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Slow Travel Google Map: Spain, Andalucia
This is not a Moorish alcázar but the Alcázar of the Christian Kings.
Alcazaba and Gibralfaro
These 'Moorish' buildings are of a very high standard. There is a bus to the Gibralfaro, if you don't fancy the long steep walk up and the Alcazaba can be reached at a level near the top by a second [lift or, if you really have to, elevator] entrance behind the City Hall [ayuntamiento].
La Alhambra (SV)
This is one of Andalucia's absolute must-sees and one of Europe's greatest remains, the palace and fort of the last Moorish dynasty in Spain
Even with a cathedral inside it, and one displaying some fine workmanship, this remains the Mezquita. I am assured by Muslim friends that it is highly rated as an Islamic monument. I rate it only vey slightly behind Granada's Alhambra and on my fourth visit I felt the same awe and excitement as on my first.
My very favourite Spanish city. See it at on a high zoom level to get an idea of the way round the various places I have marked.
The centre of Cadiz is still pretty grand and provides a balmy atmosphere, even in December.
Gibraltar is claimed by Spain but remains a dependency of the UK, following a peace agreement way back in the War of Spanish Succession.
Of the larger cities of Andalucia, with the sole exception of the Alhambra [q.v.] I like Granada least. However the Alhambra is worth innumerable visits so my advice is to go for a short time with your time for the Alhambra booked and spend a single night.
A provincial capital with an exceptionally well sited parador in an old castle high above the city. Good market.
Perhaps because people hurry from Málaga's airport to their ultimate destinations, this provincial capital is underrated.
Capital of Andalucia [as well as of its own province] and one of Spain's grandest cities, Sevilla makes it easy to envisage ships laden with treasure returning from South America sailing up the Gualdaquivir.
Córdoba has been known for its wonderful patios and it seems surprising that the botanical gardens only date from the 1980s.
Jardines de la Concepció
Approximately placed marker - access by bus 2 from north side of Alameda Principal in Malaga - to terminus and then 10 to 15 minutes walk. Name should read Concepción.
Viana Palace - Córdoba
The Palace of the Marquises of Viana is noted for its many beautiful patio gardens. The palace itself is a museum but, unless you understand super-fast Spanish, I strongly advice a ticket for the gardens only - where you are free to wander at your own pace.
The archaeological site of a fabulously wealthy city constructed by the Sultan of Córdoba, Abdul Rahman III, to vaunt his wealth and power.
It has to be lucky when an archaeology finds that it actually incorporates a Roman villa in its site and hence can display some objects in situ!
In a palatial building the museum has a very large number of Picasso's works, many as gifts or long loans from his family.
Doñana National Park
One of Europe's greatest wetland areas where there is a profusion of resident and migrant birds.
Cueva de la Pileta
How nice to be able to use a trip report on this site for the 'read more' section!
Beside the rail line from Málaga to the whole world. except part of the Costa del Sol, [sit on left facing forward from Málaga] there is a massive gorge, spectacular enough as a natural phenomenon but made infinitely more so by the sight of an ancient walkway above it.
Splendid gorge with rough path down from Zahara to Grazalema road. Entrance barred at nesting time as the area is a sanctuary for vultures. You are virtually guaranteed seeing quite a number!
Roman Bridge, Córdoba (SV)
This bridge, near the Mezquita [mosque/cathedral] should be seen both by night floodlit and by day. Just below it to the right [facing away from the Mezquita] are old Arab mills with an impressive water wheel.
Torcal de Antequera
Wonderfully shaped limestone rocks on a mountain top. Way-marked trails. Very highly recommended.
Torre del Vinagre
Tiny settlement. Marker very approximate.
Ventas de Zafarrayas
The highest point reached in the immensely picturesque road journey between the Axarquía region of Málaga Ppovince and Alhama de Granada.
This is a town that has never abandoned its specialism, leather. Piel de Ubrique is on sale in London, Milano and Paris - though you can buy it more cheaply at its home - jackets, saddles, shoes, bags, purses and what have you.
Alhama de Granada
You may not like mixed metaphors but the Rough Guide's description as an unsung gem is both comprehensible and totally accurate.
Very friendly town with three dolmens, castle remains in a park and some fine shops.
A Templar castle ruins and a Templar church are the most dramatic buildings in this town, which gives its name to the Sierra to the West.
Arcos de la Frontera
A bit more than a village but sometimes counted among the 'pueblos blancos.'
A peaceful enough town with a good monumental quarter. It tends to be treated in guidebooks as a sort of 'poor relation' of Ubeda. I think I may have been unlucky with the latter but I liked Baeza at least as much.
This small town has its monumental quarter on the top of a hill with an excellent lookout point overlooking the plains.
A delightful town on the edge of the beautiful Sierra de Cazorla. Great walks locally and an early morning bus into the heart of the Sierra.
Not one of the most ineresting provincial capitals in Andalucía, Huelva does provide an important link in travel from Doñana to the Sierra de Aracena, both in Huelva Province.
This town, on the way to the Alpujarras from Granada, supplies a vast amount of bottled mineral water.
Ohter than the real biggies, Ronda is probably the best known town in inland Andalucia.
A town with a much trumpeted monumental Baroque quarter. Too much was being repaired when I was there and I was ready to leave after about 40 minutes but I guess it could take a great deal longer.
At first sight what was the fine old town of Velez [Málaga] seems to be little more than a suburb of Torre del Mar.
The station is actually nearer to Cortegana than to the village of Almonaster La Real.
Rail junction of considerable importance where trains for Málaga, Córdoba, Granada, Sevilla and Algeciras all converge in the afternoon.
Bus to Alhama de Granada
Note that buses do not start at Málaga for this route. It is easy to get by bus from Málaga to Tprre del Mar, which is the terminus for Alhama.
Major airport with a large number of cheap flights to UK and elsewhere in Europe.
Málaga Bus Station
Links to any number of places in Andalucia and in Spain generally.
Almonaster La Real
A thoroughly delightful village with many way-marked walks.
A village full of slopes and hill tops with castle ruins at the top.
Very small village. End of outward section of the 'Pinsapar' walk - return to Grazalema by road.
The highest of three villages built on the slopes of the Poqueira Gorge in the Alpujarras. It's spectacular with steep [yes, STEEP] roads and alleys to its lowest level. The gorge appears much foreshortened in the view. be warned!
A pleasant enough village opening up [too] rapidly to tourism after years ib which La Axarquía region was almost unknown.
A medium sized village in the Sierra de Aracena. Perhaps not quite as picturesque as nearby Almonaster La Real it has one advantage over it in that it is on two separate bus routes to Aracena, one of which pases through Almonaster.
El Rocío (SV)
A most distinctive village. All the main part is covered in sand and hoof marks seem more in keeping than tyre tracks.
Passed en route to Úbrique from Ronda, this is a village that demands a return visit and a stay - and it will delight any who accepts the invitation.
The 'Ham Capital' of Spain, ham being used in the sense of meat from the pig.
Jimena de la Frontera
Lovely village near the train line [cheap accommodation near the station] from Algeciras to Ronda. There are terrific views from the big ruined castle which include Ronda and Gibraltar.
If there is such a place as 'the back of Beyond' this must surely be near it. Why go there then? I had a night to spare in the area and it was as far as I could reasonably get by bus from Ubeda!
Zahara de la Sierra (SV)
From a distance one of the most distinctive of the pueblos blancos [white villages] as it towers on a hill above the surrounding countryside.
Walking Route 1
The name is mine. From Grazalema the walk crosses a limestone ridge and goes along the other side with some specimens of the rare abies pinsapo [or Spanish fir] near you and a glorious view over the bigger of the two forests containing this tree. It is like a bluish tinged spruce with different bark.
Walking Route 2
Salto de Cabrero
A fine walk returning by approximately the same route. The Salto de Cabrero [Goatherd's Leap] is a great cleft in the limestone rocks of a ridge.
Walking Route 3
Cueva de Pilota walk
A walk mainly along quiet road between stations on the Ronda-Andalucia railway line. Read the marker for the Cueva for information.
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