Olives, wine and orange trees in Andalusia
Andalusia is often flooded by British tourists so, besides the not-to-be-missed, we have some suggestions that will help you escape the crowds.
Visit Ronda, a city of Roman origin situated high in the hills of Andalusia, favored by Hemingway and Orson Welles. The city has three bridges over the El Tajo gorge and the Guadalevín River that runs through it.
Things to do in Ronda
Watch an intimate flamenco guitar performance by Cecilia Morales. They are held every day (except Sunday) at 7:30 pm at Cecilia Morales Guitar School, Calle Calvo Asensio. € 15 per person.
Buy cakes from nuns in the Carmelite convent in Ronda.
They are world famous for their biscuits and cakes that you can buy through a revolving hatch on a wall. You can talk to the sister on call, but you will not see her.
After ordering, put your money in the swivel hatch and the cookies will be shipped ready. Located here.
Head to the San Francisco neighborhood for a non-touristy lunch.
Hike the many trails around Ronda or take a bike ride.
Seville is the capital of autonomous Andalusia. It is the fourth largest city in Spain known for the Spring Festival which takes place annually two weeks after Holy Week of Easter.
Come join in the fun, dress up and enjoy the revelry with the locals.
In May of bitter orange trees lining the streets, flood the city with the intoxicating smell of orange blossoms.
Do not miss a visit to the Alcazar Palace and Plaza de España. The flamboyant Plaza de España was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Exhibition. Admission is free.
The Alcazar Palace was built by Moorish Muslim Kings and is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and the upper levels are still used by the Spanish royal family.
Tiny white-washed Sedella at the foot of Monte Maroma has only 700 residents (known as Sedellanos). If you will forget to visit the clock tower built during Moorish time. The annual festival in the first week of August celebrates the Virgin of Hope (hope).
Dessert is the practice of lingering and chatting after a meal.
The Spaniards know how to enjoy the food. Often, dinner in the late afternoon, friends and family will gather around a table to enjoy three courses followed by coffee. It's important to enjoy the conversation, no one runs off after the meal.
Flamenco in Cádiz
Cadiz is the cradle of flamenco and the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain. Set on a narrow piece of land surrounded by the sea, this harbor town will enchant you with its dramatic beauty.
It is home to parks with exotic plants and trees supposedly brought to Spain by Columbus from the New World. Peña Flamenca La Perla hosts flamenco nights on Fridays in the hottest months of 10pm. Free entrance. Look for the Barrio de Santa Maria, next to the ocean along Calle Concepción Arenal.
Jerez de la Frontera
Jerez offers an authentic Andalusian slice. Travel here to taste dry sherry at many wineries, witness Spanish horsemanship and watch a flamenco show.
Jerez offers an authentic Andalusian slice.
(Article by Rebecca Houston @HoustonlikeNYC, first published on TravelStart.co.za)