First Stop: Andalucia (Spain)

 

Andalucia, in the southern part of Spain, contains a great mixture of cultures that form one big melting pot of individuals contributing to the making of an extremely rich and diverse region of the country. It’s geographical layout includes ocean cities, mountain valleys, and farmland sites where a fusion of the Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim worlds collide. For over 800 years, Muslims dominated the region until the Roman Catholics came and conquered the country. They then decided to take the already beautiful structures in place and add a Catholic touch to them. On this trip, I’ve had the opportunity of seeing four beautiful yet different provinces that help make up this southern section of Spain: Seville, Cordoba, Huelva, & Granada. Below are my experiences and suggestions which I hope will help aid any future travelers planning to explore this beautiful region.


 SEVILLA

           

            Sevilla contains the only river in Spain that can be navigated- El Guadalquivir. Temperatures in the city can easily rise up to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 40 degrees Celsius) in the summertime, so spring would be an ideal season to visit. The flowering of the fauna, nice temperatures, and traditional Feria and Semana Santa make it a very festive time where you are sure to find plenty to see and do. For my stay in  Andalucia, I had the pleasure of living in Seville for approximately a week and a half, so being that I've had more time to check out various locations, my recommendations list will reflect that. One thing I can definitely confirm about this majestic place: it's quite charming. It won't be difficult to admire the architecture and beauty this city houses. Furthermore, the people are super nice and the food, quite delicious. It will surely be a trip you won't forget!

Things to see in Sevilla:
Plaza de Espana
Parque de Maria Luisa
La Torre del Oro
Alkazar
Jardines de Murillo
La Giralda
El Alamillo
Triana
Plaza de Reencarnación: La Zeta

 GRANADA

Granada has a VERY strong Arabic influence in architectural buildup and culture. Arabic shops are rampant along the alleyways where you can find anything ranging from traditional clothing to furniture pieces. It’s main attraction is the famous “Alhambra” which sits on a hill overlooking the city. Booking tickets for this historic landmark should be done in advance due to the VERY limited amount they have available on site. What I loved about "La Alhambra" was the detail in the work of everything found within its structure. Every wall, every scripture, every color had some kind of reasoning as to why it was placed and done the way it was. The gardens and palaces are simply breathtaking and picture worthy. The intellect it took to construct such beautiful building is what makes this place a must experience/see.

Things to see in Granada:
La Alhambra
El Caminito del Darro
El Mirador de San Nicolas 

CORDOBA

Cordoba’s “Mesquita” serves as a huge tourist attraction for the town housing its magnificence. What makes this landmark such a great place to visit is the fusion of both the Catholic and Muslim religions in one building, and I must say, coexistence has never looked quite as beautiful! The rich colors, design, and history help make the church worth the visit.

Things to see in Cordoba:
La Mesquita

 HUELVA 

Huelva kisses the Atlantic coast and serves as a location where shipping of natural salts and minerals contributed to the city’s economy. Being that I really didn’t have too much time to explore this city, I can only recommend what I did have the opportunity of experiencing which is “El Paseo Maritimo.” This area is a long strip along the water where coffee shops and restaurants decorate it’s walkway. People can walk, run, and enjoy the view of this beautiful city that is Huelva.

Things to see in Huelva:
El Paseo Maritimo

These are recommendations that I am making based on my experiences within my limited time frame. I can only suggest that which I was able to experience. Keep in mind there may be other structures and landmarks that may be worth a visit, however, I managed to see the main ones within each province. Hope you guys have the opportunity of someday dipping into this beautiful area of Spain which houses a rich, diverse, open-minded culture that is very welcoming and warm.

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