Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The olive tree as living history

The olives you eat come from a tree that is, on average, anywhere between 10 and 50 years old. 

Of the estimated 300 million olive trees on the 2.4 million of hectares that Spain dedicates to this valuable crop (respectively 1.4 million and 700,000 in the 2 other Olive Super Powers, Italy and Greece) there is many an older tree. 

'More than 1000 years old' is a bit of an exaggeration though: according to scientists the oldest tree in Spain, in the Catalan region of Montsià is 630 years old. And such trees still produce olives, be it far less than their younger cousins for they are frail and can't be shaken. 

No one can be sure that the variety of olive trees in Spain are direct descendants of the ones that grew in ancient Greece or Rome, but it is supposed they are at least similar - and the fact that these historical trees are still cultivated provides locals with a strong sense of connection to history

What DO we know? 

The cultivation of the originally wild tree began somewhere in the Near East, some 6000 years ago. 

The olive cultivation and oil extraction was brought by the Phoenicians to Iberia around 1050 BCE, and once again by the old Greeks between 600-700 BCE. But it were the Romans who turned Iberian oil into a veritable industry. 

The importance of Iberian oil to the Roman Empire was huge. Amphorae have been found in all Roman provinces, though most of the production was destined to Rome itself - that largest of all large cities, with at one point even more than 1 million inhabitants (no city on earth would have that many again until the 19th century). 

It was a very important trade. The Emperor Hadrian even had a coin struck bearing the picture of an olive branch and the inscription 'Hispania'. Then again,  his forefathers came from Seville and he must have had a soft spot for anything coming from that rough and dry peninsula. 

The fall of the Roman Empire led to the decline of olive production in the rest of Europe. Southern Spain though saw an increase in cultivation with the arrival of 'the Moors' (90% Amazigh, 10% Arabs) who brought with them new varieties and production techniques. 

This is the reason why most countries use the word 'olive' - from the Latin oleum - whereas the Spanish speak of 'aceituna' and 'aceite' - from the Arabic al-zait, which means olive juice. 

The strange effects of the Reconquista

With the rise of the Catholic fundamentalism after the reconquista, pork came to be seen as a sure sign of faith. 

And so was the dominant use of lard (manteca) fatal for the reputation of olive oil, which began to be associated with plebes and people with suspicious blood lineages: Moriscos and Jews. 

The latter were either forced to convert or were expelled or left - and with them the standing of olives and olive oil. 

"Spanish cooking overflows with garlic and religious prejudices" 
Julio Cambra, Galician writer (born 1884). 

It wasn't until the late 19th century that Spanish cookery writers began to extol the virtues of olive oil over lard again. And very slowly it started to lose its backward image of rural poverty. 

By the late 1970s production had begun to fully recover, thanks to the mounting medical evidence of its benefits, and the rising cultural pride in such a talisman of the Mediterranean. 

Today, Spanish olive oil enjoys a world wide reputation for quality
Sometimes in surprising ways: to this day Spain exports millions of tons of olive oil to Italy, where a label in Italian is stuck on a beautiful bottle, which is then re-exported to Northern Europe for twice the price. 

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Surprising uses for olive oil

Why is (good) olive oil the best Christmas present you could ever treat yourself to? 

It's a beauty product

It makes your hair shine
Just a tiny drop in the palm of your hand - gives you a very long lasting wet look. 

You can use it as hair conditioner
20 minutes and rince. 

Skin moisturizer 
20 minutes and since with plenty of hot water. 

Clear up acne

Make a paste of mixing 4 teaspoons salt with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Apply it to your face and leave it for 2 minutes. Apply daily for 1 week. Mind: this is the one use we haven't tested ourselves - it seems that some swear by it though. 

(But obviously the real and long term 'beauty advantages' of olive oil sit in its nutrients and the healthy diet that goes with it: beauty, as they say, comes from within, not from what you apply on your facade from the outside). 

It prevents hangovers

Going out and pretty sure you might drink too much? Then have a teaspoon of Virgin Extra half an hour beforehand. 
Then again, if you've become very Andalusian, you know that 'soakage' is the very best way to prevent being drunk - sip, tapa, sip, tapa, drink, a portion… one of the reasons why Spaniards hold their liquor so well. 

Every day use… all day long  

Shining leather shoes
Well, you will still have to shine them with a brush. Or buff onto your leather shoes with a cloth. Bye bye forever to potentially toxic    

Rejuvenate wooden furniture
Just very common and cheap olive oil will do. Mind: aceite is so oily that you better never use more than a small drop. 

Ease stuck zippers, fix squeaky doors, use it as aftershave,… everyone has got their own olive oil tricks. We didn't try or test them all - but with what we tested, it's for sure none of it would surprise us in the least. 

And at the very same you support the local industry in Jaen or Cordoba, help reducing the carbon footprint by skipping the mass transport of the olive oil that is stocked in supermarkets… and last but not least, your health will be grateful to you. 

The original mediterranean diet is the best 'social security' you can subscribe to. 

www.inlandandalucia.com 



Friday, 18 December 2015

Olive Oil Fever: it's the moment for olive oil!

Olive oil should be consumed as fresh as possible.

That means you better look for it right now. 

For 'the rains' have gone, and thus immediately afterwards the time of picking...  and now we are one month later and the newly bottled aceite is making it to the shelves of all local mills. 

The Virgin Extra that is, the 'liquid gold' that is the result of a single pressing and without the use of any chemicals or industrial refining. 

That is the oil you use in and on food. 

Obviously, as with wine, it's out of the question to buy it in plastic bottles, especially not ones shelved in bright light - for light kills nutrients and it is for the nutrients that olive oil is such a miracle liquid: 

- Vitamin K (building strong bones, preventing heart disease)
- Vitamin E (skin, prevention against toxins)
Calcium, Sodium and Iron

For this reason olive oil is usually stored in dark bottles or darker corners of the kitchen. 

What with 50% of all olive oil being produced in Andalusia (and 10% in the province of Jaén!), you should not have the slightest problem to find the real, best and most fresh one very easily. 

Yes, it could mean an extra stop apart from the supermarket: all things of value do take a bit of effort though. And you will help the local agricultural industry.  

Aceite (from the Arabic al-zat) and aceitunas (olives) are of such importance in the evolution of the Andalusian culture, habits and daily life, that we will dedicate many an article to it. 

For to understand Andalusia... you need to understand olives. 
Welcome to Olive Oil Fever month! 



Friday, 28 August 2015

Andalusia in autumn

Somewhere in September the weather changes, from hot to simply pleasant.

That's the start of what many in Andalusia call their favourite season

It's the time of City Trips and the busiest time of the year for city hotels in Seville, Granada and Cordoba. The heat of the summer is over and exploring sites and monuments (and all their staircases and paths) has become far more pleasant. 

Hiking, horse back riding, exploring inland Andalusia by carboth September and October are perfect for anything that involves energy or being in the outdoors. So prepare your rucksack, tent, hiking boots - or start browsing around for hotel reservations. 

(For the same reason we also notice a sharp increase in the demand for property viewing trips). 

King of the season is that gorgeous month of October. Though we can't predict the weather either, October often exists of surprisingly agreeable weeks, when mass tourism has disappeared everywhere and you have terraces and gardens to yourself or just a few others, all enjoying the 'Indian Summer' like golden light. 

And it's Olive Season, all around the campo all around inland Andalusia you will notice groups of people working hard to pick the olives that end up at the shelves of your local supermarket. 

The month ends with Halloween, when you really want to be (or really want to avoid) in the heart of a village in inland Andalucia, for it's an equally loud event here as in the English speaking world. 

November then is quite unpredictable. Because of the temperature of the Mediterranean Sea having risen for months on end, and dropping more slowly than the temperature on land, we can have our own tiny 'El Nino' effect: lots of showers and glorious clouds, punctuated by sudden sunny days. Lovers of Scotland or Ireland might have a field day: at times you forget being in Andalusia: the combination of nature, mountains, valleys, greenery and rain makes you think you're on a Celtic or Scandinavian holiday. 

In December the sun returns. And at the very same time: the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Making of Andalusia about one of the only places on earth where you can ski in the morning, and go to the beach in the afternoon. 

What with the many mountain and hill ranges, separating the coastline from the inland valleys, the difference in temperature can be remarkable - sometimes you only have to drive 20 Kms to experience a difference of 5 to 8 degrees. 

Naturally, we can't predict the weather of this autumn, nobody can - the unpredictability of the weather is its greatest gift: the above is simply based on our experiences of the past 20 years. 

Whatever the weather, Andalusia is beautiful all the time. 

Enjoy the autumn! 
And connect with us on Facebook


  

Friday, 21 August 2015

The Flamenquín, a typical dish of Jaén and Cordoba

O those funny historical influences. 

Flemish people living in Andalucia? Pay attention: the Flamenquín is named after you! For it translates as 'little Fleming'. 

Yes, when this 'sausage' of golden color was invented, in a restaurant in the city of Andujar (Jaén), someone remembered the blond hair of the Flemish people accompanying Emperor Charles V. 

Those people often were the musicians, and thus their existence crept into the word 'flamenco' (music 'a la flamenco' or 'the Flemish way') but that's a little known, non-confirmed piece of etymology, forever lost in the fog of time. 

No such confusion when it comes to the Flamenquín: it was only invented in the 1950s. 

Also known as the 'roll Saint Jacob', it consists of slices of jamon serrano wrapped in pork loin, coated with egg and breadcrumbs and then deep-fried. It can range from a small ball up to a piece of 40 cms (16 inches) long. 

You eat it with French fries and mayonnaise

(And by now Belgians must get a delirium: for also 'French fries' are thought to be originating from Belgium and the name is said to be only the result of the French gastronomic hegemony of the 18th and 19th century). 

Buen provecho! 
(Bon appetit)

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Jamón Serrano? Jamón Iberico? Pata Negra?

Always a winner, at every party or reception: Jamón Serrano. 

But what's the difference with that Jamón Iberico we so often hear about? Or the famous Pata Negra? 

In fact it's simple: the difference sits in the color of the pig:

Serrano ham comes from the typical white pig. And Iberian ham from the black pig with the black hooves. Hence: 'pata negra' or black paw. 

The latter is much more expensive, and thus has a reputation of being a delicacy. 

The first one is the more popular ham you will find in every bar, at every family gathering and fiesta. 'Inexpensive'... but impossible not to touch. 

Jamón Iberico derives its name from the black pig that lives in both countries of the Iberian peninsula: the west and south west of Spain as well as in south and central Portugal. 

Jamón serrano then means 'ham from the sierra'. Ergo: Mountain Ham. 

Both: finger licking good!  

www.inlandandalucia.com 



Sunday, 7 June 2015

How to make Andalusian Gazpacho?

In fact, 'Andalusian Gazpacho' is a pleonasm. For the origins of this soup of raw vegetables are, yes, Andalusian.  

The most widespread theory is that it was a soup of bread, olive oil, water and garlic that arrived in southern Spain with the Moors

Today, if you're anything like the average northern European arriving in Andalucia, it's that cold soup you first dislike - before you start to love it, can't live without and prepare it for a whole month. 

As health drink, soup or dish: you make it according to your taste. 

The most modern way to make gazpacho:

There are many modern variations of gazpacho, including adding grapes, watermelon or seafood. Let's stick to the most traditional taste though. 

What do you need?

Stale bread, olive oil and vegetables. To be precise: a blender + stale bread + vegetables as tomato, cucumber, onion, bell pepper + garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, water and salt. 

How to make it

1. Wash the vegetables and peel the tomatoes, garlic and onions. 
2. Chop all herbs and pound everything in a mortar (traditional method) or purée them in a blender. 
3. Add soaked, stale bread (optional)
4. Blend until liquid until you have the desired consistency. Some like it to look as a purée, others as a drink. 
5. Ad water, olive oil, salt and vinegar. This is your experimental phase, where you keep adding and stirring until it's up to your taste. 

(If you prefer not to purée but to leave some texture, then only start blending now). 

6. You can garnish the soup with diced tomatoes or tiny slices of cucumber or other fresh ingredients. 

Fun facts about gazpacho

  • The word 'gazpacho' is of Arabic origin and means soaked bread
  • The 2 main ingredients, tomatoes and peppers, were only added after the discovery of the New World. 
  • Gazpacho is so popular it even has its own National Gazpacho Day: December 6th.  
But what with the heat, any summer day is Gazpacho Day. 

Disfruta! 






Wednesday, 3 June 2015

3 surprising and Super Easy tapas

Once again a Spanish restaurant is named Best Restaurant in the World (El Celler de San Roca in Girona). 

With another 6 restaurants in the Top 50, there can't be much debate about it: Spain is a culinary paradise. 

Let's hope that our visitors this summer (for obviously: nothing makes a person so popular as living in Andalucia) do not have too high expectations! 

If you discover they do, here are 3 tapas that are both surprising as well as incredibly easy. 

3. Melon cubes with jamon serrano

The title says it all. No further ingredients needed. 

2. Chicory boats with herb cheese

This one doesn't take more than 2 minutes: 

Grease leaflets of chicory with herb cheese. Done. 

That in itself is delicious. 

Even if chicory can be found in any larger supermarket, people often do not know what to do with it and when they see it on the table they're surprised. 

For an extra touch, you can add chestnuts or berries

1. Goat cheese and honey

An underground classic. Loved by all. Even for breakfast. 

All you need is: 

French bread
Goat cheese
Honey

Slice the bread. Slice the goat cheese. Put the slices of cheese on the slices of bread - and then in the oven until the cheese melts and the bread is crispy.  

A top of honey on the cheese and done, it's ready to be served. 

For an extra touch, ad almonds. 

A tapa dinner conversation

"Did you know that the word tapa comes from the verb tapar, which means: to cover"? 

(Gasps for air): "No, I didn't". 

"Yes. To avoid leaves falling in the drink, they put a small plate on it. Which could be used as well for a small bite to whet the appetite". 

"You are so cultured! You are such a good host"!

Admittedly, I dreamt up this conversation. It is the origin of the Spanish tapa though, which used to exist of olives, cheese and ham only - and over time has been influenced by trends and foreign habits. 

Use frozen strawberries or pineapple cubes as ice cubes?

Today anything goes. 

Grill peach? 

Grill salad on a stick? (A skewer of tomato, pepper, onion…). 

If you've got something in the house, you can create a tapa with it. Try it today - or every day - when you're rummaging for a bite at 4 PM. 

Good luck and enjoy - and do not hesitate to post your suggestions or recipe here. 

  



Thursday, 28 May 2015

Losing weight in Andalucia: our tips

The healthiest air of Europe, hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails, and steep alleyways galore:  

It seems that in Andalucia you just have to leave the car at home to become slim. 

Sometimes, facing another never ending staircase leading to a church or castle, you wish you'd carry a few pounds less. 

Couple this with the incentive of the beach- and pool culture, and you know why gyms all over Andalucia tend to fill up by March (and are again very empty - and very inexpensive - by the end of October). 

Did you know that most villages, even the small ones, tend to have a small or even very well equipped gym… and that the prices are nowhere near to those in the north of Europe? 

The Internet is saturated with tips to lose weight: with the beach season approaching, we thought of asking around in our office and let you know...

Our most popular weight loss tips 

Popular, for they're either very easy or fun. 

- Eat when it's time to eat.  Do not wait until you're hungry. For the simple reason that you'll eat less and will still feel satisfied. 

Always have breakfast (fruits). Simply to avoid that your body goes into the mode of 'oh my god, there will be a famine, I better hold on to my fat'. 


- Always have a jug of lemon water on the table. Squeeze half a lemon (or a whole one if you prefer) into a liter of water. Besides a dozen other health advantages, lemons contain pectin fiber, which assists in fighting hunger cravings.


- Teach yourself to like healthy snacks. Olives, almonds, carrot sticks… if that sounds like a bore the first time around, it only takes 3-5 repeats for something to become a habit, more: something you really like and start to look forward to (the same applies to: educating yourself to like coffee without sugar, … try it 4 times and you start to love it). 

- Build a little group. You would say it's not difficult to lose weight or get into shape: all it takes is motivation. 

But there you go: self-motivation is a difficult hurdle. It really helps if you can enthuse a few friends. 

To go walking once a week. Why not, slowly turn it into a weekly run. You can teach each other new exercises. Apart from being healthy, this is great fun, a social event you'll quickly start looking forward to. Before you know it this is the highlight of the week. 

- Go to those Sevillana lessons. Dancing is not only a shortcut to happiness and laughter, also to a lean body.  

- And finally… climb that mountain! You know which one we mean. The one you see from your kitchen window or always drive past and that forever makes you say: 'One day I should explore that area'. Forget about the headaches of planning the next exciting excursion: almost anywhere in Andalucia you can see the perfect excursion from your rooftop. 

Even if you don't actually get a lot of energy out of yourself, you are still in that great, healthy air of Andalucia, in a country with one of the highest life expectancies in the world (approx. 2 years longer than in the axis UK-Germany)… and those are very good for your health and morale, even without lifting one arm. 

If you have a fun, easy or original tip… let us know! 
We will share it here.  




Monday, 18 May 2015

That lovely Andalucian highlight: Just driving

Do you really want to discover Andalucia? Not only what the tourist guide says about it but its feel

Then do what many, many a foreigner living here also still does whenever he or she can: just go on a walk about.

For there's just too much to see. You might as well treat yourself to a surprise. 

Andalucia, both the southernmost as well as largest region of Spain, covers an area of 87,268 square kilometers or 33,694 square miles. 

Roughly, this is 4 times the size of Wales, 3 times Belgium or twice The Netherlands

That's so big and covers so many towns and villages that we've started a town guide for Andalucia, summarizing the tourist information for all the main towns. Still it's only 18% of the total landmass of Spain. 

With a population of 8,5 million the population density of Andalucia is of 97 people per square kilometer, which is the same as in Austria or Slovenia - but only one third of the UK. Ergo: plenty of space! 

It's this space that is so attractive for Europeans from the north who want to buy property here: space equals tranquility, silence, lower stress levels when driving, but also less light pollution - in short, things that more and more can seem to be luxury items.

While at the same time Andalucians, always on the look out for a reason to party or socialize, make the villages incomparably bubbly - not to mention the big cities where the feel of a fiesta is around every corner. 

Do you want to discover Andalucia and do not know how or the best way to go about? 

Rent a car and start driving! 

With the flow, according to your mood of the moment. Not only will you see more of Andalucia than when sticking too much to a schedule or guide, you will experience that quintessential Andalucian highlight: being utterly relax. 

There's no such thing as a Must. A 'Must' is the contrary of what Andalucia is about. It's the region par excellence to just drive, stroll, and live according to your personal bioritm - a 'spa' feeling unlike any other. Being, not sightseeing. 

Prefer the secondary roads over the motorways, stop at a 'Venta', the typical roadside restaurants that were originally meant for seasonal workers, offering local food at low rates: drive into a calm village for a coffee (one of the several types of coffees).. 

You are never far away from stunning scenery or the next highlight, be it Doñana Natural Reservation, El Torcal, 'flamingo lake' at Fuente de Piedra, the Sierra de las Nieves, the serrania de Ronda and much, much more.

Many a first time traveler (now you're no longer a tourist, but a traveler) has compared driving through Andalucia as a road trip in the USA: from a diner to a dusty village, roads all to yourself and then all of a sudden in the hustle and bustle of a big city. 

In the towns you often find very inexpensive Hostals, and in the country side there are plenty of guesthouses, in all price ranges. Sure, there are guesthouses that are fully booked months in advance, whereas others still have space on the day itself. Whatever happens, you're never further away than 1 hour from a big town or maximum 2 hours from the nearest big city (Seville, Cadiz, Granada, Malaga). 

In the photos above you see the flamingos at the natural reservation of the village of Fuente de Piedra, as well as the landscape of rocks at El Torcal (both only an hour drive away from each other)... but by now you know...  there's beauty everywhere. 

Enjoy! 


PS: And if you're thinking about investing in a property in Andalucia, don't forget to pay us a visit in Mollina or Alcalá la Real.

Friday, 8 May 2015

By the way, when it comes to costs of property in Spain

... it's sometimes a matter of days.

This month saw a very favourable British Pound to Euro rate.

For a property of 20.000 to 100.000€ (*) that can obviously result in quite a difference.
 
With as result again that some home owners in Spain start to increase the price.
 
Ergo: sometimes it pays off to be very quick.
 
Bookmark our site to always be aware of the latest bargains and opportunities.
 
(*) In the last 3 months 80% of our sales were for homes costing less than 100,000 Euros (or 72,000 GBP).
 
 

Monday, 27 April 2015

The Paso Doble, the dance modelled after the bullfight

Culturally, Spain is not a country but a continent.

You might reach middle age before you can join just all the dance and music styles. And to not even start about all the languages or highlights in literature and paintings.

In a previous post we talked about Flamenco. Now time for the Paso Doble! 

What is 'the Paso'? Experience a great example:



Isn't Paso Doble part of Flamenco?


No, they are 2 very distinct expressions that only share their 'Spanishness'.

Flamenco is not a dance, but an art form that encompasses music, dance and poetry in one very visual package. Creating something greater than the mere sum of all ingredients, it has been called the most perfect art form.

The Paso Doble is (only) a dance, modelled after the drama, feel, sound and movement of the Spanish and Portuguese bullfight. As beautiful as it can be, it can be summarized in one page (for Flamenco you would need a blog in itself).


From the 16th century to the endeared nickname of 'the step' 

'Paso' being the Spanish word for step - and thus, yes, Paso Doble just meaning double step. But why make it difficult if Ballroom dancers just call it 'the paso'?

Originally the expression 'paso doble' was only used for a binary rhythm and movement, probably based on typical Spanish dances of the 16th century.

Over time, this rhythm slipped into comedies and then, in the 18th century, got adopted as a regulatory step for the Spanish infantry.

Next thing you know the music is introduced in the bullfights of the 19th century: it is highly suitable for the bullfighters' entrance to the ring (paseo).

As a dance for couples though, it was created in France, at a time that Spain stood for everything that was exotic and romantic (remember the opera Carmen, or Don Juan) - and then adopted again in Spain and Portugal.

Famous bullfighters have been honoured with Paso Doble tunes named after them.

Where can you see the Paso Doble?

Unfortunately, Venezuela is the only country where it's danced socially.
In Spain only by couples who trained beforehand and stick to a previously learned routine.

In any other situation it's only danced competitively, f
or its inherently choreographed tradition.

In competitive Ballroom dancing, it's combined with 4 other dances (Samba, Cha Cha, Rumba and Jive) under the banner of International Latin.

Where can you learn the Paso Doble?

All over YouTube! Together with half the population of China.

Have fun!

www.inlandandalucia.com


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

May in Andalucia: To Romeria or not to Romeria?

that is not the question. The Romeria is the most unforgettable of all Andalusian experiences. 

If you don't have a Romeria on your resumé yet, start asking around in your village or region.

You will not be the only one. Around this time of the year the questions are buzzing everywhere in inland Andalusia: which Romeria will I join? Who can I convince to go with me? 

And from there: on foot or organise a car for a whole group? Which drinks will I carry, will we come home in the evening or stay over for the night?  

And then, just go with the flow. 


What is a Romeria? 

In the heart, a Romeria is a religious pilgrimage.
The word comes from 'Romero', which stands for someone who travels towards Rome. 

In all the villages, towns and cities of Andalusia there is one Romeria: a Catholic celebration that consists of a trip (by car, on horseback or on foot) of anywhere between a few hours and a full day - that ends at a sanctuary or hermitage. 

Here, a party can take  place, and in many a village people bring tents with them for the party to go on for a second day. 

The precise trip depends on the local patron saint. For example, San Isidro is the patron saint of agriculture, so in villages that rely heavily on agriculture the trip will go towards the sanctuary of San Isidro.

In another village it can be dedicated to the Virgin de la Oliva.

Why join a Romeria?  

Every expat who has ever joined the trip of a Romeria, will tell you it's one of the nicest things they have ever done in Andalucia.

Many count the travel as the important, fun and romantic part of the pilgrimage.

Though Catholic in its origins, it's very festive, a feel good experience unlike any other. Yes, there's the Andalusian love for socialising, for drinking and dancing and celebrating life, but also a welcoming group feel: a time for quarrels and recriminations to be forgotten. 

That does not mean it should not be treated with respect! A fight or any other sign of disrespect for the Patron Saint, the community itself or the festive ambiance is not accepted. 

During one or two days the world is a very tolerant, pleasant, peaceful place.

Where can you find a Romeria?  

Everywhere. Ask around in your community when the most nearby Romeria takes place. The more local you go, the more familiar faces you will see and the more social contact you will have. 

The most famous of all is the ROMERIA OF EL ROCIO 

Correctly put: the Romeria of Nuestra Señora del Rocio. 

This massive happening attracting around one million pilgrims, takes place at the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Rocio in the village of the Rocio in Almonte, Huelva.  The pilgrims come from throughout Andalusia (and nowadays also from all over Spain and beyond) and typically travel one to seven days beforehand, generally sleeping outdoors. 

Enjoy!

We so wish we could join you all - unfortunately one can only be at one Romeria at a time. 

Enjoy yours... and the whole of that magnificent month of May.




  

Friday, 27 March 2015

The Season is starting!

This Sunday, March 29th, marks the start of Semana Santa 2015 and thus of... summer! 

Summer? Aren't there 4 seasons in Andalusia too? Yes, there are - and still people mainly divide the year into Summer and Winter only. 

For these 2 periods come with a remarkable and very noticeable difference: it's 6 months wintersleep versus 6 months of life, so to speak.  

Life with a capital L

Summer in Andalusia, that is T-shirts and flip flops, barbecues and fiestas. Summer means people coming together in the streets, cafés and around swimming pools. Summer stands for beach, concerts and excursions. 

What with the beach-and-pool culture of Andalusia, youngsters have been going to the gym for 2 months now. Summer wear has been prepared. 

Minds are opening and are slowly starting to think about planning that birthday party or barbeque. Energy is back! 

Sure, it's not a 6 month long beach party: the real heat only starts by the end of June. This makes that...

The months of April and May are for city tripping

For property viewing tripsfor walks and hiking, horse back riding and shopping: everything that takes energy.

The grand cities of Andalusia - Seville, Codoba and Granada - are located inland and that means it can be insufferably hot in the top summer months. 

So they are most popular in April and May, and again in October, when the weather is sunny and pleasant and doesn't make you want to sit in the shade and keep still. 

Sports? April and May are the word.

Or, greatest excursion of them all: just taking the car and cruising through Andalusia without any plan? April and May! 

June to September is for beach life

Or, in inland Andalusia, for a true swimming pool culture. 

Especially July and August are the peak of summer

The breeze coming in from over the sea and the healthy air makes everyone go to the beaches of the Costa del Sol. 

You don't like busy beaches? No worries. Andalusia has got something for everyone. just hop over the mountain range and in a matter of 15 minutes you are in a different world, a world of nature and tranquility, beautiful views and sleepy villages. 

And what about the natural beaches of the Costa de la Luz
From Tarifa and all the way up north you will find one calm, natural beach after the other, punctuated with campings and little beach bars for the hip surfer crowd coming from all over Europe.

Naturally, every month comes with its specifics. 

Together they are The Season, The Summer that half of all Spanish songs sing about, from La Macarena (set in Marbella) to Asèrejé (video made in a beach bar in Estepona).

We wish you a great summer! 

And for the part of the property viewing tripscontact us.