Exploring Andalucia, Spain

Bull in Andalucia, Spain

Andalucia Is Calling You

Are you hearing lutes, zithers and tambourines in your dreams? Do you see gray horses with muscular, compact bodies and long, flowing manes galloping by? It sounds like a trip to Andalucia might be just what the doctor ordered. Long considered one of the most beautiful regions of Spain, this area boasts an extraordinary heritage. The Hispano-Moorish buildings are a sight to see, enticing visitors with their unique flair and bold history. With eight provinces, Andalucia boasts a strong, unique culture that you won’t see anywhere else in Europe. And once you experience its majesty, this amazing corner of Spain will never leave your heart.

Hispano-Moorish buildings, Andalucia, Spain
Andalusian horses are famous around the world

Pack Your Riding Gear—or Buy Some When You Arrive

There’s a reason why Andalusian horses are famous around the world for their excellent temperaments and beauty. You’ll want to grab your Swissgear 7850 Checklite 20″ Expandable Liteweight Pilot Case Luggage and hop on a plane to see them. Available in a multitude of colors that will complement the Andalusian landscape, this luggage is perfect for stowing away new cowboy boots. Its exterior dimensions belie how spacious it is on the inside. Like Andalucia itself, it reveals its secrets slowly. The first thing you notice might be the soft-side shell, which is covered in strong polyester that allows the bag to easily travel all across the countryside. When it comes to soft-sided luggage, this is the magic piece you need.

This is one of the most portable pieces of luggage you’ll ever pick up. With its eight wheels that move 360 degrees, it’s built to go places in a hurry. The retractable, lightweight handle makes for an easy grip-and-go, allowing you to maintain access to all your most essential travel items. The wet bag and adjustable straps add to its mystique; after all, parts of Andalucia can become piping hot during the summertime. It’s likely that you’ll want to take a dip here and there, and this handy-dandy bag provides you with options when you’re on the go. An integrated ID lets everyone know that you’re the savvy traveler who picked the best bag to conquer Spain.

Some of the best views you'll ever see in your life

Need to Mix Business with Pleasure?

The Swissgear 6996 ScanSmart in black is every business traveler’s dream. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of traipsing around Seville without having to do any work at all. When travel friendly backpacks are a priority, this one is the clear winner. Its special laptop compartment allows your electronics to stay put while being scanned by the TSA. With multiple pockets and compartments designed to separate your items and organize your life, this is the ideal bag for a multi-tasker intent on getting the most out of a trip. Capable of holding two water containers, this is the bag that will help to keep you hydrated throughout those hot Spanish days. And what could be better than answering emails over coffee…then heading out to a flamenco lesson?

Flamenco Was Made in Andalucia

Flamenco Was Made in Andalucia

Although you can probably get a flamenco class or two in your hometown, chances are it won’t be nearly as inspiring an experience as going to Centro Flamenco La Fuente. Set in the lovely village of Las Alpujarras, this school boasts some of the best views you’ll ever see in your life. What could be better than attending dance class with some of the most picturesque Spanish mountains in existence nestled right in front of you? Since class sizes are kept to a maximum of eight people, you will receive a warm welcome every time you attend. Whether you’re already fantastic at flamenco or you’re a complete newbie, this talented team of teachers will be able to support you every step of the way. After class, when you’re a hungry dance machine, one of the local tapas bars will be able to satisfy you with its delightful offerings.

the Femme Fatale and the Genius

Andalucía—the Femme Fatale and the Genius

Legend has it that the famous opera character Carmen was dreamed up as an Andalusian temptress. From the famous Alhambra Palace to Malaga, there’s always a dash of excitement amid this stunning scenery. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Malaga was the birthplace of one of the most famous painters of all time—Pablo Picasso. Although he only stayed there for the first decade of his life, the city still boasts a museum that bears his name. If you’re looking for some artistic inspiration, spending the afternoon looking at a bunch of Picassos is a good way to go.

Did You Pack Paintbrushes in Your Carry-on Luggage?

After you peruse about 250 of Señor Picasso’s finest brushwork examples, why not check out some of the ruins? From a castle to a resurrected Roman theatre, you’ll find evidence that Malaga has always been a hub for culture. If you happen to stumble into Malaga during the summer solstice, brace yourself for one of the most raucous nights of the year. The “St. John’s Bonfires” is exactly what it sounds like—a thrilling festival that allows revelers to enjoy flames on the beach while catching up with loved ones. Eating and drinking is, of course, encouraged.

View from Andalucia, Spain

Catch the Fire of Costa del Sol—But Bring Your Sunscreen

Remember that the Andalusian coast is closer to the equator than most European beach cities—and stow some sunscreen away in your Swissgear 2610 Mono Sling Bag. With one strap, this is the perfect bag to tote onto an Andalusian beach. Although it’s small, it’s also quite sturdy. You can slip a laptop into it if need be, and the front pockets are ideal for holding things like keys and IDs. The dark gray color is enticing and attractive, making you seem like a hip local.

Soak Up Some History with that Sun

Now that you’ve already been to Los Caballos del Mosquin to pick up some beautiful boots, it’s time to get on an actual horse. With well-behaved horses and highly educated guides, Al-Mesquid Stables always scores some of the best reviews in the region. Take a load off and get yourself a trail ride—you won’t regret it. As you ride, you’ll learn a lot about the history of the area, and the guides are infamously good at taking pictures that will make your friends back at home jealous. No matter what your riding level is, there will be an excellent equine waiting for you at Al-Mesquid.

Your Plans May Change at a Moment's Notice

Your Plans May Change at a Moment’s Notice

There’s something inherently captivating about this region, and much of that has to do with the food. Whether you’re chowing down on some fried fish or enjoying gazpacho, which the area is known for, you’re bound to fall in love with the food. The best part is that excellent eateries are everywhere you look. Don’t forget to indulge in some sherry. Perhaps the most defining culinary feature of the region is its divine olive oil, often referred to as liquid gold by the locals. And if you’re really into the olive oil, there’s no question what you’ll need to do next—take a day trip to Carmona. Tours offer you the chance to participate in olive oil tastings, as well as learn more about how the olives make it from the vine into that elixir of life—and lovable tapas ingredient.

Bring a Fun Foldable Backpack

Bring a Fun Fold-able Backpack

When you do decide to day trip it to Carmona, you’ll want to bring along your Swissgear 5675 Foldable Backpack. That way, if you opt to bring some olive oil back to your rental, you have a way to tote it. And if you don’t need a bag at all, then you can fold it up to be used at a later time. Indeed, the portable pouch is surprisingly spacious once you open it up. The main compartment would be the perfect place to put that aforementioned magical olive oil, and there are two other pockets to hold your other goodies. With a handy wristlet strap that you can use to carry it around when it’s not being used—and shoulder straps with mesh fabric that helps you to stay cool under the hot Spanish sun—this lightweight bag is a heavyweight when it comes to keeping all of your cherished items intact. The top web handle makes it easy for you to grip as you’re walking around, enjoying all of the olive-centric scenery, and the durable polyester material protects your sensational souvenirs.

You’ll Never Forget Amazing Andalucia

As you tour this riveting region, you’ll likely hear tales about how it was highly coveted and fought over for centuries. And as you bask in the sun, travel up the coast and explore all of the architecture, you’ll understand why. Andalucia possesses an enchanting vibe that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the planet. There’s a reason why “Game of Thrones” picked this region to film some of their most otherworldly scenes. The land, the sea and the people spark joy in a way that is almost impossible to explain.