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The name Alhambra comes from an Arabic root which means "red or crimson castle", perhaps due to the hue of the towers and walls that surround the entire hill of La Sabica which by starlight is silver but by sunlight is transformed into gold.

The waters off the coast of Andalucia are home to a large population of whales and dolphins. They are known formally as cetaceans and can be divided into two main orders: mysticeti and odontoceti, and you can see them both by joining one of the many boat expeditions offered by companies operating from various points along the Costa de la Luz, and the Costa del Sol, especially from ports of Tarifa and Gibraltar.

One of the most relaxing traditions of Arab Spain are the baths, or “hammam” as they are called in Arabic. With so many years of moorish rule and culture, the city of Granada was a natural starting point for the return of this long lost custom.

Cycling is a popular sport in Andalucia and it is not uncommon to see groups of cyclists out enjoying a weekend morning together as they tour the countryside. Equally in the last few years the number of cyclists in the cities and towns has increased, and so has the km-s of cycle lanes. Seville being a prime example.

Today many four and five-star hotels in Andalucia, especially on the coast, have spas for guests to use, offering hydrotherapy circuit and beauty treatments and therapies for ultimate pampering and relaxation, as well as treating muscular ailments and offering help with stress, digestive problems and weight loss. You will feel the effects immediately, your energy levels restored, your body and mind relaxed and revitalised, ready to face the world.

Some companies offer luxury yacht and boat hire, a luxury sailing concierge, who can arrange almost everything from sunset cruises with fine dining to trips to Morocco and Portugal. All in all it's great to see Andalucia from the sea.

Selwo Marina offers a new concept in family entertainment, bringing together sea life and the Amazon in an unusual but happy combination. The Marina is a complement to Selwo Adventure wildlife park in Estepona.

Selwo is a fascinating adventure in contact with nature. The park covers 100 hectares and is home to more than 2,000 animals from the five continents. The animals live in liberty, recreating their natural habitat - you can see lions, rhinos and giraffes; gnus, cheetahs, red pandas, meekats, and the endangered Iberian lynx; also birds such as hornbill, ibis, stork and crane. Visitors are taken on a four-hour tour, on foot and in four-wheel drive trucks.

Ideal for families with young children who want a gentler up-close-with-nature experience, the Butterfly Park has over 1500 of the colourful little winged insects. The park is inside a Thai temple-style building; the blue tiles were actually made in Thailand.

La Alcazaba is Malaga's most important landmark, and overlooks the city from a hilltop inland. It is one of two Moorish fortresses in the city, the other being the Castillo de Gibralfaro, situated above. The Alcazaba is the best-preserved Moorish fortress palace in Spain. It received about 1 million visitors in 2016.

Zoos aren't what they used to be, fortunately. You won't find miserable animals pacing up and down shoebox cages, clinging to solitary branches or paddling around in sad puddles at Bioparc Fuengirola - Fuengirola's  visitor and animal-friendly zoo.