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Andalusia is a Spanish region established as an autonomous community. It is the most populated and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities in the country. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as "historical nationality". The territory is divided into eight provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville. Its capital is the city of Seville (Spanish: Sevilla).
The name "Andalusia" is derived from the Arabic word Al-Andalus. As well as Romani influences, the region's history and culture have been influenced by the earlier Iberians, Carthaginians/Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Byzantines, Muslim Moors and as well as the later Castilian and other Christian North Iberian nationalities who conquered and settled the area in the latter phases of the Reconquista. Including an intense relationship with Naples, Italy.
Andalusia has been a traditionally agricultural region, compared to the rest of Spain and the rest of Europe. However, the growth of the community especially in the sectors of industry and services was above average in Spain and higher than many communities in the Eurozone. The region has, however, a rich culture and a strong cultural identity. Many cultural phenomena that are seen internationally as distinctively Spanish are largely or entirely Andalusian in origin. These include flamenco and, to a lesser extent, bullfighting and Hispano-Moorish architectural styles.
Andalusia's interior is the hottest area of Europe, with cities like Córdoba and Seville averaging above 36 °C (97 °F) in summer high temperatures. Late evening temperatures can sometimes stay around 35 °C (95 °F) up close to midnight, with daytime highs of over 40 °C (104 °F) common. Seville also has the highest average annual temperature in mainland Spain and mainland Europe (19.2 °C), closely followed by Almería (19.1 °C).
The Costa de la Luz ("Coast of Light") is a section of the Andalusian coast in Spain facing the Atlantic; it extends from Tarifa in the south, along the coasts of the Province of Cádiz and the Province of Huelva, to the mouth of the Guadiana River.
A popular destination for vacationing Spaniards, in recent years the Costa de la Luz has become more popular with foreign visitors, especially the French and the Germans. Increasing urbanization and tourism-oriented development of parts of the coast have had economic benefits.
Aside from the beaches and the sunshine, there are ample opportunities and facilities for leisure activities, like fine dining, golf, kitesurfing, boating, and other water sports. The Costa de la Luz is especially noted for the beauty of its protected natural reserves and a number of first-rate natural attractions. Among them are: the Doñana National Park, where endangered species, such as the Spanish imperial eagle, also known as Adalbert's eagle (Aquila adalberti), and the Iberian lynx (Felis pardina), can occasionally be sighted; the picturesque Bay of Cádiz; the steeply-pitched shorelines of the southern section of the Andalusian coastline; the salt marshes of Barbate and the seaside cliffs at La Breña (both within the La Breña y Marismas del Barbate Natural Park); and the sprawling wetlands at the mouths of the rivers Tinto and Odiel, where there is a profusion of water fowl and, in season, other migratory birds, including storks and flamingos.
Among the towns, cities, and beaches of most interest to a visitor to the Costa de la Luz (in order, from northwest to southeast) are: Ayamonte, Isla Cristina, Lepe, El Portil, Punta Umbría, Matalascañas, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Chipiona, El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz, Chiclana de la Frontera, Conil de la Frontera, Zahara de los Atunes, Los Caños de Meca, Vejer de la Frontera, Bolonia, and Tarifa.