This post was created in partnership with Tourism Andalucia.
One of the things I miss most about London is its pop-ups. You can nip out to buy a pint of milk and stumble upon the most amazing pop-ups and temporary events all around the city. They’re in the most unexpected places and they add some unplanned fun to every outing.
Last weekend I visited an Andalucia pop-up in Angel shopping centre to celebrate the colourful vibrancy of Andalucian culture. I knew about the event in advance and I arrived early, but I loved sitting there and seeing the reaction on people’s faces as they strolled past and realised there was a big party going on inside the pop-up.
There was a food truck serving delicious tapas, traditional dancers and musicians on the stage, a fun Photo Booth that puts you into a gorgeous Andalucian scene and virtual reality headsets that make you feel like you’ve stepped into Spain – although the cost British weather didn’t help with this part!
I met my friend, Victoria from Pommie Travels, there and we enjoyed the delights of Andalusia while listening to the flamenco guitar and the steady thump of dancing heels on the stage while munching on juicy olives, cured meats and tortilla espanol.
Andalucia is a huge region of southern Spain which includes many destinations we Brits frequently visit such as Seville (the capital), Granada and Malaga. I’m most familiar with the holiday resorts of my childhood such as Marbella, Fuengirola, Torremolinos and Nerja. The Costa del Sol is a typical British holiday destination but I was looking forward to visiting the Andalucia pop-up and finding out more about the region.
I discovered there’s a lot more to it than golden beaches and high-rise hotels!
Over a glass of Spanish wine, Victoria told me all about ia back in 2011 which included stops in gorgeous places like Ronda, Alhambra and Cadiz. These places look stunning and much more authentically Spanish than the Marbella of my memories!
According to Lonely Planet (aka The Travel Bible!) Andalucia is the most quintessentially Spanish part of the Iberian Peninsula. It’s a place of colourful towns with a bit of a wonky, rustic charm. There are tiny tapas bars, winding streets and a beautiful old church tucked around every corner. There are ancient monuments, ruined castles, grand cathedrals and those pretty white towns fit for a glossy postcard.
But the thing that’s really drawing me to Andalucia is the diversity.
As well as these pretty and historical towns, there’s also epic countryside landscapes and golden beaches – but not the crowded beaches you’re imagining, there are tiny coves of huge quiet beaches with soft sands and blue seas.
I stumbled upon this and it sounds amazing! It would be a lot of fun to have a 2 week holiday to Andalucia and spend your first week road tripping and your second week doing the traditional ‘beach holiday’ with a nice hotel and long days on the beach.
I love going to events like this because it opens your eyes to a whole new area you had no idea you wanted to visit. I’d barely even heard of Andalusia and now it’s firmly on my bucket list!