Last Christmas I packed my bags to go the warmest region in Europe in Winter – The Andalusia. Andalusia is a south-western European region established as an autonomous community of the Kingdom of Spain. Málaga is a municipality, capital of the Province of Málaga, in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. With a population of around 600,000 it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. The southernmost large city in Europe, it lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean, about 100 km (62.14 mi) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km north of Africa.
Checked the weather on weather.com and it flashed a brimming sun at 22 degrees, couldn’t be happier to enjoy Christmas this warm J
So without much ado here is my list of top 7 things to do in Andalusia
- Hire a car: I stayed at Malaga as my base station and hired a car as driving down places would be easier. In my 3.5 days trip all of Malaga was by foot and out of Malaga was by car. Lot of car rental companies such as Europcar, easycar, sixt have put up shops at the airport and offer vast choices of cars.
2. Relish local cuisine and a walk on Costa Del Sol: Malaga food is synonymous to freshness. Walk towards the port and you will find the best of Tapas joints offering a variety of veg and non-veg finger food and local wine.
The most popular and well relished is the La Tortilla Española or the Spanish Omelette not to be confused with the Mexican tortilla as this is a lip smacking recipe of egg, potatoes with spinach and roquefort cheese. Another popular tapas is the Ajo Blanco. This dish is made of bread, crushed almonds, garlic, water, olive oil, salt and sometimes vinegar. I am not a big fan of cold soups but ajoblanco and gazpacho (a cold tomato soup) changed my opinion. The seafood tapas are a major hit among the non-vegetarians who do not miss on the freshly made sardines tapas.
3. Night life and flamenco dance: Most happening pubs and bars open around 19.00 and rock way past midnight. Malaga offers great choice be it dancing, enjoying a quite dinner, revel in the traditional meal and a flamenco show or fine dining. It offers all.
4. Bull fighting: Bullfighting season is April to September ever year thus winter may not be a time to see the fierce animal taken by its horns. However, I did visit the arena and caught a glimpse of how it would be like to see one live.
5. Day Trip to Ronda: on the third day I drove down to Ronda which is 103 kms drive and takes around 1.5 hours via the expressway. Ronda is situated in a very mountainous area about 750 m above mean sea level. The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 100 plus meters deep El Tajo canyon upon which the city perches. The main attraction are the three bridges, Puente Romano (“Roman Bridge”, also known as the Puente San Miguel), Puente Viejo (“Old Bridge”, also known as the Puente Árabe or “Arab Bridge”) and Puente Nuevo (“New Bridge”), span the canyon. ThePuente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 120 metres (390 ft) above the canyon floor, and all three serve as some of the city’s most impressive features.
6. A trip to Marbella: I was in two minds whether to stay in Malaga or Marbella as my base. Marbella is a peppy summer town with beautiful beaches to its glory. Marbella is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, between Málaga and the Gibraltar Strait, in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca. It is culturally very rich and has a significant archaeological heritage, several museums and performance spaces, and a cultural calendar with events ranging from reggae concerts to opera performances. On the way to Marbella I also got to see a Birds of the Mountains show and could capture an Owl and a mountain Eagle.
7. Return in Summer: Block your calendar well in advance and visit Andalusia coming summer…you won’t be disappointed.
City information: Wikipedia