Hola a todos, ...and welcome to Andalindalo Tours!
The time of the year that tourism drops down to almost non-existent for the holiday resorts in Almería. So who in their right mind would want to start up a tour company here at that time?
Ok, you get 1 guess…
I´ll tell you a bit more about that, but first let me introduce ourselves to you properly.
My name is Els, I was born in Belgium and spent most of my youth there. I’ve lived in Almería since 2002, which is when I ‘accidentally´ landed up here as a holiday rep.
In spite of not really planning to come to Almería to stay, I pretty much knew straight away that I would. Why I can´t explain, I just loved it since the very first day.
People often say that about Almería, love it or hate it, there’s no in-between.
I am not going to lie to you; this place is not perfect, just like nothing in life is. For instance, we don´t get a lot of rain, which seems like a pro, and sometimes it is, but it also means that especially in summer it can get very dry here, no lush green meadows for Almería. And of course there are the greenhouses that some people hold against it.
However, the many pros and the authenticity of this part of Andalucía always won it big time against the few imperfections for me, and isn't that what real love is all about?
Almería not only has the most amazing beaches, some of them unknown to most, it also shares the beautiful Alpujarra mountains with Granada.
It´s capital bursts with history, charm and ´couleur locale´...if you want to know what Southern Spain is really like, Almería is about as real as it gets.
And then there´s the food! I´ll have to do a whole separate blog to tell you about that, for now, let me just say it´s amazing! If it wasn't for the fact that like most woman, I tend to gain weight just by looking at a plate of lentejas or secreto, you would find me in a different tapas bar every day (or night).
Almería was voted Spanish capital of gastronomy for 2019, all I can say is, I agree!
Although I am not Spanish (nor do I aspire to be), I am very grateful to wake up here every day. Almería was love at first sight for me, and now, so many years and a whole lot of life experience later, I still enjoy living here so much I can’t wait to share this part of andalucía with you guys!
My partner Morné came a bit later than I did...he is from South Africa where he lived until he started traveling a lot for work. He came to Almería in 2017 and from day 1 he felt exactly the same about this part of Spain than I did...home.
As he discovered Andalucía, I rediscovered it, and it surprised me how used I´d gotten to living here and how I ´d started to take things for granted.
I was already working as a tour guide, sometimes Morné accompanied me on my tours and every free day we had we went somewhere new. We spent more than 2 years exploring and re-exploring, and enjoying every minute of it.
After that, starting up our own private tour company felt like a logical and natural next step.
We wanted to offer quality and originality, a company that offers people the chance to experience their holiday destination in a more exclusive way, that lets them decide for themselves what they want to see and how they want their tour to be. We wanted to design tours for them and with them, and offer that little bit extra, to ensure their day trip becomes one of their fondest memories.
We wanted a company that gives people the chance to go on a tour with only their own family or friends, and therefore experience their day differently.
We chose the name Andalindalo as a reference to Andalucía and Almeria´s most known symbol, the Indalo.
Then came the most fun part...paperwork!😂
I don’t want to bore you to death with details about how Spanish government services work (and I also don’t want to risk my Spanish friends spitting in my paella), but let s just say that everything didn’t really work out exactly as we had planned, it all took, as you can imagine as we are after all in the south of Spain,…a little bit longer.. 🙃
Which brings me back to November!
Almería has so much to offer, also in winter, but it´s not the most known area of Andalucía and to say the least, things are ´slow´ in the holiday resorts here from November to March. You could say that this is the worst possible time to start up a business in tourism, and yet, even being fully aware of all this, that is exactly what we did.
It might not be the best time, but this is the time of the year we finally got all the little details sorted out, and honestly, we could not wait any longer!
We are both so excited to be able to show you the Almería we both love so much, and of course also the highlights of Malaga and Granada...2 amazing treasures right in our back yard.
As my mother would say, things happen for a reason, light a candle and don´t worry, be happy.
Even if it had to be November, our candle is lit, we are ready and raring to go!
We can´t wait to meet you!
Els and Morné