Far from the Madding Crowds: Hidden beaches of Andalusia

Far from the Madding Crowds: Hidden beaches of Andalusia

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In a travel special on Andalusia, we find the beaches no-one else will. Plus other things to do in the south of Spain.

Far from the madding crowd

With the beaches of the Costa del Sol packed body-to-body during the summer, where can the visiting sun-worshipper in Andalusia find a patch of sand large enough to spread a towel?

It may take a bit of an effort, but there are other beaches in the region that are largely unknown and while they lack chiringuitos, or beach bars, showers and other amenities, they are blissfully quiet.

In Almeria, the expansive Playa de Los Muertos, located three kilometres from Carboneras, is a good 20-minute walk from the nearest parking lot and attracts a small group of nudists and solitary types enjoying the white-pebbled seashore and clean Mediterranean waters.

In Cadiz province, the two-kilometre-long Playa del Faro De Trafalgar (near the Caños de Meca camping site) offers plenty of room for a sandy game of football or a relaxing day spent contemplating the exact site where Nelson won his famous, and last, victory.

But to really get away from it all, head to the Huelva province and La Flecha de El Rompido where access is by boat from the Playa de San Miguel.

At 12 kilometres in length and protected as a natural reserve, this beach is the last word in seaside seclusion.  

Flamenco nights

 Summer days in Cordoba can be absolutely sizzling so the soft, moonlit nights are the best time to get out and enjoy the delights of this ancient city and there are two evening events of special note in July.

A flamenco festival with local musicians, singers and dancers performing each night takes place 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 and 31 July and through August and September in the beautiful gardens of the 14th century Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos.

Shows begin at 10.30pm and this year the July line up includes singers Antonio Patrocinio, Remedios Castro and Rafael 'El Faly' Alvarez; the musicians are Niño Seve, Manuel Flores and Juan Antonio Exposito; and dancers Eva Rojano, Fatima Franco and Hugo Lopez.

Entry is free so get there early. Further information at Cordoba tourism offices in the city and on 902 201 774.

Guided tours in Spanish of Cordoba’s lovely Botanical Gardens are being held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer from 8 p.m. to midnight .

The gardens are famous for the staff's efforts to save threatened local flora and their research into the practice of Moorish gardeners during the Caliphate.

Each tour lasts ninety minutes and costs EUR 2 for adults and EUR 1.30 for children and students. www.jardinbotanicodecordoba.com  

Jazz on a summer's day

Wrinkled rocker or world saver? Saint Bob plays Malaga

Irish rocker and humanitarian activist Bob Geldof kicks off Malaga's Teatro Cervantes Terral 06 summer festival of international jazz and pop music on 1 July.

Other artists due this month include Eric Burdon and the Animals, The Chieftains, Divine Comedy, the Wayne Shorter Quartet, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Christopher Cross. Ticket prices range from EUR 11-48. www.teatrocervantes.com.

Slow blues at Jaen's Cazorla Festival

Deep South: Hear some real blues in Cazorla, near Jaen

Now in it's 13th year of bringing some of the best blues musicians in the world to the small Andalusian town of Cazorla in Jaen province, the BluesCazorla Festival pulls out all the stops this edition with a performance by soul legend Solomon Burke.

Other big names include the Chicago house rockers Little Charlie & the Nightcats, Britain's Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes, the Duke Robillard Band and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, along with some fine Spanish talent like Juan Bourbon, Juan Scotch and Juan Beer.

A mammoth barbeque party kicks off the festival on 27 July for two days of music.



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