Experiences with a difference on the Costa del Sol

Becuase there's more to the Andalucian coastline than just beaches

Just a short distance from the famous Andalucian coastline are some of the country’s most famous destinations. Steeped in history and culture the famous sights are definitely worth a visit, but if you're looking for something slightly different away from the crowds then here are our suggestions...

Rock climbing in Ronda

Ronda is home to a quaint white village and modern bull fighting – the Plaza de Toros hosts the annual Pedro Romero (of huge bull fighting fame) Fiesta. The not-so-new Puente Nuevo, which was completed in 1793, adds to the town’s portfolio of sights. There’s a lot to see, but for something different make El Tajo your focus. This incredible canyon is a playground for the adrenaline hungry. Puenting, that is using a bridge as a giant swing, might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but with safety equipment and some instruction you’ll jump off with ease. If the jump doesn’t already, the view will take your breath away.

01Puente Nuevo, Arch bridge in Ronda

You can take to the gorge and clip yourself to a Via Ferrata. Following an ‘iron road’ that is nailed into the rocks and the lifeline cable, you can walk, climb, scramble up and down and all around El Tajo. For a little more daring, canyoning is the ultimate choice and the ravine at the heart of the village, complete with a spectacular waterfall, is a great spot.If this is all a little too energetic, a visit to Ascari Race Resort in the hills just outside Ronda might be just the ticket. 5.5 kilometres of challenging track and a session with a professional instructor will improve your driving skills, while the sports car of your choice will ensure an adrenaline-filled afternoon.

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A hamam in Alhambra

A day-trip to the Alhambra in Granada is something of a no-brainer. The extraordinary complex of palaces, patios and gardens is mesmerising. Once inside the encircling walls, the Alcazaba Fortress, the delicately carved archways and domes of the Nasrid Palace, and the exquisite gardens of Generalife allure even the most jaded of visitors. The fact that it is so good can be its downfall – it just gets too crowded. The answer? A private tour in the early evening, when the Alhambra is closed. Contact the Public Visit Department, and do so way ahead of your trip. There are limited spots that soon get booked up.

02Generalife, Palace in Granada

To warm you up for the Moorish onslaught, spend your day in the Albaycín district of Granada, the hillside opposite the Alhambra. An original residential quarter, the Arab medina is a maze of narrow streets and steep alleyways that link walled gardens, patios and Mudéjar details. Downhill, walk along the Caller Calderería Nueva, a street lined with charming Moroccan pastry shops and tearooms.For a rest, pop into the Hammam Andalus and (literally) soak in the Moorish atmosphere. Just a 10-minute walk from Calderería Nueva, the spa offers an authentic Hammam bath, massage and complete ritual, which will set you up for the Alhambra.

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Savour Seville’s gourmet treasure

Not many Spanish cities can evoke a sense of Spain’s Moorish past as well as Seville. The architecture stands out with no less than three UNESCO World Heritage sites and a showcase of Neo-Mudéjar architectural style. But what keeps people coming back is the gastronomic pulse of the city. Tapas will draw people into bar after bar in their search for the best grilled seafood, grilled and stewed meat, jamon iberico, caldo de puchero, gazpacho...

03Romantic Seville

Tapas routes are everywhere but focus on the Barrio Santa Cruz and you won’t go wrong. Among the city’s favourites are Bar Modesto, Meson Cinco Jotas, Bar Giralda, Entrecarceles and Casa Romon.If you want to enjoy that Seville feeling when you’re back home, you could learn to make the food yourself. Classes in one of Seville’s many cooking schools at the hands of local chefs, will give you a solid background of the tapas you’ve tried on your trip. Any of the schools will equip you with the confidence to recreate a taste of Seville in the comfort of your own home, what better holiday souvenir can there be?

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