Estepona is a tourist town located on the Costa del Sol, in southern Spain. The promenade is full of palm trees and runs next to the beach of La Rada. In the nearby marina there are restaurants and water sports facilities. Nearby there is also a fishing port and the beach of Christ. The old town is full of whitewashed buildings and its center is the Plaza de las Flores, where you can find the eclectic works of art from the Garó Collection. More info
Marbella is a city and municipality in the south of Spain, belonging to the province of Málaga, in the autonomous community of Andalucía. It is integrated in the region of the Western Costa del Sol and it is the seat of the homonymous association of municipalities and the head of the judicial district that bears his name. More info
THE PORT OF ESTEPONA
The harbor is located at the west side of the city with a sea view. The Puerto Deportivo is a very nice place to take a walk among the boats and has a wide range of excellent cafes and restaurants where you can eat outside on the terraces and where you can enjoy good company, the typical dishes of the Mediterranean and an excellent selection of international dishes. There is a popular market on Sunday morning. In the adjacent fishing port you can take a walk to the end of the pier to see the lighthouse, observe the unloading of the boats, the fishermen who repair their nets and at sunrise the fish market. The range of activities throughout the year includes boat rentals, deep sea fishing, diving and excursions. More info
Casares is a beautiful village in the mountains not far from Estepona. Only a 20 minute drive. It is one of the famous Pueblo Blancos in Spain. The village is located on a mountain top with very narrow streets and alleys. At the top is a ruin / castle. Close by is the very special cemetery (closed on Saturdays). Casares offers breathtaking views. Only the drive to and from Casares is, because of the beautiful views, already an experience. More info
The capital of the Costa del Sol is a place with a characteristic city life and a strong cultural and economic base. Totally wrong, many tourists ignore Málaga and see it only as a transfer station on their way to the seaside resorts along the coast.
Although the sights of Málaga are not that famous, it is certainly worthwhile to get to know this city a little further.
Málaga has experienced highs and lows over the centuries. Today, however, it is a thriving city. The capital of the Costa del Sol has more than half a million inhabitants and, together with Almeria, Barcelona and Valencia, is counted among the most important Spanish ports on the Mediterranean. Málaga can look back on a long history. The city was founded by the Phoenicians, then it was a Carthaginian fortress, then a Roman colony, later a settlement of the Visigoths and finally an Arab city. The most relaxed and best way to get to know Málaga is from the horse-drawn carriage, where you can take a tour of the city. The area around the harbor and around the Botanical Garden is definitely worth it. There is always something to do here, both during the day and at night and on the small terraces it is always very busy.
The daily life of the Malagueños is also worth considering. Unlike in most major cities in Spain, which is usually hectic, the capital of the Costa del Sol has an almost peaceful tranquility. Because the city has so many narrow streets, the traffic squeezes itself very quietly through the city and a traffic jam does not turn into chaos. As a visitor you have the pleasant feeling that the residents of the city have enough time to view everything at ease and to measure with their own standards. The best example of this is the attitude that the Malagueños have towards their best known son: Pablo Picasso. To this day, the Malagueños are convinced that Picasso has longed to return to his hometown.
In a sense, a wrong assessment of reality. Picasso left the city in his younger years and has never shown that he wanted to go back. In the Museum of Fine Arts a whole room is dedicated to him and a part of the Botanical Garden bears his name. The Botanical Garden is also very beautiful with its many araucaria and jacaranda trees. A separate library has also been created for the world-famous painter, who was born at Plaza de la Merced at number 15. Recently, there is also a Picasso foundation (Fundación Picasso), housed in his birth house and there is the large Picasso museum.
Development is always written with a capital letter in this city. There is one of the better language schools in all of Spain. Language courses are offered throughout the year at the Málaga Institute for Foreigners. Málaga has the famous Málaga wine in the culinary field. This wine is actually more suitable as a dessert wine. The cuisine of Málaga naturally uses seafood in the first place. Very tasty are the fresh, oil-baked, sardines that are for sale everywhere in the city at snack carts. More info
The southern city of Córdoba is located in the Andalusia region. Cordoba has a long history, including the capital of Hispania Ulterior and later that of Hispania Baetica. Golden times followed. But there is also a lot of fighting in Córdoba. The city was thus conquered by the Arabs and Berbers for a long time. Their status was achieved with the construction of the Mezquita mosque. Around the tenth century, Córdoba was even one of the largest cities in the world. A large part of this long history is still represented in the city. In particular, in the historic district “Alcazar Viejo” you can discover a number of particularly beautiful sights. It is not for nothing that UNESCO named it a “World Heritage Site”. The old defensive walls are a confirmation of the origin of the city. Another characteristic of Cordoba are the many courtyards, which are also known as patios. These inner gardens are often richly decorated with colorful plants and flowers. The most beautiful courtyard is that of Palace of Viana in the medieval city district. Cordoba is a very pleasant city with lots to see and do. Both the museums, the historical sights and the shops are ideal for a pleasant city trip. During the summer months you must take into account exceptionally high temperatures
A tour of the Mezquita cathedral of Córdoba will soon lead to quite a stir. The more than exceptional incidence of light creates spectacular images on the richly decorated interior of the second largest mosque in the world. Because yes, for the Reconquista, in which the Moors (Muslims) were expelled, the Mezquita was the largest mosque in Europe. The hundreds of columns in the prayer room were built at the time under the leadership of Abd el-Rahman and later adapted by al Hakam II. With the construction of the Great Mosque it also became clear how great the power of Islam was here in Spain. At the Mihrab (prayer niche) it is clearly visible that many pilgrims have walked. Later during the reign of Charles V in the sixteenth century, the structure was drastically tackled to transform it into the current cathedral. At the heart of the Mezquita de Córdoba is the space in which the cathedral is built. Fans of special architecture will immediately see that different building styles can be distinguished.
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
This palatial home of Catholic kings has stood the test of time reasonably well. It was built in the fourteenth century under the direction of King Alfonso XI. The palace is not very impressive. The gardens would make you suspect that. Beautiful fountains, water features, stately avenues and the well-kept vegetation are a feast for the eyes. A wall has been built around the estate with four towers, Torre de la Paloma, Torre de la Inquisición, Torre de los Leones and Torre del Homenaje. A bathhouse built in Moorish style can be admired in the basement of the Alcázar.
Puerta del Puente
One of the oldest gates of Córdoba is located at Calle Amador de los Ríos and Calle Corregidor Luis de la Cerda. In the immediate vicinity you will also find the Mezquita de Córdoba and the age-old Puento Romano bridge. The current Puerta del Puente was built in the sixteenth century. It was then the most important gateway through which many traders and visitors entered the city. For the design, an appeal was made to Francisco de Montalbán and later by Hernán Ruiz III. Above the Doric columns you can admire triglyphs and metopes with relief images and the image of Felipe II of Spain. More info
Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The city in the far south of Spain is on the Strait of Gibraltar. There is a huge rock on the spot, the northwestern slope of which is occupied by the place itself.
The name Gibraltar comes from the amazigh warlord Tarik ibn Zijad who crossed his troops there from North Africa in 711.
The rock was named Djebel Tarik (mountain of Tarik) after which it became Gibraltar via corruption. It is often mistakenly thought that the name is a corruption of Djebel al Tarik, because ‘al’ is the definitive article in Arabic.
In 1309 the Castilians conquered the rock but in 1333 the place became Moorish again. On August 4, 1704 an English Dutch coalition fleet conquered the rock and since then the passage through the Strait of Gibraltar remained under English control and the rock a British exclave. As a result of the Spanish succession war, according to the Treaty of Utrecht, Gibraltar finally came into English hands in 1713. In mid-1966, Spain closed border traffic to and from Gibraltar for a short time and limited aviation there. Spain has long been aiming to take over from Gibraltar, but a referendum showed that the people of Gibraltar chose England.
Gibraltar is around 30 minutes’ drive from Estepona and is known for its monkey colony. But there is more to see; the beautiful downtown, the Strait of Gibraltar with its impressive sea-going vessels, the “Europa” viewpoint with a view of Africa, the many caves and the botanical garden close to the cable car. This makes the monkey rock accessible. You can pay in Gibraltar with English pounds or Euros. The parking meters only like English pounds.
A monkey colony imported by the British lives on the rock. It is a group of Berber monkeys (Macaca sylvanus) that also occur in North Africa. A legend says that when the monkeys of the rock are gone, the English rule is over there. Partly for this reason the population is strictly protected. The colony consists of a few dozen animals. A visit to the monkeys, with one of the guided buses, is recommended, in this way one sees and hears more about the sights. The visit to the monkey rock is also possible with the cable car or your own car. More info
Population groups such as the Phoenicians and Romans settled here centuries ago. The first group to arrive here were the Phoenicians who baptized the city as Gadir in 1100 BC. The Romans who came later turned Cadiz into a trading city. Much later, in the 17th century, the city experienced tremendous economic growth, resulting in a lot of wealth. Port cities often have the image of not being safe. This certainly does not apply to Cádiz. It is wonderful to take a walk in the evening, like the ‘Gaditanos’, it is a quiet city where you will feel at ease. Because it is a small city and surrounded by the sea, it is difficult to really get lost. The historic center is the most beautiful part. It is known for its traditional atmosphere with beautiful buildings in narrow streets that always end up on small cozy squares. And all this at the edge of the sea. Every day and everywhere you see Gaditanos in the open air on a bench or in one of the many cafes enjoying the mild climate and Arabic architecture. Cadiz is also called ‘Little Havana’ after the many links that Cadiz had in the past with Havana. For many years there was a lot of shipping between the two cities. Because the city is also somewhat reminiscent of Havana in terms of architecture, the James Bond film ‘Die another day’ was recorded here. For many, Cadiz is still an unknown destination in Andalusia, but it is more than worth a visit. It has an impressive combination of architecture, nature and history. Moreover, the beaches of the city are beautiful and the Gaditans hospitable and open people. More info
The city of Granada is located in southern Spain. The Moorish occupation of 700 years has left its mark there. You may sound familiar with the Alhambra. This is also the top attraction of the city and Moorish art in Spain and is definitely worth a visit. But be early, only a limited number of visitors per day are allowed.
See the opening times: www.alhambra.org
The Christians also demonstrated their building arts here. The royal chapel, the cathedral, the palace of Charles V and the Carthusian monastery are just a few examples.
Granada also has countless beautiful squares, historic neighborhoods and unique nature. From many places you have the opportunity to admire this landscape. You will not only lack eyes, but also vacation days. Ready for an exploration? This is the area of the Sierra Nevada, even in the summer you can see the snow on the mountain tops. You can ski until May.
The city of Granada is around 270 km. east of Seville at 738 meters above sea level, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In terms of population, it is the fourth largest city in Andalusia after Seville, Málaga and Córdoba, and it is the 17th city in Spain. Centuries ago, however, it was the capital of the then Empire of Granada and Moorish Al-Andalus.
In Granada there is one of the most famous monuments in Spain, the Alhambra, a gigantic historical palace full of remains of both Moorish and Catholic culture. Furthermore, Granada is known for its prestigious university: Universidad de Granada, and a corresponding nightlife. It is one of the most important Spanish student cities, together with Salamanca, Burgos and Santiago de Compostela.
Monuments and culture in Granada
In Granada you will find the Alhambra, an Andalusian palace that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The same applies to the Albaicín and the Generalife. The cathedral of Granada with the burial chapel of the Catholic royal couple (Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile) is one of the largest church buildings in Spain. The cultural richness of the city, with influences from the Moors, Jews and Catholics, makes Granada one of the most important cultural centers of Spain.
The beaches of Granada are located in the Costa Tropical
The Costa Tropical is a paradise area with a mild subtropical microclimate, more than 320 days of sunshine per year and an average temperature of 20º C.
It is located next to the Costa del Sol, but does not (yet) have such a large audience and the accompanying massive buildings. Places like Almuñécar, la Herradura and Salobreña are still real villages that have not been hidden behind towering hotel constructions.
The province of Granada
Granada is perhaps the province of Andalusia with the most extensive range of tourist options that range from sun-sea-sand on the Costa Tropical in the south to skiing in the Sierra Nevada with the highest peaks of the Spanish mainland. In addition, the province is both rich in natural beauty and historic monuments such as the Alhambra palace in Granada city.
The Sierra Nevada
The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in Andalusia, southern Spain, that belongs to the Cordillera Betica. With sixteen peaks above 3000 meters, it is the second highest mountain range in Europe after the Alps. The highest mountain on the Spanish mainland, the Mulhacén (3482 m), is located in this mountain range. The name Sierra Nevada means snowy mountain range in Spanish. More info
Ronda, a large city with thirty thousand inhabitants, lies at an altitude of 740 meters and was already a well-known trade center in the time of the Romans. Despite the remote location, it was an attractive place to own. In 1485, after the Arabs first controlled the city, the Catholics took over the city. And in 1808 Napoleon was in charge here.
Puente Nuevo is the eye-catcher of the city. Tough, majestic, this connects the old and new parts of the city. The bridge was built in the eighteenth century and bridges a canyon of more than a hundred meters depth. You can walk down close to the Puente Nuevo along a winding path. From there you have a nice view of the bridge. So nice for a photo.
In the old town you can stroll through the narrow alleys. It is nice and cool and every now and then you come across a church, such as Santa Maria de Mayor. Many art treasures have been brought together here. This collection makes it one of the most beautiful churches in Spain.
If you get to know Ronda better, you can’t ignore Orson Welles. The English writer was a welcome guest in the town and is also buried in a village nearby. Photos of Welles and also the more famous Ernest Hemingway can be seen in the museum of Plaza de Toros. This is the oldest bullfighter arena in Spain.
Plaza de toros
November – February: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
April – September: 10:00 – 20:00
March & October: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Open every day except when there are bullfights.
Virgin de la Paz 15
At the end of the 18th century, the arena was built in the center of the romantic town of Ronda. The mountains of the Serranía of Ronda offer the ring a beautiful backdrop. This arena is the first purpose built bullfighting space in the world, the Ronda arena is considered one of the most picturesque. The first battle took place in 1785 and the matadors were the local Pedro Romero (1754-1839), the famous figure in the history of bullfighting and the Sevillian, Pepe Hillo (1754-1801). The characteristics of the sandstone arena are the elegance, emphasized by the two-story arcade of Tuscan columns. Since 1954 the famous ‘corrida Goyesca’ takes place at the beginning of September every year.
The museum offers a brief tour of the cultural history of bulls and bullfighting. Costumes belonging to leading warriors, engravings, lithographs, etchings by Goya, Lake Prijs and Victor Adam, oil paintings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and a collection of original posters of the announcement of the ‘corrida Goyesca’ by contemporary artists such as Arroyo , Urculo, Barceló, Villalba, Cárdenas, Perez Vilalta, Campano and Guinovart. More info
Seville is a city with many faces. First it was the capital of the Moors, 530 years of presence is still visible. Then came the Christians. The mosques were converted into churches. But the Christians built additional churches and monasteries to emphasize their presence.
The cathedral is the largest church in Spain and together with the Real Alcazar form the most important sights of this southern Spanish city.
Many still remember Seville as the location of the World Exhibition of ’92. But it is from the 1929 Expo that beautiful gardens and buildings can still be seen today. The Spanish place is the central point and is part of the most beautiful garden of this city: Parque Maria Luisa. Seville is also the birthplace of Flamenco. This gypsy music and dance was introduced here in the 15th century. You should definitely have visited a Tablaos.
Seville has a very rich cultural past, you will notice this in the many museums and lush buildings. This is largely due to the lifeblood of the city, the river Guadalquivir. Large sea-going vessels moored here until the 19th century. They mainly traded with America. Seville is now one of the richest cities in the Spanish south and the capital of Andalusia. If you like culture, then you must have seen this city. More info
Tarifa (named after the Berber warlord Tarif ibn Malik) is a small town on the southernmost tip of Spain. It belongs to the province of Cádiz which is part of the Andalusia region and only 14 km away from Morocco.
This southernmost point, called ‘La Punta de Tarifa’, is located on the island ‘Isla de las Palomas’ that is connected to the city by means of. a road that provides access to the lighthouse.
This is why this place is considered the meeting point between two continents and two cultures, the African and the European. The city lies on the Costa de la Luz and the Strait of Gibraltar, opposite the coast of Morocco (Africa), and with clear weather the lights of Tarifa are visible at night. El Cabo ‘,’ Isla ‘or’ Punta de Tarifa ‘separates the Mediterranean from the Atlantic ocean that meet here on the same coast.
There are regular ferry services between Tarifa and the nearby city in Africa: Tangier. Because of the very short distance between the north coast of Morocco and Tarifa (14 km), people regularly make the illegal crossing from Africa. There is a good bus connection between Tarifa and Algeciras, which is approximately twenty kilometers northeast of it.
The coast at Tarifa is the most popular destination in Europe for windsurfers and kiteboarders. On a normal summer day you can see hundreds of kiteboarders on the water. The constant wind of the Atlantic Ocean and great waves make this one of the best kiteboarding spots on the European continent. It is also the place where many Kiteboard World Champions live, and after ‘work’ come together to relax.
Tarifa is a very suitable place to observe bird migration, such as that of birds of prey and storks that cross the Strait of Gibraltar, in spring and especially in autumn. Also very popular is spotting whales and dolphins.
As the name Costa de la Luz (Spanish for ‘coast of light’) suggests, Tarifa also has on average very many hours of sunshine per year. Close to the port of Tarifa is a well-preserved castle, the Castillo de Guzman. The word rate would have been derived from the name Tarifa, because this was the first port to pay for the mooring.
The municipal district of Tarifa covers 419 km², the most extensive of the ‘Campo de Gibraltar’. Tarifa has more than 18,000 registered residents.
Borders in the east to the municipal district of Algeciras, Los Barrios. In the northeast on Medina Sidonia and in the north on Vejer de la Frontera and Barbate. More info
Baelo Claudia is the name of an ancient Roman city, about 22 kilometers from Tarifa, on the Costa de la Luz in southern Spain. In Roman times, Baelo Claudia was part of the Hispania Baetica province. The city was founded around 2000 years ago and was originally a fishing town. In the time of Emperor Claudius, the city was very prosperous, but due to a number of earthquakes, it fell into disrepair. The city was abandoned in the 6th century.
The city was built towards the end of the 2nd century BC. founded. Its location, close to the Strait of Gibraltar, a relatively short distance from Tangier, was very favorable for trade with North Africa. Although Baelo Claudia may have had an administrative function, the main sources of income were trade, fishing, the pickling of food and the production of garum.
Garum is a fish sauce that was particularly appreciated by the Romans. The city had a factory where the sauce was produced. The production of garum gave Baelo Claudia a certain prestige and Emperor Claudius gave it the status of municipium.
The city reached its greatest prosperity during the first century BC. and the second century AD. Then she was struck by a tidal wave, which destroyed a large part of the city. In the 3rd century she was attacked several times by sea by Goths and barbarian pirates. Although the city experienced a small revival, it was abandoned in the 6th century.
Baelo Claudia as an archaeological site:
The remains of the city give the modern visitor a good overview of what a Roman city must have looked like. In Baelo Claudia the characteristic elements of a Roman city have been preserved. There is a circular defensive wall around the city with a main gate. There is also a forum where a number of buildings with an administrative function can be found such as the curia (the council building), the and the courthouse. There are also a number of temples, such as the temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis, but also temples for the Roman gods Juno, Jupiter and Minerva. Unlike in the Roman world, these three each had their own temple – a similar situation was found only in the Roman town of Sbeitla in Tunisia. Finally, remains of shops, bathhouses and a theater have also been found. The city was supplied with water by three aqueducts and had its own industrial site where the garum production facilities were located.
The excavations are open to the public and definitely worth a visit. Free for people from the EU, you only have to show your passport. More info