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Honeymooning along the Iberian Peninsula
If you’re exploring exotic destinations for your honeymoon getaway, think about a visit to Spain – especially the region of Andalusia. Bathed by both Atlantic and Mediterranean waters, the autonomous region of Andalusia spans the southern tip of Spain with a coastline boasting more than 3,000 hours of sunshine each year, establishing it as the playground of the rich and famous for centuries.
Thanks to a fascinating fusion of cultures over the centuries, and a privileged geographical location, corner of the Iberian Peninsula promises the perfect honeymoon getaway.
In 711, the Moors crossed over from Africa, creating for today's travelers, a cultural treasure trove of colorful provinces throughout the Iberian Peninsula, each with traditions and legends of its own.
Often referred to as one of the "pearls" of Spain, with a population just under 300,000, the province of Granada was the long time Moorish capital. Today, the gracious city exemplifies its rich Islamic -- Christian cultural mix with architectural tributes such as the Alhambra -- one of the most opulent palaces on the continent; the Palace of La Madraza and the Capilla Real, burial place of Ferdinand and Isabella, and the Cathedral, a masterpiece of the Spanish Renaissance.
Narrow, flower-filled streets lead to fascinating places such as the gypsy cuevas (caves) in the Monastery of Sacromonte. Situated on a broad hill, the majestic perch commands a panoramic view of the city, and a somewhat mystical experience, which draws visitors from around the globe throughout the year.
The Arab influence is reflected in a cuisine peppered with spices and pomegranate seeds combined with typical Moorish favorites such as lamb, partridge, game and seafood. Granada boasts a very active night life, partially due to the large number of university students residing there. Pubs and bars afford plenty to do after hours and ongoing festivals are staged throughout the year. Local shopping specialties include guitars, glazed ceramic, leather and wrought iron.
Like much of Spain, Granada offers a vast network of accommodations to select from, some of them, housed in historic buildings, such as the old convent of Santa Paula (AC Hotel) and the convent of San Francisco (Parador de Turismo located inside the Alhambra), "cármenes" (traditional villas with gardens) in the Albaicín, and cave houses in Sacromonte.
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