As we now know when not living in Sydney, the city he loves, choosing the perfect vacation spot for Adrian Erdedi was a tough one as, being part Spanish part Hungarian, he has a soft spot for Europe and the States. After sharing his insider knowledge of California here he helps us fall in love with Andalucia.
PART TWO: Andalucía Spain
My extended family lives in Malaga, Torremolinos and Marbella in the beautiful South of Spain on the coast. The first time I went to meet them I was completely blown away by it’s natural beauty, culture, weather and most of all, the people. People are happy. Happy to be alive. I feel so proud to be part Spanish when I go there.
As I always say to people, “if you want to see real Spain, you need to go to Andalucía in the south. When you think of Spain, you think of Flamenco dancers, Paella, churros, Bull fighting, beaches, beautiful people and fun – well this is where is all comes from and happens!”
Being big on road-trips, for me it’s the only way to really see, taste, feel, hear a city or town and really get into the local vibe. There are heaps of tours you can do around Andalucía, so if driving isn’t your thing, find some tours that go along the coast and inland.
The food is amazing in any town in Andalucía. I suggest visiting one of the barrios 5-10 mins out of the town centre and finding yourself a little local bar, where you will not see any tourists whatsoever. You can spend 5 euro and get a deliciously fresh typically Spanish meal. But if you really want to each somewhere outstanding, I suggest going to the Chiringuitos located on most populated beaches. These seafood restaurant/cafes are literally sitting on the sand, with lounge chairs on the beach and seafood to die for! You’ll smell them before anything; the fresh sardines cooking on the hot coals outside in an old boat are a MUST! But keep in mind these restaurants shut shop in the cooler months.
Must see towns include:
Malaga – I love spending a few days in Malaga, shopping, checking out the old town, which is absolutely beautiful – there is so much amazing architecture, plazas and laneways to get lost in. There is a sense of rich culture everywhere you look – from the fashions, to the aromas of fresh food and the positive beachside living vibe.
Marbella and Puerto Banus – it’s basically the St. Tropez of Spain. People like Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, the Beckhams and Antonio Banderas have homes here. It’s expensive, it’s beautiful and it’s fabulous! For beach life, dinner and nightlife – you must visit Nikki Beach during theday, but hands down, best place in the night, Olivia Valere Babilonia nestled in the Marbella hills, it’s absolutely breathtaking – don’t expect cheap, make sure your wallet is very very full!
Cadiz – one of the bigger cities closest to Portugal. It’s got this incredible architecture, which is so simple with strong Arabic influence. It’s such a picturesque city. Spend time in the old town, you can’t miss it. Get lost in there, you’ll see some pretty amazing sites, but just look out for the beggars, I found them to be a little full on here.
Granada – This is the place you want to come if you want to see history mixed with incredible culture – specifically the Flamenco dancers who live in caves with their families, inviting you into their homes to watch them dance. Here’s a tip though, if you want it to be as authentic as possible, make sure you ask hotel concierge to book it, you want to see the show inside the lounge room, where there are only up to 15 people and you sit around the outskirts of the room. You don’t want to see the stage show – it’s not as personal. Another must see attraction is La Alhambra – the history, culture and architecture will blow your mind! Best hotel in town is a little boutique, moderately priced one called Hotel Casa Morisca.
Seville – Wow. Nothing beats Seville. Architecture, people, culture. To me, this is the true city of love, not Paris. I don’t know how to describe this town, but it’s probably one of my favorites. Allow a few days here, you will regret it if you only stay one or two nights. I suggest staying, eating and exploring on Adriano Street, Seville. It’s out of a picture book. I usually stay at Hotel Adriano, it’s cheap and cheerful and right in the thick of it. It’s honestly one of the most incredible cities I’ve visited in Europe.
Ronda – A tiny little town about 1 hour from Malaga will blow your mind. It’s set up high on the cliffs, with an incredible stone bridge, gorgeous gardens, cutest restaurants and scenery that is absolutely WOW! This town is best known for Madonna’s film clip “Take A Bow”, set in the bullring and around the town. I’ve been there many times and will always go back.
For the best gelato in the whole world, visit Heladeria Inma, tucked away in the back streets 10 mins out of Malaga CBD. Get the signature gelato, caramel con piñones! (Caramel and pine nuts)
Adrian Erdedi runs Adrian Can’t Cook – a site that uncovers and discovers kitchen tips and tricks. A self-confessed terrible and useless cook Adrian loves interviewing people and visiting them in their natural habitats for tips and recipes that are easy for him to learn and make at home… then teach passes that knowledge on for all to enjoy. For more visit the website or follow Adrian on Facebook and Twitter.