Andaluca

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The autonomous community of Andaluca encompasses eight provinces of southernmost Spain. The region includes mountain ranges, farmland, Mediterranean (Costa del Sol) coastline, and the main cities of Mlaga, Cdiz, Granada, Seville and Crdoba. Recognized as a distinct "nationality," Andaluca is known for its culture of bullfighting, flamenco and Moorish influence.
 

The Costa del Sol is heavily populated and busy. Rapid toll freeways and major highways run along the coast.

 

We made our base at the San Diego resort in Fuengirola, halfway between Marbella and Mlaga, from where we ventured up and down the coast and into the interior.

The town of Nerja is a popular tourist area known for its beaches and hiking trails. A 5 kilometer underground cavern is a major attraction.
 

The Balcon de Europa is a viewpoint in the centre of Nerja which gives stunning views across the sea.

Andaluca is known for its white towns, or Pueblos Blancos, numerous towns and villages that are characterized by white-washed walls and red or brown tiled roofs. 
 

A hair-raising drive through the Sierra de las Nieves range took us past limestone escarpments, deep gorges and cork forests, to the town of Ronda perched on a plateau.

Ronda is best known for its Puente Nuevo bridge which spans the 120 meter deep El Tajo canyon.

Ronda suffered greatly during the Spanish Inquisition and the Civil War. Much of it has been recently rebuilt in neo-Baroque style such as the church of Socorro on the main plaza.
 

Classical musicians performed in the Alameda de Jose Antonio, a beautiful park with views over the gorge and across the plains to the mountains.

Ronda is where bullfighting was invented. It's ring the second oldest in Spain, is a museum used only for bullfights in the September Goyesca in which participants dress like the 18th Century Goya portraits.
 

The Pueblo Blancos offer transportation by horse carriage or donkey taxi over the cobbled streets. 

 

The southern end of Ronda is the old town on the site of a Roman settlement; the northern end is the new town founded by the Catholic Monarchs after their reconquest of the Moors in 1485.
 

Charming Mijas Pueblo, up in the hills with a view of the Mediterranean, is popular with tourists but has maintained its traditional Andalucan way of life.

Large metal silhouettes of bulls line the main roads of Andaluca. Originally advertising for Osborne sherry, they have become a symbol of the area.

 

The bullfighting ring in Mijas, as elsewhere, sells separate tickets for sitting on the sunny side or the shady side of the ring.

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This site was last updated 03/22/15