A very Spanish Christmas
Going away for Christmas was always one of those idea’s that had been discussed but never actually came to life until last year. The idea was to find somewhere warmer than the UK (not hard for most), some research following we decided to go on a road trip across Andalusia. Below is our planned route for the 7 days.
Flying out on Christmas Day – a first for me. I was somewhat underwhelmed expecting all staff, passengers to be in the Christmas spirit of which we’d all join in. It didn’t happen that way – airport was of course quieter than normal but we still had a full flight. Usually not being a fan of early morning flights (7:40 departure) I was excited as we reached Almeria by lunchtime. Flights from Manchester to Malaga airport were £55 (one-way) with Monarch airlines. Car hire picked up, we set off to our first destination, Almeria.
Our host, a wonderful Spanish lady who showed us to our rustic s/c apartment. Authentic terracotta buildings with tranquil landscapes. This was definitely a place to unwind and soak up the winter sun. 18 degrees and blue skies isn’t something i’d ever had the pleasure of seeing on Christmas Day, ever. We spend the afternoon walking around the small town, enjoying a leisurely dinner and watching the sunset from our terrace.
San Jose, Monsul Beach
Day two, we set off on a short drive to the coast of Cabo De Gata, getting out at San Jose en route to enjoy the coastal views. The sun high and the reflection on the still water, endless. Heading further south, we parked up off-road by Monsul beach. This was a personal tip from our host of nearby hidden beaches. As we walked up, it didn’t disappoint. With only a handful of people along the whole shoreline, our Boxing Day consisted of skimming pebbles, shell collecting and soaking up the sun. It could have been worse, right?
Cabo De Gata National Park
Our all day hike – no cars included.
After demolishing a big Spanish breakfast, we set off around 10:30 from Almeria and followed a fairly coastal route across and down towards San Pedro. Cabo De Gata covers a huge area and boasts some impressive views and the aim was to take in as many of those as we could. All in all, it was exhausting but a great day. The trek itself lasted around 8 hours and we totted up around 146 floors climbed (courtesy of my health app). One of the great things about this route is how varied the landscapes are. Rocky paths, beaches and derelict castles. I do love a good castle. At the end of our route, and absolutely ravenous – we found a local’s restaurant offering the largest red tuna steak I’d ever seen. Pretty good to end to a pretty perfect day. Also the end of our three days in Almeria.
Setting off from Almeria, we made the 2.5 hour drive to Malaga. Different from all I’d imagined and seen referenced on TV about it. A great old town with lots of history. We only stayed here for a couple of hours (lunch) to help break up our day before continuing onto Tarifa.
Tarifa, Tarifa, La La La
Windsurfing, wind in general and a whole lot of beaches!
Tarifa – the windy city. Our sea front guesthouse was waiting. The drive was intense but watching the sunset across the Atlantic ocean was pretty damn special.
So fifth day, up and early off to the port. A day-return ticket on the ferry cost us around £55 each. Journey times – 1 hour and the ferry was with FRS which runs up-to 7 services a day. Great if you only have a short time available. The ferry stopped off at Tangier (Morocco) where we spent the day wandering the souks, medinas and generally a vast change in culture! Read up about that, here.
I go wherever you go, the sun that is.
Day six and the weather not much better, we set off to Cadiz – which was sort of on the cards anyway. An hours drive out of Tarifa’s storm clouds and we reached blue skies. Pretty amazing. We parked up in the town and walked down to the beach. And beachy it was. Sand stretching out for days (maybe not days). Christmas in the sun was living up to all expectations so far. The afternoon consisted of pottering about the City Walls and eyeing up the Cathedral which ended up having some spectacular views. With the weather still on our side we had a late lunch within the plaza looking up at the old town.
How can you complain with that?
Final day and the Angel’s had sung. The sun was out in Tarifa, so making the most of our sea-front guesthouse we enjoyed the sand-dunes just five minutes up the road before setting back along the beach with some Spanish tapas. Definitely a highlight to top off our pretty successful tour of Andalusia.
What are you undiscovered gems of Andalusia? Leave your tips in the comments!
Give this post a share, if it took your fancy!