In December 2021, I had the pleasure of exploring Andalusia for 3 weeks, searching for the most beautiful places in this Spanish province. We had some beautiful sunny days, a real treat! Here is a brief summary of our road trip itinerary in Andalusia.
Seville is one of the must-visit places in Andalusia! It's even one of the most sought-after cities in Europe for a weekend in Seville! So I invite you to consult my article dedicated to it as well as the one on the best restaurants in Seville and the best brunches in Seville!
Jerez de la Frontera
We spent a night in Jerez de la Frontera, which is one of the most characteristic cities in Andalusia. After landing in Seville and picking up our rental car, we headed to Jerez after an hour's drive! Known for being the birthplace of flamenco, it offers a lot of sights for tourists.
The must-visit is undoubtedly the Real Escuela de Arte Ecuestre: we enter the sanctuary of these beautiful Iberian horses that can be admired at work or during an equestrian performance that takes place almost every day (to check on their website). During the visit, we also discover the stables, a must-see for horse lovers but also for beginners! If you have 2 or 3 weeks to explore the region, don't miss Jerez!
We continue on to Cadiz, a fortified peninsula facing the sea. It had its heyday by welcoming many goods from the New World in its port. Today it has even more to offer with its ancient remains, Mudéjar style buildings, and Baroque wonders.
We enjoy strolling on its beautiful beaches, such as La Caleta located in the heart of the city or in the pedestrian historic center with its narrow streets and beautiful homes.
It is in the heart of the mountains that we discover this beautiful white village, a must-visit during your visit to Andalusia! It is the village that I fell in love with the most! The small town is known for its beautiful view of its historic bridge, the Puente Nuevo, dating from 1793, which connects the old part of the city to the new part. For the more athletic, they can even go down to the Tagus through the Camino de los Molinos.
So it is these beautiful views of the surroundings that attract many tourists! But it is also the birthplace of bullfighting. Its arenas are among the oldest in the country. The visit is very enjoyable and allows you to discover this world apart: you have access to the center of the arenas, but also to the backstage and to a museum that explains its origins.
The Arab Baths of Ronda are also worth a visit and are in perfect condition. If you plan to visit those in Granada, you may be able to skip those in Ronda.
The White Villages Route
The road between Cadiz and Malaga is known for its stunning white villages that are typical of the region. From afar, the small white houses next to each other offer a beautiful view, but don't hesitate to explore on foot, in the heart of their winding alleyways.
Setenil de la Bodegas is a troglodyte village not to be missed on the route of the white villages. Its unique style is very popular with tourists. Olvera and Zahar de la Sierra are also worth a visit, as is Zahara de la Sierra.
We then take the road towards Marbella on the beautiful A397 road, which is a real joy! It is known to be one of the most beautiful in Europe and its reputation is well-deserved! For 47 km, it's a succession of turns to descend from the 1000 m height of Ronda to sea level.
The capital of the Costa del Sol has become over the years an unmissable seaside resort! It has more than one trick up its sleeve and deserves that we stay at least 2 nights to wander around its beautifully restored historic center, admire its must-see monuments and discover one of its museums, not forgetting its beaches that are just a stone's throw away.
While wandering in the historic center, we discovered the Cathedral of the Incarnation which is absolutely majestic, both inside and outside.
Among the museums, the unmissable Pablo Picasso museum offers the opportunity to admire over 200 works of the artist.
As for Soho, this former run-down neighborhood is now perfectly brought up to date with its street art works, art galleries, and trendy restaurants and bars.
Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, Granada is a gem to visit absolutely. Of course, the Alhambra is a must-see for a day. This palace is a perfectly preserved piece of history and a testimony to Moorish and Catholic culture. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance, the site is a victim of its success!
As for the city center, it also deserves our attention. Being a student city, it is therefore very dynamic! Its nightlife, as well as a maze of charming alleyways, make it an unmissable destination on a road trip in Andalusia.
Ubeda and Baeza
The two towns of Ubeda and Baeza are somewhat different from previous visits: they underwent major upheavals in the 16th century during the Renaissance period. By walking their streets where churches, majestic palaces, and beautiful manor houses are dispersed, one discovers their beauty.
Along with Seville and Granada, Cordoba is part of the must-see triangle when traveling in Andalusia, especially when one only has a week to devote to their road trip in Andalusia. The visit to Cordoba is worth 1 or 2 days, no more, because even though it has superb historical testimonies, it is not very large.
The mosque-cathedral, the Alcazar of the Catholic kings, the synagogue, and the Roman bridge are just some of the places to discover in Cordoba. It is the mix of Christian, Islamic, and Jewish cultures over the centuries that creates a certain richness.
It is by wandering in its narrow streets, but also in the small squares where pretty fountains reign, that one appreciates this city the most.