Andalusia, the birthplace of Picasso and Velazquez, is a perfect place to lose yourself. Mediterranean beaches, sunshine, a landscape where mountain ranges, deserts, wetlands and snowy peaks alternate, World Heritage cities, and the most important Arab legacy in Spain, together make this southernmost area of the Peninsula an unmissable destination.
Andalusia is both the point where Africa and Europe meet and where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. It is the second largest Autonomous Community in Spain, after Castilla y Leon, and its topography is determined by the Guadalquivir river which runs between major mountain formations: the Sierra Morena in the north and the Baetic Mountains in the south. The Sierra Nevada range takes centre stage, with the highest peaks in the Iberian Peninsula, Mulhacen (3,478 m) and el Veleta (3,392 m).
Mediterranean with hot summers and short winters. Except in autumn, rain is scarce. There is variation depending on the altitude and distance from the coast, where the temperatures are milder. Average temperatures range between 16º and 18º C.
Due, no doubt, to the excellent climate, the long hours of sunshine and the proximity of the sea, the local crops, livestock and fish contribute to making Andalusian cuisine a delight even for the most demanding of palates. Olive oil forms the base and is used in almost all local dishes. Cool gazpacho, fresh fried fish or shrimp and the exquisite Jabugo ham are unmissable. Then there's ajoblanco - a typical garlic and almond soup which is served chilled, salmorejo - a cold spiced tomato sauce, the pipirrana salad made with cucumbers and tomato, and local oxtail. Sweet fried pestiño biscuits, made with honey are usually eaten with sweet sherry, and the typical manzanilla wine is perfect to accompany any true southern meal.
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