Beautiful Things to do in Andalusia, Spain

Written By: The Planet D

From the classic Alhambra to ‘Fifty Shades of Pink’, there’s plenty of reasons to visit Andalusia Spain.

Andalusia is such a magical place to me. It was the first Light & Land Tour I attended as a client in 1999 with landscape photographer Charlie Waite. From this moment on, I was lured to Andalusia and photography.

Travel to Andalusia – A Magical Photo Journey

andalusia travel photography tours
Photo by Peter Hendrie

All Andalusia Travel photos by Peter Hendrie if you’d like to photograph Andalusia, check out his upcoming photo tours

Now I lead this tour to Andalusia every February in search of the hectares and hectares of almond blossom in various shades of pink that line the steep-sided hills on the eastern foothills of the snow-capped Sierras Nevada mountain range.

There’s plenty more to enjoy about Andalusia.

1. Exploring the Alhambra

andalusia travel alhambra palace
Stunning Alhambra Palace – photo credit:Peter Hendrie

Known around the world, the Alhambra is the jewel in the crown of any visit to Andalusia.

With the complete Arabic name as Qalat Al-Hamra, this a palace and fortress complex located in Granada.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, it’s easy to understand the draw that this place has on us all.

Considering the palace was built during the middle of the 13th century, its beauty remains remarkably intact. You have to marvel at the buildings’ intricate designs, detailed mosaics and hand-carved cedar panels.

Constructed by the Arabs as a stronghold, the Alhambra sits in a hillside location overlooking the Spanish city of Granada, with unforgettable views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the rolling hills of the Andalusian countryside.

2. Witnessing the Almond Blossom

almond blossoms of Andalusia
Almond Blossoms of Andalusia – photo credit:Peter Hendrie

I’ve been lucky enough to visit and photograph some of the most amazing places around the globe, but nothing quite prepares the mind for the sways of shades of white and pink blossom that cascade down the hillside in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the Alpujarras region of Andalusia.

‘Fifty Shades of Pink’ pretty well sum up the feelings you get as you immerse yourself into the curves and crevasses, exploring grove after grove along the width and breadth of Las Alpujarras.

These blossoms offer up some fantastic photographic possibilities.

3. Whitewashed hilltop villages

things to see in Andalusia white washed villages
Whitewash mountain villages – photo credit:Peter Hendrie

Cast your mind back far enough to the era of the Spaghetti Westerns with those small villages that film directors would have you believe were filmed in the USA.

They were actually often filmed along the Alpujarras and Almeria in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, not in Mexico or the States as you would have imagined.

Andalusia in one of the few places in the world where you can find such villages hugging the hillside like limpets to rocks, often perched precariously high up on outcrops.

Perhaps the most picturesque villages are the famous trio of Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira that cling, one close above the other, to the slopes of the Poqueira Valley.

When the sun’s rays strikes the rooftops of Capileira mid-morning, the village illuminates the valley beneath the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

4. High altitude ham and other top grub

andalusia travel hallway
photo credit:Peter Hendrie

At over 4,840 feet above sea level, Trevélez is the highest village in Europe, overhanging a fast-flowing river and plunging mountain valley with panoramic views across the valley and the sea beyond.

Trevélez is famous throughout Spain for its superb mountain air-cured hams, or Jamón Serrano.

Spain has developed an incredible reputation for food over the years, and you can expect tasty discoveries across Andalusia.

Other notable dishes to try here include gazpacho, Gambas al Ajillo (prawns with garlic and chilli oil) and fried fish, but there are plenty more, alongside wines, notably the wines of Jerez, including sherry.

Looking for other places to visit in Spain – Read about Barcelona at Night

5. Peace, quiet and lots of space

things to do in andalusia orange trees
Orange Trees of Andalusia – photo credit:Peter Hendrie

The Bohemian town of Orgiva, the base for Light & Land’s tour, nestles in the fertile valley of the Guadalfeo River.

Orgiva is 20 kilometers from Capileira and is the largest town of Las Alpujarras. This laidback town is a draw for those wanting to escape from the hustle and bustle of modern day life.

It’s truly relaxing to spend time here.

6. National Parks and Villages

There are plenty of other ways to relax in Andalusia’s landscapes. Much of the land across Andalucia is protected as national park or natural reserves.

Large sections of the coast remain unspoilt, with peaceful beaches waiting to be walked on or photographed.

There are also plenty of quiet rural villages where the farming lifestyle appears much the same as it probably has been for decades, if not centuries.

If space, peace and quiet appeal to you, you’ll find plenty of it in Andalusia.

travle to andalusia

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Author Bio:

Peter Hendrie leads Andalusia travel photography tours every February and shares his reasons for why you should visit Andalusia and fall in love with this magical Southern region of Spain.

Peter Hendrie will be guiding an “Almond Blossom and Architecture of Andalucia” photography workshop in Andalucia from Feb 09-13, 2018. For details, see Light and Land Photography Tours

Later in the year, he’ll be leading workshops in Exmoor, including Astrophotography and Coasts & Rivers. See More at Peter Hendrie Tours 

For more on Peter’s photography, see his gallery at PenterHendriePhotography.com

Travel Planning Resources

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Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

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Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

16 thoughts on “Beautiful Things to do in Andalusia, Spain”

  1. Great post, am really excited as we’ve got an upcoming visit in June and the Alhambra is definitely top of the list! Very intrigued by the Almond Blossoms too, never knew about that!

    Reply
  2. Andalusia is an incredible place to discover on Iberian Peninsula. It boasts finest Islamic style of architecture, your post is informative throws light on new areas. Genuinely helpful for everyone.

    Reply
  3. This is not the first of your posts I’ve read, and you never cease to amaze me. Thank you, and I look forward to reading more.

    Reply
  4. Love the article, Spain is a beautiful country – the people and the landscapes.
    Nice photographs.
    I try to visit Spain @ least once a year to explore the country.
    Keep up the good work and articles

    Reply
  5. Resourceful article and pictures are really wonderful, thanks for sharing the most intriguing experience. Al Hambra is the fantastic place to explore. I have great interest in historical places. I may visit Andalusia this year.

    Reply
  6. I loved the article since I started my blog focusing mainly on travel, I drop by your blog almost every day. Your post gave me opportunity to look back on my stay in overseas for working and studying.Thank you for writing this. One of my favorite posts since I started following

    Reply
  7. Andalusia is absolutely fabulous!! All great places to go! Looking awesome photos in your post! Thank you so much for sharing this great information..

    Reply
  8. Amazing photos, very good photos, useful information. I have never been in Spain. Now it is on my list. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply