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Best Southern Spain Holiday

June 01, 2011

 

flamenco dancers in southern Spain

Azure sea, warm sun, green hills, majestic mountains, white washed houses, flamenco, tapas, sangria, sounds of Spanish everywhere, church bells and narrow cobbled streets...the delights of southern Spain filled our senses. Ahh, Spain. Nothing quite like Espana, eh? Andalusia is the clasic  Spain of your dreams.

southern Spain holiday view of sea, mountains and rolling hills



Memories of Spain:

Flamenco

Jerez Horse Fair

"Our" Village in Southern Spain

Easter in Andalusia white village


Best Tips for Costa Del Sol

How to Winter in Spain






best white village in Spain

We left here last May, one year ago, toured Europe by RV, then stored it here and flew completely  around the world to London for our BBC interview, New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Kauai, Los Angeles, Moorea, Bora Bora, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Penang, Bangkok, Bhutan, Jordan and Madrid. Wow, what a year it has been! We're thrilled we were able to stay on our 23 dollars a day per person budget.

church in main square built in 1600's

Yet, when we returned to our village and friends here in southern Spain, in many ways it felt like we never left. It was a "homecoming" because "our" village here will always be one of our homes thanks to spending  four winters here where our child went to the local school to immerse in her Spanish.

view of school, Med sea, hills in spain..a familiar walk


joy in our southern Spain village


late spring in bloom in Andalusia

quaint Spanish white washed village


Friends are important when you travel, so one of our first stops was at the school so that our daughter could reconnect with her old school mates and best friends here. She arrived just in time to attend her best friend's birthday party where she had a ball and she was happy to show her our motorhome when she visited our campsite. It was fun for us parents to also connect with our firends in our village and catch up with the latest.

best friends reunite in our motorhome in Spain

This was the perfect spot to spend Memorial Day weekend and gave us a chance to rest and recover a bit and get into our motorhome Europe groove. Alas, our battery didn't work when we returned, but we soon fixed that. We have a mechanic here that we trust, so we got our regular  oil change, brakes checked and overall maintenance for our motorhome before driving Europe.

  best southern spain holiday

We are looking much better now too as one of our first stops was to our favorite barber and hairdresser. We must apologize for our recent shagginess, but haircuts on the road are one of the challenges of a digital nomad travel lifestyle. Maintaining my highlights is even worse. You never know what you are going to get with a stranger, so it's reassuring to be back in the hands of people we know and trust. My digestive health problems before we left our winter abode in Penang, distracted us from getting our hair done there before leaving.

cute  tiny barber shop in Spain

One of our other first stops was to one of our favorite restaurants. We've missed delicious Spanish food and the views. The weather is absolutely perfect now and the ambiance of Andalusia is one of relaxation. There were political signs up in our village due to a recent election,  which is something we have never seen before, but despite the news of political troubles in Spain, nothing much has appeared to have changed in our sleepy village.

restaurant with view in Andalusia


We also have a favorite dentist here so we each got a check up and our teeth cleaned. Alas, kidlet had a tiny cavity and too broken fillings, so we also took care of those. Feels good to have this all done as we didn't find a dentist yet while wintering in Penang.

It's fun to explore new places and see new landscapes and people, but it's also very rewarding to return to a place that you know well. We're not tourists, expats, or locals, but as long term travelers, we incorporare a bit of each of those characteristics. I think we get a unique view.

flowers and a girl in Spain



Sadly ( and strangely because this is very rare in Europe) the campsite that we stay at while here does not have decent mass transit. That would be fine for a caravan with a car, but is quite problematic with a motorhome because moving mode is very different than rest mode.

It's a pain to store and unstore things to drive and it affects our refrigerated food when it just sits parked in the heat unplugged. Thus, it's not condusive to a long stay, so we just stayed  10 days which was about right for us. We'll be back in the fall, but enjoying the many gorgeous landscapes of Spain in this green season as we take several days to travel from Granada to Barcelona.

There are campsites in southern Spain with better transportaion, but they are much further away from our village and this one is quite nice.  Kidlet was overjoyed to be speaking Spanish again...she giggled with glee when the flight attentant on our Royal Jordanian flight from Amman to Madrid did her announcement in Spanish ( along with Arabic and English). Spain and Spanish are part of her now, so she has really missed being immersed in it. I am the weakest in Spanish in our family and even I miss the sound of it and enjoy being surrounded by it again.

Toys! Lost in her imagination for hours under the trees!



Mozart was also thrilled to see her legos and playmobile toys and many classic books that we left here in the motorhome. It was like Christmas! She was even happy to see her clothes.

Our motorhome i
s a bit old and funky, but we enjoy the freedom it gives us and the comfy lifestyle for traveling Europe. You can't really beat a home/vehicle/storage unit in Europe for just 70 euros a month ( what it costs in total to store it here in covered parking) and we love the luxury campsites of Europe.

cute cafe in Spanish village where we had tea and carrot cake


Have you been to southern Spain? What are your happy memories of Andalusia?

  my favorite white village in Andalusia




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Anne

Sigh... I want to be at that restaurant overlooking that beautiful view.... Really some great photos - the buildings are so white! They look wonderful against the blue sky. I love reading about Spain. What is the village you are staying in again?

Margaret Sch.

Don't let anyone ever tell you that your blog entries are too detailed or have too many pictures. So much stunning beauty and fascinating, inspiring information here!! Thank you as always!

Thane

I have fond memories of sitting in that same barber chair and also of visiting Hector the dentist thanks to your recommendation. A beautiful town, would love to see it this time of year.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Oh I hear ya Anne! It's a simple place run by a local family ( kidlet went to school with theirs so we know them quite well...the joys of a small town).

The views take your breath away and the food is authentic Andalusian and delish! I can't wait to go back in the fall! LOL

I too love that white/white against the blue/blue sky. They take pride and work hard at keeping it white and clean. I wrote about it here:

http://www.soultravelers3.com/2007/02/village-people.html

I haven't said the name of our village online as a way of protecting our daughter as it is so small and we go there often.

There are TONS of beautiful white hill villages in Spain, but I just happened to find this one on the internet that fit our needs.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Aw, thanks Margaret so much for your kind words! These kind of posts take a lot more work and are not your typical blog post for sure.

I suppose I break all the blog rules by using too many photos and too many details, but luckily I can do them any way I want,eh?

I am just pleased that people enjoy them, so thanks for the encouragement!

I want to take you all with me virtually, so in my book that usually calls for more so you can a real sense of place and our experience. ;)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

So happy to hear that you enjoyed "our" village Thane! Good price for the haircut eh and he does a great job. All 3 of us got our hair cut there and probably made his day.

Hector is so sweet too. I wish he still had an office in the village though. ;)

It is a very pretty place and Easter, May and November are my fave months there. Kidlet misses the fun 3 kings celebration at xmas time.

So many happy memories..glad you guys have a bunch from there too! A good wintering spot and less tourists there then too, so one can connect more with the villagers.

Anne

Jeanne, I didn't think about that but I completely understand! I know there are many of those towns, yours looks particularly inviting. :)

Sonja

Love this! Southern Spain is our next Euro-destination (summer 2012) and we're soooo excited. Sevilla, Granada, etc. can't wait. Thanks for the tips!

Erica

I haven't made it to Andalusia yet but after reading your entry and seeing your photos of culture (flamenco!), the town and the pretty landscape, I do want to visit.

Good to hear about your "homecoming". This quote is so true. "It's fun to explore new places and see new landscapes and people, but it's also very rewarding to return to a place that you know well."

It's been a joy reading about your adventures on the road. What I find most impressive is that you've managed to keep a budget of $23 a day per person.

Wishing you a happy summer!

E

I will be in the Barcelona area in September this year for a conference and am planning to stay an extra week. I will have camping gear with me as I am coming from my field site in Greenland so I will get to check out some of this fancy euro camping! Very much looking forward to the trip after seeing so many photos of Spain in this blog.

Lindsey

I'm curious to know how much it costs you to run the RV when you move around. I'm doing a six month trip with a friend next year and we're looking at transport options. Trains can be very expensive, so we're looking at possibly buying a cheap car and using that to get around. Do you find petrol to be a huge expense?

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Anne, we don't say where we stay in Barcelona for the same reason. Not real hard to figure out, but we just didn't want to broad cast it.

Send me an email via our contact page on this blog and I can tell you if you want.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Sonja Sounds exciting! You will love it! In July and August I'd head to northern Spain like Galicia as the rest gets so hot...southern Spain is hotter than a dickens then and crowded with UK and northern European tourists.

June is still nice there though, so start in the south then head north! ;)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks so much Erica! It's been a real pleasure sharing our adventure with the world.;)

We actually find traveling on 23 dollars a day easier than we expected ( that is per person by the way). Adding the flights certainly increased the challenge, but wintering in tropical Asia ( cheap) and other things ( like couch surfing) helped a lot.

I am writing a post now about how we travel on 23 dollars a day, so that will be up soon!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Glad to hear that E! September is a great time to come and I am sure you will enjoy your camping Europe adventure!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Lindsey - that is kind of a "how long is a string" question so hard to answer because much depends on HOW you do it.

Plus we are in an RV so more expensive than a car for gas costs.

Gas is expensive in Europe, but is not one of our big expenses because we mostly use mass transit, bike, walk around Europe.

We don't usually do long drives and when we do we usually sit for while like we are doing here in Barcelona. We'll probably be here a month not using any gas.

Look at my post about best books for camping Europe, most of those books can be found in the library and give cost details.

http://www.soultravelers3.com/2010/06/best-books-for-camping-europe-road-trip-european-rv-tent-or-cottage-bungalow-rental-vacation-holiday.html

The one by Carol Mickelsen says she does it on 50/60 dollars a day total costs. ( She goes faster than we do and we can break down our cost for 3 people).

You might also get info from karmabum online.

So what you spend on gas will depend on how you travel and how much you are driving.

We see lots of young folks camping with a tent or vw type camper, so yes, I think that is the cheaper way to go for a 6th month trip.

When we were wintering in Spain we spent no money on gas at all, so how much you are driving will be what will impact your gas costs.

Toll roads will also impact drive costs...but you can often avoid them. Sometimes you can also save by shipping the car/RV ( even though that is not cheap..it can be cheaper than driving all the way around).

We do that often like from Barcelona to Italy or UK to Sweden, Venice to Athens etc and sometimes one can camp right on the boat to save more.

Happy planning!

Zoe Dawes

This is such a wonderful post with fab photos. You bring it all alive so vividly. I have only visited Andalucia once - last summer to Jerez and surrounding area
http://www.thequirkytraveller.com/2010/09/escape-to-jerez-for-an-andalucian-adventure/
and so loved it I have to go back very soon. Thanks for reminding me how very lovely this part of Spain is ...

Angela

Gorgeous photos, what a beautiful region Andalusia is, I've been a couple of years ago and loved it.

Gabrielle

Yes ! I' lived 6 months in Granada as I wanted to learn spanish and got to tour a bit of Andalucia when my boyfriend (now husband!) visited me. I also stayed a day in a very remote/of the grid/alternative place in the Alpujarras... Funny that, I was just thinking of this place this morning before getting out of bed!

I'd love to go back with my kids sometime...

Also looking forward to your post on staying on the 23$/day/person limit... Will you be addressing the subject of sponsors as well? You seem to have more sponsors now then before... what made you decide to go this route and how do you manage it. It must take a lot of time to set up ! (Just ignore my question if it's too personal ;-).

Also loved the photo of M. with her legos... my kids are all about legos too... This summer we will visit legoland while we're in Denmark so they are quite excited about that.

Take care.

Lori Moreno

We LOVE Spain and Your Blog Sweetie!

Love You too!

Te Quiero!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Zoe! Lovely..Yes, indeed, you must return to Spain. We loved Jerez too and have been a few times..the Horse Fair is phenomenal!!

http://www.soultravelers3.com/2008/05/joys-of-the-roa.html

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Zoe..Spain is also wonderful with extended family
http://www.soultravelers3.com/2007/03/horses-and-sher.html

We did this for his 80th birthday and now that he is gone, we are so grateful that we had that special Spain experience together!!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Angela! It's hard not to get great photos there, eh?

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Gabrielle - Thanks and yes indeed, do take the kids to Spain..it is such a family friendly place. Sounds like you had a fun time there learning Spanish!

I probably answered your questions about sponsors on my Jordan..smartest post. 99.9% of our travel is still unsponsored and paid out of our pocket on our 23 dollars a day per person world travel budget.

Almost all of the sponsorships come to us because we are trend setters with a popular travel blog and are considered "online travel influencers" due to a very high klout and peer index score.

We do very few ( despite many offers) because it is a lot more work to do a sponsored trip and it is a lot faster travel than we usually do.

We're doing more flying now than we did the first four years, so some sponsorships just make more sense, especially lodging when we are not always in our motorhome or long term rental.

If it works on our timing, we love the brand/place, and is a win/win/win for our readers, us and the sponsor..then it seems like it's crazy not to do it.

That said, most of our travels will remain sponsor free as we prefer that freedom. But it's been great to experience new things and show our readers new places/things that we might have missed without the sponsorship.

Don't miss the kids driving license when you get to legoland...kidlet loved that!


Jeanne @soultravelers3

Gabrielle - Thanks and yes indeed, do take the kids to Spain..it is such a family friendly place. Sounds like you had a fun time there learning Spanish!

I probably answered your questions about sponsors on my Jordan..smartest post. 99.9% of our travel is still unsponsored and paid out of our pocket on our 23 dollars a day per person world travel budget.

Almost all of the sponsorships come to us because we are trend setters with a popular travel blog and are considered "online travel influencers" due to a very high klout and peer index score.

We do very few ( despite many offers) because it is a lot more work to do a sponsored trip and it is a lot faster travel than we usually do.

We're doing more flying now than we did the first four years, so some sponsorships just make more sense, especially lodging when we are not always in our motorhome or long term rental.

If it works on our timing, we love the brand/place, and is a win/win/win for our readers, us and the sponsor..then it seems like it's crazy not to do it.

That said, most of our travels will remain sponsor free as we prefer that freedom. But it's been great to experience new things and show our readers new places/things that we might have missed without the sponsorship.

Don't miss the kids driving license when you get to legoland...kidlet loved that!


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