Stunning Andalucian Views and where (precisely) to see them
Since moving to Andalucia 16 months ago, we have seen some incredible sights. I find them difficult to describe most of the time. 'Stunning' just doesn't quite cut the mustard as we stand on top of a mountain peak looking across to more endless snow capped mountain ranges, in bright sunshine and watching eagles swoop beneath us. Or perhaps it's the jaw dropping architectural feat that is the Alhambra Palace which dominates the city of Granada or the views from a roof top bar whilst sipping a gin and tonic. Of course, we have cameras, the iPhone is never far away and consequently we have hundreds of snaps. If you follow our Instagram feed then you will see we have tried to give you a sense of the best of the sights, places and views we have discovered, but somehow cameras don't always do the scenes justice.
As bloggers and explorers we keep a close eye on what others have discovered and shared via social media or we pick up tips simply whilst chatting to locals or other expats; it's all part of the discovery process, and a part that we love. We try to find undiscovered spots or if they have already been discovered then we try and see them from a different angle, or time of day or year for example.
Instagram is a great forum and we always make sure we include the location of our photos so that you know roughly where it was taken. However, a few weeks ago I heard via some of my more tech savvy friends about a new technology called what3words. I say 'new', it was actually conceived in 2013 and you may well have heard of it but it caught my imagination and so I looked into it.
It's a geocoding system (or geographical location system) that uses 3 random words rather than postcodes or coordinates. The entire world has been sectioned into a grid of 3 x 3 metre boxes. Each box has been assigned its own 3 word address. For example the Eiffel Tower is prices.slippery.traps. Instead of going to google maps go to https://map.what3words.com and put those three words into the search bar.
There are many reasons why this is more efficient and accurate than some other location systems but I won't go into that here (links below for more info). However one main advantage is its accuracy for remote rural areas of the world such as where we live! Postcodes cover huge areas and the trouble we have had getting our Amazon deliveries are endless. More often than not we have to drive 20 mins to our nearest post office.
It got me thinking... One of the main reasons we write this blog is to impart the information we have learned through experience and exploration to those people who are visiting Andalucia and who want to experience a more unusual, undiscovered side to the region. I want to do more than just tell you roughly where you can find a pretty beach, for example, I want to show you exactly where on that beach we discovered the best view and the quietest spot - to within a few metres. So, here are a selection of our best photos and a three word location so that you too can experience the precise view:
Firstly, in a new window open https://map.what3words.com
Type the 3 words below in the search field:
This is the view from the fabulous roof terrace of the AC Hotel Málaga Palacio. That three word location will give you the location from where you can see this exact view. To the table. It was the table we sat at. Not the table next door. Our table.
But wait! What if you're slightly bored of another sea view? You want culture, a bit of Malaga history. No problem, you just need to sit at a different table round the corner. Use these three words instead:
You get a glorious view of Malaga Cathedral with the mountain range behind.
Now you have the hang of this, here are some more of our favourite spots:
In my opinion, this is the best view of the Alhambra. From this position you can appreciate its scale, ingenious situation relative to the city hugging the rocks below. My advice is to go here at sunset shortly after some rain. The clouds will be dramatic, colourful and moody. Also there is a makeshift bar in a local's house just behind you. If the door is not open just shout and someone will be only too happy to sell you an Alhambra beer as you watch the sun dip beneath the horizon.
This pinpoints the location of where I am standing. This is the Almeria desert where many Spaghetti Westerns were filmed. From here you can see old filming locations, a little airplane runway and vast swathes of desert that make you wonder if you're actually in Death Valley or even Africa.
Ermita del Cristo del Zapato. One of our favourite walks which we have described in a previous post but this view is breathtaking and definitely worth the hike.
As Valentine's Day is approaching... I suggest this spot for a romantic meal. Restaurante Arriaga in Granada. To be honest, every table has a fantastic view but at this time of year I would advise sitting on the South side so you can take in the snow-covered mountains of the Sierra Nevada. The food is Michelin star standard.
This is the beach at Cabo de Trafalgar on the Southern Atlantic coast of Andalucia. It's famous for its huge sandy beaches and even bigger waves. Spot the intrepid surfer. If you stand here you'll definitely get a great shot of crashing waves and fearless surfers.
If you want to know more about what3words and its technology and the companies that use it, check out their website what3words.com Mercedes-Benz is the latest car company to use what3words onboard navigation system and they used Andalucia as a location! Watch the advert here
So, a few examples for you which I hope you find useful. I'll be referring to this 3 word technology as the blog progresses so look out for more precise locations!