Tourism Guide to Andalusia Spain with Travel Information and flamenco

Tourism Guide to Andalusia Spain with Travel Information and flamenco

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Tourism Guide to Andalusia Spain

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This brief tourism guide to Andalusia Spain is necessarily selective but will give you useful information if you visit.

Andalusia or Andalucía is southern Spain.

A land of opportunity and beauty... of flamenco, bullfighting, sherry and horseriding. Great cultures have populated it, now you can set foot on it....

index
flamenco in seville
jerez flamenco


Has anybody counted the number of olive trees in andalusia? Give us your best guess.....

Buy a second hand flamenco dress instead!

The Euros replaced Pesetas from 1st January 2002 !

Information zones:

How to get there
What is the weather like?

When to go

Flamenco and ferias
Hotels
Flag
Political system
Photographers

History
Geography
Post
Telephone
Residence and tax
Cars
News
Film locations

Golf
Opening hours
Tapas
Supermarkets
Accommodation
Sherry
Language study
Saddles

 

House buying

 

Horseriding

 

Bullfighting

 

Country: Spain Inhabitants: 45 million
Area: 87.602 sq km Time: GMT/UTC plus one hour
Language: Castilian Spanish Andalusia: 7 million inhabitants

 

Currency converter

 

arrow pointer Click here for a useful universal currency calculator

 

gypsy

 

 

 

How to get there


Airports in Seville, Malaga, Gibraltar, Jerez de la Frontera, Almeria, Cordoba and Granada.

Harbours in Cadiz, Seville, Malaga, Puerto Banus (Marbella), Algeciras, Almeria, Carboneras, Huelva, Motril.

click here for further information

   
 

Weather


The southern coast of Spain enjoys the warmest winters of the whole of mainland Europe. Almost no rain falls on the east and south coast in summer, sometimes causing droughts. If the reservoirs and underground currents are not replenished by rainfall and mountain waters, then shortages will occur. Malaga can boast of utterly cloudless skies for about 200 days in the year, while Cadiz at night gives you the clearest views of the stars. Winter nights can be cold, so it is still best to wrap up well for Christmas. If it rains, you can be sure the sun will shine again properly, as drizzle seems not to exist except high in the mountains. On summer nights it does get chilly in the early hours so take a jacket if you go to a late night flamenco festival.

Do stay out of the sun when you can.... The Andalusians always walk where there is shade and take a frequent sip of water to stop dehydration (bottled mineral water is the norm).

 

   

flamenco dance

 

Del 23 Febrero al 10 Marzo 2008 - XII Festival de Jerez

Del 16 al 23 Marzo - Semana Santa EASTER 2008

28, 29 y 30 Marzo 2008 - Campeonato Mundial de Motociclismo - Gran Premio de España

Del 27 Abril al 4 Mayo - Feria del Caballo HORSE FAIR 2008

When to go


In our view the better times are May and June, then September and October.... it is cooler and less crowded. Otherwise Spain doubles its population each summer, filling the hotels and pensiones, covering beaches with bodies and creating the enjoyable traffic jams of the south coast. The new toll motorways along the Costa del Sol still do not get rid of bottlenecks (such as in Sabanillas between Gibraltar and Marbella) but they do help considerably compared to 20 years ago.

Traditionally the Spanish take the whole of August as a holiday, so everything seems to shut down in Andalusia while the country goes into holiday mode! The waiters are arguably the best in the world, since they have so much practice, but the crowds still delay the food chain, so sit back and take in style. Relax and do very little is the best adage.

Prices will rise to accommodate the masses in summer, especially on the coast, so it is well worth taking a trip inland. Rural tourism has much to offer. Try birdwatching up a mountain!

 

   

 

 

 

Geography

The Andalusians are not an ethnically distinct people but they do constitute a culturally distinct region of about 7 million people. They populate Spain's eight southernmost provinces.

Andalusia's regions: Sevilla | Malaga | Huelva | Cadiz | Jaen | Granada | Almeria | Cordoba

The region has suffered depopulation in recent times caused by rural poverty and landlessness as well as a rigid class structure and emigration to industrial cities and to other parts of Europe. Such worries do not deter a tourist who just wants just to lounge on some of the 800 kms (500 miles) of coastline, 70% of which are sandy beaches.

geography  and map andalucia


For the Atlantic Ocean go to the Costa de la Luz.
For the Mediterranean go to the Costa del Sol (south coast), the Costa de Almeria and the Costa Tropical.

Some government official changed the name Costa del Viento (the windy coast) to the Costa del Sol, as evidently there are more sunseekers than windsurfers.

Land use: arable land: 30% permanent crops: 9% permanent pastures: 21% forests and woodland: 32% other: 8% (1993 est.)

Land boundaries: total: 1,917.8 km border countries: Andorra 63.7 km, France 623 km, Gibraltar 1.2 km, Portugal 1,214 km, Morocco (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Morocco (Melilla) 9.6 km

Area: total: 504,782 sq km land: 499,542 sq km water: 5,240 sq km note: includes Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, and five sovereign areas on and off the coast of Morocco - Ceuta, Melilla, Islas Chafarinas, Peñon de Alhucemas, and Peñon de Velez de la Gomera.

   

flamenco postage stamps

 

 

 

 

 

Post

Buy your stamps in estancos (tabacconist shops), rather than the main post offices which tend to be slower with queues. Best to go to the big supermarkets which often have mini post offices within them, so you can shop and post letters!

The main post offices give you the full service: letters and packages, international money orders, phones, fax, telegrams, telex.

There are yellow post boxes are around the urban areas which can be recognised by the white on yellow logo.

   
 

Telephone

Coins or phone cards can be used at public telephones for local or long distance. You can buy phone cards at "estancos" (tobacconists) and kiosks that sell newspapers, as well as other shops which advertize "tarjetas telefónicas" (phone cards).

Some towns have telephone offices where you make your call then pay the operator afterwards - helpful if you are not sure how to call abroad.

If you are staying a few weeks we suggest you buy a mobile phone (cellphone) in Spain. The prices are so cheap now that you can easily pick one up, but check that you can call abroad on it. There are numerous restrictions and offers between companies.You buy credit with the appropriate phone cards or even visa to replenish your calling time. Incidentally there is no charge to receive a call, only when you make one, so you will see many kids about town with mobile phones...

   

Some say that not only the best sherry comes from Jerez de la Frontera but also the best sherry wine vinegar!

To order your top quality vinegar from Jerez, email orders for export:


 

 

Opening hours

Business hours do vary but generally shops and offices are open from about 8:00am to 1:30pm or 2pm and from around 5pm to 8:00pm or 9:30pm. Frequently some businesses stay open during the siesta time, but usually you will not be able to go shopping between 2pm and 5pm. In some places even the supermarket will not open until 10am, so you will just have to get to know your local area!

Restaurant hours vary: lunch between 1pm to 4pm and dinner between 8pm and midnight. The tourist areas are more willing to sit you down for dinner earlier since the restaurant owners have realised that foreigners often eat early (such as 7pm or 8pm). Most Spaniards will eat from 10pm onwards at night, unless bar-hopping for tapas (snacks). Bars are usually open all day and close late depending upon whether there are still customers.

There is generally a more intense street life at night certainly during summer. In the big cities like Madrid and Barcelona, there are clubs that stay open until dawn even in winter.

The chemist or pharmacy hours are governed by the town council, but most are open from 9.30am to 2pm and from 4:30pm to 8:00pm. Nevertheless there is a rota basis for at least one to remain open in town every night. The list is available on the door of any pharmacy or in the newspaper. This does not make it easy in an emergency because you will not know where the nearest open pharmacy is at night!

Banks are open from 8.30am to 2.00pm Monday through Saturday, except in the summer months when they are closed on Saturday. Some branch offices open in the afternoon.

Post office hours in Spain are 8am to 2pm on weekdays. The main post offices in large cities stay open all day. Our tip to avoid queues at the main office is to find the small correos counter at your large supermarket in town. No hassle and easy to post letters when you need to go to the supermarket! (For example Corte Ingles or Carrefour sur in Jerez.)

   

cadiz summer flamenco
jerez summer flamenco
sanlucar flamenco

 

 

 

 

Flamenco and Ferias

Flamenco

There are commercial tablaos in the city centers usually quite tourist. It may be best to ask a taxi driver to take you. Taxi drivers frequently recommend flamenco places (sometimes they get a commission from the owners to make the recommendation). Another good source of town flamenco information is the local tourist information center. Jerez de la Frontera is said to be a major authentic flamenco center in Andalusia.

Flamenco Guitar and Dance!

 

 

Authentic flamenco

Have tapas and sherry late.

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hotel in Jerez de la Frontera

 

Hotels

Hotels and pensiones vary in price and quality.

We discovered an excellent new hotel in Jerez de la Frontera which is fast taking over the central focus of culture capital in Cadiz province. Try the Ibis Hotel from 48 Euros a night! arrow

   

 

flamenco dolls

 

 

 

 

feria time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bullfighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carnival

Cádiz Carnival (imported from Venice in the 16th century through the port of Cádiz) is one of the most dazzling festivities in Andalusia and takes place mid to late February each year. In fact all the province celebrates carnival at the same time, the more outstanding being those in El Puerto de Santa María, San Fernando, Chiclana and Algeciras. Much fun is had at the towns of Isla Cristina and Ayamonte in the province of Huelva, known for their fancy dresses and popularity with their Portuguese neighbours across the border.

 

Spring Fair in Seville

The famous Feria de Abril (April Fair) began in Sevilla in 1847 and is the first major fair of the calendar as well as the largest (so go early in the week when there are less crowds). Merrymaking and no work will continue for a whole week with the chance to taste sherry and dance Sevillanas under dazzling lights at night. Best to dress up in sevillanas or rociera costume and get yourself invited into one of the many casetas which are mostly private by invitation.

A few days later usually in May, Jerez de la Frontera holds its Horse Fair, not to be missed for its horse parades and sevillanas dancing and fino seco sherry. A little while ago the mayor of Jerez made all the casetas open to the public, so now you can pick and choose! Sanlúcar de la Barrameda, also in the province of Cádiz, then celebrates its feria where the manzanilla, that delicately scented pale tea-leaf coloured sherry, can be drunk with gambas on the seashore...

Córdoba has an excellent feria in the month of May, which together with other festivities in the city make it worth the visit. The cruces de mayo and the well known patio competitions when house owners open their patios to the public, proudly displaying their flora arrangements in the hope of winning the town prize.

Bullfighting

The bullfighting season stretches from April to October, but the most important ones take place in spring, coinciding with the ferias in Sevilla, Córdoba, Jerez, El Puerto de Santa María, Algeciras and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. If you want to go, then it is best to enquire throught the tourist office as for dates. All the major towns will have bullrings. Ronda is special because in September it holds its goyescas at which the bullfighters dress as in the style of Goya (18th century). The Ronda Bullring, one of the oldest in Spain, has an interesting bullfighting museum.

Wine harvest celebrations

Traditionally there are feasts in all the wine-producing areas at the end of August and beginning of September, when the grape harvest begins. The best known are those of Montilla in Córdoba, the Vendemia de Jerez in Cádiz province and la Palma del Condado in Huelva.

   

 

 

History

The year 711 is a key date in andalusian history. Eight centuries of Moorish domination, which brought enormous economic, agricultural and cultural wealth to Al-Andalus. Then the Reyes Catolicos completed the conquest of Granada in 1492 bringing blanket christianity to Spain as a whole.

Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II, but suffered a devastating Civil War (1936-39). General Franco died in 1975 but allowed a peaceful transition to a democratic monarchy under King Juan Carlos.

Now Spain is one of the liberal states in Europe with a stable political and economic climate.

Read more!

   
 

Political system

Spain now has a parliamentary monarchy and is a member of the EU European Union. Administratively the country is divided into 17 autonomous communities (comunidades autonomas) with the capital in Madrid (the actual geographical center of the country):

Andalucia, Aragon, Asturias, Baleares (Balearic Islands), Canarias (Canary Islands), Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y Leon, Cataluna, Communidad Valencian, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, Pais Vasco (Basque Country)
NB: There are five places of sovereignty on and off the coast of Morocco: Ceuta and Melilla are administered as autonomous communities; Islas Chafarinas, Peñon de Alhucemas, and Peñon de Velez de la Gomera are under direct Spanish administration.

 

Constitution: 6 December 1978, effective 29 December 1978
Legal system: civil law system with regional applications
Suffrage: 18 years of age
Head of State: King JUAN CARLOS I (since 22 November 1975), Heir Apparent: Prince FELIPE, son of the monarch, born 30 January 1968

Legislative branch: bicameral
General Courts or National Assembly or Las Cortes Generales consists of the Senate or Senado (259 seats - 208 members directly elected by popular vote and the other 51 appointed by the regional legislatures to serve four-year terms) and the Congress of Deputies or Congreso de los Diputados (350 seats whose members are elected by popular vote on block lists by proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
Elections to the Senate and the Congress of Deputies were last held 12th March 2000 (next to be held March 2004)
Head of government is the President of the Government Jose Maria AZNAR Lopez (since 5 May 1996)

   

Golf Clubs in Andalusia

 

 

 

 

 

villas near golf courses

information on golf courses

 

 

 

 

Golf

Spain is Europe's leading golf destination. The Andalusian region alone has over 60 courses of which 40 are on the Costa del Sol and most of full championship status.

Alcaidesa Links Golf Club
Alhaurin Golf Club
Almerimar Golf Club
Aloha Golf Club
Atalaya Golf and Country Club
Bellavista Golf Club
Club de Campo de Cordoba
Cortijo Grande Golf Club
Costa Ballena Golf Club
El Candado Golf Club
El Chaparral Golf Club
El Paraiso Golf Club
Estepona Golf Club
Granada Golf Club
Guadalhorce Golf Club
Guadalmina Golf Club
Islantilla Golf Club
La Cala Golf Club
La Canada Golf Club
La Duquesa Golf and Country Club
La Dama de Noche Golf Club
La Quinta Golf and Country Club
La Siesta Golf Club
Las Brisas Golf Club
Lauro Golf Club


Los Arqueros Golf
Club Los Moriscos Golf Club
Los Naranjos Golf Club
Los Villares Golf Club
Mijas Golf Club
Miraflores Golf Club
Monte Mayor Golf Club
Montecastillo Golf Club
Novo Sancti Petri
Pineda De Sevilla
Playa Serena Golf Club
Pozoblanco Golf Club
Real Club de Campo de Malaga
Real Golf
Sevilla Golf Club
Rio Real Golf Club
San Roque Golf Club
Santa Maria Golf and Country Club
Sevilla Golf
Sotogrande Golf Club
Torrequebrada Golf Club
Valderrama Golf Club
Vista Hermosa Golf Club
Zaudin Golf Club

 

 

   

Flag

The Spanish national flag has three horizontal bands of red (on top), yellow (double width), and red (on bottom) with the national coat of arms on the hoist side of the yellow band. The coat of arms includes the royal seal framed by the Pillars of Hercules, which represent the two promontories of Gibraltar and Ceuta across the Strait of Gibraltar.

spanish flag

   

postcards

 

Residence and Tax


Tax forms can can also be bought in "estancos" (the tabacco shop), otherwise go to the local hacienda office. If you need tax advice seek a reputable adviser ( ). The same applies to residence - you will need advice first!

   
 

Cars

Do you rent a car? Buy a car locally? Import your car? It all depnds upon your intentions and how long you stay, as well as how much it costs.... For holidaymakers it is generally cheaper to book your car in a package deal before you arrive in Spain. For those becoming resident you will need the Spanish driving licence.

Most airports have rent a car companies at available offices. You will need your driver's licence and credit or charge card. You pay in advance for the hire period according to category of car, but also a bail bond and any extras are charged to your card after returning the car. If you pay by cash then you need much more than simply the hire cost.

   

your views...

 

If you have an interesting experience to relate while touring andalusia, email us and, subject to editing, we shall add it to the page and credit you!

 

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