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Andalucia and Costa Del Sol by Jeffrey Kennedy

By Jeffrey Kennedy

Even if traveling top notch or on a constrained finances, this best 10 consultant leads you to the easiest of Andalucia and the Costa del Sol. Dozens of 10 lists - from the head 10 shorelines to the pinnacle 10 bodegas (sherry cellars), eating places, inns and museums - offer insider wisdom. Maps are incorporated.

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Plaza del Pópulo, Baeza The town’s most charming area, the Plaza del Pópulo, is surrounded by Renaissance edifices. It is also called the Square of the Lions, after its fountain, which sports four stone lions and a female figure (right). This square is fronted by several glorious 16thcentury structures, including the cathedral. One of the many masterpieces by Renaissance architect Andrés de Vandelvira, it was originally a Gothic church, built over a mosque in the 13th century. Palacio de Jabalquinto, Baeza Plaza San Pedro, Úbeda Andalucía’s Top 10 Visit the patio of the Real Monasterio de Santa Clara, the town’s oldest church, where the sisters will sell you their distinctly Arabic dulces (sweetcakes).

Marshland vegetation is made up of bullrushes, other types of reeds and white-flowered buttercups. Access to the park is strictly controlled, but there are a limited number of marked footpaths along its borders. Fauna El Palacio de Acebrón This Neo-Classical style hunting lodge, built in 1961, has a permanent exhibition on the history and ethnography of the region. There are good views from the upper floors and the site is a starting point for a 12-km (8-mile) trail through the nearby woodlands.

The garden is composed of a collection of palms and exotic plants from around the world. The grounds are also embellished with charming touches here and there, such as a domed gazebo decorated with tiles and columns. d Carretera N-331, Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, Córdoba Plaza de la Corredera, Córdoba Córdoba gave this 17th-century arcaded square a long overdue sprucing up for the tourist onslaught of 1992 (see p33), even putting in an underground car park. But it still retains some of its customary functions, including an open-air market on Saturday morning, in addition to the regular covered market in the building with the clock-tower.

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