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Puntos de vista - a personal Spain blog

Musings about Spain and Spanish life by Paul Whitelock, hispanophile of 40 years and now resident of Ronda in Andalucía .

The Cities of Andalucia Part I
Friday, December 23, 2022 @ 5:46 PM


Andalucia is the largest of Spain's 17 comunidades autonomas (federal regions), established in 1978, just three years after the death of General Franco and the demise of his brutal dictatorship.


Andalucia is the closest region to Africa. Tarifa (Cadiz), on the southernmost tip of Europe, lies approximately 30 kilometres from North Africa.

It is the home of flamenco, bullfighting, the andaluz dialect and the costas Del Sol and De La Luz. It boasts 8.5 million inhabitants.

Andalucia's eight provinces have the same name as their capital cities. The region was subject to greater Moorish influence than anywhere else in Spain. These North African Arabs were present on the Iberian peninsula for nearly 800 years (711 - 1492). Architecture, irrigation and agriculture were among the positive legacies they left behind, as well as some linguistic influence.

Their architectural influence is all around Andalucia. Some of the most beautiful towns and cities in the whole of Spain are located in this southern region.

Almeria, Cadiz, Cordoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaen, Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz), Malaga, Ronda (Malaga), Sevilla, Tarifa (Cadiz) and Ubeda (Jaen). 12 cities to die for.

I have visited them all bar one, Huelva; some a long time ago, some more than once.

I have written previously about my three favourites: Cadiz, Cordoba and Ronda, my home for the last decade and a half. 

Hard on their heels come Granada, Jaen, Jerez de la Frontera, Malaga, Sevilla and Ubeda. I have written about three of these separately and recently. Click on the ones highlighted in blue.

Granada, Jaen and Ubeda are to come. 

Almeria City I visited for half a day with my young family when I was 39 years old. I have little recollection of the visit, as we had sunstroke after touring the Spaghetti Western film set in the desert nearby that morning. I need to go back.

I've been to Tarifa many times and each time I was blown away. Literally. Not for nothing is Tarifa the windsurfing capital of Europe!

Huelva I have yet to visit. It's on the list for 2023.


©  Pablo de Ronda


Tags: Africa, agriculture, Almeria, Andalucia, architecture, Cadiz, comunidad autonoma, Cordoba, flamenco, Granada, Huelva, irrigation, Jaen, Jerez de la Frontera, linguistic influence, Malaga, Pablo de Ronda, Ronda, Sevilla, Spaghetti Western, Tarifa, Ubeda

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