On this page:
Andalucía – Introduction to Benalmádena , Introduction to Andalucía , City Guides , Andalucian Journeys , Getting Around
The Rest of Spain – Spanish Journeys and Guides , Where to Stay in Spain
Ted and I have spent a lot of time in Spain over the last 30 years, initially for holidays, more recently when remote working became possible and now in retirement. Our base is on the Costa del Sol near Málaga, from where we have travelled to most regions of the country. We hope you will visit some of them and is come to appreciate Spain as much as we do. We begin in Andalucía the region that covers much of Southern Spain then move on to The Rest of Spain.
We begin with our home town and resort of Benalmádena, There is, of course, much more to the region than the coastal resorts and we then visit the rest of the region and the major cities in particular, finally providing basic information on getting around the region, by train or coach.
Introduction to Benalmádena
Benalmádena, Ted and Steve’s home in Spain, is located on the Costa del Sol, not far from Málaga city and airport. There are three distinct parts of the town. Benalmádena Costa is a popular holiday resort and you can enjoy yourself doing nothing else but lying on the beach. Arroyo de la Miel, a little back from the coast, is the main urban area where most of the locals live. The historic original village a few kilometres inland, Benalmádena Pueblo (pictured), has its own attractions. Follow this link to the Introduction to Benalmadena page for more detail.
Introduction to Andalucía
Benalmádena is on the main route along the coast with easy access to other resorts such as Fuengirola and Marbella. It is also close to the city of Málaga, capital of the province and one of the main cities in Andalucía. It is well connected to the rest of the region which includes cities such as Sevilla, capital of Andalucía, Granada, home of the Alhambra, and Córdoba (the photo was taken inside the mosque/cathedral in Córdoba). There is much beautiful countryside, including the mountains and lakes inland from Málaga, the Sierra Nevada and the Alpujarras near Granada, and the Atlantic coast between Gibraltar and the Portuguese border. Throughout the region there are many historic small towns which are worth a visit. Click here for the Introduction to Andalucia guide, which provides an overview of the places that can be visited on a day trip or short break from the coast.
Málaga city is an easy journey from the Costa del Sol resorts. It has become a major tourist destination in its own right, yet many people never make the minimal effort that is required to visit. The other major cities of Andalucía – Sevilla, Granada (pictured), Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz and Córdoba and the town of Ronda – are all easily accessible from Málaga and are tremendous locations for a day trip, overnight stay or city break. in their own right. We’ve been to them all several times and we have prepared brief city guides to each of them, which will be regularly updated. Click on the links to view the guide of your choice:
Away from the cities, between 2018 and 2021 we have made four visits to the Alpujarras, a region in the mountains southeast of Granada, usually based in the village of Capileira. There are notes of these visits here: The Alpujarras . In 2019 we visited Baeza, in the province of Jaên as part of a journey across Spain – see Andalucia to Aragon .
In the past we have been to places such as Arcos de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda, Campillos (where we had a house for a number of years), Antequera and Ubeda. These are all mentioned in the Introduction to Andalucia and on request Steve can provide basic information from his recollections of these and other places mentioned in the Introduction.
Travel by train. Trains in Andalucía are modern and fast, with high speed lines linking Málaga with Córdoba, Sevilla and Madrid. On the Costa del Sol there is a frequent local train service which links Málaga with Fuengirola via Málaga Airport, Torremolinos and Benalmádena. Click on the links for summary timetables (updated in February and March 2022).
Travel by coach. Many places, particularly along the coast, are easily reached by coach. Examples include:
– from Benalmádena to Marbella, Estepona and Algeciras;
– east from Málaga to Nerja and Almeria;
– inland, to Ronda from Benalmádena or Málaga;
– Granada, is easily reached by frequent express coaches from Málaga. Click on these links for details:
Be aware that, as of March 2022, the frequency of services has still to return to normal following reductions during the Covid pandemic. Steve can provide more detailed timetable information if you are interested in a particular journey in Southern Spain (and can help you find information for the remainder of the country). To contact Steve email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rest of Spain
Spanish Journeys and Guides
And then there is the remainder of Spain – Andalucía is only one region and Spain is a big country. We’ve travelled widely in Spain, starting in 1990 clutching a London to Málaga return by train, visiting both Barcelona and Madrid for the first time. In the last few years Ted and I, and my notebook, have wandered through various parts of the country by train and coach, and written up the experience. These recent journeys are:
- along the north coast of Galicia and Asturias from Santiago de Compostela via A Coruña and Ferrol, then by narrow gauge train to Aviles;
- a trip to explore the pintxo bars and sites of Bilbao in the Basque Country and the tapas bars of the capital of La Rioja, Logroño;
- to the historic city of Cuenca (pictured above) and on by regional trains to Zaragoza;
- the length of Western Spain, roughly following the Roman Ruta de la Plata (silver route) from Santiago once more, and taking in Lugo, Leon (Leon cathedral pctured), Ciudad Rodrigo, and through Extremadura to Sevilla;
- In 2017 Ted and I visited the Canary Islands of La Gomera and La Palma;
- we visited Cuenca once again, this time adding a visit to Alicante and updating the account;
- later in the year we paid a longer visit to Zaragoza, with a day out by train towards the Pyrenees, before travelling to Tarragona.
- In March 2018 we headed towards the Portuguese border and travelled to Huelva and Badajoz using a couple of little known railway lines.
- In September 2019 we travelled across Spain from Andalucía to Aragón visiting Baeza, Cuenca, Teruel, Albarracín and Valencia.
To read the accounts of these journeys click on the following links:
The Galicia trip (updated February 2021)
Bilbao and Logroño (newly added in December 2022)
Alicante and Cuenca (page updated January 2020, minor updates May 2022)
JOURNEYS SPAIN Extremadura (PDF 2.57Mb)
JOURNEYS SPAIN La Gomera and La Palma (PDF 2.1Mb)
JOURNEYS SPAIN Zaragoza and Tarragona (PDF 1.7Mb)
JOURNEYS SPAIN Huelva and Badajoz (minor updates May 2022)
Andalucia to Aragon ( page added January 2020)
In the less recent past we’ve visited Madrid and Barcelona, travelled along the north coast from San Sebastián and Bilbao to Oviedo, from Madrid to Cáceres and on to Lisbon by train, Salamanca, Zamora and Segovia, from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid via Pontevedra, Vigo and Avila, and to Soller on Mallorca. These trips are too long ago to write about accurately but I can provide basic information on request.
Guide to the Catalan Coast
Steve visited the coast of Catalunya twice as a tour manager for Great Rail Journeys (Ted stowed away and is pictured in the historic town of Besalu) and this brief guide The Catalan Coast provides a brief introduction to the area.
City Guide to Valencia
Ted and Steve have visited Valencia three times since 2014, most recently in October 2019 – we were impressed by the city, and we’ve put together a brief guide: Guide to Valencia (updated January 2020).
Where to Stay in Spain -(and where not to!)
We have stayed in many hotels during our travels in Spain, a few which were tremendous, many that were pretty good though unexceptional, and a few that were dire. The worst ones mainly date from when we had to do things on the cheap -unsurprisingly, by and large you get what you pay for. However some of the most expensive are also some of the most bland. We’ve put together Where to Spay in Spain, based on our experiences. Last updated in March 2023 – follow this link: WHEREtoSTAYinSPAIN 2023 (PDF, 2.5MB)