Andalusia is one of the warmest regions of Europe. The moderate Mediterranean climate means dry, hot summers and mild winters with isolated rainfalls. One major characteristic that Andalusia is generally known for is sunshine. Over three thousand hours of sunshine each year have made Andalusians a happy and hospitable people.
The diversity, expanse and ecological wealth of the Andalusian landscape reach from the highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula in Sierra Nevada through the large humid biotopes, dense, shadowy forests, volcanic desert landscapes and coastal strips that have remained virtually untouched. The largest part of these nature conservation areas are the natural parks, which, however, include the popular national park Coto de Doñana, that was declared a protected zone of the biosphere by UNESCO.
The natural parks, totaling 22 in all, cover mountainous, forest and coastal areas such as Cabo de Gata in Almería. The natural parks of Sierra de Grazalema in Cádiz, Sierra de las Nieves in Málaga and Sierra Bermeja are home to the world’s only noble fir forest.
The natural reserves, 28 in all, are largely wetland areas of lesser expanse than the natural parks, but of vital significance to flora and fauna particularly to bird life.
The quality of the coastal environment of Almería, Costa Tropical of Granada, Costa del Sol in Málaga, Costa de la Luz of Cádiz and Costa de la Luz of Huelva has improved tremendously. Vacationers from all over the world choose these coastal areas as their holiday destination due to its purity, the pleasant temperature of the seawater and the ever-present sunshine.