Chosen by our travel experts, here are our top 10 reasons for visiting Costa del Sol and Andalucia, Spain.

1. Picturesque Casares

Casares, Andalucia

It's easy to see why Casares is one of Spain's most photographed villages. Our favorite Andalucian town is perched high on a mountain top, with narrow winding streets of white washed houses opening to spectacular views. Less than ten miles from the coast, Casares is a world away from the tourist bustle, offering authentic charm in a vibrant atmosphere. Climb to the 12th century fortress, explore the maze of tiny streets, or just relax at a sidewalk café and watch life unfold in the square.

2. The Moorish Legacy of Seville, Córdoba and Granada

Mosque of Cordoba, Andalucia

The Moors entered Spain in the 8th century, calling the region Al-Andalus. While the rest of Europe was in the Dark Ages, the region became a great center of learning, with some of Europe's most cultured cities. Although the Moors were expelled eight centuries later, the Islamic influence is still very much alive in Andalucia. Some of the world’s most beautiful Islamic fortresses, palaces and mosques are found in three cities that are almost equidistant from the coast — the Alcazar of Seville, the Mosque of Córdoba, and the Alhambra of Granada.

3. The Alhmabra

The Alhambra, Granda, Spain

Experiencing intricate and serene beauty of the Alhambra is something you will never forget. The Alhambra is a magical complex of buildings, gardens, courtyards and fountains, including the Nasrid buildings, where the monarchs and their servants lived. The Alhambra owes much of its popularity to Washington Irving, whose Tales of the Alhambra was instrumental in introducing it to a Western audience.

4. So Many Great Cities to Explore

Western Movie Set, Andalucia

Visit the wealthy international enclave of Marabella and its charming Old Quarter. Tour Málaga, the birthplace of Picasso. Explore the oldest village in Europe, Cadiz. If you like Old Westerns you can visit Almería where many John Wayne and Clint Eastwood films were shot. If dramatic scenery is your thing, set your gaze on Ronda, the mountaintop city perched high on a gorge, and if you are a history buff, travel to Hueva to see where Christopher Columbus set sail. 

5. The Rock of Gibraltar

View of Gibraltar, Andalucia

Few places on earth rival the Rock of Gibraltar in terms of sheer physical presence. Towering over the Straights of Gibraltar, this tiny British colony has a very unique identity, with an intertwining of cultures that goes back thousands of years. Explore prehistoric caves, follow the footsteps of Churchill through WWII tunnels excavated in the rock, or come to see its most popular attraction, the Barbary Apes that live at the top. Legend claims that should the macaques ever disappear, the British will leave. 

6. Morocco & Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen, Morocco

Hydrofoil to Cap Spartel, Morocco is where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean. There you can shop for carpets, fabric and spices in the Souk (market). Or stay overnight and journey into the Rif mountains to the ancient town of Chefchaouen, where you can imagine life as it flourished 500 years ago.

7. It's a Golfer’s Paradise

Golf, Spain

Andalucia has 61 golf courses, half of which are on the Costa del Sol. Málaga and Cadiz are the cities with the most golf courses per square mile in Europe. One of the most famous courses in Europe is the Valderrama Golf Club in the resort of Sotogrande, constructed to the designs of Robert Trent Jones. Close to Casares, the Finca Cortesín Golf Club offers world class golf and five-star dining.

8. Bird Watching

Griffon Vulture, Andalucia

The Straits of Gibraltar are a key point of passage on the migratory route between Europe and Africa. Northern migrations take place mid-February to June, while birds head south between late July and early November. Visit the nearby Sierra Crestellina Nature Park to see its resident colony of Griffon vultures. Andalucia has 13 resident raptor species.

9. Flamenco

Flamenco Costumes, Andalucia

Visit a tablao to experience flamenco, the soul of Andalucia. This genuine Spanish musical art combines singing, guitar accompaniment, and a powerful, passionate dance, with complex clapped rhythms.

10. Fiestas

Feria de Abril, Andalucia

Easter — Some of Spain’s biggest festivals take place the Holy Week which is especially wonderful in Seville, Córdoba, Granada and Málaga.

April — Just two weeks after Easter, Seville hosts its biggest party, La Feria de Abril.

May — One of the highlights of May is the Horse Fair in Jerez. In Granada, May is time for the festival of the Cruces de Mayo, when large crosses adorn the churches and locals party in the streets. Also in May, Córdoba hosts the Fiesta de los Patios, a competition for the city’s most beautiful flowering patio, and the Feria de Córdoba.

June — June brings the International Festival of Music and Dance in Granada.

July — July is the time for Córdoba's International Guitar Festival in the gardens of the Alcazar.

August — In August visit Casares for the Feria  celebrate with the whole town.

September — In September, Jerez celebrates the harvest with a Sherry Festival, and in Ronda, the first week of the month brings the Feria Govesca de Pedro Romero, when the locals and the weekend matadors dress in traditional garb.