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Andalucia, a Wonderful Holiday Destination
The Costa del Sol has long been one of the most popular holiday destinations in southern Europe , and quite rightly so as it has much to offer in the form of reliable sunshine, beautiful safe beaches, good restaurants and nightlife, good quality and affordable accommodation along with plentiful and cheap flights from a vast choice of airports. However The Costa del Sol is only a very small part of the wonderful Autonomous Region of Andalucia.
Rural tourism has opened up this superb area of southern europe and it is now possible to rent a villa in many outstanding and remote areas hither too unexplored by the vast majority of tourists. To a large extent the countryside has been unspoilt by the recent developments along the Costas and there are still many out of the way and remote areas to explore. In recognition of this several new air routes have now been opened up with very reasonable flights into both Jerez and Granada airports.
The white villages, or "Pueblos Blancos" are a good starting point as in the main life goes on in them much as it has done for centuries. Casares, Gaucin, Benaojen, Estacion de Cortes, Cortes de la Frontera, to name but a few, are all delightful places to spend a few hours ambling around, marvelling at the architecture, the slow unchanging pace of life and sampling the various tapas bars. During the summer months every village holds a tradtional feria with music and dancing in the streets all night long.
Andlaucia is of course the home of Flamenco dancing and bull fighting. The oldest bullring in Spain is to be found at Ronda, and whatever your feelings are on this rather emotive sport it is an interesting building to visit as is the adjacent museum. The old part of the town is also a lovely place to visit with its amazing Tajo ( gorge) and wealth of old buildings. A train ride from one of the white villages further down country such as Jimena or Gaucin, is a lovely way to arrive at Ronda as the train passes through some beautiful countryside not visable from the road.It also continues on upto Granada which is a must for any visitor to Andalucia with its stunning Alhambra Palace, old gypsey quarter and many other places of interest.
The wildlife in Andalucia is amongst the best now left in Europe with an astonishing array of birds, both resident and migrant, it is particuarly well blessed with birds of prey such as Griffon and Eygptian Vultures, Bonnelli's and Booted Eagles,Peregrine falcons, Red and Black Kites, to name but a few. These magnificent birds are a common site soaring majestically above the mountain ranges of Andalucia. It is also home to wild boar, mongeese and genets most of which are not particuarly well appreciated by the local population as they do alot of damage to gardens and live stock, however they are all now protected by law. In the spring the countryside puts on a stunning display of wild flowers, some of which are now quite rare in other parts of Europe.
There is much unspoilt countryside where one is quite at liberty to walk and camp, just being careful with fires in the dry summer months. Whilst official footpaths and signposting are rather limited there are few real restrictions as to where you can wander as long as you just use common sense with regard to rubbish, fires etc. However always take water with you as you can easily find yourself in the middle of nowhere with no natural source of water nearby.
So take a holiday away from all the hustle and bustle, rent a private villa, hire a car and just enjoy exploring this delightful region of Spain.
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