• images/slideimage/blog-page/blog pic 2.jpg
  • images/slideimage/blog-page/blogpic.jpg

Andalucia Inside´s Blog

An Insider view of Andalucia

Welcome to the Andalucia Inside Blog, where we invite you to join us in the stories we have to tell about the rich, complex culture of the South of Spain.Here you’ll be able to find beautiful photos from around the region as well as get an insider look into what takes place on our tailor made tours. Get lost in our adventures, and come here to find inspiration for your next trip to Spain. Not only are we travel experts hoping to help you plan the perfect trip through Andalucía, but we’re not shabby storytellers, either. Here you’ll find our account of what happens behind the scenes of Andalucía Inside and what you’ll be able to expect when you plan your one-of-a-kind trip to Spain with us

 

 

A Magical Night of Flamenco

As the ten guests walked into the pristine Casa Palacio Monasterio, it was hard to say what was about to unfold. They were told there would be flamenco and there would be food, but the night that followed was so much more than simply a meal and dance.The main room of the palace, which was built in 1853, was lined with big arches, masterfully cut out from each of the dark red walls lined with colorful tiles, and little bursts of light came from the room’s beautiful lamps.  This set the scene for a wonderful private flamenco show featuring none other than José Galván, one of the most well-known flamenco dancers in all of Spain.After some freshly sliced Iberian ham and a glass of wine, the show began. Of course before the flamenco dancer could take to the stage, there had to be music. Read More

 

Siesta, A necesary Luxury

Ahhh, the siesta. That romantic, pastoral image associated with long ago and the ultimate example of a laid back culture. Surely in today’s modern, fast-paced society, full of Blackberry calendars, such a glorious time designated for relaxation couldn’t exist.Oh wait, it does.One of my first questions when I came to Spain was, “So, the siesta…is that actually real?” It may have sounded dumb, but for someone who just chugs another cup of coffee mid-day to keep going, I was looking forward to this possible change of pace.Historically, the siesta was considered a physical necessity and a relaxing way to avoid the hottest part of the day for 2 hours. Today, with a more rapid pace and coffee, the biological need for a short nap in the middle of the day has been turned into a luxury. Read More

Dancing with death

Living without bullfighting is not living.”This may be a simple quote, but it expresses the weight and significance of bullfighting to one of Spain’s top matadors, Jose Tomas. In a tradition where one wrong step can lead to a deadly consequence, Tomas lives for the moments when he is dancing with death. He is known for his daring bullfighting style, in which he draws the bull dangerously close to his body with his cape.Although the bullfighting tradition is surrounded by controversy and has recently been banned in the region of Catalonia, one thing can be agreed upon: The passion and the dedication the matadors have for this ancient art. Read More

James Bond´s Havana is in Spain

Remember those gorgeous Havana beach scenes in the recent James Bond film Die Anther Day? And where Mr. Bond first sees the flawless Halle Berry walking out of the ocean? Well, those famous “Havana” scenes were actually filmed in the equally famous (and beautiful) Cadíz of Southern Spain.The Bond movie didn’t have to go too far to make Cadíz look and feel like Havana, Cuba. The similarities of Havana and Cadíz don’t begin and end with those few scenes. In fact, Cadíz is known as “Little Havana.” And as you walk through Havana, there is a strong sense of Andalucian influence in the architecture, style and overall feel of the city. The plazas, the streets and cathedrals all have a hint of Spain, especially the historic cities like Seville and Cadíz. Read More


 


Hollywood, History and the Majestic Plaza de España

Built for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929, what the Plaza de España may lack in history, compared to the Giralda Cathedral or Alcazár, it certainly makes up for in sheer grandness and beauty. Walking up to it, you almost expect to hear some passionate classical music to be playing in the background, welcoming you to this impressive sight (or maybe that’s just me).A vast, semicircular complex next to the Parque de María Luisa, the Plaza de España combines detailed, ornate beauty with absolute immensity. This scene had been my desktop background for months before I came to Seville, but nothing prepared me for its size and spellbinding effect. The castle-like edifice and tile work, the moat running along the building, the bridges, the fountains… Read More



Tiny plate, big flavor: The delicious world of tapas´s

According to legend, while King Alfonso X traveled through the southern region of Spain, he stopped to rest in a small town in the Andalucian province of Cadíz and ordered a glass of sherry. Cadíz is known to have strong gusty winds throughout the year, so the inn keeper placed a slice of ham over the sherry to prevent it from getting dirty. Upon finishing his drink, King Alfonso X ordered another and this time he specifically requested another tapa or “cover,” to come with it. And there, in a small, dark tavern in the middle of the 1200′s is where Spanish tapas were born. (Or so they say!) Read More



The Feeling Behind Flamenco

Built for the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929, what the Plaza de España may lack in history, compared to the Giralda Cathedral or Alcazár, it certainly makes up for in sheer grandness and beauty. Walking up to it, you almost expect to hear some passionate classical music to be playing in the background, welcoming you to this impressive sight (or maybe that’s just me).A vast, semicircular complex next to the Parque de María Luisa, the Plaza de España combines detailed, ornate beauty with absolute immensity. This scene had been my desktop background for months before I came to Seville, but nothing prepared me for its size and spellbinding effect. The castle-like edifice and tile work, the moat running along the building, the bridges, the fountains… Read More



Spain Inspires

With a flamenco beat just around the corner, wine abundant during late night dinners and laughter being heard in the streets, it’s hard not to feel inspired by Spain. Whether you’re in a small town or busy city, there is a line of rich culture and tradition that winds its way throughout the county. Spain has long been a place of inspiration for artists, writers, musicians and actors alike, both foreign and native, who each share their experience in the way they know best dj.Gwyneth Paltrow ,When she was 15-years-old, actress Gwyneth Paltrow stayed a small town near Talavera de la Reina in the region of Castilla La Mancha. She’s been back to Spain every year since.“They seem to enjoy life a little bit more. They aren’t running around as much as in New York. They enjoy time with the family. Read More




My Newest Discovery in Spain? Olive Oil.

I knew Spain, especially the southern region of Andalucia, was serious about their olive oil. But it wasn’t until I saw huge two-liter bottles being sold at grocery stores and had many of my dinners deliciously drenched in the stuff that I finally said, “Ok ok, I get it.”

Everywhere I turn, there is olive oil. At the store, in restaurants, in kitchen cabinets, on the table next to the bread. Coming from a place where I just grabbed plain ole vegetable oil to sauté or coat the frying pan, this basic ingredient and flavor in Andalucian cuisine seemed to me like a new-found “secret of life.”

 Read More

Quick Facts,Spanish Dinning

A typical Spanish eating schedule tends to be much different than the traditional three meals a day in the United States and is usually an hour or two later than other countries in Europe. It took me a little while to adjust to the late-night dinners, but now I don’t think twice about ordering tapas at 10 p.m.!

The Spanish breakfast is usually very light, with toast or a ham sandwich (often made with cured Iberian ham, tomatoes and drizzled in olive oil- it’s delicious!) and coffee. This is typically eaten between 7-9 a.m., and sometimes a “second breakfast” or snack, with coffee and toast, is eaten around 11 a.m.

Read More




Where the new meets the old: Seville’s Plaza de la Encarnación

It’s hard to imagine what Plaza de la Encarnación would’ve looked like years ago when there weren’t six giant mushroom shaped parasols rising above the busy plaza, before it became home to the largest wooden structure in the world.Plaza de la Encarnación was the setting of a food market (the same one there today in fact) but in 1973 when their facilities needed improvement and there was talk of incorporating an underground parking space into the same area, the stalls were knocked down. An above ground parking lot temporarily inhabited the plaza until a clear building plan was made to integrate a new market, underground parking and Roman ruins, which had been discovered in the 1990s

 Read More