While Andalucía is one of the most popular summer destinations for timeshare owners, it has a magical quality in winter that’s worth experiencing. With no summer crowds, plenty of bright winter days and endless, spectacular countryside to discover, Andalucia really is a special winter destination.
Here are some reasons this region offers so much to winter visitors.
1. Reaching the parts of Andalucia you’ll never get to see in summer
Although some restaurants may be closed, Andalucia is blessed with so many “real” towns and villages where life goes on throughout winter. Ronda, Ernest Hemingway’s favourite, is a magnificent place to visit in winter, with its dramatic gorge and superb tapas bars, while Malaga is a vibrant working city that retains its appeal even during low season, thanks to the number of locals living and working there. Winter is the time when you can have the hilltop roads all to yourself which means you can spend the morning exploring some charming little villages before settling in for a hearty rustic lunch somewhere off the beaten track.
2. Easy access to Andalucia’s landmark cultural sites
Two of the greatest UNESCO Heritage Sites in the world are in Andalucia: Granada’s spectacular Alhambra Palace and the Mezquita moque-cathedral in Cordoba. Both can be packed in summer, when the historic and mystical ambiance of both sites can be marred by the crowds. But visit in winter and you will have more time, space and peace in which to enjoy attractions like these. And as for photo opportunities, there’s nothing more spectacular than an Arabic-inspired palace set against a deep blue winter sky… On top of this, Cordoba is one of the hottest places in Andalucia in summer when temperatures soar into the 40s, so a winter visit, when temperatures are much lower, is a real treat – and you’ll probably feel “less like a tourist”.
3. The Coast
With over 160 km of coastline, the Costa del Sol alone offers so many beaches to explore. If you’re in luck, temperatures could be in the low 20s, and with over 300 days of sun per year, chances are your break will be a sun-kissed one. If you already know the Costa del Sol coast, head east for a change, to Nerja and continue to Almunecar, a strip of coastline dotted with many of southern Spain’s best beaches.
The sheer variety of coastline and beaches in this part of Spain makes Andalucia such a draw. From the wild, national park-style beaches around Cabo de Gata near Almeria to the jet-set beach bars around Marbella, and small, bijou marinas like Cabopino, Spain’s southern coast offers variety in spades. Meanwhile, you’ll find the smart set at Sotogrande and the extreme sports crowd in Tarifa, past Gibraltar, where the boho-chic/eco/Moorish vibe will remind you a little of Morocco (which lies just 14 km across the water) while the waves and wind make this spot a magnet for kite-surfers.
4. Hitting the slopes
From sun and sea to sun and ski…did you know that the Sierra Nevada mountains that span the backdrop above Granada are the second highest range in mainland Europe (after the Alps)? The Spanish know a good ski resort when they see one, so you’ll find a lot of Spanish families up here in winter, enjoying one of the ski resorts. The season opens at the end of November and the area is famous for its sunny slopes. Even though Sol y Nieve ski station is half an hour’s drive from the coast, you’ll feel like you’re in a completely different country. Sol y Nieve sits at 3300m high and the resort hosts world class ski and snowboarding events. You could be swimming and skiing on the same Saturday – just one of the many reasons Andalucia is so special in the winter months.