Travel to Andalusia, Spain

Andalusia in Spain

Andalusia is one of the 17 autonomous communities in Spain and also the southernmost community that can be found on the mainland. In the north lies the border with Castile-Mancha and Extremadura. In the south you can find the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. More neighbors are Murcia and Portugal. The Andalusian capital is Seville.

The Andalusia main natural landscapes are in the Sierra Morena and Sierra Nevada. The Guadalquivir basin and the Betic Cordillera also belong to Andalusia. Visit rctoysadvice for Spain Travel Guide.

You experience something special when you are at Tarifa between Europe andAfricacan drive back and forth. The city of Andalusia, which is furthest south, separates Europe and Africa on the Strait of Gibraltar by only 14 km.

History of Andalusia

The name Andalusia dates back to the 8th century. There the region was called Al-Andalus. Back then it was the Moors invading the country who used this name. There is, however, a second variant of how Analusia could have got the name Al-Andalus. This states that the vandals already made a stopover here in the 5th century during the wave of peoples’ migration. They founded a state which they called vandalusia. The name Andaulsia could have been derived from this. Historians doubt this, however. The histroicist Vallvé, on the other hand, believes in the theory that Andalusia as a name goes back to an Arabization of the name Atlantis. However, since 2002 it has been assumed that the name is originally a pre-Roman name.

During the time of Roman rule, the Andalusians approached the Roman way of life and increasingly used the Latin language. In the area of Guadalquivir many Roman settlements were built. These were later expanded into larger cities based on the Roman model.

The late antiquity was marked by the arrival of the Vandals. These reached Andalusia in the 5th century when the Western Roman Empire began to dissolve. When the Visigoths invaded here, they founded the city of Toledo. As early as the 8th century, the Moors crossed the strait and appropriated most of the Visigoth Empire. Andalusia’s history and culture have been strongly shaped and influenced by Islamic rule. Of all the Spanish areas, the region was the longest under Islamic influence.

This character can still be seen today in the architecture of the buildings. The Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita of Córdoba and the Giralda in Seville are particularly important here. The Moorish rule came to an end with the Reconquista in Granada in 1492.

Life and landscape in Andalusia

Most Andalusians work in agriculture. So 64 percent of the total area of ​​the region is covered with agricultural land.
In Guadalquivir, for example, you will find extensive arable land with grain and magnificent sunflowers.
The wood crops are mainly of olive, almond and fig trees embossed. But wine is also grown in certain regions of Andalusia. In addition, maize, rice, vegetables, flowers, strawberries as well as citrus fruits and cotton are grown in Andalusia. The farmers here live mainly from the export of these goods.

Although cattle breeding has a long tradition in Andalusia, nowadays cattle farming is limited to the pastures in the mountains. Only 15 percent of the farmers are still cattle breeders.
Most of the time, fishing is carried out in the marine and coastal regions.

By the way, half of the territory of Andalusia is covered with forest covered. These consist mainly of mixed forests. Tree species such as eucalyptus, poplar and cork oak thrive in the various regions.

Andalusia Geography

Andalusia is one of the 17 autonomous communities of the Kingdom of Spain and is located in the extreme south of the country. In the north, the Sierra Morena mountain range forms the natural border, at the same time the political border to the regions of Extremadura and Castile-La Mancha runs here. The Rio Guadiana forms the border with Portugal in the west and the region is bordered by the Mediterranean and Atlantic in the south. In the east, Andalusia borders Murcia. With a total area of ​​87,268 square kilometers, Andalusia is after Castile-Leon the second largest autonomous community in Spain and corresponds to about 17% of the total area of ​​the kingdom. Seville is the capital of Andalusia.

Two large natural areas dominate the landscape of Andalusia: High Andalusia with the narrow Costa del Sol and Lower Andalusia. High Andalusia consists of the parallel mountains of the Betic inner belt, Cordillera Penibética, and the Betic outer belt, Cordillera Subbética, which are separated from each other by the Inner Betic basin. The Cordillera Penibética runs from the Rio Guadiaro to the Cabo de Palos on the coast of Alicante. The west of the mountains is dominated by limestone and clay slate mountains, which, with the formation of the Torcal de Antequera, have one of the most impressive mountain landscapes in the country. In the northeast rises the Sierra Nevada, where the Mulhacén rises at 3,481 meters as the highest mountain in Spain. The south is separated from the Mediterranean by a relatively low coastal mountain range that extends to the Sierra de Alhamilla, the only natural desert in Europe.

The Cordillera Subbética mountain range runs north of the Cordillera Penibética around the mass of Málaga. This also includes the steep Jura limestone cliffs of Gibraltar. To the northeast, these mountains merge into the equally rugged peaks of the Sierras de Cazorla y Segura. Between these two mountain ranges lies the so – called Inner Betic Basin Escape, which is formed from the Basin of the Serranía de Ronda, the high basin of Antequera, the fertile basin of the Vega of Granada and the Basin of Guadix and Baza.

The Mediterranean coast Andalusia is characterized by the mountains towering behind the coastal strip, so that the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada can sometimes be seen from the sea. The coast is divided into short sections, which are partly covered with gravel and partly with sand.

Lower Andalusia consists mainly of the Guadalquivir basin, which defines the north and south of this region. The west is characterized by the Atlantic coast “Costa de la Luz” with its up to 100 meters wide dune belt. The coast is bordered by the Campina, whose hilly landscape is one of the hottest areas in Europe. In the north, Lower Andalusia is formed by the plateau of the completed Loma de Ubeda.

Although the large Spanish rivers flow through Andalusia, the amount of water decreases dramatically in the hot summer months, while smaller rivers dry out completely during this time. The Guadalquivir, which flows into the Atlantic, is the most important river in Andalusia with its 560 kilometers in length. In some sections, the river can even be navigated by ocean-going vessels. Other important rivers in this region are the Rio Tinto, the Rio Odiel and the Guadalete, all of which flow into the Atlantic. The Rio Guadiaro and the Rio Guadalhorce are the two major rivers that flow into the Mediterranean.

Travel to Andalusia, Spain

About the author