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Title: A week in Andalusia!
Country: Spain, Andalusia
City:
Route:
Length: one week
Category: Adventure
Author: Marite
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A 7-day trip

It is the beginning of May, so the sea is still chilly for swimming (unless you are a tough Northern European) and the air warms up to 20-25 degrees. And it rained a bit as well. So not a typical tropical holiday.

We flew into Malaga, but did not want to stay in the big city, so rented a car and settled in Fuengirola – a smaller city between Malaga and Marbella (still right next to the main highway).

The whole region is known as Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) – it advertises itself as a popular tourist destination with Malaga in the centre. Tourists then flock to the many resorts available on the coast. This is not what we were going for, but staying near the coast still seemed the most logical choice to see the places we had in mind.

A few of the places we visited:

Alhambra – located in Granada, Alhambra is all in one – museum, castle, garden, etc. There is a limited number of visitors allowed, so suggest bying tickets a month or two before, otherwise, you will need to stand in a long line and will get to see only a small part of the whole complex! More info here http://www.alhambradegranada.org/en/

Ronda – the city is known by its bridge which is the central tourist attraction. It is called Puente Nuevo. The best view of the bridge is is you walk a side track down into the valley – not a common tourist path, but very much worth it.

Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in Southern part of Spain. It is a great place to drive around and explore the small Puebloes Blancos (White Villages), or go for a hike.

We visited two of the cities in the mountains – Capileira and Trevelez. Both are charming small cities with white buildings, narrow streets, breathtaking views and tasty food (known for bacon!)!

Our main target though was a very serious hike. Mulhacen is the highest mountain in continental Spain – 3478m. There are different option where to start the climb and how long you want to hike. We went for a full day hike. It is 12km each way and takes approximately 8-9 hours, so it is a good idea to start early. You also should look out for the weather reports – as the weather might change dramatically in such altitudes. We were lucky with a sunny warm day. The hike was exhausting, altitude sickness also did not help, but the reward of reaching the summit was priceless!

Gibraltar – the last day was devoted to going to Gibraltar. As there is border control between Spain and Great Britain, we parked our car in Spain, and just walked through the border. After crossing the border you need to walk across a big track where planes land. The airport is next to it and both car and people traffic is stopped to let the planes land. Afterwards the traffic is resumed. It feels weird walking across it as if you could expect a plane landing on top your head any minute.

When entering Gibraltar you notice that you have definitely entered Great Britain – street names, policemen, red phone booths, pubs and endless choice in fish and chips is everywhere. The main sight of the visit is the Gibraltar rock – it stretches as high as 426m and dominates the scenery. There are three basic ways how to get to its top – walk, take a taxi tour (the drivers will offer to pick you up through out the city), or take the funicular. The rock has lots of places to visit – the top with the views and the popular Rock Apes eager to steal any food you might have on you, caves, etc.

All in all the holiday was an adventure!

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