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Andalusia is one of the warmest regions anywhere in Europe. It has a warm, Mediterranean climate with dry, hot summers and mild winters with infrequent precipitation. If there is one characteristic trait of Andalusia’s atmosphere, it is its light. The high proportion of hours of sunshine marks the cheerful, hospitable character of the region’s people.
Nature and Landscapes
The diversity, expanse and ecological wealth of Andalusia bring together the highest peaks of the Iberian Peninsula in Sierra Nevada, large areas of wetland, dense, shady forests, volcanic deserts and all but untouched areas of coastline.
Andalusia has a huge network of Protected Nature Areas, covering around 18% of the land area, designated as Nature Areas, Nature Reserves and National Parks, making this the Spanish region at the head of the list in terms of environmental heritage protection.
The majority of these areas consist of Nature Reserves. In addition to these is the emblematic Doñana National Park, which has the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation. Nature Reserves are located in mountainous or woodland areas, and areas of coast such as Cabo de Gata in Almería.
At the Nature Reserves in Grazalema, Sierra de las Nieves and Sierra Bermeja there are examples of Spanish Fir forest that are unique in the world. Those designated as Nature Areas are mainly wetlands, smaller than the reserves, but of huge importance in terms of flora and fauna, especially bird life.
Other, smaller protected areas, which are also of great importance, are nature sites. Their interesting variety takes us from the wonderful limestone formations of the Torcal in Antequera, to Tabernas, Almería, the only desert in continental Europe.
The coast is another area of Andalusia’s countryside with special personality. It stretches for more than eight hundred kilometres with many different areas of beaches.
From the Coast of Almería, the Tropical Coast of Granada province, the Costa del Sol in Malaga province to the Costa de la Luz in Cadiz and Huelva provinces, their increasing environmental credentials, along with the quality and warmth of the waters and the ever-present sun, have made them a favourite destination for travellers from all over the world.