Overflowing with romance, history and culture, Andalusia is begging
to be explored with the one you love. Spain’s southernmost region is where quintessential elements of Spanish culture — tapas, flamenco, bullfighting, ornate architecture and a slower pace of life — are most alive and well. Miles of pristine Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline share the diverse landscape with mountain ranges of the Sierra Nevada. Cosmopolitan cities, medieval villages, and vast expanses of vineyards and olive groves exist side by side.
In addition to sandy beaches and nearly year-round sunshine, Marbella — the hub of Costa del Sol — draws international jet-setters to its luxury resorts, lively nightlife, ritzy shops and renowned golf courses. The largest cities and cultural epicenters — Seville, Granada and Málaga — offer a wealth of museums and impressive architecture, world-class shopping, dining and nightlife. The pueblos blancos, or “white towns,” are marked with whitewashed houses adorned with colorful geraniums in window boxes, lining streets so narrow you have to duck into doorways to allow cars to pass; Ronda, built high above a dramatic gorge, is one of the best of these towns. Choose one destination in Andalusia — or hop around to experience more of the flavors and survey breathtaking scenery.
BY DAY: Embrace local culture and take a siesta; you’ve earned it after all those months of wedding planning. To literally soak in the local culture, enjoy the Arab baths, touted for centuries for relaxation and cleansing; Hammam Baños Árabes, with locations in Granada and Córdoba, offers a 15-minute aromatherapy massage during a 90-minute session. Explore wine or sherry country on your own — Jerez de la Frontera is renowned as a world leader in sherry production — or take a guided tour with Cellar Tours, which offers customizable packages that can include accommodations and activities in addition to tours and tastings. Afterwards, take in a bullfight — if you can get past the gore and just enjoy the tradition.
BY NIGHT: Spain’s well-known nightlife rarely stops before the sun comes up, especially in Seville, Granada and Marbella. If you’re not up for the party, you can still enjoy dinner alfresco and great people-watching in any of countless romantic plazas. And don’t miss a flamenco show — the passionate, rhythmic song and dance performance originated in Andalusia.