With summer not too far away I thought it would be a good idea to investigate some of the more iconic sunny holiday destinations. And the south of Spain has for many years been attracting millions of tourists to its warm sandy beaches and evocative cities.

But in order to avoid all of the tourist traps, I’ve compiled my own list of what I think are southern Spain’s top attractions so as to add a touch of luxury to a potential Spanish excursion.


Coastal attractions


The main reason why many of us visit southern Spain is to enjoy a day at the beach. But rather than getting caught up on the Costa del Sol, I think that a trip to Tarifa looks like a good bet for enjoying the sun without all of the crowds. The beach is located right at the southernmost tip of Spain and offers golden sands and lots of fun beach activities for the more active holidaymaker.


You can’t visit Tarifa without being slightly awed by the sight of the African coast lying directly across the water, and a quick day trip to Tangier in Morocco via the port of Algeciras can instantly transport you to an exotic world of bustling marketplaces, atmospheric bazaars and wonderful architecture.

City splendour




Southern Spain has so many amazing cities that it’s really hard to pin down my favourites. I love walking around the exotic backstreets of Seville with the evocative smells of oranges and the omnipresent glass of sherry never too far away. And who could resist Cordoba with its beautiful mosque that provides the perfect example of Spain’s illustrious Moorish past.


Those Brits who feel a touch homesick would be well-served by a trip to Gibraltar which is like a mini-Britain in the sun and it even has its own Marks and Spencers so you can stock up on British tea! But there’s so much more to Gibraltar than this, as it’s becoming something of a gambling hotbed with the likes of LadyLucks showing an example of how a tournament works with this month’s roulette competition in Gibraltar that can even be enjoyed from the comfort of your smartphone.


Getting away from it all




But despite the big city excitement, the ferocity of the Spanish summer sun means that you’ll want to escape the heat during the hottest parts of the day. And a trip up into the Sierra Nevada mountains offers a picturesque blend of rugged scenery and pretty towns to explore.


For me one of the main attractions would undoubtedly be to check out one of the impressive spas like the 19th-century facility at the Villa Padierna Thermas Hotel that should add an appropriately luxurious twist to the roulette wins and a perfect day in the sun.