Andalusia Car Hire
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Spain’s southernmost region encapsulates the best of the country. It’s home to fly-and-flop favourites, like Marbella and Malaga, but beyond its sun-kissed coast, there are spectacular Moorish monuments, jaw-dropping clifftop villages and sprawling national parks to explore too. The region’s crown jewels – Granada, Seville and Cordoba – are on most travellers’ itineraries but those who venture beyond the blockbuster cities are in for a real treat.
To help make the most of your Spanish getaway, you can book your car in advance with Enjoy Travel!
Guide of Andalusia
Described as “the melting point between two continents”, Andalusia is located at the south tip of the Iberian Peninsula in southern Spain. It is the southernmost point in Europe. Technically, the region stretches from the Sierra Morena Mountains in the north and the Mediterranean in the south, and the Guadalquivir River basin in the west. Around half of the region is mountainous and a third of the land area is over 600 metres above sea level. The Sierra Nevada is home to the region’s highest peaks – Mulhacen and Veleta.
Climate in Andalusia
Andalusia has a mostly warm and Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot and dry summers. It has the hottest and driest climate in Spain. Temperatures in midsummer can soar to 40°C in cities like Seville (the country’s hottest city), though up in the hills temperatures rarely exceed 30°C. That said, the region packs in a staggering variety of biodiversity, from the desert climate of Tabernas to the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Andalusia boasts a rich history and culture influenced by the Tartessians, Iberians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Byzantines, Berbers, Arabs, Jews, Romanis and Castillians. Under Moorish rule, Cordoba was Europe’s biggest city and became a world-leading centre of education and learning. Later, the region became a predominantly agricultural region.
Many of Spain’s most iconic cultural offerings hail from Andalusia, including flamenco and bullfighting.
Things To Do in Andalusia
Visit the Alhambra Palace in Granada
Granada is home to one of Europe’s most extraordinary monuments – the Alhambra. Formerly the palace-fortress of the Nasrid sultans, it is one of the best-preserved palaces of the historic Islamic world. Beyond the palace, highlights include the Carmen de los Martires Gardens, Albaicin and the great cathedral.
See the UNESCO-listed Great Mosque of Cordoba
Cordoba was once the capital of Islamic Spain and western Europe’s biggest, most cultured city. The Mesquita -Catedral (mosque) is the city’s most iconic monument. Built by the Moors in 711 on the site of a Visigoth Christian church, the mosque took over two centuries to build. It was completed in 987 and then transformed into a church in 1236.
Explore the second-oldest bull ring in Spain in Ronda
Regardless of your opinion of bullfighting, it’s impossible not to be awed by the Plaza de Toros (Ronda Arena). Built in 1785, it is home to one of Spain’s most famous schools of bullfighting. You don’t need to commit to watching a show, the self-guided tours are just as informative. The Arab Baths, Puento Nuevo and Moorish Palace are well worth a visit too.
Visit Malaga, the city where Pablo Picasso was born
There’s more to Malaga than its picturesque seafront. The city is crammed full of historical sights, art galleries and museums. Picasso was born here and devotees can see some of his finest works at the Picasso Museum.
Take in the view from the Pueblos Blancos
Andalusia’s pueblos blancos (white villages) are a collection of whitewashed villages and towns dotted around the northern provinces of Cadiz and Malaga. Mostly perched precariously atop cliffs and hills, these ‘frontier villages’ typically feature steep and narrow winding streets, pretty tiled roofs and fascinating historic monuments. Setenil de las Bodegas, Olvera and Arcos de La Frontera are a few of the most famous.
Eating Out in Andalusia
Andalusia is the birthplace of tapas and between 6 pm and 9 pm, most bars will be brimming with activity. Popular local tapas dishes include jamon Iberico (cured ham from black Iberian pigs), jamon serrano (mountain cured ham from Sierra de Aracena) and gambas al pil pil (prawns sizzled in garlic and chilli oil). Along the south coast, fried fish is a speciality. You’ll find hundreds of chiringuitos serving up fritura Malaguena (fried fish), chanquetes (whitebait) and sardines). Inland specialities include jabali (wild boar), perdiz (partridge) and venado (venado).
Andalusia’s Mediterranean climate and temperature make it the ideal place for winemaking and the region is home to the world-famous fortified wine, sherry. There are more than 40,000 hectares of vineyards in Andalusia, encompassing DO Jerez-Xeres (sherry), DO Sierras de Malaga (Ronda red wines and light white wines).
There are five international airports in Andalusia: Almeria, Granada, Jerez, Malaga and Seville. Malaga, Almeria and Sevilla are the largest airports, served by a wide number of domestic and international airlines from most major cities across Europe. Malaga Airport is the fourth busiest airport in Spain, with over 15 million passengers per year.
Getting Around Andalusia
When it comes to public transport, visitors have a few options. The Spanish National Railways Network (RENFE) offers a wide range of affordable trains that connect most major cities in Andalusia, as well as some of the smaller municipalities between Malaga and Cadiz. Special rates are available for students, groups and over 60s. It’s a good option if you’re planning on sticking to the region’s blockbuster cities.
A good bus network operates in Andalusia too, with many routes serving smaller towns and villages that do not have rail services. Municipal bus services run in urban areas, but for longer distances, you’ll need to check timetables and costs with the relevant office.
However, if you’re planning on travelling to some of the region’s more rural destinations and hilltop towns, we recommend hiring a car. As you travel further inland, the terrain becomes more mountainous with winding roads and fewer public transport options. Driving will give you more flexibility too.