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The Very Best Places to Visit in Andalusia

by Silke Elzner

Planning a trip to Andalusia soon? We lived in this part of Southern Spain for a little while and have plenty of tips and ideas to share. In this blog post you will find information on all the best places to visit in Andalucia. They include our most favourite white villages as well as nature parks, cities and day trip suggestions. It’s just a summary to help you find furhter information via links to our most popular Andalusia travel blog posts!

In 2017 we made the crazy decision to leave our home in Australia to test life in Spain. We found a house in the little seaside town of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol. (Read more about our journey here)

In just 40 minutes we could easily reach the city of Malaga. Other bigger cities such as Granada, Cordoba and Seville were just a couple of hours away. During our time there, I wrote a travel guide on Andalusia for a German online publisher. So I spent a lot of time researching the places around me including the history attached to them.

This article will give you an overview over the places in Andalusia  that I think should be on everyone’s bucket list. Look out for some hidden gems as well which may surprise you!

–> For a detailed Andalusia Travel Guide and Best Hotels Recommendations, read the article we’ve written earlier about our Andalusia Travels! It will give you a much broader overview over what to expect when travelling to the South of Spain. <–

The houses of Casares look like stacked sugar cubes

The sugar cube look of Casares makes this wonderful white village stand out from the crowd.

White Villages of Andalusia

Andalusia has a distinctively Moorish atmosphere thanks to the 500 years of Arab rule in this part of the country. You will see this particularly well in the countryside, where the small villages resemble very much those that you can find in the north of Africa as well. Small white houses with terracotta roofs, castle ruins, olive trees – it’s rustic, it’s pretty, it’s sunbaked and beautiful.

These articles list the villages we visited and why we would recommend them for your trip to Andalusia!

The Alpujarras – Last hiding place of the last Moors after the Reconquista, today a great culinary destination.

Mijas – Picture-perfect white village in easy reach of the western Costa del Sol.

Casares – The houses of Casares look like stacked sugar cubes.

Lastly: My most favourite White Villages in Andalusia.

Views from the Tavira Tower

Views of Cadiz from the Tavira Tower. You can easily see why this part of Andalusia is called Costa de la luz, the Coast of Light.

Big Cities and Small Towns

You haven’t been to Andalusia when you haven’t visited at least one big city. Seville, Cadiz, Cordoba – each one of them comes with a distinct feel and flavour. Grand buildings and monuments from the peak of the Moorish civilisation as well as from Spain’s days of glory dominate the centres of these cities. Narrow streets are filled with the kitchen scents of restaurants, markets are bustling with life, fountains sparkle in the hot summer sun.

Discover with us the best cities of Andalusia!

Golden trees on a square

The best time to visit the cities of Andalusia is in spring and autumn when the weather is fine but not too hot.

The Semana Santa in Malaga – If you are planning a trip to the Costa del Sol or indeed to Malaga, make the week before Easter your time of travel. During the Semana Santa this city goes crazy!

Cadiz – City of a hundred towers, sparkling jewel by the sea.

Cordoba – One of my most favourite cities in the world, not just thanks to the amazing Mosque-Cathedral.

Seville – Experiencing fiery Seville in summer is challenging, but also unforgettable.

Tarifa – Windswept Tarifa on the very tip of the continent is just a stone’s throw away from Africa. Just twenty minutes from here we also explored the ancient ruins of Baelo Claudia, a city by the sea.

Granada – Read here why winter is the best time to visit the city of Granada.

Malaga – Wondering what to do in Malaga when you arrive or depart by cruise ship? Looking for some day trip ideas while you are staying on the Costa del Sol? Look no further!

Cabo de Gata Nature Park

Cabo de Gata Nature Park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Andalusia. The nature park has seen very little human interference and today offers a mix of remote beaches, vast empty spaces and abandoned buildings.

Best Nature Parks of Andalusia

Andalusia is a dry and mountaineous country but it does come with some very charming pockets. These nature parks distinguish themselves thanks to their unsurpassed natural beauty. Even when you are not a hiker, we strongy recommend you plan in a visit to one of the nature parks in the south of Spain.

Cabo de Gata – The volcanic park of Cabo de Gata is home to flamingos, remote beaches, and abandoned windmills. A strange and otherworldly landscape, just half an hour from Almeria in the very east.

El Torcal – The karst peaks of Torcal just north of Malaga make some great hiking and offer views all the way to the coast. Kids will love the fantastic shapes of the rocks.

Sierra de Grazalema – This green and fertile part of Andalusia is home to some of the most beautiful white villages such as Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra.

Building with reflection pool

One of the palaces of the Alhambra in Granada.

Best Cultural Places to Visit: Monuments, Museums, Castles and Churches

Monsteries, churches, bridges, museums, palaces, castles, Roman ruins, and mosques – Andalusia has it all. We love exploring historic places in a destination and thus we can share with the very best that the south of Spain has to offer.

Read here if you are looking for a fascinating place to visit on your holiday.

Mezquita in Cordoba – The Mezquita is a 1,000-year old mosque with the added bonus of a Christian cathedral in its belly.

Seville Cathedral – One of the biggest buildings of the Christian world, the Seville Cathedral is burial place of Christopher Columbus, home of the famous Giralda, and beating heart of Seville.

Real Alcazar in Seville – This palace looks like it’s been taken straight out of an Arab fairytale.

Cartuja Monastery Seville – A former monastery which has been converted into a museum for contemporary art in Seville.

Monasterio of San Jeronimo Granada – One of the most beautiful Baroque churches can be found in this active monastery in the heart of Granada.

Atarazanas – Malaga’s markethall occupies the former Moorish shipyards and is a great place to taste some of Andalusia’s finest foods.

Alcazaba Malaga – The Moorish castle of Malaga offers amazing views of the city and the sea, including the rooftop of Antonio Bandera’s home.

The Dragon Pit

The Roman amphitheater in Santiponce is in good shape. Game of Thrones fans visit the town just outside of Seville to see the shooting location of their favourite show.

Andalusia: Our Most Favourite Destinations and Hidden Gems in Andalusia

When you stay in a destination for a longer period of time you get the unique opportunity to see some very special sights, those that are generally less visited by people from overseas. Andalusia has a whole bunch of fantastic places that get only very little mention in travel books.

From small towns to unique features like the flowering almond trees in spring and Game of Thrones shooting locations, there are a lot of things to explore when you want to go off the beaten path!

Setenil de las Bodegas – An off-the-beaten-track destination just outside of Ronda, where houses have been built into the face of the rocks.

Guadix – North of Granada, Guadix  has a pretty little barrio where people live in comfortable caves.

Fort Bravo – A Wild West film set that has been featured in many world-renown movie productions such as “The good, the bad and the ugly” and “Once upon a time in the west”.

Almond Trees – These flowering trees are particularly beautiful in spring. The story in this blog post is about our quest to find the more beautiful, most fragrant trees.

Santiponce – The little town of Santiponce just outside of Seville is home to a marvellous Roman site which was also featured in TV show Game of Thrones.

Osuna – This little town halfway between Seville and Malaga is not just very pretty thanks to the many Baroque palaces. It is also home to the small but interesting Game of Thrones museum and the bullfight arena which was also featured in the show.

Caminito del Rey – An adventure for anyone who would like to hike along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in an unbeatable outdoor setting.

Rio Tinto – A river the colour of blood. Centuries of mining activity have changed the tint of this river as well as the whole landscape surrounding it.

Lastly, a great list of 20 unusual things to do in Andalusia!

The Puente Nuevo in Ronda is a popular day trip destination from Málaga.

The Puente Nuevo in Ronda is a popular day trip destination from Málaga.

Road Trip and Day Trip Suggestions

Yes, it’s great to visit Andalusia and just spend some relaxing days on the beach or at the pool. But wouldn’t it be also nice to find out more about this historic and culturally rich place? These day trip suggestions will help you find worthwhile destinations to see more of this wonderful part of Spain.

Day trips from Malaga – Check out these 20 tried and tested day trip ideas with car and/or public transport!

Day trips from Seville – Staying in Seville? These 10 day trip ideas will help you make the most of your time in Andalusia!

I hope this Destination Guide will help you with the planning process of your Andalusia Travels! If you have any further questions, please feel to send me a message on social media or an email via the contact form on this site!

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