Andalucia has been a favourite destination for sun-seeking travellers for decades and there is no wonder why. Most days are sunny, your luck will need to be out to have planned a stay here and not have seen the sun. However, there is much more to do in Andalucia than just sit on the beach. We have pages on Andalucia.com that you will find very useful when planning to travel in Andalucia.
This large, walled complex of honey-coloured stone buildings, situated on the Isla la Cartuja (named after the monastery itself; the word means “charterhouse”), has seen many ups and downs during its long, dramatic history. From monks who welcomed Christopher Columbus, to barracks for Napoleon’s troops, ceramic factory run by an Englishman producing world-renowned porcelain, to modern-day contemporary art gallery and open-air live music venue.
Once a convent, this magnificent art museum has been lovingly restored and is now one of the finest in Spain. Located in a tiny plaza away from the city centre bustle, the building dates back to 1612, the work of architect, Juan de Oviedo.
The Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo is housed in the magnificent 15th-century Monasterio Santa Maria de las Cuevas. Known as La Cartuja, this is located in the district of the same name, north of Triana and across the river from the city centre – look for the iconic, cone-shaped towers.
Jaen capital is yet another Andalusian city that has a certified "Fiesta of National Touristic Interest" and as in every other corner of the province, jinienses (residents of Jaen) believe their particular processions are without a doubt the most beautiful in all of Spain.
To get an idea of the sights and sounds of Semana Santa in Seville, watch this video. Under the blue cloth, which acts as a skirt for the paso (float), are 36 men called costaleros, all bent double, with padding on their necks to carry the 2000-kg float with its statues of Jesus and supporting characters.
Málaga's Holy Week celebrations were declared to be of interest to International Tourism in 1965 and they have also obtained the regional stamp of approval "Fiesta of National Interest". Thousands of visitors from across Spain and abroad come to follow the processions throughout the city's historic centre.
In most towns and cities throughout Andalucia, during Semana Santa (Holy Week), groups of penitentes, also called nazarenos, accompany their statues of Jesús and Mary as they’re carried out of their church and around the town. They are dressed in robes and pointy hoods, with mournful brass bands.
Processions take place throughout the province along with Passion Plays as well. There is one more special claim to fame by the provincial capital in that no where else in Andalucia can you experience Semana Santa with the Alhambra in the background.
Holy week processions throughout Andalucia may differ according to the traditions of each city or town. However, there is a general order to most, starting with a large cross, cruz de guía, that is followed by a group of participants bearing lanterns.
Strictly speaking this is a religious festival, but for most of the week, solemnity isn't the keynote - there's a lot of carousing and frivolity, and bars are full day and night with entire families, from grandparents to babes in arms staying up until three or four in the morning.
We hear a lot about Holy Week in Seville and a few other provincial capitals like Huelva and Málaga, but very little about Almería. You might be surprised then to learn that Almería deserves more than a short visit at this time of year. In fact, like so many towns and cities throughout Andalucia.
Holy Week, Semana Santa, in Andalucia is an event that literally transforms towns and cities across this region. Processions of elaborately decorated floats with Jesus and Mary statues, groups of pointy-hood wearing Nazarenos (penitents), and shrill brass bands, walk slowly through the streets, from their parish church to the cathedral and back.
Like so many others, the Holy Week processions in Huelva are certified as "Fiesta of National Touristic Interest" and thus touted as one of the best in Spain (we'll leave that to each visitor to decide). Locals undoubtedly rate this as one of their biggest and best festivals (after the carnival perhaps?).
Taberno is situated at the foot of the El Madroño mountain range, in the north east of the Almeria province. It has around 1,000 inhabitants, of whom three quarters live in the village itself; the rest reside in its six outlying hamlets, the largest being Santopétar.
Semana Santa in Cádiz province is celebrated with great fervour and passion. The provincial capital, Cádiz, holds tremendous, extravagant processions - on par with those of all the other provincial capitals in Andalucia. Certain towns make an extra effort at Semana Santa and are, therefore, worth a special visit. These are: El Puerto de Santa María, Jerez de la Frontera, Arcos de la Frontera and Chiclana de la Frontera.