Andalusia has something on hold for everyone…
Date published: Aug 2022. Written by: Milou van Gerwen (Project Manager – Cititravel Málaga office)
Perhaps you’re quite familiar with the “obvious” images that pop into your head when you hear the word “Andalusia” (in Spanish Andalucía): Sunshine, siesta, and sangría…
But how about getting to experience the more authentic side of this unique region of Spain, in fact, one of THE MOST diverse areas of Spain?
Andalusia literally has it all: from sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Costa del Sol, to stunning mountains of Sierra Nevada (great for skiing or hiking). From volcanic origins and wild west sceneries in Cabo de Gata (Almería), to the English heritage and monkeys in Gibraltar (from where you can even spot Morocco!). With a rich history dating back to the Phoenicians and cultural highlights such as Seville, Granada and Córdoba, where we see the results of 3 cultures living together during ages! From a passionate flamenco show in Malaga to a spectacular party scene in Marbella!
Like the Spaniards say: “Hay un amplio abanico de posibilidades” (a Spanish fan full of possibilities!). For all travel profiles there is something to enjoy here in southern Spain!
1. The Cultural explorer
Southern Spain is an open museum!
Andalusia has by far one of the most diverse histories of Europe, with different cultures and religions who all left their landmarks during the past. From the Phoenicians who established their first settlement in Spain (Cádiz) at about 850 BC, to the Romans, the Visigoths and of course also the Moors: All left their own cultural footprint in Andalusia!
In terms of cultural heritage, the list is endless: think of the magical Alhambra Palace in Granada (UNESCO World Heritage) which you can even hire on an exclusive basis for large groups, or the enchanting light that brings out the red colors in Córdoba’s “Mezquita”. Feel like an actual Game-of-Thrones character when walking through the gardens of the Royal Alcázar of Seville (declared a World Heritage Site in 1987), or climb the stairs of the iconic Giralda tower, overlooking the historic centre. And not to forget the fact that Malaga city is Spain’s second city with most museums after Madrid, including museums such as the Pompidou Málaga, Picasso, Thyssen and much more!
The famous Spanish dance actually originated in the south of Spain, here in Andalusia. This dramatic and passionate music genre finds its roots in Jewish and Islamic music that was transformed by the gypsies of southern Spain. One will be for sure captured by the impressive tap dancing, the rhythmic guitar and the soul-touching voices. Groups can choose to enjoy a flamenco show combined with dinner and this way combine the “taste and feel” of Spain (see an example video here)! Another possibility is to arrange a special master-class in flamenco dance to see if your guests can master the art of this dance themselves (video here)!
2. The City-tripper
The cities of southern Spain at your doorstep!
If you are the type that prefers to walk out of your hotel and enjoy the city, precisely Malaga, Marbella and Seville are THE places to go! From excellent city-center hotels with rooftops where you can enjoy a cocktail in the southern sun, to lots of curious activities taking place in the city centre at walking distance! Perfect idea for a 2-3 day incentive event!
Live the relaxed and cozy cosmopolitan ambience in Malaga city, while strolling down the streets to taste the different tapas bars and visit the local “Atarazanas market“. Settle on a rooftop with your cocktail overlooking the city, or order your coffee the “malagueño-way” (up to 10 different versions, each with their unique name). Those looking for a jet-set experience will find themselves at ease on a beach bed or infinity pool in Marbella, with it’s charming historic city centre and luxury hotels that offer all facilities for both business and relaxation. Relax at one of the beach clubs while zipping from your Moët & Chandon, just waiting to get that nice bronze teint! Dine in Michelin-star restaurants or taste the culinary creations of Dani García in one of his many local restaurants, and end the day partying in one of the nightclubs! Travel in time to the historic city of Granada, a less know but certainly a city-trip-worthy destination as well! And not to forget, the capital (and crown jewel of this autonomous region of Spain): Sevilla, with its iconic Cathedral and other popular bucket-list locations such as Plaza de España. Walk through the cobblestoned Jewish quarter, or discover the city by bike. Cool down while cruising along the río Guadalquivir by boat, or find rest under the trees in Maria Luisa park!
3. The Gastronomy lover
Food means good times in Andalusia!
Spain is all about food: The Mediterranean diet is famous all over the world, and who doesn’t love a zip of sangría or enjoying the famous “tapas” among friends and mix and match all flavors? Food & Wine lovers will enjoy Andalusia and all the products this region is famous for!
Try southern Spain’s unique flavors: from the sweet wine of Malaga province (made from Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel grape varieties), to “the liquid gold” – the virgin olive oil – one of Andalusia’s best export products. Other tasting experiences may include southern brewed beers (Cruzcampo & Victoria), smoked sardines at the beach (the so-called “espetos“), and other delicious seafood fresh from the Mediterranean Sea. Learn how to make the most seducing sangría or have a paella competition with your colleagues to see who masters the art of cooking the best Spanish rice dish! Cititravel can even imitate a tapas-themed “Master Chef” activity for your group, or a workshop in cutting the finest Iberian ham under professional guidance.
4. The Outdoor enthusiast
Andalusia is all about living the life outdoors!
Southern Spain offers you a diverse countryside with nature and villages that form the idyllic scenery for being outdoors.
Even though temperatures rise quite high in summer, the rest of the year, it’s the perfect weather to go hiking in the mountains (think of the green Alpujarras, or the lovely Sierra de Mijas with sea views). And in wintertime, don’t forget that Granada province offers the most southern Ski resort of Europe: Sierra Nevada Ski station! With its 3,479 metres, the peak of Mulhacén is in fact the highest mountain in the whole Iberian Peninsula (and second’s highest of all Spain with mount Teide in the Canary Islands being the highest mountain belonging to Spanish territory). To make sure your team gets their necessary dose of adrenaline, we can propose Canyoning adventures in rivers close to the vibrant coast of Marbella, or Jeep tours in the natural surroundings of Sierra de Las Nieves. You can also opt for the more desert-like experience: 4WD in the badlands of Guadix (1 hour from Granada). When it comes to accommodation, apart from 4-or-5 star hotels, Cititravel can also arrange rural boutique hotels or cottages that are situated in stunning parts of the countryside, or even alternative experiences like glamping to connect with nature! For those not afraid of heights, you certainly can’t miss the impressive “Caminito del Rey” (The King’s Path)! And how about harvesting your own olive oil to get to know this Andalusia product from up-close? Cititravel takes you to the mountainous area of Ronda (a different climate compared to the coast!) where a unique on-site olive experience is arranged. Sea-lovers can of course explore the amazing “Costa del Sol” by Catamaran (a unique fishing experience), and who knows you’ll spot some dolphins! Other experiences may include paddle surf, kayakking, or cycling routes along the beautiful coastline. If you need some more inspiration, check out this blog about “Top 5 outdoor activities in southern Spain“.
Live the virtual experience of these activities below: