Andalucia is the most southerly of Spain's mainland communities. It is also the community with greatest number of inhabitants, and the second of Spain in terms of land area. With such a variety of landscapes, the gentle climate, and the natural warmth of the inhabitants, Andalucia has become one of the most popular areas for visitors.
Andalucia has 3000 hours of sunshine every year. The sun shines on the two coastal stretches of Andalucia. One is the Atlantic coast of Cadiz and Huelva, where strong tides and winds have shaped the land over the centuries, and make an ideal area for surfing and sailing. The other coast is the Mediterranean coast, stretching from Gibraltar, along the Costa del Sol, as far as Almeria, where the tides are gentler, and the weather calmer.
From the west, rivers such as the Guadalquivir, which is navigable as far inland as Sevilla (Seville), has shaped the sea-going nature of the Andalucian people. Along the rest of the coast, the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada, which include the highest mountain in Spain, Mulhacen, and something that comes as a surprise to many visitors - skiing.
The culture of the Andalucian people has been shaped by the various invasions, which have taken place. These go as far back as the ancient Scandinavians, followed by the Phoenicians and Romans, then the Arabs. The Arabic invasion has left a very noticeable mark in the culture and buildings of Andalucia. Listen to the music, and you cannot help but notice the Arabic influence. Watch the dancing, and you will see many of the same movements that the Arabs use.
Here is a country of strength and courage, in the people, and in the animals that they raise. The bulls, the horses, even the lowly burro, all have that same strength and determination. The same traits are seen in the music, for this is the birthplace of Flamenco, surely the music displays these same characteristics.
Add to that the majesty of the architecture, and of the music of Carmen, the Barber of Seville, and you come to understand why the people of Andalucia are so proud of their heritage. And rightly so.