Andalusia with Marbella, Málaga and Alhambra

Andalusia with Marbella, Málaga and Alhambra

Málaga, Alhambra and also Marbella

Málaga, Alhambra and also Marbella were the declared destinations in Andalusia for the second week of our vacation after starting at the Algarve. And so, well rested we started early on Saturday in Albufeira. Get on the A22 and head east. After just after 80 kilometres on the motorway, we went via the Puente Internacional del Guadiana to Spain. Our goal that day at 38 °C was Torrox on the Costa del Sol near Malaga.

On the way to Torrox we had a short break in Seville at the best time of the day. Except for a few tourists, who were also on their way or had no sensible sense of temperature, there were hardly any people on the streets. The 38°C were in fact a good challenge and really not an invitation to longer explorations of the city. Thus, we have limited ourselves to giving our car directly in the center of the parking garage above the famous Torro del Oro in Av. Paseo de Cristina and only take a short trip to the centre.

From the Av. Paseo Cristina you can also quickly reach the Plaza de Espana, which we still visited. The cathedral, the bullfighting arena, the palace, theater, university etc. etc. are also in the immediate vicinity. With our short stopover, the city has already impressed in the centre. Unfortunately, the big (but to be expected) realisation was that Seville is not the best destination on a 20 August in bright sunshine. And so we drove straight on towards Málaga and Torrox. Fortunately, the motorways have also been very empty in Spain.

Plaza de Espana, Sevilla, Andalusien

Andalusia, there’s much to see…

The next adventure should not be long in coming. Arriving in Torrox we were greeted by the friendly property manager who showed us the way up into the mountains near Torrox to our house. After five kilometres or initially 20 minutes driving time with an interesting road we arrived at our holiday home, the “Villa Vista“.

Lonely at the mountain and surprisingly equipped with electricity and running water! It was to be a very relaxing week in the house; only the trip to the bakery had to be cancelled in the morning.

With a breathtaking view over Torrox Costa, we were well compensated for the lack of fresh bread in the morning. The house really had everything to offer to recover very well for one week. Beside the pool there was also a great roof terrace where you could grill and chill out on a wonderful barbecue. Next to the house there was a small vineyard and the fruits of the trees from the garden could have been eaten.

A well-considered shopping list was also the prerequisite for the great recovery, because the coffee milk forgotten in the supermarket was already very annoying due to the longer driveway to the house. The next bigger shops were about 30 minutes away.

And so we always used the excursions to the valley for a day’s shopping.

 

Speaking about day trips: Torrox and Torrox Costa are located east of Málaga . After a first quick look at the map also a good program on the list: the Alhambra, Gibraltar, Málaga , Seville (was already ticked off), Marbella, Nerja and an aquapark in the region. Enough for seven days with a few days of rest at the pool.

The plan was set! Said, done and off we went. We had forgotten in the plan the sun of Andalusia, which made some changes. In the end, however, we have seen so much that we were able to gain at least a first impression of this great region.

Andalusia in August is especially suitable for one thing: relaxing by the pool. Or the beach.

Culture, and even more culture

If you are looking for culture, Andalusia is a great destination. Clearly Cordoba and Ronda west of Málaga were missing on our list. All in all, of course, a huge area that requires more than a week’s holiday. We’ll be back.

We started according to our plan with Marbella and Málaga. Known as the favourite place of the rich and beautiful, Marbella also attracts ordinary mortals to see what you can do with too much money.

The beautiful Marbella can be seen at the small harbour, which is also adjacent to the old town. The decadent Marbella can be seen at the marina about 5 km away, where the superyachts of the super-rich line up like a pearl necklace. It’s easy to see who has the money and who just wants to be there with the little cutter.

And it not worth to mention that this marina is the perfect place for super-rapid sailing. A little hint – you can also rent the cars for a stylish visit. At the end of the street Conjuta Banabola you only have to decide whether to turn right towards Cartier (approx. 110 m) or turn left past the restaurants. I recommend turning to the left. The distance is at least 170 m long and you can drive along the parallel road behind the houses always beautifully in a circle and thus also create routes. If only the tourists wouldn’t stand in the way!

If you like it, you can eat a nice ice cream at the harbour after an extensive round. Price per scoop in a cup costs 3,5 Euro. For the sake of fairness, there is a quantity discount from the second scoop onwards.

Nowhere in Andalusia is the density of superlatives higher than at the marina of Marbella and it resembles a zoo visit in the figurative sense. On the one hand, the supposedly proud yacht owners boasting of the largest yacht and on the other hand, the normal tourist. Whoever looks at whom more may be left standing. But here too, as in the zoo: Don’t grab and feed through the bars!

From Marbella to Málaga in Andalusia

On the way back to Marbella, we reached Málaga , another destination on our way.

In the centre of Málaga is a very beautiful city with an infinite number of tapas bars and restaurants, all of which are very inviting. With a friendly greeting from the sun (“the pool calls!”) we drove back to Torrox after a short walk through the city centre.

Kathedrala Malaga
malaga-innenstadt

Even if the stop was short and compact – we would come back again for a visit. At that time, we had already took Gibraltar from the list because of its distance, our pool and the sun.

The highlight of the week for me was a visit to the legendary Alhambra near Granada, which is also a World Heritage Site.

The Alhambra near Granada is one of the most visited destinations in Europe and so it is advisable to order your tickets in advance on the internet (www.alhambra-tickets.es / only Spanish / English). With the ordered tickets you have a guaranteed entrance to the Nasrid palace in the centre of the wide complex. It is important to keep the time window, which is determined by the order: outside of these times you can “only” look at the gardens.

The tickets are available in different versions. The ticket with full access to the Nasrid palaces and the Generalife costs just under 14, – Euro / adult.

We had ordered the tickets for the morning visit, which is also recommended for summer visits. After we printed the online tickets directly at the ticket printers next to the souvenir shop in front of the main entrance, we were ready to go.

There is a signposted tour of the Alhambra, which you can easily follow (external link: Alhambra map for iOS / Android). You should at least book an audio guide on site. Unfortunately, we missed this opportunity. In the gardens the crowds of people get very lost. Only in the Nasrid palace it gets a little bit fuller.

I’m sure you can write a lot of pages about the Alhambra. I want to be brief at this point. The visit is definitely worthwhile and surely belongs to the obligatory program during a holiday in Andalusia.

If the temperatures are cooler, a stroll through the old town of Granada is recommended before or after visiting the Alhambra.

After a long stay in the Alhambra we decided to go back to the pool. And so we made a detour through the Sierra Nevada parallel to the highway back towards Torrox.

Near Torrox Costa is also Nerja, which is clearly the most beautiful place to visit on the Costa del Sol. Nerja with the Balcon de Europa (a viewpoint on the pedestrian precinct) offers just about everything you would expect from a holiday resort. The beauty of Nerja is that the inner city area was hardly disfigured with functional buildings. The variety of restaurants and bars offer a wide choice. If you don’t have a great holiday home on an unpaved road in the mountains, Nerja would be an alternative destination for a holiday.

Frigiliana II
Nerja Balcon de Europa
Nerja Strand
Frigiliana

At the end of this beautiful and very relaxing week we spent in Frigiliana at a city festival (XI Festival Frigiliana 3 Culturas). On the tapas route you can walk from one restaurant to the next and try many different tapas. And wine. And beer. With Spanish music in the background and the music groups on the main stage, it’s great to celebrate!

To evaluate the holiday in Andalusia with the few but meaningful words of a typical Ebay rating, we say,”Everything good!”

Our tour started in Portugal.. you missed it? Take me back: Algarve, Portugal!

What have you done in Andalusia? Where should we have been in any case? Are you interested in Italy or the Canary Islands? Then just read about our experiences at Etna or how we got through the serpentines of Gran Canaria.

 

And here we could always have a good look with an empty battery:

With this app, you are also offline on the right track.

Simply download the right country package to your mobile phone before you travel.

Here 1 x Here for Android and here 1x Here for iOS

sicily italy east coast

sicily italy east coast

Sicily – East Coast! Dancing on the volcano with many beautiful beaches and Italy’s sheltered secret about a great island.

Our impression after two weeks was more than positive and we will surely fly there again for our holidays. Why Sicily? It should not be the typical “touristic vacation”! The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea was still a white spot on our map, which had to be discovered.
Our stay of fourteen days is divided into one week in the east of Catania and one week in the west of Palermo for a good overview – in between there are about 300 km of track. And so we flew with Easyjet from Hamburg to Catania and picked up the pre-booked rental car. With the many small alleyways in the Italian city centres, the selection of the rental car company with the small Opel Adam has turned out to be very good. The first destination was our apartment “Casa Carruba” north of Catania, half way to Taormina at the foot of Mount Etna. We had simply booked the apartment via FeWo-direkt. A first relaxing week should begin.

Carruba and Stazzo

The apartment is situated on an old farm with a beautiful garden and its own terraces in the countryside. From the apartment you can see Mount Etna. The house beach was very stony, but the refreshing sea compensated it. To the next bakery it was only two minutes by car.
The disposal of the waste was clearly negatively remembered and in need of getting used to. For Carruba there were various collection points with containers, to which the bags were transported. In the west near Palermo, you often only saw storage places on streets, which in principle were similar to small mountains of garbage. However, this should remain the only negative impression…

Sizilien, Italien

South of Carruba we visited the village of Stazzo on the first evening to try out the first pizza of the holiday in Sicily. Stazzo is really a small, peaceful place with its own harbour and some restaurants.

The location north of Catania at the foot of Mount Etna was ideal for excursions to the region. We started with Catania over Taormina with the Isola Bella, which was really pretty but also very crowded. The many small villages all have their special charm and on the coast there are a few sandy beaches, of which we liked best the beach south of Catania at Villaggio Gabbiano Azzurro.

Ätna Sizilien

Etna in Sicily – lava eruptions and tourist attraction

Most important attraction in the east of Sicily is Etna, which we visited in best weather. When you go and visit the Etna you can drive to the lift station at an altitude of 1900 m. Once you arrive at the station, you can then book an additional lift at 2500 m above sea level with an all-terrain bus up to 2900 m. The ticket is not really cheap, but certainly much less strenuous than the walk to the crater, which would of course also be possible as an option. The difference in temperature should not be underestimated. Even in summer, a jacket makes sense, however nice the weather in Sicily is. The volcano is already a mystical place – rubble, sulphurous smell, smoke and steam show you very clearly which uncontrollable forces of nature are lying dormant in the earth.

And so we should actually witness a small eruption later in the evening, which we could follow from a safe distance from our terrace.
Near Carruba, the small village of Riposto with the very tasty Pizzaria Le Botti directly at the harbour was to be recommended.

Etnaland – a water park with many water slides

On the east coast, the programme also included a visit to the Etnaland aqua fun park. The park is large and very varied. In principle, all visitors will find the right pools, slides, etc. In addition to the water park there is also an adjacent amusement park, which we didn’t visit.

 

 

Taormina

If you want to jump in the tourist hustle and bustle, you should definitely visit Taormina on Sicily. The town has a beautiful city centre with many small shops and great cafés next to the small Isola Bella. The search for a parking place becomes like in many other places of the island a small gambling game. Parking garages are available – the costs per hour are sometimes incredible high.

And if you are on your way to Taormina, you should also take the chance to go up to the Chiesa Madonna della Rocca. From the small mountain chapel you have a wonderful view of the coast and town.

The city centre is part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site and the markets (especially the fish market) are also worth a visit. In addition, Catania has all the well-known local shopping chains for well-known shopping pleasure.

After a week on the east coast, we headed west…[Report follows]

Otherwise have a look at our tour from the Algarve to Andalusia.

Update: Because it fit so well, we flew to Sardinia in September 2017 and spent two great weeks there. Interested? Just look here for our post about Sardinias south west or here about Sardinias north!

 

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