The north: Sierra Morena
Holm oak dehesas are ubiquitous in the Sierra Morena.
Sierra Morena marks the northern limit with the old kingdom of Castile, the current regions of Castilla-La Mancha and Extremadura. The two main communication steps, towards the center of the Iberian Peninsula (Madrid), are today, as in the Middle Ages, the Despeñaperros Gorge (Jaén) and the Vía de La Plata (Seville). In the Andalusian collective imaginary of the 21st century, the North of the Iberian Peninsula corresponds to industrial regions, where work is found; to cultural centers where the language is “fino” and “castizo”, communities where inequalities are less important … We often hear that Africa begins south of Despeñaperros (from the Ebro or Pyrenees).
The ‘marismeños’ wild horses, classic print from Doñana and its marshes.
Western Andalusia (Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba) is characterized by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its climatic influence that brings precipitation and humidity in winter. A significant amount of wetlands and temporary lagoons harbor aquatic fauna, mainly migratory waterfowl. Córdoba, in the center of Andalusia, is the obvious contradiction of this scheme. The Great West would be the little known Portugal, a country practically ignored by the Spaniards, except for neighboring towns.
The centre: Andalusian campiña
An increasingly rare mosaic of agricultural crops in the Andalusian countryside (olive trees, vines, wheat fields).
The monotonous plain, the countryside, the “pan” of the Guadalquivir depression. A gigantic territory that extends from Cazorla, Linares, Andújar, Córdoba, Sevilla, Arcos de la Frontera, Morón de La Frontera, Antequera, Lucena, Jaén, Úbeda. Extreme temperatures, the so-called tropical nights; Slight rainfall and horizons covered with olive trees and cereals. You never forget a summer vacation in Cordoba.
Sierra Nevada, a mountain range that makes you dream … arctic climate at the top, tropical climate on the coast.
Eastern Andalusia (Málaga, Jaén, Granada, Almería) is more mountainous than its Western twin. It is not uncommon for the peaks to exceed 2,000 m, and much more in the Sierra Nevada, shared between Almería and Granada. The Segura is a river, but it also designates the set of Northeast Betic mountains, a depopulated and extensive territory between Jaén, Murcia, Albacete and Alicante. Highlights here the town of Cazorla that gives its name to the “Sierra de Cazorla” the largest natural area of Andalusia, the Natural Park of the Sierra de Segura, Cazorla and the Villas.
The South: border with Africa
Girbraltar Strait, crossroads between Africa and Europe, between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.
Andalusia is the south. The south of the south is already the north of Africa. The south is an idea that exists on both Mediterranean coasts. The south is a non-industrialized or very late territory. Its nature is still preserved, its organization is still quite rural. The orchards and farms known as “tropical coast” offer fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Its amount of hours of sunshine makes the citizens of the north dream. The south is a region where hot summers make a nap an obligation.