The Spectacular Growth of Rural Tourism in AndalucíaAfter the traditional mass tourist destinations in Spain, like the Costa del Sol or the Costa Blanca started to become saturated and the impact of the increasing degradation of their natural setting caused by the spectacular urban and demographic growth of the small towns located along the Mediterranean coastline became clearer, many travellers started to look for alternative destinations.
Soon the rural inland areas of the traditional destinations like Malaga, Almeria or Alicante started to receive an increasing number of inquiries for places to stay, at first from the foreign travellers followed by the local Spanish tourists due to the economical boom of the Spanish economy.
The changes in the tourist industry, the popularity and accessibility of the internet and the proliferation of low cost carriers offering cheap flights from all European countries to many destinations in Spain have changed the habits on the mature European travel market. People do no longer want to be limited by the products offered in tour operator catalogues. They want to decide for themselves and prefer and individual holiday rather than a tour operator package.
Many tourists no longer look for traditional sun and beach holidays or the famous Spanish nightlife but want to enjoy complementary activities like cultural visits, sightseeing or sports activities like of activities horse riding, walking, cycling, canoeing, rafting, etc.
The modern traveler does not want to feel like a mass tourist any longer, he prefers to experience the real Spain.
Visitors want to visit attractive rural regions with splendid natural settings which have not been degradated due to the presence of thousands of visitors every year.
Therefore the demand for rural accommodations has undergone a spectacular increase in Spain. The national market, although very seasonal, has the biggest market share, followed by travellers from Germany and Great Britain in the south and French citizens who, due to the closeness, prefer the northern part of Spain.
Andalucía, lying at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, is one of the most beautiful regions of Spain and a popular destination for people who want to enjoy the most beautiful spots of the Spanish countryside, as well as the traditional ways of life. Areas with spectacular mountain views, green valleys with orchards of orange trees, wild olive and cork woods, badlands and spectacular wed lands make Andalucía the preferred destination for rural tourism in Spain. Apart from the natural resources of Andalucía its Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters with irregular rainfall is a prime factor for its popularity with rural tourists.
It is not hard for modern travellers to find a suitable rural accommodation in Andalucía. Pretty country houses can be found in almost any province; Granada, Almeria, Cadiz, or Malaga to name just a few. In the Ronda Mountains it is not difficult to find a lovely cottage or farmhouse and the Axarquia, on the eastern part of Malaga, is an ideal destination for people looking for a villa of finca with a pool.
For nature lovers there is Jaen with some of the most beautiful Natural Parks from Spain and in Granada you have the possibility of sleeping in "casas cueva" (caves ? cave houses) which is a unique experience due to the constant temperature all year round of the accommodation and the absence of noise.
With more than 20 years of experience in the travel industry Rudi van der Zalm is the founder of one of Europe''s most popular websites for holiday homes in rural Spain. A wide selection of country houses and lodgings can be found at www.rural-tour.com