WHICH are your top 10 places to visit in Andalucía? Paul Whitelock has been visiting the region regularly for over a decade and now lives permanently in the Serranía de Ronda, so he knows the area pretty well. Here is his top 10.
Apart from the big three cities of Córdoba, Granada and Sevilla, which go without saying, my top 10 places to visit in Andalucía, in alphabetical order, are:
Bolonia (Cádiz) – Without doubt the best beach in Andalucía, almost totally unspoilt, with the spectacular restored Roman city of Baelo Claudio as a backdrop.
Cádiz – The oldest city in Europe is much under-rated. In the process of receiving a make-over, this is a port town to rival Liverpool or Hamburg.
Cazorla (Jaén) – A place to get away from it all. Mile upon square mile of virgin forest and little hint of civilisation. Boasts probably the remotest Parador hotel in the whole of Spain!
El Chorro (Málaga) – This series of linked reservoirs is stunning, with ample opportunities for sightseeing and bathing in the clear waters.
Grazalema (Cádiz) – The wettest place in Spain, the scenery is spectacular and the town is very pretty with oodles of ambiente.
Jimena de la Frontera (Cádiz) – A stunning pueblo blanco perched on a hill with narrow cobbled streets and flowered balconies.
Montejaque (Málaga) – This delightful pueblo blanco was my home for two happy years. It has a permanent population of just over 1000 and 15 bars. The scenery and walks roundabout are second to none.
Ronda (Málaga) – La Ciudad Soñada, the City of Dreams, is where I now live after four decades of travelling throughout Spain and her islands. Ronda’s location perched atop a stunning 100 metre gorge, with mountains all around, is breathtaking. With a splendid Old Town, as well as modern amenities, it meets the needs of residents and tourists alike.
Tarifa (Cádiz) – The crossroads of Europe and Africa and the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. A fascinating pot-pourri of cultures at the southernmost tip of Europe.
Úbeda – Baeza (Jaén) – These two neighbouring towns boast stunning honey-coloured medieval buildings. To wander the streets is like going back in time.
This is obviously a personal list and other people will have other preferences. It would be good to hear about these. Post a comment and tell us about your favourites, so that we can all learn about the best that Andalucía has to offer.