The sleepy town of Alhama de Granada, located only 60 kms south-west of Granada, is beautifully located on the edge of a limestone gorge – that’s why the town is sometimes called ‘Little Ronda’! From the remaining sides the ancient village offers great views of wheat and olive fields and far off views of stunningmountain ranges.
Alhama de Granada is famous for the Balneario – ancient hot Arab baths in the spa-hotel located in the vicinity of the village. The thermal springs are especially recommended for rheumatic diseases and problems with respiratory tract. Also worth seeing in the village is the 1st century Roman Bridge, several churches including Parish or Mayor Church of Santa Maria de la Encarnacion and Conventual Church of Carmen. Have stroll around the town to discover more historic buildings. One of the recommended walking routes is a hike through the gorge. In the Los Tajos gorge, you can find some free thermal pools.
If you are travelling from Malaga to Granada short detour to Alhama is a must. If healing properties of the spa waters is what interests you, a weekend visit or longer is recommended. Try to avoid coming in July and August when the heat can be a problem.
A 15 min drive away from Alhama de Granada, you will find the beautiful vast Bermejales reservoir with sandy beaches, great water quality and amazing conditions for swimming or kayaking – much recommended as well for a summer family day!
Setenil de Bodegas is a small Spanish ‘cave town’ located in the heart of Andalucia, near Ronda. This sleepy pueblo blanco is located deep in a river gorge and it’s famous for unique houses which are built into the rock.
It’s worth to walk all around this white village, up and down, as different viewing points allow to see the curious dwellings and rock formations in a different way and then to take most incredible photos.
This small forgotten village is also famous for chorizo sausage. There are a couple of nice restaurants and bars in the village and the inhabitants are very friendly and helpful.
We do not recommend driving to the very centre of Setenil de Bodegas as the streets might be too narrow for your car to turn, and reversing on those narrow steep streets often turns into a real nightmare! Setenil is recommended for half day trip – well-worth a detour when visiting Ronda.
Medina Sidonia is picturesquely located on Cerro del Castillo, the highest elevation of the region which generally tends to be flat in that part of the province. The town is conveniently located half an hour’s drive from Cadiz and Jerez de la Frontera, however, it still remains unspoilt by tourism even in high season.
Rich history of Medina Sidonia
As one of the oldest cities in Europe, Medina Sidonia was founded between 1300 and 700 BC and was later occupied by Phoenician settlers. In the 15th century Medina Sidonia belonged to the family of Guzmans. It was one of the most prominent and affluent of the noble families in the medieval Spain. Under the Guzmans, Medina Siodnia reached its greatest splendour. The seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia is remembered in the history books as the man who led to defeat the Spanish Armada of 1588. Medina Sidonia was also the Andalusian capital of sweets, especially known for the Alfajores, cakes made of almonds, hazelnuts, honey and spices.
From the Middle Ages, Medina Sidonia remained important ducal seat. Today it’s the official seat of Luisa Isabel Alvarez de Toledo, the 20th Duchess of Medina Sidonia.
The most popular attractions in medina Sidonia include the 13th century Castle, Church of Saint Mary the Crowned, Arab Castle of Torrestrella, impressive Ducal Stables, 17th century Town Hall as well as beautiful Plaza de España. It is also worth visit local restaurants offering great tapas and traditional Spanish dishes.
Los Canos de Meca is a quiet little seaside village located between Barbate and Conil de la Frontera. Sandwiched between Atlantic and large pine forests and cliffs, the village seems a little secluded from the outside world. The name of the village – caños – comes from the fresh water springs that emerge from the nearby cliffs. Los Canos de Meca is also quite popular among nudists.
Western side of Los Canos
Once you are in Los Canos de Meca, you will quickly notice a tall white lighthouse that overlooks beaches in the western part of the village. It’s the landmark of the famous Cape Trafalgar, where the Battle of Trafalgar was fought in 1805. In the sea battle that lasted less than three hours, outnumbered and outgunned, Admiral Nelson defeated the combined forces of the French and Spanish Navies. Because of the defeat, Napoleon abandoned his plans to invade Great Britain which soon became the world’s dominant colonial power.
Another reason to visit Cape Trafalgar are some nice seashore rock formations on Playa del Faro de Trafalgar, popular among nudists. Cape Trafalgar provides a great view of the Zahora beach to the west .Zahora beach is a beautiful tranquil and wide beach with golden sand, shallow water, perfect for families and most importantly never overcrowded. The main beach in the western side of Los Canos is the long east-facing Marisucia beach, located along the way to the lighthouse. It is popular among both families and young people, however tends to get a bit dirty after seaweeds are washed onshore by strong Levante.
Eastern side of Los Canos
The eastern part of Los Canos boasts a small cosy beach closer to the centre and a wider beach backed by cliffs on the outskirts of the village. From here you can also go for a hiking route that leads up through the pine forest to the old watch tower Torre del Tajo nestled on a 100 metre tall cliff. Once you reach the top you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the sunny coast and sensational cliffs. From the top you can also hike down to Barbate.
Antequera is a fairly inconspicuous city north of Malaga. Because of it’s central position in Andalucia, between Seville, Granada, and Cordoba, it is often called “the heart of Andalucía”. Antequera boasts many interesting places to see, however, it remains unspoilt by massive tourism.
The fortress of Alcazaba stands out as a dominating feature over Antequera. You can visit Alcazaba’s walls and the main tower and enjoy spectacular panoramic views from the top. It is also worth to visit the churches in the centre: Iglesia de San Sebastian and Iglesia de Sanitago.
Those interested in the prehistory should visit the Dolmen of Menga at the city outskirts. It’s an access corridor and an oval-shaped burial chamber from 3000 BC. The tomb most probably served as a grave for the ruling families. Hundreds of people were buried there. If you stand just inside the entrance to this ancient site, you will clearly see Pena de los Enamorados (The Lovers Rock) also known as Montana del Indio (Indian Mountain), because the 880 metre mountain looks like a head of a sleeping Indian.
Another interesting megalithic construction located just outside the city is Dolmen del Romeral. Lastly, there is a megalithic sepulchre of Tholos de El Romeral located 3 kms north of the city. Access to all three archaeological sites is free.
Nature and adventure around Antequera
We also recommend exploring the Antequera region. Whether you are interested in wild animals, climbing, canyoning or hiking, you will surely find something for your liking near Antequera.
Central Andalucia, including the Antequera region, is a real paradise for climbers. The small towns of Villanueva del Rosario, El Chorro, Archidona as well as small villages of Valle de Adaliajis or Pinares de San Anton are very popular climbing destinations. Ten kms south of Antequera there is a Wolf Park (Lobo Park) for those who would like to learn more a about wolves and observe wolves in an environment that is very close to real nature.
El Torcal Natural Park, located just a couple of kilometers south of Antequera, is a definite must-see. It is famous for weird and bizarre rock formations which are wonderful to look at. Each of these intriguing rocks resembles something different and has some affectionate name, e.g. camel or canary.
Bird lovers or hikers should not miss Fuente de Piedra lagoon. This beautiful park is located 20 kms north-west of Antequera. It boasts second largest colony of flamingos in Europe.
Iznajar, located around 60 kms north of Antequera, is another interesting place to visit. It’s a classic white village perched on a hill, beside the largest lake in Andalucia. Iznajar boasts spectacular views of the extensive lake and olive hills that surround it from all sides. The views from Iznajar castle stretch as far as the snow-capped Sierra Nevada.
When you think Granada, the Alhambra complex of palaces comes first to mind. The pinnacle of Moorish art is the pride not only of Granada, but of the whole Spain. The wonderful Alhambra has inspired travellers for centuries. Poetry was the inspiration when designing the complex which was intended to be a paradise. And it’s as close to an earthly paradise, as it gets.
Granada itself and the nearby small white villages are perched on a series of hills, one of which is crowned by the mighty Alhambra. Those green hills gradually climb to the snow-topped Sierra Nevada Mountains, one of the most popular ski resorts in Spain.
There is a lot more to Granada than Alhambra. There is the Generalife, situated next to Alhambra, which is a small palace colmplex with beautiful gardens. Highly rated among the vistors, Science Park (Parque de las Ciencias), offersa great science experience. If your kids didn’t appreciate the beauties of Alhrambra, take them to the Science Park and they are going to love it! There is plenty of stuff to do for youngters and excitement lurks around every corner of the Park.
View of Granada from Alhambra
Another noteworthy place is a street Calle De La Caldereria Nueva, also known as “Little Morocco“. There are Moorish shops, teahouses and buildings there. So if you fancy buying some North African products, a visit to “Little Marocco” is mot recommended.
If a cultural feast with a family is what you are looking for, hestitate no more and book a trip to Granada with bestandalucia.com.
Find all the practical information, helpful tips and opinions on holidays in Granada, Spain. Check out Granada’s top attractions, recommended places to stay and best things to do. Read about the best restaurants in Granada, Andalucia. Plan and book your vacations today with Best Andalucia guide. Granada can be a perfect place for cultural holidays.
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Gibraltar is one of the most popular one-day or weekend destinations in Andalucia,
although strictly speaking it does not really belong to it. Whether from inland Spain, on one of the large cruise ships or by plane from Great Britain, tourists flock everyday to see The Rock and all the attractions that it offers. What comes up to mind first when thinking of the popular Gib is the cable car with it’s famous mischievous Barbary Apes on top of the Rock, duty-free shopping on the Main Street or sensational views of the coast of North Africa enjoyed from Europa Point, the southernmost point of the enclave. However, there is much more to Gibraltar than this.
The famous British overseas territory holds a great number of attractions, despite covering just 6.8 km2. World War II tunnels, the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, the famous St Michael’s Cave, the hiking challenge of the picturesque Mediterranean Steps, Dolphin Watching boat trips or a series of top quality restaurant and pubs located along the Ocean Village quayside overlooking the marina. To explore all the great places that Gib has to offer, would take you at least a week!
Gibraltar is also a good starting point to embark on a trip to Morocco. Tangier Med ferry crosses three times a week and recently flights from Gibraltar to Marrakesh have also been launched.
If you want to get to Gibraltar from the UK, by far the easiest way are regular flights from London, Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol (since spring 2015).
Find all the practical information, helpful tips and opinions on holidays in Gibraltar, Spain. Check out Gibraltar’s top attractions, recommended places to stay and best things to do. Read about the best restaurants in Gibraltar, Andalucia. Plan and book your vacations today with Best Andalucia guide. Gibraltar can be a perfect place for family holidays.
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Located in the picturesque foothills of the Sierra de Ronda, Gaucin is a must see for anyone interested in “white villages.” It’s located not far away from another whitewashed village, Casares, so it might be a good idea to visit both on the same day.
Gaucin’s top attraction is the Moorish Castillo del Aguila, perched right above the village. It sits 626 metres above sea level, so spectacular views of Gibraltar and the Moroccan mountains are guaranteed on a clear day.
Gaucin tends to be very quiet all year round, as not many tourists remember about this beautiful place. Artists, birdwatchers and hikers visit Gaucin most often. There are hundreds of kilometres of pathways, some of them signposted some of them wild, that lead through varied magical landscape.
If you are looking for a remote romantic getaway, want to esacpe the hustle and bustle of the busy city life, or simply get closer to nature, make sure to visit Gaucin.
Fuengirola is a nice holiday resort located just 15 minutes drive from Malaga airport. It’a perfect summer desitnation for everyone: families, couples or singles. Funegoriola boasts some of the best beaches in the area, beautiful yacht-filled marina, good range of restaurants including many British and some good value for money hotels.
Fuengirola is a good choice if you want explore Costa del Sol. The town is conveniently located close both to motorway and coastal roads, so that you can get to the nearby Marbella, Mijas or Benalmadena in a matter of minutes. Popular coastal train service also runs from Malaga through Torremolinos and Benalmadena to Fuengirola. But there is no shortage of top-quality attractions in Fuengirola itself. Lovely Castle of Sohail on a hill overlooking the sea, Bioparc Fuengirola with wild animals, large water park and more.
If you are a keen golfer, Fuengirola can be a perfect starting point to discover and explore Costa del Golf. Fuengirola is surrounded by numeorus quality golf courses: inland from the town, in the direction of Marbella, and on the coastal road to Malaga.
Estepona is a small idyllic town on Costa del Sol. It’s conveniently located half an hour drive both from Gibraltar and Marbella. This peaceful city is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja Mountains which guard Estepona from rough weather ensuring more than 320 sunny days per year.
Estepona boasts very pleaseant and well taken care of beachfront, quite close to the city centre. There is a pretty promenade lined wih palm trees and flowers, outdoor gym-fitness parks, a cycling alley, fountains and more attractions. The picturesque small bay of Playa el Christo is especially popular among families with small kids. This south facing beach with reallu shallow waters and golden sand enjoys sunshine nearly all day in summer months.
Popular El Cristo beach
Estepona’s maze of streets, plazas and patios is filled with all the attractions of traditional Spanish town yet with a delicate modern international touch. One of the streets in the centre leads to the beautiful Orchidarium, a must see for flower enthuasiasts. The town also boasts an amazing collection of wall murals. Nice evening bars, restaurants with seafood, chirignuitos, clubs, or fish markets are abundand in Estepona, but you won’t find here commercial centres of colourful nighclubs.
Beachfront playground near the centre of Estepona
Are you and your family looking for a quiet place for lazy summer holidays on Costa del Sol? If the answer is ‘Yes’, Estepona might be exactly what you are looking for. Booking accommodation in Estepona is a good choice, if you are planning golf holidays. There are a couple of courses near Estepona, or the nearby Sotogrande. Since Estepona is much closer to Gibraltar than to Malaga, flying to Gib might be the best choice.
Selwo Aventura in Estepona
Located at the entrance of Estepona, close to the main Costa del Sol road, there is the spectacular Selwo Aventura safari park. Selwo Aventura boasts more than 2000 animals from every corner of the world that live on a one million square meters site.
This popular Estepona family attraction boasts a Bird Canyon, home to rare and endangered species of birds, which is the largest natural aviary in Europe. The attractions are plentiful and varied. There is a “monkey island”, the Central Village full of large animals such as giraffes, elephants, rhinoceros and a lion, large enclosure with beautiful flamingos, amazing cave cave full of bats, the camel ride, face-painting, hanging bridges, zip line and much more!
Unlike many others safari parks and zoos, in Selwo Aventura you can get really close to the wildlife. You will surely notice small goats or peacocks roaming freely in the park. Moreover, the enclosures are large and the viewpoints located in a such a way to allow visitors approaching and observing the animals from different angles, and sometimes even to touch them.
Make sure to arrive early at Selwo Aventura, as it can take a whole day to visit the park. Take something to eat with you or buy a snack or meal in one of the restaurants inside. Selwo Aventura is a great idea for a one-day family adventure. Avoid visiting in the peak of summer, as the heat can be difficult to bear!
Find all the practical information, helpful tips and various opinions on holidays in Estepona, Spain. Check out Estepona’s best attractions, recommended places to stay and best things to do. Read about top restaurants and bars in Estepona, Andalucia. Plan and book your vacations today with Best Andalucia guide. Estepona is a perfect place for amazing summer family holidays.
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