Andalusia is beautiful, diverse and fun. It offers a tranquil lifestyle with elongated, white beaches on the one hand. On the other hand, Andalusia offers an adventurous lifestyle with endless trails through the mountains, skiing holidays in the Sierra Nevada, and hiking and biking excursions. The landscape is incredibly varied, ranging from fields of sunflowers, olive groves and vineyards and the beautiful cork oak forests.
Andalusia has a vibrant and warm culture where life revolves around family and friends. And when together, they celebrate life with the most delicious foods and wines.
Beauty & diversity in Andalusia
Andalusia is one of the 17 comunidades autónomas (autonomous regions) of Spain and has 8 provinces. In alphabetical order: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Sevilla. Every single province is completely different from the other. They have different accents, different cultures, they have their own culinary delights. Even their own customs and festivities!
To read more specific information about each province click on each designated link. The links will redirect you to our province guides. Within each province you can keep on reading about its cities and/or towns.
Why move to Andalusia
In this guide we will (very briefly) explain what the Andalusian wonders are. In our blog section under Andalusian Lifestyle you will find a much more detailed archive with hundreds of blogs describing what it is like to live in the South of Spain. In this guide we will section the information in three: culture, gastronomy and climate.
Culture in Andalusia
In a nutshell, Andalusia has one of the warmest, kindest, friendliest and most open cultures we know. People say this about the Spanish anyway, but down South, there is almost a magic element to it.
History shows that Andalusia was always a melting pot of cultures. This is a part of the world where people from different backgrounds live together with ease. People respect each other’s other cultures and share the best of their own.
When we moved here over 20 years ago we had no idea what to expect. We had 3 children, aged 5, 3 and 1. They needed to go to school, we needed to find a new home, a job. Essentially we had to build up our lives completely and we didn’t know where to start. What made the entire transition so much easier were the people. They made us feel welcome and heard, they wanted to help in any way possible.
Before we knew it, our children were enrolled in the local Spanish school in Casares. We attended meetings and had barely a clue of what they were saying. Our Spanish at the time was quite limited. Nevertheless, the teachers practically played charades so we would understand.
The Andalusian people, and the vast community of expats gave us the resting and comforting feeling that we made the right choice. This welcoming feeling meant the world to us.
Gastronomy in Andalusia
Like aforementioned, life here revolves around friends, family and food. At every party, celebration and gathering, food is central. Whether it is a lovely homemade lunch or dinner at home, or eating out at a restaurant, or spending the entire Sunday afternoon at the beach enjoying seafood. The Spanish love to eat, and for good reason! The food here is fresh, rich and delicious.
Often, it’s all about the essence of the product. It’s not about how fancy and high end the food is. It is as simple as the significant difference between eating a tomato here and eating a tomato anywhere else. The products in Andalusia are made with care, and this is evident in the taste.
The gastronomy in Andalusia is fantastic and diverse. We enjoy the realm of seafood at its best here since the doradas and the extensive choice of shell fish are practically caught that same morning. We further enjoy the realm of meat with a passion too, with classic dishes ranging from croquetas de rabo de toro (oxtail croquettes) to albóndigas en tomate (meatballs in tomato sauce), or pollo al ajillo (chicken in garlic). Of course, we have to mention the Jamón Serrano Ibérico de Bellota (Iberian ham).
Even for vegetarians and vegans there is a whole world of delicious food to discover in Andalucía. Since the vegetables and fruits are so fresh, the taste is like nothing you have ever had before. There are some classic dishes like gazpacho or salmorejo (cold tomato soups), pisto (mixed vegetables fried in olive oil), pimientos de padrón (fried peppers) and so much more.
Of course, one of our classics is the Andalusian paella. Since paellas can be made in so many different ways, it is a dish that can be enjoyed by everyone on any occasion.
Climate in Andalusia
If the culture and gastronomy haven’t given you enough reasons as to why you should move to Andalusia, perhaps the climate will.
The climate here is special. We have an annual average temperature of approximately 18ºC and more than 300 sunny days per year. There is a smooth transition from season to season, we experience the coldest temperatures in January and the warmest in August.
There is a difference in climate between the coastal areas and further inland. Naturally, the further inland you go, the more extreme the temperatures are. In summer, the locals from Sevilla, Granada and Córdoba travel to the Costa del Sol or Costa de la Luz to enjoy the sea breeze. And in winter, when it snows in the mountains, the locals from the coast drive up to see the unique winter-wonderland scenery.
Throughout spring and autumn, there is an equal movement since the landscapes are equally beautiful anywhere you go.
If you wish to keep reading about the Andalusian lifestyle, visit our blog where you can find hundreds of entries. We describe the Andalusian Lifestyle through the food, the traditions and festivities, etc. Discover Andalucía through our eyes to know what it’s like to be living the good life.
Danielle Ernstsen | 13th December 2022