The Moors were heartbroken when they were expelled from Andalusia. For nearly 800 years, they had lavished their affection on the conquered territory, leaving a legacy of majestic architecture and exquisite gardens. When the Spaniards finally drove them back to North Africa in 1492, Andalusia entered a new golden age with the discovery of the Americas. Today, the timeless charm of cities such as Córdoba, Seville and Granada is complemented by excellent roads and AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) 190-mph trains from Madrid. I enjoy staying in the great cities of Andalusia out of season, when the crowds have thinned. The winter weather is usually mild and sunny: ideal for touring and still pleasant enough to sit outside at a café.