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The Costa del Sol and Andalucia, Spain

Southern Spain's Costa del Sol has been a popular holiday destination for holiday makers from all parts of Europe, and increasingly so from across the Atlantic, for many decades now. The reasons for this are plain to see and include guaranteed sunshine, clean, safe, sandy beaches,friendly locals, good healthy food- the Mediteranean diet being considered one of the healthiest in the world,and a lovely relaxed fun loving attitude to life.

Package tours to Costa del Sol have always been best sellers but recently there has been an increased interest in "doing your own thing" by renting a private villa or apartment. This in turn has led to the expansion of rural tourism as more and more country villas in the delightful unspoilt interior of Andalucia have come onto the holiday market. It is now possible to rent a private villa in some absolutely stunning locations and truly experience the "Real Spain".The peace, tranquility, beautiful scenery and long hot summer days add a wonderful dimension to a Spanish holiday. In addition there is the added advantage of the mild winters and beautiful springs which makes holidaying here an all year round delight.The vast majority of such holiday villas are also within easy travelling distance of Costa del Sol, thus affording the best of both worlds.

Andalucia has the largest European land mass devoted to nature reserves and in many parts is still totally unspoilt.Traditional "campo" life is still very much in evidence with the production of olive oil, cork oak and sweet chestnut forests,grape and wine production along with the tradtionally kept goat herds that do so much to help keep the land as it has been for centuries. The wild life is amongst some of the most varied in Europe and includes wild boar, genets, mongeese, vultures, golden eagles, and the European eagle owl to name but a few.

In addition to the beautiful scenery there are many historic towns to visit such as Ronda, which boasts of the oldest bullring in Spain, Granada,with the magnificent Alhambra and Cordoba with its marvellous Mezquitta. Along with these are the famous and numerous "pueblos blancos" or white villages.You can while away many happy hours rambling through the maze of streets of such places as Casares, Gaucin, Benarraba, Jimena, Algotocin and many more barely on the map.They all have wonderful ferias throughout the summer,and plentiful bars and restaurants serving local foods, wines and tapas.

Many cultures have left their mark on this part of the world.From prehistoric cave paintings in the Serrenia de Ronda ,Pheonician towers at strategic points along the Costa del Sol to the widespread and more famous Roman and Moorish monuments and remains.However it is certain that there is still much more to be discovered here as archeologists have barely scratched the surface of many of these remains.

So please don't think of the Costa del Sol, and Andalucia in particular, as all sun, sea and sangria,not that I have anything against them! but there is just so much more to be discovered and enjoyed that you really could spend a life time holidaying in the area and not get bored, indeed I believe many people do.
Article supplied by Ruth Polak at www.costadelsol-vacationrentals.com

Toledo, El Escorial, Valley of the FallenToledo, El Escorial, Valley of the Fallen
Journey south to the ancient city of Toledo, once the medieval capital of Spain.
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