Andalucia; the southernmost region of Spain. This place once thrived with knowledge, trade, architecture, engineering and medicine. Soon after the emergence of Islam, Muslims made their way to this region, and for the next seven hundred years contributed towards the rich heritage of Spain. With its ornamental palaces, lush gardens, finely constructed mosques and delicious food, surrounded by picturesque mountains, this is definitely a place to visit all year round.
Begin by flying into Granada, the last Moorish capital perched on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Upon landing, you’ll notice the striking scenery of the snow-capped mountains. Visitors flock here for the beautiful mountain views, mild climate and rich heritage. Once settled in, head over to the most visited site in Spain; the Alhambra Palace. The Alhambra Palace is a representation of one of the finest pieces of Islamic art left behind for humanity to observe. More importantly, however, this is a place to reflect; given the overall beauty, care and details found throughout the palace. Remember to book your ticket ahead of your visit as it can get fully booked.
Next make your way north towards Cordoba which is strategically positioned in the Guadalquivir Valley. This place was once the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate and is known for its Mezquita. The Umayyad’s were exceptionally gifted people who gave their 100% into their artistic projects such as the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Strolling through the mosque, you’ll notice the intricate aesthetic effort, as well as its serene and vast interior.
A further eight kilometres from Cordoba, you’ll find the ruins of what was once an expansive fortified palace built by Aburrahman III. Consisting of houses, shops, schools and mosques, one could have easily mistaken this for a rich and luxurious city.
Next, travel east towards Seville, known for its Giralda Tower, once the minaret of a huge mosque. With Seville being celebrated as the city of the Renaissance and the most Italian of Spanish cities, its symbol, which appears on most souvenirs, will always be the Giralda Tower. It was originally built in the twelfth century by the chief architect, Ahmad ibn Basu who laid the foundation of the minaret himself, keeping in mind the minaret of Kutubiyyah Mosque in Marrakech. Though it no longer functions as a minaret, it acts as a bell tower for Europe’s third largest cathedral and is a symbol of the magnificent city.
To end your trip with some recreation, travel south towards Spain’s unbeatable beach destination, Malaga. With a combination of beautiful beaches and boardwalks, as well as enchanting history, visitors come here to relax, unwind and explore.
With a pleasant climate all year round, Malaga is an attractive coastal city for visitors from all around the globe. For those wanting to explore, the Alcazaba, an eleventh century Moorish citadel, is a recommended choice. It sits remarkably atop a hill, and serves visitors with tremendous views of the city and the sea; an ideal way to end your trip to Andalucia.