Top 10 Alicante

Alicante is the capital and biggest city of the province of Alicante.  The city is home to a variety of historical attractions, with the majority situated within the old town, delimited by the coast and the Explanada de España to the South, the Ramblas to the west and the castle to the East.  The narrow streets of the old city are where the town hall, cathedral and old Covent are located.

Perhaps the most important sight of Alicante is the Castle of Santa Barbara situated on the top of the Mount Benacantil, built in the ninth century by Muslims rulers and considered one of the largest medieval fortresses in Spain.  The city host another castle on the northern part of the city centre called San Fernando.  Alicante is also home to several art museums including the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts home to excellent Spanish artworks.

Alicante is part of the beautiful Costa Blanca, over 200 kilometres of coastline offering white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and a background of mountainous region parallel to the coast.  The city remains an ideal place for a memorable holiday, full of exciting city attractions as well as plenty of great beach activities.

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Top 10 Murcia

Murcia is the capital and most populated city of one of the smaller region’s in Spain, the  Autonomous Community of Murcia.  It is set on the Segura River, blessed by a mild climate and often referred to as the capital of the comarca Huerta de Murcia, considered Europe’s orchard due to its large production and exports of vegetables, fruits and flowers, as well as for its long agricultural tradition.

Murcia, located inland only a 20-minute drive from the coast, is part of the Costa Calida or "Warm Coast"  which covers a 250 km long stretch of Mediterranean coastline.  The region is blessed with a micro-climate offering a comparatively hot mean of annual temperatures and a relative degree of aridity. 

The city was founded by the emir of Cordoba Abd ar-Rahman II in 825, which is relatively recent for Spain.  It is today considered a University City, mainly because of is well known University of Murcia which attracts more than 30,000 local and international students.  Murcia is also famous for its Holy Week processions, its Spring Festival, the Fiestas de Primavera and a tasteful local cuisine, adding to the city vibrant ambiance.

Murcia is blessed with a variety of cultural and historical sites, especially around its old town where numerous splendid Baroque buildings can be found.  The most important landmarks of the city is the Cathedral of Murcia and its key sqaure the Plaza de Santo Domingo.  As for art lovers, the city is home to the most popular museum of the region, the Salzillo museum, where numerous sculptures of the artist can be found.

Being rich in history, with a student’s amtmosphere, Murcia should definitely be on your list when visiting the South of Spain.

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Top 10 Almunecar

Almunecar is a charming coastal town located in the eastern part of the Spanish Autonomous Region of Andalusia.  It is set between Malaga to the west and Granada to the north, each about an hour drive and both with their own international airport.  Almunecar is sometimes considered the capital of the beautiful coastal region of Costa Tropical and with is subtropical climate is the perfect destination for a sun filled holiday.  It is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty, from its lovely coast and remarkable beaches, to its rivers on either side of the old town and the surrounding hills with various almond and olive plantations.

The History of Almunecar dates back thousands of years, starting with the Phoenicians as the first occupiers.  It was then conquered by the Romans, followed by the Moors and finally by the Catholic Monarchs.  Today there are still many historical and architectural sites remaining from its glorious past such as the Roman Aqueduct and the Castle.

With its natural beauty, plenty of historical sites, a lovely old town and easy transport connections, is it no wonder that Almunecar is one of the most sought after holiday destination in Costa Tropical.

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Top 10 Malaga

Malaga is Andalucía’s second largest city after Seville and the primary tourist hub in Costa del Sol, with millions of people arriving at the International airport annually.  It  is an amazing place to visit with plenty of cultural sites, wonderful beaches, excellent golf courses and a variety of other attractions both for children and grownups.

Perhaps the best known site of the city is the astonishing Moorish palace of Alcazaba situated on top of a hill and offering amazing views over the city and the Mediterranean sea.  Other key attractions include the magnificent Renaissance Cathedral of Malaga and the Picasso Museum with a collection of over 150 of the artist paintings.

For golf enthusiast, Malaga is the place to be.  The region, often dubbed as the “The Costa de Golf” offers some of the world’s best 18 hole courses, some with amazing views of the coast.  It is also a perfect place for kids offering various attractions from theme parks and safaris to go-carting centres, in and around the city. 

Malaga remains one of Spain’s top destinations  because of the proximity of its international airport, the quality of its beaches, world class golf courses, exciting theme parks and a variety of historical and cultural sites.

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Top 10 Gibraltar

Gibraltar often referred to as The Rock is a small British overseas territory located on the southern coast of Spain, bordered with Andalusia and the Mediterranean sea.  The peninsula has an area of a bit less than 7 square kilometres, occupied by some 30,000 Gibraltarians most of whom are British Citizens, making it one of the more densely populated city in the region.  The majority of the area is occupied by the Rock of Gibraltar, which is visible from a far distance.

Gibraltar became British in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht when it was ceded by Spain "in perpetuity".  It was since mostly known as an important base for the British Royal Navy with its naval dockyards but in the last decade has also became a important touristic destination.  Indeed being just a quick 2,5 hours flight from the UK, it is a strategic place to stay to discover Spain, or take a boat trip to Morocco, while still being almost at home.

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Top 10 El Puerto De Santa Maria

El Puerto de Santa Maria often only referred to as El Puerto by the locals is a lovely coastal town located around the mouth of the river Guadalete and sitting on the north side of the Cadiz Bay.  As its name suggest it is one of the key fishing port in the region with plenty of excellent seafood restaurants to choose from.  It is blessed with a variety of excellent beaches making it a great place for a beach holiday as well.  The town is packed with cultural and historic sites worth visiting such as the Castle, the Plaza España and the local museum.  The town centre, mostly traffic free, is especially worth discovering with its palm lined streets, old building and a lively central market.

The town is well known for its production of Puerto Sherry, a local light and dry variation of the wine.  As part of the Sherry Triangle, it offers numerous bodegas worth discovering, such as the age-old Terry or Osborne which offer wine tasting and a free tour.

El Puerto de Santa María is also famous as the port from which Columbus sailed on his second voyage to the Americas.  It is today possible to taste some of the explorer adventures, by sailing across the Cádiz bay in a replica of “La Niña” oceanic ship.

The lovely town of El Puerto should definitely be one of your next destination when visiting Andalucía. It is a charming place packed with history, notable monuments and museums, as well as offering delicious seafood and sherry wine, not to mention the Bahia de Cádiz casino to test your luck.  The city is also one of the few remaining places in the region that is not spoiled with mass tourism and kept all of its traditional charm.

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Top 10 Cadiz

Cadiz is a walled port city sitting on a peninsula almost entirely surrounded by water.  It is best known for its long history starting with the Phoenicians some thousands years ago and is often considered the oldest city in Western Europe.  It is the capital of the Cadiz Province within the southern Spanish region of Andalucía and with its current population of 128,000 souls, it is one of the most densely populated urban areas in Europe.

Cadiz is packed with history, being first established by the Phoenicians as a trading post in 1,100BC, later conquered by the Carthaginians and then came under control of the Romans.  The city was then occupied by both the Visigoths and the Moors, and its most famous days came during the 16th century when it played a key role in the discovery of the new world.

By far the most culturally significant part of Cadiz is the Old Town or Casco Antiguo, located at the western end of the peninsula.  It has mostly a Moorish architectural style consisting of small squares, narrow streets and white seafront houses offering a lovely view over the bay.  The old town is packed with remarkable churches and various historic buildings, many reflecting Cadiz maritime heritage.  The town also has an abundance of magnificent parks filled with a variety of exotic plants brought back from the New World by Christopher Columbus.

Even during the colder months the town has plenty to offer, being host to the biggest Carnival in mainland Spain and considered one of the top 3 in the world.  The Carnaval usually starts in February the weekend before Ash Wednesday and continue for a week with all sorts of costumes, singing, dancing and other entertainment.

If you are looking for a glimpse of the real Andalucía, with plenty of historic sites to be discovered and lovely beaches to be enjoyed, then look no further as Cadiz is the perfect choice.

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Top 10 Jerez de la Frontera

Jerez de la Frontera with over 200k inhabitants is one of the largest city in the province of Cadiz within the south-western region of Andalusia.  Perfectly situated between the sea and the mountains it has become the transportation and communications hub of the province, surpassing even the provincial capital of Cadiz in economic activities.  Jerez de la Frontera is famous for its passions for sherry, flamenco as well as for horses with a variety of cattle ranches, making it the perfect destination to taste the unique Andalucian experience.  It’s name is derived from Arabic “sherry”, which has become one of the city’s most acclaimed wines. 

The town is also filled with history, dating back to the Moorish times.  It’s old town or Casco Antiguo is especially worth discovering, packed with narrow streets, small palm lined squares, plenty of old churches and the Alcazaba fortress.  As for the rest of the town, it has wider streets with rows of jacaranda trees.  For a weekend break or a longer stay, Jerez de la Frontera is the perfect town in Andalucía to be explored.
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Top 10 Seville

Seville is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community Andalucía, as well as often referred to as the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial centre of southern Spain.  Located on the banks of the River Guadalquivir it has a city population of over 700K, with a metropolitan area reaching more than 1.5 millions people.  Seville is known to be one of the largest historical centres in both Spain and Europe, offering a variety of cultural sites from Palaces to Cathedrals. The legend says that Sevilla was founded by Hercules during the Tartessian civilisation, later conquered by the Romans when it was called Hispalis and then named to Isbiliya during the Moors occupation.

Seville is also known for being an entertainment centre, being home to flamenco, a traditional Spanish dance and a variety of other spectacles and art galleries.  If you are looking to discover the real Andalucía, then Seville is the place to be, to find some of the best kept traditions, as well as great tapas bars, nightlife, bullfighting venues within the Spanish Southern region.

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