Spring in Southern Spain

To get an early start on spring, we have put away the wool hats, warm gloves, and heavy coats, and packed the flip-flops and swimsuits for our next month-at-a-time travel adventure to southern Spain. With a three-month supply of sunblock, we will spend February in mild and multi-faceted Málaga, March in cosmopolitan and vivacious Valencia, and April in classic Cádiz.

fatmanonbeach

Like me, this guy ate too much over the holidays (source: Askideas.com)

Called the “Capital of the Costa del Sol”, Málaga enjoys the warmest winters of any large city in continental Europe. The prospect of balmy weather inspired us to fall into formation with the flocks of northern European snowbirds who migrate to Málaga’s beaches. During the month of February, while Esther takes some Spanish language classes, I will be in short sleeves, exploring the city and province, and replenishing my stores of Vitamin D.

lasfallas

The bonfires of Las Fallas in Valencia (source: stoketravel.com)

With Esther’s new language skills and my shiny new suntan, we will follow the scent of orange blossoms east along the Mediterranean coast, and settle for the month of March in Valencia. In addition to its sweet juicy oranges, Spain’s third largest city is also famous for its paella rice dish, ceramic and porcelain products, and modern City of Arts and Sciences museum complex. In March, Valencia also celebrates Las Fallas, one of Spain’s most riotous and colorful festivals, which culminates with massive bonfires on the eve of the first day of spring.

osbornebull

Giant Osborne Black Bull in Cádiz countryside (source: Atlas Obscura)

As the days continue to grow longer, we will carry on to Cádiz, the oldest city in western Europe. Cádiz is quintessential southern Spain, where flamenco dancing, Andalucian horses, and sherry wine originated. To try to experience it all, we plan to rent a car, roll down the windows, and spend the month of April searching the back roads for giant black bulls and outdoor picnic spots.

tiopepebottle

Tio Pepe Sherry is also big in southern Spain (source: European Destinations)

If we happen to lose our way, a sunny sidewalk terrace and a bottle of Spanish wine are never far away. Whatever happens, we consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to travel, stay full months in Málaga, Valencia, and Cádiz, and get an early start on spring in southern Spain.

spainmap

Map of Spain (source: facts.co)

Feature Photo: After California, Spain is the world’s second largest producer of almonds. As the first to bloom, the almond trees in southern Spain also get an early start on spring. (source: facts.co)

21 thoughts on “Spring in Southern Spain

    • Thanks, Neil. It has been a challenging weather day getting to Spain today. First T-storms in L.A., then snow in London, and now rain here in Madrid. We are waiting for our connecting flight to Malaga, where we are hoping to finally get some sun. Take care, and stay warm in PA. Joe

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    • Thanks, Janis. We just arrived and will take the weekend to settle into our rental apartment. The sun feels good already! Starting Monday, Esther will be taking Spanish classes, and I will get started on my long list of things to see. I’ll keep you posted.

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    • Thanks, Sue and Dave. Your excellent photos of Mexico brought back a lot of great memories for me. Now, I will also have your future Spain photos to look forward to. In the meantime, over the next three months, I hope to share some of my impressions of southern Spain as sort of a preview for your upcoming trip..

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  1. Nice to see travel posts again, Joe. I think you’re very fortunate you got the sunbather looking up and not at you; it seems every time I try snapping someone “fun” looking, they’re staring right at me! I admire his devil-may-care bravado. A former colleague, who was a huge sherry drinker, used to rave about Cádiz. I had forgotten all about that. I look forward to your visit there. – Marty

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    • Thanks, Marty! Since we just got to Spain last night, I had to borrow the sunbather photo from Google Images. There were a lot of photos of tan and muscular guys, but they didn’t seem as appropriate to me as the guy with the big belly. I am really excited about visiting the sherry bodegas in Cádiz. Until we get there in April, I will be doing some “research” on the different sherries at the local bars around Málaga. All the best, Joe

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  2. Joe, great choice of places to base yourselves. I hope Esther enjoys her Spanish lessons and the sun will shine for you. We will be heading South with our home on Wheels in the next few days. I will be watching out for you and Esther…never know our paths might cross. I will be looking forward to follow your Spanish adventure 😄

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    • Thanks, Gilda. You must be very excited to take your new freedom machine out for a spring trip. It is so nice that you can just get behind the wheel and go wherever the sun is shining. I will be following your new adventure too, and will keep an eye out for your new home on wheels.

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    • Thanks, Ann. I know it has been a rough winter in the midwest, and I hope the worst is behind you. In my upcoming correspondence, I will try to include some sunny photos to remind you of the warm spring days ahead.

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    • Know what you mean, Dave. We were pretty tired after our last three month trip. Although we have a few more “long” trips in the planning stages, we are thinking about scaling back after that. Staying a month in each place does help a lot, but we continue to search for the right balance between time spent at home and on-the-road.

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