Few places can boast a more active history of invasion and settlement than Southern Spain. Indeed, few places have been left with the legacy of so many cultures that define Andalucía as we know it today.
Although Neanderthal man is known to have populated the Rock of Gibraltar as long ago as 50,000 BC we will call the Iberians, who came from North Africa in 8,000 BC and established farming settlements throughout the region, the original inhabitants of Andalucía.
They were followed by the Phoenicians who established a chain of trading posts along the coast and founded Europe’s oldest city, the sea port of Cádiz, in 1100BC.
The Celts came in 800 BC and by 700 BC the Tartessus Kingdom was flourishing in Andalucía. The Greeks soon followed and by the year 500 BC, the Carthaginians had colonised Southern Spain.
The native Iberians failed to resist the Roman Invasion in 206 BC, and Betis, as the region was re-named, became one of the richest and best organised colonies of the Roman Empire. Roman galleys sailed up the Guadalquivir River to Cordoba which was an important base for the exportation of olive oil and wine destined for Rome. As part of the Roman Empire, Spain became a Christian country in the 4th century, and the Spanish language – perhaps the closest modern tongue to Latin – began to take its current shape.
Following the collapse of the Empire, Andalucía was devastated by successive waves of barbarian tribes coming from northern Europe, with the eventual predomination of the Visigoths. The Visigoths were chaotic, warlike people and their rule left Spain open to invasion.
In 711, the Moors came and conquered and the region was re-named Al-Andalus because the Moors associated it with the Vandals, one of the barbarian tribes who had, several centuries earlier, swept across the Strait of Gibraltar into North Africa.
For eight centuries the Moors made Al-Andalus their home and permanently marked it with their cultural legacy. Many new buildings continue to be influenced by Moorish architecture today.
The Christian re-conquest reached Andalucía in the 13th century and the cities of Córdoba and Sévilla were the first to be seized. By the end of the 15th century, the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon, had taken the last stronghold of the Moors, Granada and the Alhambra Palace.
Sévilla became the main port for the imports of gold from the New World during the 16th and 17th centuries and Andalucía experienced some prosperity as the launch place from which America was discovered.
However, much of the wealth from America was spent on the wars waged by Spain's Hapsburg monarchy against the Lutheran countries in northern Europe and the Ottoman Turks in the Mediterranean, and as the flow of riches decreased, Spain and Andalucía sank into economic decline.
Years of fighting and unrest in Europe ravaged Spain. The Spanish War of Succession in the early 18th century, the Napoleonic invasion and the Battle of Trafalgar, the War of Independence and the Independence movement in South America during the rest of the 19th century directly affected Andalucía’s economy and the region suffered greatly.
The loss of Spain's last colonies, Cuba and the Philippines spelled disaster for Spain and political instability and further economic decline culminated in the deposition of the monarchy and the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. In 1936, the Republic was overthrown by General Franco and his Nationalist movement.
Following World War II, Spain suffered the disastrous effects of an international blockade as a result of Franco’s support of the Axis. It was not until after Franco’s death in 1975, that democracy in Spain was restored under the non-ruling monarchy of King Juan Carlos II.
Spanish government was decentralised and Andalucía became an Autonomous Region in 1982, with its own regional administration, the Junta de Andalucía. Since then, Spain has experienced a dramatic transition into the booming country we know today.
Marinas in Spain and the Costa del Sol and Cádiz
The coast of Andalucía and the Costa del Sol has always been home to sea ports and important trade routes were once established here from Europe and Africa to the rest of the world. Today, the marina berth service crafts and provide entertainment for visitors who enjoy a stroll among the boats.
The Costa del Sol has the best climate of the whole of Europe and permits sailing in any season. With top quality and modern facilities many owners of sea faring crafts choose one of the many marinas on the Costa del Sol and Cadiz province to provide a permanent berth for their vessels.
Málaga Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
Málaga Port has undergone huge renovations and is an international seaport able to berth the largest vessels and ocean liners and it is often a port of call for cruise ships looking to explore the Mediterranean. The Mariana port is close to the city centre and accessible via the promenade Pablo Ruiz Picasso. It is a bustling and busy port.
Benalmádena Marina - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
With its charming Arabian architecture, Benalmádena Marina is an atmospheric place to enjoy an outdoor concert in the summer or to sample the catch of the day in any number of fish restaurants. The marina has 1100 berths and was has been the winner several times and won the best marina in the world award. The discover sailing company located in the port offers sailing or boat trips and can be contacted on Tel: 609 55 168
Puerto Deportivo de Fuengirola - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
The sports and pleasure marina holds 225 moorings ranging from 8 to 20 meters.
There are many different companies offering boat charters and pleasure trips from deep sea fishing to speed boat hire. There are numerous restaurants and shops that surround Fuengirola Marina and make this an ideal spot to step out and enjoy a drink or maybe people watching.
Tel: 952 468 000 or the Yacht Club Tel: 951 411 956
Puerto de Cabopino - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
Cabopino Port lies next to the expansive Cabopino beach with its golden sands and sand dunes. It is a pretty port that’s quiet and quaint has 169 berths .It is a popular choice for eating and drinking and enjoying a slow, after dinner meander amongst the boats. Andy’s beach bar is located next door and considered a very popular beach.
Puerto Deportivo Marbella - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
There are two ports in Marbella. One is centrally located on the Paseo Marítimo and is popular with tourists. It offers 377 berths with full services. The other, less well known, is principally a fishing port and the small restaurants located there are favourites of savvy locals who like their fish fresh from the boat.
Tel: 952 776 700
Puerto Banus - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
Your visit to Marbella is not complete without sampling the glitz and glamour of Puerto Banus. The boats here are some of the biggest money can buy, just like the bank balances of those who seek refreshment in the many restaurants and bars. Built in 1970 and located in the area of Nueva Andalucía, Puerto Banus Marina has 915 berths and houses some of the best shops and boutiques on the Costa del Sol.
Puerto Deportivo de Estepona - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
The Port of Estepona lies at the west end of the seafront promenade and is only five minutes from the centre of Estepona. It features numerous good restaurants, bars and shops and has 430 moorings within the port.
Tel: 952 801 000
Puerto La Duquesa - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
La Duquesa Port is renowned for its restaurants, bars and boutiques and offers a full marina services with 328 berths. It has a friendly atmosphere and the proximity of Duquesa Golf just across the road makes it a popular place to dine for those fresh off the golf course. Services include RYA school, Ship chandlers selling all equipment, and boat charters and courses and fishing trips.
Tel: 952 890 10
Puerto Deportivo Sotogrande - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
The yacht harbour at Sotogrande offers a magnificent range of installations and is considered to be one of the best in the Mediterranean. It enjoys 1380 berths and has 1426 properties of high quality in the residential developments overlooking and onto the front line marina.
Tel: 956 790 000
The Club Nautico de Algerciras - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
Real Club Nautico Algeciras is a small marina holds 70 moorings and has some spectacular views of the British outpost of Gibraltar and across to North Africa, Morocco.
Tel: 956 213 262 or 956 601 402
Sancti Petri Marina - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
This lovely little pretty marina and port was once a small fishing village and located on the southern tip of the Cádiz peninsula and near the town of Chiclana de la Frontera. The marina has 220 moorings and operates several boat trips and all marina services.
Tel: 856 101 096
American Marina - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
The American marina is a lovely little port that holds 140 moorings. It’s a lively place with bars and restaurants and caters for all marina services including fuel, electricity, water, and a crane of 10 tones and mechanical repairs are on site. Located at Punta de San Felipe, 11004, Cádiz.
Tel: 956 211 091
Real Club Nautico de Cadiz - Marinas, Sailing and Yacht Clubs
Cádiz marina is a stylish port with 200 moorings. The Cádiz port is steeped in 3000 year old history and the port stretches along the sandy isthmus. There are several other marina in the Cádiz province all with full marina services.