I was inspired to write this article by the excellent PDF guide about the top 10 places to visit in Andalucia written by Luisa and Simone of www.vayanda.com and recommended by EyeOnSpain's Justin.
I've been to seven of the places on their list and I would agree that most of them are lovely. Of course, one can always quibble about such lists, as they are by definition personal,but they are always the starting point for a healthy discussion.
I've been visiting Andalucía for over a decade and have lived permanently in the Serranía de Ronda for the last three years, so I know the region pretty well.
For what it's worth, here is my 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. With a permanent population of just over 1000 and 14 bars, the scenery and walks roundabout are second to none.
Ronda (Málaga) - La Ciudad del Tajo, also known as La Ciudad Soñada, is where I now live after four decades of travelling throughout Spain. 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 others will have other preferences. Which are your top 10 places to visit in Andalucía? It would be good to hear about these. Post a comment so that we can all learn about the best that Andalucía has to offer.