The tourist boom started in Andalusia first in the 1960s due to the province’s 800-km-coastline full of sandy beaches. This also resulted in an ugly construction boom, but the area is now being rediscovered, thanks to its historical towns that still retain their Moorish character with mazelike old cities, architectural landmarks with exquisite stucco work and a range of white towns overlooking a rugged landscape. Eight centuries of Muslim rule left its mark on the region as some UNESCO protected monuments like Alcazar fortress of Seville, Alhambra Palace of Granada and the Mezquita of Cordoba, as well as a cuisine with North African influence and flamenco tradition fusing oriental tunes with the gypsy style. Malaga is a good place to start exploring the area, as it is very well connected to Madrid with several flights and high-speed AVE trains. The luxury train line of Al Andalus (operated by Renfe) is also a nostalgic way of discovering this very special part of Spain, with 6-night tours in renovated Belle Epoque style carriages. While you are in the region, do not miss the UNESCO protected towns of Úbeda and Baeza as well. They are important as the early examples of the introduction of Italian Renaissance design into Spain. The town of Ronda near Malaga is perhaps the most special one of the pueblos blancos (white towns) scattered around Andalusia. Sitting on the edge of a dramatic cliff, this historical town is accessible through three bridges spanning the canyon. The Riding School of the Real Maestranza de Caballería of Ronda is one of Europe's oldest, founded just two years after the Vienna Spanish Riding School in 1571. The institution also manages Plaza de Toros de Ronda, which is one of the most famous bullrings of Spain, with a museum dedicated to the tradition as well. Andalusia has a different charm each season. Summer can be really hot, while winter time is especially pleasing, when daily temperatures do not fall below 15 degrees and flowers bloom starting from February. You could also visit Sierra Nevada near Granada, which is an unexpectedly good ski destination with some high-end hotels like El Lodge, belonging to the same management with the famous Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa in Marbella.

  • Hospes Palacio del Bailo

    This 16th-century palace converted into a hotel with an amazing spa pool. Just a short taxi ride from the town center.

  • Hotel Plateros

    A family run, simple and cosy hotel with 12 rooms in a restored 19th century building, tucked away at a tranquil little square.

  • Bodegas Campos

    The historic bar and restaurant owned by Campos wine company.

  • Bodegas Mezquita

    It is hard to notice this traditional bar, hidden among the tourist traps surrounding the Mezquita. It offers a huge variety of tapas at the bar, as well as formal lunches and dinners.

  • Noor Restaurant

    An elegant chef restaurant, good to understand the Andalusian gastronomical culture.

  • Madinat Al-Zahra

    The tenth-century palace city of Madinat al-Zahra is considered to be one of the most significant early Islamic archaeological sites in the world.

  • Hotel Alhambra Palace

    This hotel is actually one of the oldest luxury hotels of Spain, located within the city walls of Alhambra. Its terrace offers the best views of the Albayzin neighborhood.

  • Hotel Casa Morisca

    A15th-century house turned into a boutique hotel, offering rooms with original Moorish ceilings and amazing views of Alhambra.

  • Alhambra

    Due to the high demand, you should reserve your tickets online, way before coming to Granada. This 10th-century palace complex was built by the North African Nasrid dynasty and is notable for its detailed Islamic art patterns and its water architecture, or its amazing system of antique canals bringing fresh water from the Sierra Nevada.

  • Peña de la Platería

    Sitting on one of the terraces of Albayzin neighborhood, this flamenco bar and restaurant has been an institution since 1949. Every thursday, its small hall hosts different performances, while its spacious alfresco patio offers dramatic views of Alhambra at night. Make sure to secure your space by reserving beforehand.

  • Finca Cortesin

    Set on a 215-hectare estate, Finca Cortesin is a true destination in itself, with an award winning hotel, a championship golf course, a beach club and spa, as well as a high-end real estate project.

  • Marbella Club

    This classical jet set playground is still the place to be. Its MC Beach restaurant offers the best food and atmosphere in Marbella.

  • Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa

    The high-end hotel founded by the Spanish Prince has recently been refurbished with a brandnew Six Senses Spa. The original design recreates an Andalusian village made of villas, winding streets, botanical gardens, a plaza and 14 different restaurants all with distinct menus.

  • Bibo

    Andalusian brasserie and tapas from American chef Dani Garcia. Good food and casual atmosphere in Puente Romano Beach Resort.

  • Casanis

    A charming French restaurant in a picturesque tiny street of the Old Town of Marbella, ornamented with bougainvillea.

  • Nobu Marbella

    The Golden Mile welcomed a Nobu restaurant recently in the plaza-like food court of the Puente Romano golf resort.

  • Trocadero Arena

    A chique seaside restaurant right on the beach.

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