10 Unusual and Exciting Things To Do In Andalucia

Away form the busy coastal resorts of Andalucia in Southern Spain the region is full of amazing attractions waiting to be discovered. There are plenty of unusual and exciting things to do and see in Andalucia, like walking a thrilling mountain trail, sleeping in a converted palace or exploring a cave house in Granada. Here then is our selection of 10 of the most unusual and fun things you should try on your next holiday to Spain.

1. Walk along a thrilling mountain trail

The Caminito del Rey trail , also known as the King’s Little Pathway, is a magnet for adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers, and for good reason. It was once described as one of the most dangerous mountain pathways in the world! Originally built in the early 20th century to allow hydroelectric power workers to cross between two waterfalls, the path fell into disrepair over the years.

Luckily though, in 2015, it was reopened to the public after extensive safety measures were carried out, including new handrails and safety ropes. It is situated in the heart of the beautiful El Chorro gorge near Malaga and offers a unique holiday experience in the heart of some of the most break taking scenery you will find anywhere in Andalucia.

Along the Caminito del Rey trail, you walk through narrow paths, cliffs, and suspension bridges while enjoying breath-taking views of the gorge. The entire trail is just under 8 km long and takes approximately 3-4 hours to complete.

The trail is open year-round and is a popular destination for tourists looking to add some excitement to their trip to Malaga.

2. Visit a Western Film set

In the province of Almeria, you will find Europe´s only dessert, that due its appearance has been the location for many top Hollywood blockbuster movies including Lawrence of Arabia, A Fistful of Dollars, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Lucky Luke.

Amazingly there are a few film sets which open to the public and allow you to enjoy the atmosphere of an old western town and even watch or take part at being a cowboy, its great family fun and well worth visiting.

Act like a cowboy for a few hours on a film set, you can even stay overnight as some of the sets offer rural cabins. Enjoy horse rentals, shows, studios, saloon bars as you get into the part of being the meanest gun slinging gal or cowboy in the west!

3. Stay in a historic Palace

There are a number of converted palaces, historic buildings and old castles called Paradors, that you can actually stay in. One of the most enchanting of the Parador hotels in Spain is located within the gardens of the historic Alhambra Palace in Granada.

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This amazing hotel invites you to discover an interior that fuses it´sMoorish and Christian features perfectly. Some of the rooms have exceptional views over the Generalife, the Secanogardens and the Albaicin, whilst the classical furnishings and many portraits mark the decor of its unique interiors.

There is also a range of authentic  Andalucian food on offer at the Alhambra Parador including Gazpacho, Sacromonte Omelette and Santa Fe Pionono cake.. delicioso!

4. Go Underground in Nerja Caves

Nerja Caves is a spectacular cave system located in the Andalucian province of Malaga. The cave system boasts a series of huge caverns filled with stunning stalactites, stalagmites and even a concert, they are now considered one of the most beautiful of caves of its kind in Europe.

Nerja caves were discovered by complete chance in 1959 by a couple of school friends, they were soon opened to the public just a year later.

You can take a guided tour through the impressive chambers and learn about their geological history. If you are looking for a unique and fascinating experience, a visit to NerjaCaves are sure to leave long lasting holiday memories.

5. Visit a Smurf Village Near Ronda

Juzcar, a small village in the province of Malaga, became famous for its unique and vibrant blue appearance. The entire village was painted blue in 2011 to celebrate the premiere of the Smurfs movie, and it has since been known as  “Smurf Village.”

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The buildings, streets, and even the church were painted in various shades of blue to resemble the fictional Smurf village. Despite the original plan to return the village to its original colour, the residents decided to keep the blue colour as it has brought significant tourism and economic benefits to the area.

Even if you are not a smurf fan, Juzcar is a unique village well that is worth visiting, not to mention you will be rewarded with some great pictures for social media followers.

6. Explore Cave Life in Guadix, Granada

The cave houses of Guadix in the province of Granada have been in use for centuries and are a unique and fascinating feature of the region. Built into the rocky hillsides, cave houses offer a cool and comfortable interior away from the scorching summer Andalusian sun.

Some of the cave houses have been continuously inhabited for hundreds of year, while others have been renovated and turned into cosy holiday homes for visitors to the area, yes for a unique holiday experience you can actually rent a cave house.

The cave houses are decorated in a traditional Spanish style, some are even open for guided tours, you can even stay in one overnight to fully experience the unusual living quarters.

7. Explore the Incredible El Torcal Landscapes

El Torcal Nature Park is a stunning natural wonder located near Antequera in Andalucia. The park is characterized by its unique rock and limestone formations, which have been shaped by millions of years of geological processes.

As strange as it seems but the whole park was once below sea level. For the energetic, there are some magnificent hiking trails, which are abundant with the flora and fauna plus the breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape are spectacular.

El Torcal is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Andalucia’s natural landscapes.

8. Get lost in a natural wilderness (Cazorla Park)

Cazorla Nature Park is a stunningly beautiful natural area located in the province of Jaen in Andalucia. Known as Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, the reserve is the largest protected nature park in Spain and is home to a diverse range of flora, fauna and animals such as the Red Squirrel and the illusive Iberian Lynx.

It’s a great place to explore nature at its most beautiful its with its pine forests, rugged terrain and breath-taking mountain scenery. The park is also home to a number of charming towns and villages such as Arroyo Frio, Vadillo Castril and La Iruela.

Popular activities in the park include hiking, birdwatching, and swimming in the park’s crystal-clear rivers and lakes. Whether you are a nature lover or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, Cazorla Nature Park is an ideal destination.

9. Discover a Red River & Ancient Mines in Huelva

The red river ( Rio Tinto ) and ancient mines are located in the province of Huelva, south western Spain. The river has a unique red and orange hue due to its high mineral content, which has attracted mining operations since ancient times.

The Rio Tinto mines have been active for over 5,000 years, and the area was once an important source of copper and other minerals for the Roman Empire.

Parts of the mine are open to the public and are well worth visiting, you can also take a guided tour which give a fascinating insight into the long history of the mines and the  area.

You can even get to ride an old mining train on track that was originally built in 1875. The train covers a 12km section of restored track which slowly winds it way around the vast complex, passing alongside the red river making this a perfect outing for all the family.

10. Explore an ancient castle in Jaen – La Iruela Castle

If you love castles then a trip to La Iruela should be high  on your list of things to do in Andalucia. La Iruela Castle, located in the town of the same name in the province of Jaen, is a well-preserved castle that offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history.

The castle was built in the 13th century by the Moors, and was later conquered by the Christians during the Reconquista. The castle was heavily fortified and strategically placed, providing a commanding view of the surrounding landscape.

La Iruela castle is open to the public so you are able to explore the whole site and enjoy stunning views of the Sierra de Cazorla mountain range and the Guadalquivir river valley.

Author: Matt Robson – Spainguides.com
Exclusive use to Spainist.com

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