The shopping in Spain and Andalusia has changed radically in the
last ten years. The explosion of huge out-of-town shopping centers and
hypermarkets in the last five years or so mean that the shopper can easily
find everything under one roof if he or she wishes. For serious shoppers
the major cities are a paradise as well; a wide range of all major brand
names is available for prices which are way below the ones in the more
northern European cities.
The best place to buy fruit
and vegetables, as well as finding bargain clothes and household goods,
remains the local market. Markets take place each day of the week (except
Sunday) in a different town. Some towns and neighborhoods also have their
own regular covered market.
Remember that opening hours are different from the rest of Europe; shops
and offices are usually closed in the afternoon and open again early
evening till late at night.
The region's finest and
most deserted beaches stretch along the Atlantic coast. No visitor should
miss taking a walk along one of the wide beaches found near Vejer de la
El Palmar Beach is well
preserved because the authorities allow no construction nearby, and it is
free from crowds, ideal for resting, tanning, reading away a lazy afternoon
or surfing in the gentle waves. Canos
de Meca Beach is full of life and fun, it has more visitors and
its cove is great for wind surfing, especially for not such experienced
Zahora has beautiful beaches, backed
by cliffs and pine trees, perched on the cliff-tops straddling the coast
Trafalgar Bay 14kms from Vejer, has beautiful white beaches, overlooked by the imposing Trafalgar lighthouse. This is of course
the scene of the famous battle, the Playa
de la Almas (the
beach of Souls
) got its name after the
fight was over and the bodies washed up on the coast. Two beaches flank the
Almas beach is very exposed to dangerous
currents while the Playa Trafalgar
Along all these
beaches areas have been reserved for naturists' sun lovers.
This most southern
province in Spain has been discovered by many
golfers in Europe (there are more than five million European golfers). Because of its
mild climate and the highest concentration of courses in Europe, Andalusia
has become the most favorite golf
See also: Viva
Salt water Fishing
The Atlantic shore line is ideal for fishing. Many of the marinas provide
everything required for a day of open sea fishing. From July to September
sword fish are found off the coasts of Almería,
Granada and Málaga, as well as in the Bay of Cádiz.
There is also tuna fishing in the open sea. In summer the tunas swim so
near the surface, that they are clearly visible. True enthusiasts will
compete for various trophies awarded by competitions organised throughout
the summer. Amateurs can also try their luck as well; enquire at your local
Fresh water Fishing & Angling
Fishing in rivers and dams in Andalusia is also a popular sport, where
trout, pike and black bass are found, as well as ciprinidae family, barbel
and carp. Trout fishing is the most attractive to anglers, owing to its
difficulty, no doubt. There are 64 fishing preserves in the Nature Parks of
Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas and of Sierra Nevada.
There are countless locations
to snorkel and dive along the Costa De la Luz. Snorkeling is something that
anyone who can swim can do; a snorkel, facemask and flippers and there you
go. The relatively calm seas and gentle tides provide a perfect environment
for face-down fun.
The combination of shallow waters and relatively flat offshore terrain means
that the most diverse wildlife congregates further west along the Costa de
la Luz, thus providing interesting dive sites for beginners as well as for more
& Bird Watching
Hiking is possible for
all levels of fitness and is still the best way to enjoy the scenery. There
are countless trips to be made from a few hours till several days. The
beautiful natural park of Alcornocales attracts many mountain bikers and
hikers. Cork oaks and rocky mountain peaks give an impression of the
Andalusia is a bird watcher's paradise
and attracts ornithologists throughout the year. The best time of the year,
however, is during the spring and autumn when you can see many overwintering
species, together with those arriving for the summer months.
Not surprisingly, the Strait of Gibraltar is a key point of passage for
raptors, storks and other birds migrating between Africa and Europe. Overall, northern migrations
take place between mid-February and June, while those birds heading south
will set off between late July and early November when there is a westerly
wind. Gibraltar itself is generally good for bird watchers, although when
there is not much wind, the Tarifa region on the Atlantic coast is usually
Soaring birds such as raptors and storks cross the Strait of Gibraltar as they rely on thermals and
updrafts which only occur over narrower expanses of water. One of the most
impressive sights over the Strait is when flocks of storks cross, sometimes
numbering up to three thousand.
If it is your dream to
gallop toward the sunset on an Andalusian horse then the Costa de la Luz is
the place to fulfill your dream.
Some of the bigger hotels have their own stables and offer guided tours,
there are also private owned stables where horses can be rent for a few
hours or a full day.
All year long the weather conditions for horseback riding are great. In
winter the temperature hardly falls below 15 degrees C and in summer the
fresh wind from the sea makes the hot Spanish sun bearable.
Whale watching is an
incredible experience, small boats bringing you to where the animals are
feeding, undisturbed in their natural surroundings.
When two large water bodies such as the Atlantic Ocean and the
Mediterranean Sea meet in just one narrow place, only 14km wide, it is not
surprising that there must be something special going on.
Trips are organised from Tarifa to watch whales and other cetaceans all year
round. According to a recent study by the University of Sevilla there are 15 different species of cetaceans - whales,
dolphins and porpoises - to be found in Andalusian waters. Two of them, the Striped dolphin and the Harbor porpoise are endangered species. The latter has disappeared from much of the Mediterranean and is now only found in the Black Sea and in the Bay of Cádiz. Common and Bottlenose dolphins live near
the coast and also further out at sea. Sperm whales, Cuvier's Beaked
whales, Risso's dolphins and Long-finned Pilot whales are found past the
continental shelf, where they hunt for squid at depths of around 3,000m.
Orcas arrive from the Atlantic in search of tuna, their main prey in the
area. Of the large filtering species, Fin whales are the most commonly
seen, and indeed seem to be making a comeback in the region. Other great
whales are present although rarely seen and they include Minke whales and
even Humpback and Blue whales. Date: July 12, 2005 Source: Junta de
To know more about whales and other cetaceans
please visit: www.firmm.org
Kite surfing - The
latest extreme sport, involves racing over water on a surfboard propelled
by a kite. Experts can achieve speeds of 80 km per hour and leap into the
air to perform somersaults and maneuvers up to 40m into the air.
Wind surfing - The varied coast line offers wind surfers at all levels the
chance to practice this sport. Today there are national and international
championships, including several regularly held in Tarifa in Cádiz province
like the Ballentines Championship and the Toro Andaluz race which takes
place during Semana Santa (Easter Week) is when the wind surfing season
really takes off. Tarifa is a paradise for the experienced surfers because of the
often strong wind. For beginners there is a choice of four surf
Surfing - Although wind surfing is more popular in Andalusia, surf boarding
is also enjoyed by many, particularly in the autumn and spring. The Costa
de la Luz, between Tarifa and Cádiz, has the best and most consistent good
waves for surfing, particularly the beaches of El Palmar and Conil where
surf boarding and body boarding are more common than wind surfing
The Sierra Nevada is the
famous mountain range in Andalusia. It is the most southerly ski region of Europe
and rather small in comparison to other European regions, even so, it hosted the
1996 world ski championships.
The Sierra Nevada has numerous runs of varying difficulties to
satisfy all. Natural snow is supplemented by snow cannons on some runs.
Being so far south, many skiers are pleasantly surprised to find the air
temperature usually warmer than in other ski regions.
An active nightlife can be found in the Sierra Nevada. Spaniards have a
reputation for being 'night owls' and this can be witnessed also in the
skiing resorts. Most visitors come from Madrid and cities in Andalusia.
Weekends and banks holidays are particularly busy.
The skiing season is
from December to April.
Nearby are the
historic cities like Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera and Sevilla
A two day trip gives you the opportunity to visit Granada with its famous
Alhambra (book in advance!)
See also: http://www.alhambra.org
See also: http://www.tourspain.co.uk
Another great outing is a trip to the magnificent city of Córdoba
Córdoba was founded by the Romans and due to its strategic importance as
the highest navigable point of the Guadalquivir River, it became a port
city of great importance, used for shipping Spanish olive oil, wine and
wheat back to Ancient Rome. The Romans built the mighty bridge crossing the
river, now called "El Puente Romano". But Córdoba's hour of
greatest glory was when it became the capital of the Moorish kingdom of
El-Andalus, and this was when work began on the Great Mosque, or
"Mezquita", which – after several centuries of additions
and enlargements – became one of the largest in all of Islam.
Irving Washington trail
A romantic journey through southern Spain, following the footsteps of
Washington Irving. This trail is one of the vital links of Al-Andalus
routes : through Malaga, Seville and Granada it joins two outstanding
essential cities in the Hispano-Muslim civilization. Followed by the
romantic traveler Washington Irving in 1829, the legendary feature is that
in the 19th century it was famous for contraband and highwaymen such as the
well known Siete Ninos de Ecija, (seven children from Ecija), and Jose
Maria, El Tempranillo (The Earlybird). Along the way are numerous small
towns and villages with countless Mudejar and Barroque buildings and
Learn Spanish at La Janda
Spanish language school in Vejer de la Frontera. This school offers a wide range
of Spanish courses all year round to cater for all needs with particular
emphasis on communication. In addition La Janda can also offer flamenco
courses, salsa dancing lessons and learning to play guitar.
For students wanting to study Spanish abroad, La Janda can offer them the
perfect opportunity of combining learning the language with a study of the
Spanish culture in a small, friendly community that loves to welcome
foreigners. The students come from a wide range of different countries and
backgrounds; the courses are suitable for people of all ages.