The Southern region of Spain, known as Andalucia, is perhaps the most charming area of the country. Beautiful coastlines on the Costa Del Sol and historic cities further inland make up the region responsible for tapas and flamenco. Here are 4 of the best cities to visit...
Situated on the Costa Del Sol coast, the city of Malaga is the southernmost large city in Europe. The diversity of the cities past, which has had periods of Roman and Islamic rule most notably, can be appreciated most in its culture and architecture; visit the Alcazaba for one of the best examples of the Moors' legacy. Built in the 11th century by the Hammudid dynasty, the fortress has beautiful gardens with fountains, standing tall overlooking the sea. Head to the coast after a day in the city. Great beach resorts like Torremolinos, Nerja and Marbella are all within close proximity of the city, and can easily be accessed by bus.
The capital of Andalucia, Seville, is one of the most charming cities in Europe. With beautiful buildings, riverside walks, bustling squares and live flamenco in abundance, it's unsurprisingly the most popular city in Spain after Barcelona and Madrid. Check out the Royal Alcazar Palace- a beautiful Moorish design which has featured in Game of Thrones - along with other historic sights like the Real Maestranza bullring and Seville Cathedral if you want some culture. To wind down after a heavy day of sightseeing, the trendy Alameda district is the place for a peek into the life a local - cool cafe-bars and art spaces are found throughout the area.
An hour and a half away from Malaga is the ancient city of Granada. Like the Alcazaba fortress in Malaga, Granada is perhaps most famous for its own Moorish palace, the Alhambra, which is a truly outstanding feat of architecture. Other popular attractions in the huge gardens of the palace itself, the Generalife, which are so big you could spend a separate day exploring them, and the Albayzin, an old Moorish neighbourhood built in the hills with winding streets and amazing views.
Like all the major cities in Andalucia, Cordoba is home to amazing old buildings, and the Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba is one of the best. The cathedral is unique as it was once a mosque, but after the reconquering of the Moors, it was converted into a roman church, making for an amazing hybrid of the best eastern and western architecture you're likely to see. For a great place to grab some food and a drink, visit Taberna Casa Pepe De La Judería. Here you're likely to dine in style on the rooftop terrace with some great local wine.