Why I feel in Love with Andalusia – South Spain
I’ve always loved Spain especially Barcelona but this year for my 30th birthday, I decided that south of Spain it is going to be. I try to go to Barcelona or rather Spain yearly. I love Barcelona but now I am in love with South of Spain especially the Andalusian region. It comprises of Malaga, Marbella, Nerja, Almeria, Granada, Jaen, Ronda, Seville, Córdoba and Huelva. For my trip, I visited the following regions: Marbella, Malaga, Ronda, Nerja, Almunecar, Granada, Sevilla and Cadiz.
I landed in Malaga airport at around 2pm and instead of taking the bus since our flight was delayed, Lina and I decided to cough about £90. That’s expensive compared to £15 I would have spent with the bus. That means I had to wait extra hours. As an FYI, if you take the bus or taxi, make sure you sit on the left side, the view is absolutely stunning. The journey is about 50 minutes.
My first stop – Marbella
What can I say about this town that has already not been said. Charming, warm, welcoming, refreshing and of course expensive compared to the other cities in Andalucia. I guess that’s why they call it the St. Tropez of Spain. I’m actually thinking of buying a house here just for my holidays – fantastic idea.
So what do you do when you are in Marbella? Check into your hotel (make sure you stay in old town – has everything you need especially stay at La Villa Marbella) and then you go for a good sangria and paella at any of the local restaurants opened. Sure enough, I did just that. I love old town Marbella, the little restaurants surrounding the orange square, the buzzing that goes on from 6pm, the shops that open from 5pm after their long siesta, the good drinks, the wines, and the beaches, nothing makes a perfect vacation unless you have good food and plenty of drinks and beaches – my kind of place.
Don’t forget to also check a couple of restaurants and bars along the beach. They sure do offer a nice view of Puerto Banus at night. For night life – check out the old town, the local marina and Puerto Banus. Clubs along the beach such as Nikki beach are a good way to start.
To get your workout on, walk on the golden mile. It is a stretch of 4 miles between Marbella and Puerto Banus. You know what’s even better, taking a boat ride to go to Puerto Banus. Gaze at those luxurious residents and marvel at what you did wrong in life 🙂
A visit to Marbella is not complete without a stroll along the street market in Puerto Banus on a Saturday morning. Get your bargain face on and enjoy the time there. And after long hours of bargaining with a dry throat, stop at any of the restaurants along the beach for a sangria as you watch and nod your head at the expensive, beautiful boats lined up. You know how rich people live – with nothing but the best.
Aha! I’m so glad I started my vacation with Marbella. Malaga is very different from Marbella. While Marbella has that slow and charming feel to it, Malaga is constantly buzzing with so much energy and a lot going on.
To get to Malaga from Marbella, take a bus for about £10 for an hour bus ride to Malaga from Marbella. And BTW, to get to Malaga from Malaga airport, it only costs less than $5 which is about 2-3 euros.
Carol and I had such a great time in this city. We visited Ronda from here and it was totally worth it. Here is quick itinerary of things to do in Malaga:
Museums – Malaga is known to have more museums than any other city if Andalusia. Wine and glass museums, Carmen Thyssen, Felix Revello del Torre etc. The sky is the limit here so knock yourself out. Not my kind of tea though. I only visited Picasso.
Shopping – the central part of Malaga, as you walk to the cathedral there are shops and restaurants everywhere. Get your shopping on and if you are tired, stop at any of the tapas bar for good drinks and food. It also has a Main Street with trees lined perpendicular to the avenue known as the Alameda. It starts at Plaza Marina near the port. Here get your shopping on and for all its worth, I bought a very nice bag for €15.
Also, don’t forget to check out the cathedral, beautiful botanical gardens of Malaga known as Jardines de la Concepcion, Castillo de Gibralfaro, Basilica of Santa Maria de la Victoria, Roman theatre and Alcazaba. It has stunning views of the city and port.
After a long walk of seeing and shopping, walk along the sea front known as promenade playa de la Malagueta and then sit down and enjoy are fleshing cocktail as you watch the sun set down over the Malaga bay. Nothing beats this.
Coastal Tropical – Nerja and Almunecar
What can I say about these two places – amazing beaches and much needed relaxation. After all the hustle and bustle and walking in the city of Malaga and Ronda, I needed a place that will calm me down. Hence Nerja and Almunecar. Nothing rejuvenates the body more than enjoying a nice time at the beach with clear blue water, free tapas that comes with drinks and talking to people in broken Spanish. Just what the doctor ordered.
Ohh and bus only costs £8 from Malaga and is about an hour. Enjoy the caves or Nerja as well as Balcon de Europa but really, enjoy the beaches here. The views of the coastline from the Balcon de Europa is something that will stay in your memories for ever. In Almunecar, I had one of the best sea bass at cortijillo Restaurante and tried some of the Granada red wines like the Crianza.
After two relaxing days in costal tropical, time to head to Granada.
This city has so much more to offer than I can write here. So in our next post, I will be more than happy to give you all the details about Granada, Cadiz and Sevilla.
To learn more about Neema’s adventures, you can checkout her blog.