Situated between two continents and two seas, the region of Andalucia – southern Spain – has been undoubtedly influenced by the many civilisations that made the region their home throughout history.
Andalucia is a truly unique and friendly region to live in or visit and this is arguably mainly due to the heritage visible in the region’s eight provinces which has been left behind by the great mixture of diverse cultures such as the Romans, Jews, Moors, Phoenicians and Christians.
The charms of each of the eight provinces of Andalucia are quite evident but the stark differences between them are clear for all to see.
The regional capital Seville has a wealth of architectural treasures from the world famous Giralda Tower, the Torre del Oro (golden tower) to the lively and cosmopolitan district of Santa Cruz.
Malaga has an extraordinary mixture of museums and landmark monuments which include the Alcazaba and the Gibralfaro castle.
Cordoba, once the ancient Moorish capital, although a city in it’s own right gives more the perception of a large country town. The Mezquita (Mosque) is unique and provides the visitor with physical evidence of ancient Islamic rule. It is indicative of the power and influence that the Moors exerted over Southern Spain for centuries. Check out some of the Cordoba Sites
Granada is one of the great university cities of Spain and was the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain. The city’s greatest monument to Moorish architecture is the Alhambra Palace which is truly one of the wonders of this whole region.
Recent estimates reveal that around 70,000 Brits buy property in Spain each year and this figure is set to increase in the future. A large proportion of them choose the region of Andalucia in which to begin a new life and start to live the dream. Can’t decide when to go?
The favourable climate of the region is probably the deciding factor which influences so many people to settle in the area. Andalucia enjoys in excess of 300 days of sunshine a year on average throughout the region. Although the mild climate is a major attraction to the area, there is a lot more that makes Andalucia the magnet that it is to foreign investors looking to buy second homes or permanently settle and live here.
The diversity of its geography is a principal attraction as nature lovers are enchanted by the sheer range and quality of its protected green zones. A fifth of all its territory is protected nature parks, the jewel in the crown being the renowned Parque de Doñana in the province of Huelva. Similarly Sierra de Cazorla in the province of Jaen and the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema which spreads from Cadiz to Malaga are extraordinary specimens of well protected nature reserves.
Like all important tourist destinations, Andalucia has a well developed infrastructure to support it. The facilities are continuously being upgraded and travelling throughout the region or from overseas is simple, fast and efficient.
The airport at Malaga which is the fourth largest in Spain is currently under expansion and as the principal point of entry caters for 13 million visitors a year. Railway services are similarly highly effective with the state owned AVE (high speed) railway network connecting Seville to Madrid in under three hours. Malaga capital has now been connected with daily railway links to Madrid. The local railway service is reliable and regular and is continuously being upgraded and facilities improved for the benefit of passengers including those with mobility difficulties.
Families with children of school age will be pleasantly surprised to find that the quality of education is considered to be one of the best in Europe. One in ten students in the province of Malaga is foreign and this figure is again set to increase. This influx of foreign students has been the catalyst providing the impetus behind new programmes of cultural integration and other activities designed to help the integration of foreign students into the Spanish way of life. Those aspiring to further education by way of university will find that tuition fees in state run universities are considerably lower than in other places.
As a result of the geographical and climatic conditions of Andalucia, The amount of leisure activities in the region are numerous and diverse. The region possesses several mountain ranges where large reservoirs and natural lakes provide the opportunities to practice all kinds of water sports and rock climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Sierra Nevada, a premier ski resort in Granada province provides first class skiing to locals and visitors alike.
The vast green areas of the region are ideally suited for trekking, Rambling and horse riding. El Torcal natural reserve in Antequera, Malaga, is one of the most famous and walkers have the choice of different routes which vary in length and difficulty.
It is a well known fact that this region of Spain is recognised as a golfer’s paradise. The region has more numerous, excellent quality courses than anywhere else in the country. Most important international golf tournaments are held on the Costa Del Sol where prices are quite reasonable.
The vast stretches of coastline both on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea will similarly provide excellent opportunities for Sea based sporting activities be they water skiing, diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, surfing, kite surfing, fishing and indeed every conceivable form of water sport imaginable.
Andalucia has something for everyone and the tourism figures which continually are on the increase seem to support that fact. In addition, the number of foreign residents who choose to make a new and better life for themselves in the region is proof enough that Andalucia is going from strength to strength.
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