Flamenco, music, gypsies, tapas – Andalusia, the sun-baked southernmost region of Spain, embodies much of what the world thinks of as Spanish. Andalusia is the least as well as most surprising part of the country: it lives up to the stereotype that long confused all of Spain with the Andalusian version, yet at the same time, is so much more…
Andalusia is the meeting point of two continents, Africa and Europe, as well as the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. It was under Moorish rule from the 8th-15th centuries, a legacy that shows in its architecture, including such landmarks as the Alcázar castle in Seville, the capital city, as well as Córdoba’s Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral and Granada’s Alhambra palace.
It is a region of contrasts: ancient cities and deserts, amazing beaches along the Costa del Sol and Costa de la Luz and the Sierra Nevada mountain range where the highest mountain in Spain is found. There are great possibilities for most different sports as well, from skiing in the Sierra Nevada to surfing in Tarifa. And also wellness lovers will find what they are looking for!
Andalusía has more than 600 miles of coastline and there is a beach for everyone, whether you like snorkelling in tiny coves in the Mediterranean or surfing in the crashing waves of the Atlantic.
And with typically mild weather from autumn through to spring, these super strands can be enjoyed at almost any time of year.
Each beach is different and has its unique charm. From the golden beaches Huelva to the white sands of Cadiz. From the bays of Malaga and the tropical waters of the coast of Granada to the virgin and heavenly beaches of Cabo de Gata.
Go to Andalusía to find your own favourite beach, but allow yourself plenty of time, as there are rather a lot to choose from!
PUEBLOS BLANCOS IN ANDALUSIA
An enchanting world of Moorish charm awaits you when you travel off the beaten path to the picturesque Pueblos Blancos (White Villages). This charm bracelet of cute villages with simple whitewashed houses gives you wonderfully untouched Spanish culture.
Ronda is the largest and most famous of these pueblos blancos, with its historic bullring, magnificent views over the deep gorge gashing through the town. And there are dozens more beautiful villages, each with its own highlights.
Also do not forget to visit, Arcos de la Frontera, the romantic queen of the white towns. Towns with “de la Frontera” in their names were established on the front line of the Christians’ centuries-long fight to recapture Spain from the Moors, who were slowly pushed back into Africa. Today, these hill towns are just passing time peacefully.
Nearly a fifth of Andalusia is protected, the largest proportion of an autonomous region in Spain, reflecting the unspoilt nature of its countryside and the high ecological importance of its territory.
Andalusía has an amazingly wide variety of scenery – from Europe’s second-highest mountain range, to the continent’s only desert, tidal marshes recognised as a biosphere by UNESCO, ancient oak forests, and of course hundreds of km of stunning coastline.
Whether you want to drive past it, walk or cycle through it, or stay inside it, you’ll find a myriad of spectacular roads, cycle routes and hiking trails, as well as places to stay, from remote, simple mountain inns to stylish boutique hotels in picturesque villages.
Also if you like wellness, Andalusia is a great destination offering a large variety of spa hotels and wellness programs. From the traditional Balnearios (Thermal water resorts) and Arabic Baths to luxurious wellness beach resorts and clinics.
Spain is extremely rich in thermal springs. Mineral resources are located in places where there is an abundance of natural mineral springs from deep underground springs. This thermal water is known for its healing powers. In the Balnearios they use the thermal waters to treat and prevent health issues. Also Andalucia offers several of these thermal water resorts, mainly in the Sierra Nevada area.
The Arabic baths are a legacy from the Moors. Hydrotherapy was a prestigious affair for the Islam. Mohammed attached great importance to hygiene and body care through the use of water. With the rise of the Arab culture in the south of Spain many Arab baths emerged in this period. “Hammams” or Moorish Baths were public buildings divided into various rooms: entrance hall, cold room, warm room and hot room. Nowadays many of the original Arabic baths can still be found and are restored to again enjoy the healing properties of water.
In the last years many of the 4 and 5 star hotels have included a spa in their facilities. Some of these hotels have designed special wellness programs oriented to weight loss, detox, yoga, fitness or anti-tobacco.
A wellness holiday to Andalusia offers the perfect combination of Spa & Wellness with the beauty and diversity of Andalucia. The beautiful nature, the large variety of beaches and the fine weather, the kindness of the people, the interesting cities, culture and history and the great spa hotels and wellness retreats; all that and much more make Andalucia, a special destination where you can enjoy your wellness holiday to the utmost!!
Where do you go for your Andalucian wellness holiday? We recommend:
Stylish boutique hotel for yoga, detox, weight loss or fitness: http://www.spa-in-spain.com/hotels-and-spas/hotel/shanti-som-wellbeing-retreat/
Luxurious Beach Front Wellness Clinic: http://www.spa-in-spain.com/hotels-and-spas/hotel/healthouse-las-dunas/
Emblematic 5* Spa Hotel in Marbella for weight loss and anti-stress programs: http://www.spa-in-spain.com/hotels-and-spas/hotel/los-monteros-hotel-spa/