Confession time: up until a few days ago, I had absolutely no idea what Andalusia was.
I give you full permission to judge me, because as I’ve discovered this past week, Andalusia is an absolutely amazing region worthy of ample love and recognition. Covering almost 90,000 km2 in Southwestern Spain, this dynamic slice of Europe includes beloved destinations like Seville, Cádiz and Granada, vacation favourites among people from all over the world. Where mountains and beaches meet sprawling coastlines, stunning architecture and friendly locals, you will find this beautiful region, which welcomes nearly 30 million visitors every year. After a few days of experiencing Andalusia for myself along the Guadalquivir, I definitely believe that it’s a place all people should see at least once in their lives. Here’s why:
1. It’s a foodie’s paradise.
Succulent tapas, fresh seafood, crispy churros and much more await visitors to Andalusia, a region renowned for its gastronomic delights. If you love food, a visit to sample Andalusian cuisine is impossible to resist. Whether you’re enjoying these specialties from on-board a river cruise like me or from a local restaurant during a day trip, I guarantee your taste buds will thank you.
2. The warm, sunny weather.
For me, there is no morale boost more effective than bright sunny weather and clear blue skies. As the hottest region in all of Europe, Andalusia has plenty of sun to offer, with summer temperatures reaching well over the 30s. For those keen on a sunny escape, a visit to Andalusia would be a pretty safe bet.
3.The region’s vibrant culture.
Thinking of Spain will easily conjure up images of fierce bull fights, passionate flamenco dancers and the rhythmic sounds of Spanish guitar. While these activities have become quintessentially Spanish in the minds of travelers, in reality, most of them are Andalusian in origin. A visit to Andalusia can never be dull, simply because you’ll be constantly exposed to this wealth of culture and much more. Today alone, my itinerary involved a wine cellar tour and sherry tasting, followed by an equestrian show and live music. No doubt, of all the cruises I’ve done so far, this one has packed the heaviest punch in cultural activity – and I’m only halfway through!
4. You’ll find picturesque sights everywhere.
From lavishly decorated palaces to serene natural landscapes, there is an abundance of beautiful sights to be discovered all throughout Andalusia. As a prized piece of land ideally situated between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, the Andalusian region has been occupied throughout the years by countless empires, and has therefore accumulated a fascinating mix of architectural styles, including Moorish, Baroque and Renaissance styles. Put simply, passing through Andalusia is like being treated to unlimited eye candy. Everywhere from the sandy beaches of Cádiz to the whitewashed houses of Grenada, there is plenty of beauty to admire.
I must say: exploring Andalusia by river cruise has been a great experience so far, one that I would highly recommend to anyone. If I’ve managed to pique your curiosity, you can find more information about visiting Andalusia along the Guadalquivir here.
So, what’s next for me along this Spanish adventure? Well, I’ll update you all soon!