Discovering Andalusia

Costa del Sol is widely known as a great getaway in the sun, synonymous with cheap booze, quick tans, and lots of craic with the lads. However, the rest of Spain’s Andalusian region has even more to offer.Andalusia, a large agricultural region in the south of Spain, has a long and rich history. A combination of the traditional Spanish way of life and a Muslim influence are still present in their customs and traditions.The main cities to see in Andalusia, Córdoba, Seville, Granada, and Málaga, serve as a hub for activities for every kind of tourist. A cheap hostel is not hard to come by, depending on the time of year. Alternatively, a fancy hotel in an old, carefully-sculpted building is just as easy to find. So, don’t worry too much about paying a fortune for a room, unless you want to stay somewhere a little fancier.The architecture is a unique blend of Christian and Muslim styles, which gives birth to the beautiful buildings we see today. Much of the region is dominated by modern buildings for industrial, residential, or commercial purposes. However, the cities still retain some hidden gems that serve as a beautiful sight for tourists who wish to venture from the comfort of their sunbeds and explore the real Spain.
“The architecture is a very unique blend of Christian and Muslim styles, which gave birth to the beautiful buildings we see today.”
The local people are proud of their identity and heritage, keeping in touch with traditions and celebrating what it means to be Spanish. With Seville being the home of flamenco dancing, one can see passionate and talented dancers, day or night, throughout the city. Dancing is an important form of expression for the Spanish people, and the passionate music mixed with a mad atmosphere in a bar can make Andalusian music one of the most exciting things to see while in Seville.The cultural nightlife doesn’t just stop with song and dance. Going for tapas is one of the most important things for a tourist to do while visiting Andalusia, to truly immerse themselves in the treats Spain has to offer. Many locals enjoy eating in restaurants late at night, sharing possibly 8 to 12 separate small dishes amongst friends. It’s a very social way to eat and have fun, all in the warm evening Spanish air.
“Going for tapas is one of the most important things a tourist needs to do while visiting Andalucia”
I would definitely recommend going for tapas in any restaurant that is packed with locals, just so you know it’s genuinely good food. Whether it is the centre of Córdoba or the edge of the coastal town of Benalmadena, the food in Andalusia will blow you away. The region is famed for its seafood with various dishes going back hundreds of years, but even if you’re not a fan of seafood there are plenty of other options.The local cuisine has many famous dishes such as Tortillas con Patatas, which we know as the Spanish omelette, or Paella, a rice based dish commonly served with chicken or fish. You can also find several other more popular dishes from elsewhere in Spain such as Gazpacho, a cold soup dish, and Patatas Bravas – basically some fancy Spanish spuds! If you’re not a fan of the country’s own specialities, the locals are quite used to having tourists around, so most restaurants generally accommodate other cuisines.
“The region is famed for its seafood with various dishes going back hundreds of years”
In the cities, many sights and attractions are within easy walking distance. Walking through the streets of Córdoba is a pleasure, passing small stalls with handmade goods and fresh produce. Between the cities and across the region, Andalusia is dominated by lots of fields. If you want to do some traveling, the Andalusian countryside can provide some of the best views on your trip. Endless fields of olive trees paint a picturesque image everywhere you look.Whatever you decide to do in Andalusia, whether you wish to have cheap drinks with your mates on the coast or visit the various old cities with a rich culture; just make sure to have a bitta craic and represent Ireland well, yeah?