· Andalusia ·

The fame attained by Andalusia outside our borders is such that in many countries, Spanish culture is associated with the main identifiable traits of the Andalusian people: bulls and flamenco.

In fact, Andalusia breathes art in every corner with its World Heritage Sights such as the Alhambra in Granada, the famous Giralda Tower of Seville’s Cathedral or the historic centre of Cordoba and its Mosque, all suited perfectly to the land which saw the births of Velazquez, Picasso, Lorca and Murillo.

The Renaissance cities of Úbeda and Baeza, in Jaén, and the charming white villages in Cádiz are other must-see treasures. Though here, art was actually created many centuries before, as proven by the cave paintings in its eastern region and the renowned Antequera Dolmens.

Interestingly, some of the greatest Roman emperors, such as Adriano and Trajan, were born in this region, as was the brilliant philosopher Seneca.

The diversity, expanse and ecological wealth are spread right across the Andalusian territories, from the symbolic Doñana National Park, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, to the tallest peaks of the Iberian Peninsula in Sierra Nevada, where you can ski whilst looking over the Mediterranean Sea, which separates us from the African continent.

The variety of holidays and celebrations in Andalusia are as wide as its geography, and its calendar is an authentic encyclopaedia that summarises the arts and traditions of its people.

The colourful and inventive Carnival of Cádiz in February leads into the world-famous Seville Fair in April, then continue strolling through the courtyards of Córdoba in May, through the smell of jasmine and orange blossom, whilst listening to the sound of flamenco guitars.

Another noteworthy event is the Holy Week parades, celebrated throughout Andalusia, which makes everyone watching feel truly privileged.

Attending any of these celebrations will also allow us to taste exquisite products such as Iberian ham or Huelva prawns, accompanied by a one-of-a-kind wine from Jerez-Sherry or a delicious PX from Montilla-Moriles.

Near Marbella, favourite destination of the world Jet Set, is Almería, where the unique landscape and benign climate made it the ideal setting to develop a powerful film industry, which stared many of the most names of the seventh art.

A few kilometres from here, in the picturesque town of Ronda, lie the ashes of Orson Welles, a great lover of Spain in general and of Andalusia in particular.