No other province captures the sheer romance of Spain better than Andalucia. From the never-ending vista of olive trees inherited from the Romans to the rhythm, food and architecture of the Moors, Andalucia is a land deeply influenced by its previous masters.
The Moors inhabited this southern tip of Spain from the late 7th century until their final expulsion in 1492, and their legacy can be found dotting the hillsides and dinner plates even today. While the Alhambra is by far the Moors’ most famous architectural contribution, their most influential is the intricate irrigation system that brought water to previously barren lands. Groves of orange, peach and apricot trees flourished, as did varieties of melon, herbs and spices never before grown in Spain.
The cultivation of olives and the production of olive oil in Andalucia that had been so important to the Roman Empire continued under the Moors. Today, Andalucia is home to over 200 million olive trees and accounts for more than 26% of world olive oil production.
As with cuisine and architecture, the famed sounds of flamenco have also been shaped by the region’s transitory inhabitants. Traveling bands of gypsies and the retreating Moors are responsible for the synthesis of brotherhood and displacement, love and bitterness that drive the rhythms of this soulful art. This vibrant blend of Spanish, Moorish and gypsy heritage could only have grown in Andalucia, where the sun is merciless, where melancholy and a zest for life blend in a maelstrom of passion.
Andalucia is the home of…