While planning our euro trip we knew that after spending 25 hectic days travelling across Europe, we would be fairly tired and require some place where we could relax a little. And for that what could be better than the sunny beaches of South Spain! Thus, our next destination after Barcelona was Andalusia – a region in South Spain where we spent five days.
During the medieval era, Andalusia was under the control of Moors, Muslim rulers from North Africa, for close to eight centuries. Due to the Islamic influence, many of the monuments in this region had distinct characteristics to those that we had seen until now in Europe.
Andalusia also has a lot of cities worth visiting like Seville, Granada, Córdoba and Málaga. Instead of moving from one city to another we decided to make one city our base and visit the other cities on day trips just like we did in Provence. Málaga seemed to be the best option for base city as it was located next to the sea and also had good train and bus connectivity to other cities. We looked for places to stay in Málaga but were unable to find a good budget hotel close to the beach. This forced us to expand our options and we ended up discovering Torremolinos – a beach resort town located close to Málaga.
We took a morning 8:30 train from Barcelona which got us to MálagaMaría Zambrano station in six hours. We easily found the platform for local trains (Cercanías) and boarded the train going towards Torremolinos. We reached the Torremolinos railway station in 20 minutes. In a way it was good that we didn’t find a hotel in Malaga. Yes, we had to spend almost one hour to travel between Malaga and Torremolinos everyday but we didn’t really mind it because Torremolinos was the kind of small, open and less crowded town which we prefer over big cities.
In Torremolinos, we stayed at Pierre & Vacances Stella Polaris, an apartment hotel located just 500 metres away from the railway station. The hotel overlooked the beach and was probably the best we stayed at during our entire trip. It had rooms like those of a business hotel along with a large balcony and facilities like those of apartments. Our room was on the 5th floor which gave us a great view of the area. We unpacked and went down to the reception to collect keys and card which gave us access to the hotel’s private path to the beach.
It was evening by the time we reached the beach. The beach was mostly sandy but got pebbly near the water and frankly we had visited much more pristine beaches in India. We wanted to go into the sea but when we tested the water with our feet we found it was quite cold. In fact I have never experienced such cold sea water in any of India’s beaches. It was also surprising because the weather was significantly hotter than all the places we had been to. Well, we postponed the idea of sea dipping for another day and just strolled around the beach. As the evening progressed, we came back to the hotel and went to explore the town. We walked to the centre, wandered around, had dinner and then called it a day.
On day 2 and day 3 of our stay in Andalusia we visited Granada and Ronda respectively. After spending two days roaming in the hot weather we needed a break hence we decided to take a day off and spent it relaxing at the beach, by the swimming pool in our hotel and walking around the town. The downside of this was that we missed out on the visit to Córdoba but hey that at least gives us a reason to come back to Andalusia!