A trip to Spain will be incomplete without visiting Andalusia. And you should start your trip from the enchanting Seville, the capital of Andalusia. Seville is an incredible city with its food scene, enthralling flamenco dances, UNESCO heritage sites, and rich history. But the city also makes the perfect home base to go on day-trips all around the region. There are so many beautiful towns in the area that a few days in Seville could easily turn into a week or two. Here are some of our top picks:
Cordoba is a melting pot of different civilizations, cultures and religions, enriched with hundreds of years of history. Its past splendor still lives on through architectural wonders, picturesque neighborhoods and spectacular gardens. Tourists flood Cordoba all year round to witness the awe-inspiring Mezquita, a mosque-turned-cathedral which is widely regarded as the greatest Islamic temple of the western hemisphere and is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its rows of red and white striped arches in the nave date from the 8th century, and it’s one of the most beautiful interior spaces in the world.
The major attractions in Cordoba are not too far from one another, so once you are in the historic center, you can walk everywhere on your own or take a guided walking tour to get your bearings and learn about the history of the city. In fact, wandering around the pretty streets is one of the best things to do here! Walk the rampart walls of the Alcazar de los Reyes Christianos for beautiful views of the city, the Roman Bridge and river, and the gardens of the Alcazar. Then tour the stunning gardens. The floral displays, topiary, architectural elements, and fountains all combine to make your visit very worthwhile.
How to get there: Trains depart hourly from Seville to Córdoba, and the journey takes only 45 minutes each way.
Situated right below the grandiose Sierra Nevada mountain range, Granada offers an abundance of things to do and see; and of course Alhambra could not but occupy the very top of the list. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a striking wonder of medieval architecture, its walls still echoing legends of times long gone. Within the vast fortress you’ll find the beautiful Generalife Gardens, the stunningly ornate Nasrid Palaces, and the Alcazaba fortifications which have panoramic views of Granada below. Outside the walls of the Alhambra is the old Moorish quarter of Albaicín – with white washed houses the neighborhood is great for a wander. There’s also sights in the city center to be seen, particularly the enormous Granada Cathedral.
Across the Darro River, on the opposite hill, is the Barrio de Albaicin, your next stop in Granada. The historic district completes the UNESCO site of Granada. You will love wandering the neat alleys with whitewashed houses and walled gardens. Don’t forget to stop at the Plaza de Mirador de San Nicolas for the view of the Alhambra on the hill opposite. Lastly, explore the caves of Sacromonte for a bird’s’ eye view of the city and a unique flamenco experience if you happen to be there at the right time. It’s hard not to be charmed by Granada.
How to get there: The best way to go from Seville to Granada is by bus. Surprisingly, the bus is faster and cheaper than the train. It also runs about 10 times a day, which means more convenient hours. The bus ride takes about 3 hours.
Ronda is one of the oldest towns in Spain. It dates back to the 15th century. This town was built during Moors rule and the view is enough to make your heart feel at peace and a treat for photographers. Ronda is probably the most popular among the famous ‘’Pueblos Blancos’’ (White Villages) of Andalusia. a village split gracefully in two sides by Guadalevin River, which are connected by no less than three bridges, with the beautiful ‘’Puente Nuevo” being the most remarkable among them. The Ronda Bridge, the Puente Nuevo, is Ronda’s main attraction. Built over El Tajo, the mighty gorge that splices Ronda’s Old and New Towns, the bridge is an engineering marvel and a stunning photo op. Walk to the rim anywhere to take in the beautiful panoramas of the surrounding countryside. Truly the stuff of picture postcards! Next, walk down the Camino de los Molinos to get an unobstructed view of the bridge from below. The path is beautiful, especially in the spring, when it is edged with wildflowers.
Wander the alleys of the Old Town. Marvel at the stunning buildings that line the Plaza Duquesa de Parcent, the main square, presided over by the Church of Santa Maria del Mayor. You can also view parts of the old city wall and gates. Head over to the bullfighting ring, which opened in 1785 and has seen some of Spain’s most famous matadors. Take a tour of the museum to learn about the history of bullfighting.
How to get there: Just under two hours from Seville, rent a car to make the trip here so you can be flexible with your time. If you prefer to take public transport, the bus is the next quickest way to get to Ronda from Seville, taking 2.5 hours.
The small city of Cadiz is located on a thin slice of land that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is a very old port city, one of the oldest in Europe. With its rich history and beautiful coastal vibe, Cadiz makes for a lovely day excursion from Seville.
The entire city is fun to explore, but the historic central district is where you should spend some time to see the main attractions and, of course, gorgeous coastal views around the waterfront. Start out at the Cadiz Cathedral, an elegant building from the 18th century with a bell-tower that features great city views. Then head over into the center of the city where ruins of the ancient Roman Theatre lie close to the cathedral. In the heart of historic Cadiz stands the Torre Tavira, home to a camera obscura and more views of Cadiz’s rooftops.
And don’t forget to find a gorgeous beach to relax. A fun sunny day-outing to the Playa la Caleta with its postcard views would be perfect. Sip on some cocktails and try some tapa while beach bumming.
How to get there: There are several direct trains daily from Seville to Cádiz. The journey takes between 1.5 and two hours each way. You can also take a bus from Seville to Cádiz, which takes 10 or 15 minutes longer than the train.
El Caminito del Rey
El Caminito del Rey is certainly one of the most spectacular attractions in Southern Spain. Once known as one of the world’s most dangerous trails, this path was a well-kept secret among rock climbers and adrenaline junkies, who were drawn to the crumbling, narrow path that had fallen into a shocking state of disrepair.
The Caminito del Rey is an aerial path built on the walls of Los Gaitanes gorge amongst the amazing natural beauty of Malaga. It was built in the early 1900s and served as an access way for workers to get to the hydroelectric power station situated at the end of the gorge. The path which was just one metre wide and hung to the cliffs was also used by the villagers as it was a shortcut to cross the mountain and saved time. Initially, it was named “Balconcillos de los Gaitanes” after the ‘little balconies’ you can still see sticking out of the cliffs. In 1921, King Alfonso XIII officially inaugurated the pathway. Some claim that the king was so impressed by the precarious architecture that he walked its entire length; hence the current name was given which translates to “The King’s Little Pathway.”
A new and safe walkway was constructed and is now used for hiking, but you still see the remnants of the old pathway as it hangs below the new and modern wooden boardwalk. The total distance is 7-8 km and it takes around 3 hours to complete the trip.The natural environment is unique and the path runs between two gorges, several canyons, and a large valley. You will see crystal clear water running beneath your feet, cross a suspension bridge and walk through a thick pine forest. The views here are spectacular. There are high cliffs towering over your head which are home to vultures and eagles. You will witness interesting rock shapes created by erosion and vultures flying all around. An eerie sight!
How to get there: The car is the fastest way to go to the King’s Pathway from Seville, as it takes less than 2 hours. The train to El Chorro station takes around 2 ½ hours.
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