Meca. Before going out to the beach you will spend some time at the riding school getting to know your horse which will be chosen depending on your experience level.

Price is £57 per person

Notes

  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Daily departures all year
  • Minimum: 2 people
  • Maximum: 10 people
  • Included: Chaps and riding helmets
  • Suitable from 5 years upwards
  • Suitable for beginners or more experienced riders


Whale & Dolphin Watching Trip

The waters off the coast of Andalucia are home to a large population of whales and dolphins. Orcas are always present on the Costa de la Luz and the Straights of Gibraltar, however it is the summer period (mid July to mid Sep) when they are most visible. The most frequently spotted cetaceans are Orca (killer whale), Common Rorqual (baleen whale), Minke whale, Sperm whale and Common and Striped dolphins.

Price is £40 per adult and £25 per child (4-14 years) or £12 per toddler (1-3 years)

Notes

  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Daily departures (01Mar-30Oct)
  • Minimum: 15 people
  • Boat capacity 60 people or 150 people
  • Each excursion starts with a 10 minute briefing by a marine biologist, introducing the cetaceans and discussing their habitat, communication and behavioural patterns
  • Dolphins and pilot whales are sighted all year round, sperm whales during spring, summer and autumn and killer whales in summer
  • 97% success on sightings at least one species of cetacean. Should you be unlucky enough not to see any sightings of cetaceans, then you will be given a free ticket, without expiration date, to go out again


Surf Lesson

Price is £35 per person

Notes

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Included: Wetsuit and board


Bike Tour

Price is from £40 per person

Notes

  • Length: 20-30km ride
  • Duration: 2 hours


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CADIZ

A visit to the Supply Market or Square (Mercado de Abastos) is a must. You are sure to discover a corner replete with daily life, where the people of Cadiz ‘Gaditanos’ chat with traders while they do their daily shopping.

Try the traditional breakfast ‘Churros and Hot chocolate’. Visit La Marina Cafeteria, located in a corner of the square with the flower merchants, or buy hot sugary churros from one of the stalls next to the market. You can purchase a mug of traditional thick hot chocolate from any bar, where you can sit and enjoy the churros you just bought.

You can stroll through the historic centre and lose yourself in the one of many narrow, cobble stoned streets or visit the Dark Room at the Tavira Tower, the Western Tower (Torre de Poniente) in the Cathedral of Cadiz.

There are great views over the city from Plaza de San Juan de Dios. Take a stroll along the Playa de la Caleta (Little Cove Beach), where the boats rest under the attentive gaze of the Castles of Santa Catalina (on the right) and San Sebastián (in the background), where films have been shot including Tomorrow Never Dies (James Bond). Next stop is the Castle of San Sebastián. To get there, cross the Puente Canal (next to the Playa de la Caleta) on foot which is a lovely walk. From the other castle, Santa Catalina, you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets you have ever seen.

Roam along the Campo del Sur, which many people claim is very similar to the Malecon in Havana. And if you still have energy and time, you can reach the Playa de la Victoria on foot, and from there to the Playa de Cortadura, which borders Cadiz along the coastline and is a pleasant stroll.


  • Private Guided tour Cadiz: £136 per group (1-30 people) Mon-Fri
  • Cadiz self-guided tour (audio guide and map provided): £16 per person
  • Sightseeing bus: £21 per adult and £11 per child (60 minutes guided walking tour included)


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JEREZ

Strolling around this city will give you a chance to get to know and discover wine and horse culture first hand. You can visit a wine cellar ‘bodega’ to see how wine is produced, and even go to a wine tasting (Bodegas González Byass, Bodegas Lustau or Bodegas Tradición to name a few).

However, Jerez is not only characterised by its wine and unique architecture but offers much more. It is home to the Carthusian horse, the cradle of flamenco, a city of motor racing and has an historically rich city centre.

With regard to horses, there are two extremely well-known equestrian shows: ‘How Andalusian Horses Dance’, at the Andalusian Royal School of Equestrian Art (Tuesday and Thursday at noon) and ‘Carthusian Horse Studs’ (Saturdays at 11:00).    

Jerez offers the very best of Flamenco (daily) in its famous Tablaos, in addition to some very interesting flamenco performances: from flamenco recitals in numerous Peña Flamenca clubs to be found dotted around the city and the traditional Bulería Festival (September), to the famous Jerez International Flamenco Festival which takes place each year (Feb-Mar).

  • Wine cellar visit: From £18 per person
  • Andalusian Royal School of Equestrian Show: From £24 per person
  • Carthusian Horse Show: From £19 per person
  • Flamenco Show: From £23 per person


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VEJER DE LA FRONTERA

The town was declared a Historical Site and awarded the National Prize for the Beautification of Andalusian Towns. It is perched on a hilltop overlooking the River Barbate.

The town has many outstanding churches: the Divino Salvador Parish Church which overlooks the town; the Monjas Concepcionistas Church with its stunning Las Monjas Arch; the Hospedería de San Francisco Convent; and, on the outskirts of the town, Nuestra Señora de la Oliva hermitage. The most outstanding civil buildings in the town are the Baroque Palace of the Marquis of Tamarón and the Mayorazgo.

Guided Tour

Price is £18 per person (90 minutes - minimum 2 people)

Vejer de la Frontera is only 9km from one of the most famous beaches on the coast of Cadiz, the El Palmar Beach. This beach has more than 4km of fine golden sand beaches and, when the wind blows, provides a great area for windsurfers.

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ZAHARA DE LA SIERRA

The white village of Zahara de la Sierra has one of the most stunning settings in the province of Cadiz. This mountain village is situated in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. Its hillside position imbues the village with an unusual urban appearance. In the pretty town centre, the Santa María de la Mesa Church, the San Juan de Letrán Chapel, the Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower) and the Palominos Bridge are of particular interest.

The famous fiesta of Corpus Christi has been declared to be of National Tourist Interest. During the festival not only can you marvel at the sight of the meticulous ornamentation, you can taste the local cuisine, with dishes such as the “quemones de cebolla” (a tomato dip with onion and parsley), the “sopas hervías” (bread and tomato soup) and the sugary tipsy cakes.

Olive Oil Mill Guided Visit (1 hour)

Price is £10 per person

Apart from the amazing panoramic views, the Zahara-El Gastor Reservoir offers many opportunities to enjoy various sports activities. In the Arroyomolinos Recreational Area, visitors can swim from an artificial beach in the heart of the Sierra de Cadiz.

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JAÉN

The varied geography of the province of Jaén offers the beauty of its natural landscapes and the architecture and monuments of its villages and cities which keep alive the memory of past splendour. Large expanses of gentle landscapes with olive groves stretch out over the horizon. Among the olives and the lush vegetation of its nature reserves you will find outstanding examples of Iberian art, churches, cathedrals, palaces and castles built in the Gothic, Renaissance or Baroque style. Jaén is a land of excellent olive oil, and offers a dreamlike landscape for anyone passing through the Despeñaperros ravine which leads to the south.

Olive Oil (Extra Virgin) Workshop

Price is £23 per person (minimum 2 people)

Discover the Natural Park Sierra Magina

Enjoy a nice route by jeep 4x4 with the best views of Jaén. The Sierra Mágina Natural Park has the highest altitude of the province. During the trip you can see the flora and fauna of this wonderful natural environment.

Price is £46 per person

Notes

  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Minimum: 4 people

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Malaga and Cadiz are filled with unspoiled countryside, historic towns and main cities. Whilst the province of Malaga offers a dramatic mountainous backdrop, as you drive in to the province of Cadiz the mountains give way to hills. This is an area filled with history, delicious gastronomy, a relaxed pace of life and some of the best beaches in Europe.

Yasmin Zaidi
Yasmin Zaidi
Best time to go
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC
Time Difference

GMT + 1 hour

Currency

Euro

Language

Spanish

Average flight times

2 hours 20 minutes

  • Average temperature

    Average rainfall

Talk to our Andalucia expert

Yasmin Zaidi
Yasmin Zaidi

Malaga and Cadiz are filled with unspoiled countryside, historic towns and main cities. Whilst the province of Malaga offers a dramatic mountainous backdrop, as you drive in to the province of Cadiz the mountains give way to hills. This is an area filled with history, delicious gastronomy, a relaxed pace of life and some of the best beaches in Europe.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8758 4722

We open today at 9:30 AM

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

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