Steve's World Blog Information and articles on cities, towns and villages around the world.

May 22, 2013

Isla Cristina Andalucia Spain

Filed under: Portugal,Spain — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 3:28 pm

Isla Cristina Andalucia Spain – Located in the not so touristy Costa de la Luz region of Andalucia, the resort of Isla Cristina will not be know to most British holidaymakers, but should not be ignores as a possible destination for your holiday this year. With fabulous unspoilt beaches, a charming fishing port and excellent weather conditions, Isla Cristina might be just what you are looking for in a peaceful vacation. It might be a good idea to avoid late July and August in Isla Cristina, as thousands head here from Seville, but any other time you can expect an enjoyable stay. Isla Cristina can be reached from either Seville airport or Faro airport in nearby Portugal.

View a map of Isla Cristina here:

March 12, 2010

Huelva Costa de la Luz

Filed under: Algarve,History,Portugal,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 3:12 pm

The most westerly city on the Costa de la Luz, Spain, Huelva was founded by the Phoenicians in around 1000 BC. Originally known as Onoba, Huelva was later controlled by the Romans and became part of the province of Hispania Baetica, the Romans established a mint there and coins were produced bearing the name “Onuba”. In the 15th century the explorer Christopher Columbus sailed from nearby Palos de la Frontera, and the discovery of the Americas brought increased wealth to Huelva, though it was generally overshadowed by the more important city of Seville. Significant mineral deposits in the region led to Huelva becoming the home of the well known Rio Tinto Company, a British mining concern which set up shop in the Odiel estuary and subsequently exported its products throughout the civilised world. Huelva fell into decline after being devastated by the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755, though it has always been a significant port for the region. Located on a stretch of coast known as the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light), Huelva is experiencing an increase in tourist activity as this less well known piece of coast attracts more and more visitors to its virgin beaches, as yet untouched by mass development. Enjoying a wonderful climate with Huelva weather being somewhat cooler than the neighbouring Costa del Sol, enjoying cooling Atlantic breezes and having a similar climate to Portugal’s Algarve to the south-west. Huelva is located just off the A-45 motoway between the Portuguese border and the city of Seville. Map.

November 20, 2009

Carmona Andalucia

Filed under: Spain,Travel — Tags: , , — needahand @ 3:48 pm
Seville Gate Carmona

Seville Gate Carmona

A historic town in south-western Spain, Carmona is situated in the Seville province of Andalucia and has a population of around 27,000. Gathered around a ridge overlooking Andalucia’s central plain, Carmona has a history stretching back to the times of the ancient Romans, and the remains of a Roman necropolis just outside the town are among its great tourist attractions today. Carmona was an important city around the time of Julius Ceasar, and continued to be important after the arrival of the Moors in Spain. The Moors built fortified walls around the town and built palaces and fountains within its walls. Arab control of Carmona ended in 1247 after Ferdinand III of Castille invaded and took the city back for the Christians. Modern day Carmona is a popular tourist destination with good road and bus links with the city of Seville, around 40km to the west. Carmona Map.

September 13, 2009

Seville and Utrera Andalucia

Filed under: Costa del Sol,History,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 7:11 am

A city with a population of around 700,000, Seville is one of the most important cities in southern Spain. Artistically, financially and culturally it is the hub of the region of Andalucia and is one of the most visited cities in Spain. Lying in the plain of the Guadalquivir river, Seville covers an area of 140 square kilometres and has a metropolitan population around double of that of the city itself. Historically, Seville is over two thousand years old and was called Hispalis during the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsular. There are still Roman remains to be found in and around Seville, one of the best known being the aqueduct. Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, Seville fell successively into the hands of Vandal, Visigoths and Moors, but it was the Moors who had the greatest influence on the city, and it became a significant centre under the control of the Umayyad dynasty. It came back under Christian control in the mid-13th century. These days Seville is a popular tourist destination with plenty to see and do all year round, although as Seville weather can be extremely hot during July and August, these months are perhaps best avoided if possible. Among the best known attractions in the city are the cathedral, built between 1401 and 1519, the Alcazar, begun in the 12th century, the Torre del Oro (Golden Tower), the Town Hall, and the Plaza de Espana. Outside the city of Seville itself are some other interesting places to visit, one you could consider might be the town of Utrera, one of the main agricultural towns of the region and the area where many of the bulls, reared especially for bullfighting are bred and tended. Utrera was overrun by Alfonso X in the 13th century, as he prepared for his defeat of Seville. Worth a look in Utrera are the 14th century castle, the Iglesia de Santiago church and the church of Santa Maria. Seville Map.

September 2, 2009

Cordoba Andalucia

Filed under: Costa del Sol,History,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 1:01 pm

Located in northern Andalucia, the city of Cordoba was the former capital of Arabic Al Andalus and was the capital of the Moorish Empire in the west. During the tenth century, Cordoba was one of the most populated cities in the world, with around half a million people, an immense city for those times. These days Cordoba has a population of around 320,000 and is only the 10th largest city in Spain, it is now a major tourist attraction and the best sites can be found in the old Jewish quarter in the area of the famous Mezquita mosque, the largest and most beautiful mosque built by the Moors in Spain. The Mezquita originally dates from the 8th century and was remodelled and extended in subsequent centuries, some of the most lavish additions being built in the 10th century, during the cities golden years. There is lots more to see in this area including the Bishop’s Palace, the Roman Bridge, and the Alcazar Palace. When you are tired of visiting historic monuments you can wander the back streets and seek out a quiet plaza, order a coffee and enjoy the Cordoba weather in the heart of one of Europe’s greatest cities. Cordoba has its own airport but it used for domestic flights only, so if you are flying to the city you will need to go to Seville or Malaga, or from elsewhere in Spain, by road you can reach Cordoba by way of the A-4 from Seville or the A-45 from Malaga. Be sure to visit colourful Cordoba some time soon. Cordoba Map.

August 27, 2009

The Ancient City of Cadiz

Filed under: History,Spain — Tags: , , , — needahand @ 6:41 pm

Virtually surrounded by water on the Costa de la Luz coastline of southern Spain, the ancient city and port of Cadiz is claimed to be the oldest inhabited city in Europe. Founded by the Phoenicians as a trading centre in around 1100 BC it now has a population of 130,000 and has been the base of the Spanish Navy since the Spanish Bourbons ascended the throne during the 18th century. Known to the Greeks as Gádeira, in myth it was founded by Hercules, after he had completed his tenth labour. Later controlled by Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors, before being returned to Christian hands by Alphonso X in 1262. Cadiz waved off Christopher Columbus on 2 of his famous voyages, and benefited from the huge wealth that subsequently arrived from the Americas during Spain’s Golden Age. The wealth attracted the attention of pirates and Sir Francis Drake occupied the harbour in “The Singeing of the King of Spain’s Beard” incident, which delayed the Armada and possibly led to its eventual failure. Cadiz today has some important historic monuments, its best known perhaps the cathedral which was originally built in the 12th century, burned down in the 16th century and eventually rebuilt in the 18th century with rococo and neoclassical elements. The Cadiz area is also popular with holidaymakers as its coastline has some of the best beaches in Spain, and the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light) benefits from a splendid climate with Cadiz weather being pleasant for most of the year and especially warm from May to September. Cadiz is just 40 km from the airport at Jerez, the spectacular city of Seville is around 125 kilometres away. Cadiz Map.

August 18, 2009

Regions of Spain – Andalucia

Filed under: Costa del Sol,Holidays,Spain,Travel — Tags: , , , , — needahand @ 11:03 am

Andalucia, Spain’s most south-westerly region is also the second largest and the most populous of its 17 autonomous communities. Bordering Portugal in the west, Murcia in the east and Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha in the north, its capital and largest city is Seville, which is also one of its eight provinces, the other seven being Almeria, Granada, Jaen, Cordoba, Cadiz, Malaga and Huelva. Andalucia has around eight hundred kilometres of coastline including the coastal regions known as the Costa de la Luz, the Costa del Sol, the Costa Tropical and the Costa Almeria, throughout these regions are a huge number of wonderful sandy beaches and some of the best known seaside resorts in Spain. A pioneer in Spain’s tourist industry, Andalucia attracts millions of visitors each year, not only to its beach resorts but also to its historic cities, with their awe inspiring attractions. Andalucia is where some of Spain’s best known traditions began, most notably bullfighting and flamenco dancing, it also boasts a history as complex as anywhere in Spain and a population of equal complexity. Andalucia can inspire and amaze, its widely varying landscapes can fool you as to where exactly you are, with the snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada just a few kilometres from the sun kissed beaches of its coastline, along with its geography, Andalucia weather can vary considerably from area to area from the cold of the mountains, to the high winds of its Atlantic (Costa de la Luz) coastline, to the warm beaches of the Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical. Andalucia has something for everyone. Andalucia Map.

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