Five must-see cities in Andalusia, Spain

By Eleanor Stanesby

Each year on February 28, the southern region of Spa
in, which is called Andalusia, celebrates el Día de Andalucía, or Andalusia Day, which is in honor of the day Andalusia officially became an autonomous community back in 1980.

Flag of Andalusia. Photo from Wikipedia.

Glamping Hub is proud of the fact that we not only have an office based in Seville, the capital of Andalusia, but also that our CEO is from here! To celebrate this regional holiday, we'd like to show you five of our favorite cities in the beautiful southern region of Spain.

Where to visit

1. Seville

As previously mentioned, Seville is the capital of Andalusia and definitely not one to miss on your travels in southern Spain. Rich with history and culture, Seville holds the largest Gothic church in the world, with its bell tower, La Giralda, giving arguably the best views of this stunning city.

Photo from Henrique Ferreira on Unsplash..

You can't go to Seville and not try the amazing local tapas, overwhelmed for choice as you meander the many small streets, each with buildings of their own unique character.

Photo from Johan Mouchet on Unsplash.

The Plaza de España, originally built for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo, is now one of the most-visited attractions in all of Spain. Rent a small boat and row the canal that lines the building to experience a different perspective of the incredible architecture.

Photo from Alev Takil on Unsplash.

2.Cádiz

Cádiz is the perfect pick for those who love to be at or near the beach, especially on those hot summer days! Known as the oldest inhabited city in the whole of Europe and home to the Spanish Navy, the city boasts over 100 watch towers, due to the fact that it is almost entirely surrounded by water. When here, be sure to visit the Cadiz Cathedral—it took 116 years to build, which can be seen throughout the changes in the style of architecture.

Photo from Flickr.

If seafood is your thing, you cannot leave here without eating it! No matter if from one of the local fish markets or a restaurant, the quality of the seafood here is bound to impress.

If you happen to be here during the Carnival of Cádiz, you're in for an additional treat. Music can be heard from all around the city, and exuberant costumes are worn in celebration—basically just one big fiesta!

Photo from Flickr.

3. Córdoba

Córdoba was one of the most important Roman cities during the Middle Ages and is known best in present day for its courtyards home to stunning and vibrant flowers and plants, all beautifully displayed. In fact, there is a local celebration each year in May called the Patios de Córdoba, where the city's courtyards, most of which belong to people's private homes, are put on display—proudly showing off one of the city's claims to fame.

Photo from Flickr.

The Mezquita of Córdoba is truly stunning, both in its physical design and the history and culture behind it. Built in the 10th century, the structure was first a mosque that was later turned into a cathedral—making a visit to this historical monument is well worth the entry price.

Photo from Wikipedia.

4.Granada

Referred to as Spain's "Moorish Jewel," Granada is one of the most-visited cities in Spain by tourists from all around the world. A trip to the majestic Alhambra, a former palace and fortress that will make your jaw drop, is in order—especially when coupled with the Sierra Nevada mountains as the backdrop.

Photo from Mariano Colombotto on Unsplash.

Catching the sunset at the Mirador de San Nicolas is a favorite among tourists and locals alike—one that typically includes a flamenco treet performance of flamenco as background music while the sun goes down. Meanwhile, the Alcaicería holds the Great Bazaar in Granada, where, since the 15th century, stalls have sold vibrant clothing and souvenirs, allowing its patrons to feel the city's intrinsic connection with northern Africa and Moorish culture.

Photo from Flickr.

5. Málaga

Málaga is a diverse city, from the incredible modernization of Spain's oldest operating port to the charming streets of the old town. While in the city, you have to visit the Alcazaba, a Moorish palace and fortress from the 11th century, which sits up on the hillside and holds secret courtyards and stunning views of the city and ocean.

Photo from Hiveminer.

Alternatively, you can immediately head to any one of the many fantastic beaches on the Costa del Sol, i.e., the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With 15 beaches within the city limits, you'll have plenty of options to choose from, including the Playa de Guadalmar and the Playa del Campo de Golf-San Julián, which is popular with the area's kite-surfers.

Photo from Spain-Holiday.com.

Eager to see more of Andalusia? Check out our complete collection of glamping accomodations across the south of Spain!

Travels with puppy: Tips for taking the family dog on vacation

By Jackie Dreyer

Editor's note: This guest post was written by Jessica Brody, the creator of OurBestFriends.pet.

Have you ever dropped the family dog off at the kennel on the eve of your big vacation, looked into his or her big, sorrowful, brown eyes, and suddenly wished you could change your mind and bring him or her along? As it happens, you can change your mind, soothe your conscience, and make the kids happy, because traveling with a dog is a lot easier these days than it used to be. Bringing the family pet along on vacation can be a lot of fun and, with some planning, it doesn't have to be a hassle. Think of it as just another detail to iron out before you pack it all up and hit the road.

Here are a few of those details to get straight:

Identification

All pet dogs should have a collar and tags, with up-to-date identification and contact information, and it should be worn all the time, especially on vacation. If Rover gets away on a remote South Carolina beach and runs away, finding him can be nearly impossible if there's no way of knowing who his owners are and how to reach them. Your pet should also be microchipped so he or she can easily be traced back to you.

How will you travel?

Dogs these days travel both by airplane and by car, and the length of your trip may have a lot to do with whether you choose to bring your furry friend along. Airlines basically classify dogs as cargo and store them securely in the hold.

For a relaxed and mature canine, that might not be a terrible hardship, but if yours is a skittish and hyper pooch, air travel could be a real nightmare for your buddy. If your dog is small enough to fit in a pet carrier that can be squeezed in under your seat, some airlines will let them share the ride with you, so consult your airline about their dog policy before making a final decision.

Of course, the most frequently-used mode of travel for a family with a dog is a four-wheeled vehicle of some kind—usually the bigger, the better. Dogs usually have some familiarity with riding in a car to the vet or to the park, so riding along won't be as alien and scary as flying high at 30,000 feet. If your four-legged friend is anxious about riding in the car, talk to your vet about appropriate medications that can help them mellow out a bit.

Have a plan

It pays to have a plan of attack well ahead of time. Imagine having your dog in a carrier under your airplane seat on a crowded flight, and he or she suddenly starts yelping and barking as loud as possible. The angry stares of fellow passengers make things very uncomfortable, so have something comforting—either a favorite snack, toy, or a doggie sedative—on standby.

If you're going by car, plan out a few rest stops along the way for good leg stretching and sniffing sessions, not to mention bladder relief. That means you'll need a good strong leash, a food dish and water bowl, toys, and baggies for cleaning up any waste.

Accommodations

The number of dog-friendly rentals and restaurants has exploded in recent years, which makes this part of your travel planning a bit easier than how you'll get there and back with Fido. Why not have a little fun with it, and stay in a hotel that offers a doggie turndown service and special dog treats for its four-legged guests? Do a little advance research, and find out what kind of deposit and fee your accommodation will hit you with, too.

Glamping

With glamping, there's hope for people who can't bear the idea of camping with just a tent and a sleeping bag. Glamping is a lot more fun for many, because it involves creature comforts— it's a camping hybrid, between luxury and "roughing it." If you're thinking about camping out with your dog on your trip, don't forget to bring the espresso maker along with your sleeping bag.

Taking a dog on vacation is a commitment and a challenge. You have to plan ahead and be prepared for the unexpected; it's not something you can take lightly, and you can't let your attention waver like you might when you're at home with a sturdy fence in your backyard as a fall back. Long-distance travel can be traumatic for an animal, so think carefully before deciding to take the beloved family dog along for the ride.


Want to know more about the writer of this post? Jessica Brody lives in Dallas, Texas, with her loving family. As a certified dog lover, she believes that dogs are just about the greatest creatures on earth.

Tips for traveling during the holidays

By Kelsey Leon

Whether you're going to the Christmas markets in Germany or a sunny beach in Hawai'i, traveling during the holidays can be an incredibly memorable experience. The destinations and possibilities are endless!

It can also be very stressful, however, with so many things to remember and plan. "How am I going to get to the airport?" "What if it snows?" "How am I going to fit these gifts in my suitcase?" We know it feels like there is a lot to do, but fear not! Here are some quick tips for traveling during the holidays so you can worry a little bit less and make the most out of your trip.

Arrive early

This is an obvious but very important item to remember. Expect the unexpected! Whether it be bad weather (pun intended) or longer than usual lines, a delay or two could definitely happen. Make sure that you budget enough time to get to whatever destination you need to be at, be it an airport or a bus or train station. Give yourself more time than you think that you need, because, after all, it is better to be too early than too late and to err on the side of caution. The last thing you want to do is miss your plane, train, or bus!

Stay healthy

Winter time makes just about everywhere a breeding ground for colds of all kinds. Couple that with extra crowded areas, and you've got the perfect storm. Even if you are in the Southern Hemisphere at the moment and soaking up some summer rays, it is still very possible to catch a cold. Protect yourself from falling ill (after all, getting sick during the holidays and having to travel is the worst), and be mindful when you are in a public space. Bring some hand sanitizer, remember to wash your hands thoroughly, and try to avoid touching your face.

Be mindful of your carbon footprint

While it is important that you stay clean, it is also important that you keep whatever place you are staying at as clean as possible, too. Everyone has a carbon footprint, and this is even more true when we travel. While it is obvious that some amount of carbon emissions occur during travel, try to keep your waste to a minimum. For some great tips for traveling and creating zero waste, keep reading here on Inspired by Maps.

Be smart about packing

During holiday travel, it is especially important to pack smartly so that you can have one less thing to worry about. Will you be traveling to many places in a short amount of time, or will you be in one place for a longer time? How's the weather where you'll be going? A common rule of thumb is to pack as efficiently as possible. No matter what your situation is, traveling will be easiest with a lighter suitcase.

Bring something festive

Do you do something special with friends or family every holiday season? Well, don't let travel stop you from keeping you traditions alive! Perhaps if it is something more elaborate, you won't be able to go all out, but you can certainly bring a little piece of it with you. Break out your Christmas sweater and get festive on that airplane! This can certainly help you stay cheerful throughout your travels and really get into the holiday mood. It's incredible what a simple thing like this can do!

Be respectful

Remember that it's the holiday season! It can be easy to complain about the bathroom line being too long or the fact that your flight was delayed, but no matter how frustrating the situation, it's important to be patient and to be respectful. Complaining about a situation won't help anything, including people's moods. Take a deep breath, and take any inconveniences or issues with grace. Just think about it—you're lucky that you're even able to travel this holiday season. Many people would love to be in your position, and in just a short while, you'll be at an amazing destination!


Have you prepped your bags with our must-have travel gadgets? If not, be sure to put them on your wish list this year!