Skiing area in the Sierra Nevada
© Jan B van der Marel 2017

A really wonderful trip to make from the Axarquia ! We have been coming here regularly for over 8 years  and in winter time we always wanted to go to the Sierra Nevada for skiing. Until now we have made trips to the cultural cities of Granada, Seville, Ronda, Córdoba and Málaga, but in the beginning year we have finally made the skiing trip and it was a great experience !

The ski area is located in the Penibético mountain range in the Sierra Nevada Natural Park approximately 30 km from Granada city. It's a great modern ski resort, although not huge, it has more than 120 km of slopes, and has everything you need. There are several good lifts, the slopes are well maintained and are of excellent quality. With the help of snow cannons you can ski from November to late April. On Saturdays it is even possible to ski at night.

Read more: Skiing in the Sierra Nevada !

Cover of the book Magical Mountain Stories by Laura Campbell
© Brenda Higgins

After fourteen years living in this beautiful part of Spain I should be used to the views. The mountain that shields us from the harsh Granada winters, the chance to see the Atlas mountains in the distance and the the rugged hills filled with olive and almond trees. I don't think I will ever grow tired of the scenery. As the day turns to night and the seasons change so does the countryside. The colours and the cloud formations, the shadows and the light. Mount Maroma sits behind the village and it's look changes by the hour. It was these absolutely amazing views that inspired me to write the books.

We moved house and with the house came a dog. Florentinos' owner works long hours and it was decided I would walk him. I became his doggy nanny.

Read more: Magical Mountain Stories by Laura Campbell

Shooping street Calle Larios Malaga with Christmas decoration
© Jeannette C Bouwer 2016

Although the weather is still wonderful, with 24 degrees on the thermometer, Andalusia is also heading towards winter. Winter means Christmas and therefore the famous Calle Marquéz Larios, the luxurious shopping street in Málaga, is buzzing with vans and electricians who started to work on the installation of the Christmas lights.

Last year many people visited the Calle Larios to gaze at the magical illumination. The fairy-like star spangled sky that covered Málaga’s mainstreet consisted of no fewer than 1.646.049 points of lights! The immense light arches cover the street from the entrance up to the Plaza de la Constitución where you can marvel at the huge Christmas tree.

The 'alumbrado’, the spectacular ignition of this impressive Christmas decoration is a festive event attended by thousands of visitors waiting with their mobile phones to capture the magic moment when the 'luces of the Larios’ will be switched on.

Read more: Málaga under a star spangled sky

casa lobera Canillas de Aceituno Axarquia
© Martin de Vries 2015

Five years ago we started to build our dream. The big turning point was my burnout and my insights after this period. Actually I was through with working in the hectic and loutishness in the Netherlands. I also lost most of my passion for the world of nutrition which was my field of expertise. This had to change.

I always loved to linger in warm places. But where could we go? The summer season in France is too short and the bureaucracy is one of the worst in Europe. Neither were we charmed by Italy. So we went looking in Spain. Southern Spain attracted us immediately, Andalusia is a beautiful vast area of ​​the Mediterranean. The sun, the diversity of landscapes and the long coastline make it an ideal destination to live in and a great holiday spot. Andalusia is also known as the natural wonder of Europe. The region has Europe's only desert, and also possesses the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada; extremes in temperature and climate. In addition, of course, the golden beaches of the Costas in the west, interrupted by the unique wetlands of Doñana National Park. All equally special and to us a feeling of 'coming home'.

Now we had to find a place to settle down. The region south of Malaga did not appeal to us because we were aware of the mass tourism. However we were overwhelmed by a tour through the Axarquía: space, green, still so unspoilt and such friendly people!

Read more: Our new life in Canillas de Aceituno, Andalusia

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