November in Spain is milder than you'd think
November is when Spain becomes divided by its weather patterns with the autumnal changes to its diverse scenery firmly established and winter knocking on the door; the North heading into darker shades of green and brown, and the South recovering its verdant colours.
However you could never consider winter in Spain to mirror the British winter except perhaps in the far northwest and certain hilly regions. Andalucia benefits from a very mild winter and from the centre of the country southwards only the high mountainous areas really get to enjoy proper wintry weather. One of the attractions of following the birds flying south in winter is the luminosity you will still enjoy, and you cannot fail to appreciate the wonderful appeal of brighter days in iconic cities like Córdoba, Sevilla, Granada and Málaga. Add to that the cultural attractions of these cities, the wonderful cuisine and some spectacular hotels to enjoy, you have every reason to set your sights on this wonderful Winter destination.
Andalucia is a very large region to explore, the eastern region being made up of timeless, mediaeval towns and villages like Jaén, Baeza, and Ubeda, popping up like little islands of history and culture in a sea of olive groves and rolling hills, not to forget the substantial mountain range of the Sierra Nevada and the national park of Cazorla amongst others. The centre and western regions profit from perhaps having more famous ancient towns and cities to explore amongst beautiful landscapes with orange and olive groves, and their coastline boasts many famous resorts, beaches and ports. Inland you will find the ‘’Pueblos Blancos’’ such as Mijas but less touristy: the white-washed villages of Grazalema, Zahara (which forms a pretty lettter "Z" on the hillside), El Gastor (and nearby the Dolmen del Gigante, the largest in Andalucia), Olver and Vejer stand out magnificently from their landscapes. But you will also find stunning archeological sites like Medina Azahara, just outside of Córdoba, a lost Moorish city which was built largely to impress the world with the power of the new caliph. The history of Medina Azahara is fascinatingly tragic since within a century it was abandoned after a civil war and remained in ruins until the 20th century. Nowadays it is an enjoyable site to visit, with many of its secrets and magnificence revealed following many years of careful discovery.
Another gem, with its remarkable buildings carved into the rock, is Setenil de las Bodegas, a worthy addition to this list as is the Roman amphitheatre of Acinipo, north of Ronda, the Roman baths of Hedionda (west of Estepona) and the Roman ruins of Baelo Claudia (near Tarifa). Where does this list end? I'm so tempted to ask "What did the Romans ever do for Spain ...!"
|Mérida||Arcos de la Frontera|
Andalucia is not short of tremendous natural and man-made sights to see, and whilst tourists tend to focus keenly on the capital cities of each province, equal enjoyment can be taken from driving between and exploring the plethora of historic monuments and beautiful natural landscapes the region has to offer.
Unsurprisingly Paradors have established properties near many of these locations to encourage tourism throughout the region, and with such beautiful Paradors to base yourself in, such as Carmona, Cádiz, Jaén and Arcos de la Frontera (itself one of the prettiest pueblos blancos), you are spoilt for choice.
However Andalucia is not the only region you can enjoy in winter. Spain is blessed with exciting capital cities in many regions and they remain alive and worthy of a visit at any time of the year. If your interests focus on museums and architecture then you will not be disappointed with your drive from Madrid via Toledo and Ávila through Salamanca and south to the UNESCO centre of Cáceres and the Roman sites of Mérida, via Zafra towards Sevilla. You would need at least 6 or 7 days to get the best out of this route, and it may tempt you to return to explore more since this route crosses onto the ''Silver route'', a Roman trading road running from Sevilla to Gijón on the north coast, gifted with beautiful and diverse scenery, lovely old towns and often little traffic. A quieter corner of Spain to explore, with a great deal to see. This route is also featured on the Parador Rutas packages - a 7-night preset route priced extremely keenly at £331 per person on B&B basis in 2020: Silver Route I. You stay in 5 particularly charming old Paradors - palaces, castles and convents - each in an attractive town of historic significance and attraction: Zafra, Mérida, Trujillo, Jarandilla de la Vera and Plasencia. Why not call us if you would like to hear more about this?