Travelling to Europe in December and only wearing a 'light jacket' might be a bit tricky. I live in Andalucia in the south of Spain (one of the warmest areas in Europe) and I was wearing a winter coat last December! Having said that Andalucia might be a good destination for you, even if it gets a bit colder than normal, you often have sunny or quite warm days with cooler or cold evenings. As far as romantic destinations are concerned the cities of Granada and Seville would make for Romantic settings, Granada has wonderful Moorish architecture, stunning buildings and views over the Sierra Nevada, while Seville has one of the largest cathedrals in the world, more moorish architecture and is filled with lots of tiny streets to get lost in where you will find little plazas with bars and restaurants in them.
For extra romance you could always take a horse drawn carriage ride around Seville or visit the Arab baths there http://www.airedesevilla.com/ (there are also arab baths in Granadahttp://www.granada.hammamspain.com/).
Vegetarian food is always tricky in Spain, but both destinations have vegetarian restaurants and the Spanish do like Italian food, so you will often find veggie Italian options.
I visited Granada myself last December and had several lovely days walking around, the weather was bright, but a little chilly.
Oh and by the way Málaga is a good travel hub for Andalucia, and worth a visit in it's own right, although I do live there, so I might be biased :-)
Gazpacho is a cold soup. I think you can find it almost in every restaurants in Andalucia and in the rest of Spain.
Here's the recipe.
For four people.
450 gr. tomatoes, washed and rougly sliced.
1 small onion; skinned and sliced.
1 small green pepper; sliced and with seeds and membrane removed.
1 clove of garlic; skinned and crushed.
1 tablespoon olive oil.
1 tablespoon wine vinegar.
2 tablespoon lemon juice.
Salt and pepper.
Quarter of a cucumber; peeled and diced.
Toasted wholemeal croutons.
Place the tomatoes. pepper, garlic, onion, vinegar and olive oil in an electric blender and combine well together. - Turn the mixture into a basin and add the lemon juice and season to taste. - Chill in a refrigerator before serving with toasted wholemeat croutons.
Favorite thing: www.andalucia.com is a good source to find info about this region. It is useful to learn something about places (cities, towns and villages), to look for an accomodation (hotels, guesthouses and also hostels), to read something about history, art and so on.
thank u peeps for the replies =)
is it worth to join the excursion? if u guys only have one option to join the excursion? which town do u pick? granada? cordoba? how about the excursion to tangier? i read somewhere its over-rated and pricy..
This map of the southwestern part of Spain shows where we picked-up our rental car in Alicante (500 km up the coast) as well as our 'orange' driving route while in Andalucía. We initially headed straight to the Malaga area to pick up Sue's sister and then immediately made our way inland to the Alhambra fortress in Granada. From there we drove counter-clockwise to Antequera, Sevilla and Cadiz before arriving back on the Mediterranean shore south of Ronda.
After Sue's sister flew back to England, we then began some unplanned wandering on our own, first heading to the white village of Competa before heading west to the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia just outside wild Tarifa. We went further up the Atlantic coast to Cape Trafalgar and then doubled back toward the Malaga area for New Year's Eve (taking in Gibraltar as we drove past). Our final stop was in the fantastic landscape of the El Cabo de Gata-Nijar nature park just east of Almeria - then it was back to Alicante to drop our car off and fly out for two final nights in Madrid before heading home to Canada.
Favorite thing: While traveling through Andalucia we came upon some strange trees with their bark stripped off them, but in an ordered manner, as if cut. Then we realized that they were being harvested for their bark, used to make corks for wine bottles.
Favorite thing: If you are driving and not part of an organized tour, take the time to stop off at one of the many roadside pubs you will find. Take your stand at the bar and enjoy a beer with Tapas or even just a coffee to keep you going.
Some stretches of the Andalusian coast (the Costa del Sol) are among the most built-up on the Iberian Peninsula, but the Andalusian hinterland and even some coastal areas have been preserved in a surprisingly pristine state. For those with an interest in the wilderness Andalucia is a perfect destination.
Fondest memory: Enjoying the endless beaches, going on safari in the National Park Doñana, touring the small villages in Sierra Morena, like Alajar (on the pic).
Hmmmm. Ten hours from Tangier down to Marrakech means another ten hours back. Plus there'd be crossing-over time, getting through customs, waiting for the train (both ways) and looking about in Marrakech.
We'll have only nine days for our visit in Spain, so it seems like a visit to Marrakech will have to wait for another time.
Thanks, Windy City. You've helped resolve a question early on for us. And thanks, also, for the gentle reminder on the spelling of Marrakech.
Driving between Granada and Guadix we came across this colorful roadside tourist shop, if you are as large as I am you may not be able to negotiate the aisles here, it was a tight fit even before lunch....
The last photo was of a nice roadside gas station with the LaMora restaurant where we enjoyed a snack. It is on highway A-92 at kilometer 256...
Favorite thing: On the back roads between Sevilla and Cordova we finally met the big bulls of Spain here on this green hillside. When you approach the fence, bringing you close to these animals you begin to feel the power in them.
Climbing the hills from Marbella on our way to Ronda we took the opportunity to stop and look back toward the coast line. On a clear day we could have seen the rock of Gibraltar, but on this cloudy day it was just a ghostly outline that we thought we could see when it was pointed out to us by Stacey.
You can see one of the many small villages nestled in the hills and then the last photo shows what is happening with the population explosion near Marbella, the hills are being "infected" (Stacey's description) with new housing developments and I wonder how long it will take before there is no green between Marbella and Ronda.
On our first day we encountered the national animal of Spain on this hillside, but as we approached we realized it was just a sign, not some mega bull....
Near Iznajar we crossed this beautiful reservoir, that looked as if it was not used for any type of sporting or recreation, wonder why...in the US it would be crowded with docks for getting your boats, houseboats and skido's in the water....
Favorite thing: Traveling the roads between Guadix and Bubion we (Stacey, Carmen, Zohara and I) decided not to take the "road most traveled"...usually Bubion and the Las Alpuharras area is reached by the main highway between Granada and Malaga where you turn near Orgiva... Carmen suggested traveling by the smaller road that connects through the mountains south of Guadix...I am sure glad we did because it is a beautiful drive and we enjoyed some spectacular views.
This small villa on perched on top of the rolling hills caught our eye, what a wonderful place to have a cup of coffee in the morning.
The cultivated fields that you can see in the distance are olive trees, a very popular crop in this part of Spain.
That bare part of the hill just below the crag is a pig farm, you could tell by the smell as we approached.
Between the cities of Cordova and Cadiz we found this field of poppies, wonder what they make out of it.....another local tourist from Spain also stopped to take photos of this same field, guess he was wondering the same thing.
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