Travelling out of season to sunny southern Spain can make for a superb short break, as our writer discovers when he explores Andalucía’s hill towns
Plus: off-season breaks to Corsica, Portugal and Italy
The roads were calm and uncluttered, minutes passed before another vehicle appeared. On the horizon the Sierra Nevada rolled along in the sunlight, still snow-capped and blue-hued in places. Outside the car was the countryside of rural Andalucía, with its olive and almond groves, and spaghetti western-like terrain. I drove the narrow, cobbled roads into Alhama de Granada’s main square, Plaza Constitucion, and parked with ease, ready to explore this small hill town with its Moorish quarter, the Iglesia del Carmen and dramatic views of Los Tajos (the gorge).Nungwi Village
The joys of this out-of-season break extended beyond the uncongested roads. The temperature was a pleasant 20C, the sunshine was constant, other tourists were few and the pace of life had shifted down a couple of gears. Yet, I had not driven to the back of beyond to get here: around 45 minutes’ drive in a hire car from Málaga airport had taken me to my base, the town of Archidona. The capital of Málaga province during Moorish rule, it’s now a regular working town with a population of around 9,000 and a reassuringly light dash of tourism.