This most recent trip to Spain, exploring the Andalucia region, reminded me of my insane Sicily adventure a few years back - a home base in a bigger city (i.e. Palermo in Sicily and in this case, Málaga) and then, scenic road trips to tiny UNESCO towns.
If you're a history buff, you'll love Úbeda. Located in the province of Jaén (about 2-3hrs drive from the Madrid, Malaga or Seville airports), Úbeda houses an intricate legacy of monuments made up of churches, palaces and aristocratic houses. We spent almost two hours (!) learning about the monumental Plaza de Vázquez de Molina alone, which is surrounded by the Palacio de las Cadenas, Santa Maria de los Reales Alcazares (pictured above) and the Capilla del Salvador mausoleum.
So, this was a pretty unforgettable experience - with summer solstice in full swing, the timing of the sunrise matches perfectly in angle to the window of the mikveh (bath) in the historic Sinagoga del Agua. For 34 minutes, we experienced beams of radiating natural light. Coincidentally, I inadvertently dressed like a Pocahontas meets Jesus character (don't ask) and became a tourist attraction haha.
I have an unhealthy obsession with pottery - if loving ceramics is wrong, then I don't want to be right. So if you think that I a) was counting down the hours until the visit to ceramic God Paco Tito's museum and workshop b) took hundreds of photos and c) bought a few special pieces to bring home, then you're right.
It's all about olives (the #1 export) in Andalucia. Even their pits are used to fire the kiln in pottery-making.