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Southern Spain Itinerary: 7 days in Andalusia itinerary with or without a car

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Southern Spain, also known as Andalusia is a region of Spain that you should visit if you love beaches, history, and culture. If you are looking for an affordable vacation spot in Europe, then look no further than our Southern Spain itinerary 7 days.

With 7 days in Andalusia, you can soak in the amazing weather (300 days of sunshine per year), beautiful beaches, delicious food, and wine plus fascinating historical sites like the Alhambra in Granada.

Southern Spain or Andalusia itinerary
Perfect Southern Spain Itinerary

It’s also very easy to get around with cheap flights from many European cities or by train or bus. All this makes it one of the best places to visit in Europe. We’ve compiled everything you need to know about visiting Southern Spain into this guide so that your trip will be perfect every step of the way!

Southern Spain Itinerary: 7 days in Andalusia itinerary with or without a car: Planning your trip 

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Quick Southern Spain Itinerary: 7 days, 10 days, 14 days in Andalusia

7 days10 days14 days
D1:Seville Seville Seville
D2: Seville Seville Seville
D3:Italica Doñana
National Park
Doñana
National Park
D4:GranadaGranadaGranada
D5:CordobaGranadaGranada
D6:Doñana
National Park
CordobaCordoba
D7:RondaMalagaMalaga
D8:Costa del SolCosta del Sol
D9:Ronda Costa del Sol
D10:NerjaRonda
D11:Arcos de
Frontera
D12:Nerja
D13:Gibraltar
D14:Tangier

History of southern Spain or Andalusia 

The southern region in Spain traces its history to ancient Romans and Moors. The Moors ruled this area for over 800 years, and its influence can be seen in everyday living, food, and their amazing architecture. 

If you didn’t know this already, the name “Andalusia” (that southern Spain is also known as) is derived from the Arabic word Al-Andalus. And Andalusia is famous for its Moorish architecture, which is one of a kind in western Europe. 

Royal Alcazar Palace
Royal Alcazar Palace

From the Alhambra (in Granada), to Seville’s Alcazar Palace, La Giralda Tower and Mezquita in Cordoba, southern Spain is just filled with UNESCO world heritage sites.

And add to that, whitewashed pretty villages and small towns (Pueblos Blancos) sprinkled all over, and with sunny days and coastlines, that is hard to beat, Andaluaisa makes for a great travel destination.

Arcos de la Frontera, one of the famous Pueblos Blancos or White Towns, in Spain

Traveling to southern Spain

When it comes to vacationing in Spain, its southern counterpart is much more affordable as compared to the northern side (or Catalunya).

After spending extensive time in both regions, we found that 3-4 star hotels were cheaper in Andalusia, as well as food, and sightseeing tours were affordable too.

Of course, you can keep costs low by staying in hostels, cooking meals, and using public transportation only (no car rental or tours). In this post, we will share 3 itinerary samples so that you can customize the itinerary based on your budget and personal interests. 

Plaza del Espanya Seville Spain
Seville Spain

When visiting Southern Spain, remember the following things,

  • Currency: Euro (cash is better for most transactions)
  • Tourist Visa: Passport holders from US and Canada can travel visa-free for 90 days. If you require a visa, you have to apply for Schengen Visa prior to arriving in Spain.
  • Getting to Southern Spain: There are many ways to get to southern Spain. When flying from North America, you will most likely arrive in Barcelona or Madrid and then make connections to Seville (the largest city in Andalusia, and a prime tourist spot). Arriving in Portugal is also an option (Lisbon to Seville has overnight buses as well).

If you are arriving in Barcelona or Madrid you can get to Seville via high-speed trains (from Madrid). Or fly to Seville. The city is served by the Seville Airport, and it does have flight connections to North America. 

You can get to the city centre from Seville Airport in 35 minutes by bus (EA city buses). Taxis or car rental will take 15 minutes. You can book one way transfers here from the airport or train station

Southern Spain Itinerary 7 days (Sample 1: Seville as base and day trip/tours with Gibraltar and Morocco)

Southern Spain is a beautiful country that has been attracting tourists for decades. But it’s hard to know where to go and what you should cover. In our first Andalusia itinerary sample, we will explore southern Spain, along with Gibraltar and Tangier in Morocco. 

Throughout the 7 days, Seville will be the base, so book a hotel or accommodation for 6-7 nights here. 

Day 1 of 7 days in Southern Spain Itinerary: Arrive in Seville and explore

Arrive in Seville by plane or bus/train, check into your accommodation.

Where to stay in Seville:


  • Silken Al-Andalus Palace: This is a lovely 4-star hotel, located very close to the Alcazar Palace. Silken Al-Andalus Palace has a pool on-site, along with a restaurant. Click to check out pictures and availability here
  • Hotel Palacio Alcázar: Hotel Palacio Alcázar is a highly rated property on Booking.com, and it is also located close to primary attractions in Seville such as the Seville Cathedral, and the Real Alcazar Palace. Click to view prices and availability 
  • Hotel Madrid de Sevilla: We stayed at this modest hotel – Madrid de Sevilla. It is located on the cusp of the city centre, and we were able to walk to the heart of Seville very easily. The rooms were spacious, and there were cafes and bars located near the hotel. Check out room availability and prices here

Depending on when you arrive, you can check out the following activities on day one in Seville. 

Real Alcazar of Seville

One of the best things to do in Seville is to take a tour of the stunning Real Alcazar. This famous palace with intricate tile work and stunning courtyard has remained largely unchanged since it was built in the 14th century.

Real Alcazar Palace
Alcazar Palace

It was originally a fortress and was later re-built for the Christian king Peter of Castile on the site of an Abbadid Muslim alcazar. It is the oldest royal palace in use in Europe, and quite a popular touristy spot. 

When planning to visit the palace interiors, set aside 2-3 hours. This will allow you to explore all the rooms, courtyards, exhibit halls, and gardens. Being a touristy area, allow for wait times at the entry gate. During our visit, we booked our entry tickets online and were allowed in a few minutes by security checks. 

We paid for an audio guide on-site, and spend time learning about the palace complex and taking pictures. 

The Royal Alcazar along with Seville Cathedral and the Archivo General de Indias, are all three together is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

For your tickets, you can either book a priority ticket to the Royal Alcazar Palace only or save money by booking a combo pass. If you buy the combo ticket as we did, you can visit the palace first, and then make your way to the cathedral.

Book:

Seville Cathedral and Giralda Tower

The Seville Cathedral is famous for its large interior, as well as being one of the biggest cathedrals in the world. Spend an hour or so exploring the interiors – this is also the resting spot of Christopher Columbus.

Get the best 2 days in Seville Itinerary for your trip. Explore the UNESCO Heritage Sites, hidden gems, bohemian areas, tapas bar hopping, flamenco and more
Views from the Giralda Tower

During your visit, also climb up to the top of the Giralda Tower (adjacent to the cathedral) will give you a fantastic view of Seville and is totally worth it. You can choose to go up either via stairs or elevator.

Book: You can purchase a combo ticket as mentioned above, or just pay for a priority ticket to the Seville Cathedral and Giralda tower only

Barrio Santa Cruz Neighborhood

After you’re done admiring all the sites, wander around the Barrio Santa Cruz (neighborhood). This is where many of Seville’s historic buildings are, and it is the old Jewish quarter. 

Barrio Santa Cruz is always lively (at any time of day), and here you will find lots of cute bars and restaurants if you are hungry!

You can end the night at the Jewish Quarter, or book a flamenco show with dinner to call it a day. 

Day 2 of 7 days in Souther Spain Itinerary: Explore more of Seville & off the beaten path Spain travel

From flamenco shows to tapas bar hopping to simply wandering through the cobblestone streets and admiring the city’s beauty, your second day in Seville is all about cultural experiences and more sightseeing. 

To cover today’s sightseeing spots, we recommend opting for a 24-hour hop-on and hop-off pass. This way you can hit the various areas, without renting a car or using public transportation. 

We enjoyed the ride, especially because the temperatures started soaring mid-day, and a ride on the bus top was a great way to see the city!

Plaza de España

Visit the Plaza de España, built for the Ibero-American Exposition (1929), and then wander around and admire the building’s architecture. The plaza is located in the Parque de María Luisa or Maria Luisa Park.

Plaza de Espanya

The plaza is one of the Instagrammable spots in Seville, with its gorgeous  Baroque Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Moorish Revival (Neo-Mudéjar) style of Spanish architecture, representing various regions in the country.

To access the plaza is completely free. You can pay for a boat ride at the canal or opt for a horse carriage tour. The plaza complex today is home to administrative offices. 

After exploring the Plaza de España, you can also walk the park and gardens nearby – Maria Luisa Park.

Torre del Oro and Guadalquivir 1-Hour City Cruise

From Plaza de Espana make your way to Torre del Oro (via hop on and hop off bus tour). Tower of Gold or Torre del Oro was a military watchtower that prevented enemy ships from sailing on the Guadalquivir river.

It was a nice area to go on a walk along the river, enjoying the shade. If interested you can also check out the museum located inside the tower. 

Guadalquivir River flows through the city, and today you can join an hour’s sightseeing cruise to admire Seville’s colorful neighborhoods from the water. 

Wander the neighborhood of Triana

For the afternoon, you should check out the neighborhood of Triana, located on either side of the river. This is a less modern area of Seville and has a traditional Spanish feel to it. It’s very charming and also worth spending some time admiring all its beauty

Triana neighborhood in southern Spain
Triana barrio facades in Seville Andalusia 7 day itinerary

There is a pedestrian bridge that you can cross over the river and then continue on to walk through this neighborhood. Betis Street will surely capture your attention with its colorful buildings. 

A wander around here will give you a more local experience of Seville, and it’s also very beautiful!

Visit the Castillo de San Jorge (Saint George’s Castle) and then the Triana Market. Both are located next to each other. 

This market is a nice place to break for lunch, or just to grab a snack and a drink. If you want to take a Spanish cooking class, Triana is a good spot to do so. 

Before heading back to the city centre, take a wander at the Corral de las Flores, where the last of the communal houses in Triana are left.

Puente de Isabel II

Find your way back to Puente de Isabel II for the evening. This bridge was built in 1865 and crosses the Canal de Alfonso XIII, and connects you to the centre. Stop here for an epic sunset view. 

El Tajo Bridge, located near Puente de Isabel II is also a nice spot that captures the beauty of Seville perfectly, with its stunning architecture against the sunset backdrop. 

Finish the night with a tapas tour

Set aside 2.5 to 3 hours for a round of authentic tapas tours in the city centre. Eat-in small cafes and centuries-old restaurants. Our food tour covered 4 places with drinks, starters, and many tapas samples. Check out this tapas food tour here.

Tapas bar hopping in Seville

Day 3 of 7 days in Souther Spain Itinerary: Day trip to Granada

For your third day in Southern Spain, take a day trip to the city of Granada. 

Options to get to Granada from Seville

Tours are great to cover the city highlights for a day (and also nap on the way). 

View of Granada city in southern Spain
Top view of Granada city. Andalusia, Spain

The first site you should visit is the Alhambra complex. In Arabic, al-ḥamrāʾ (الحمراء) means “the red one”, and this term refers also to the color of tiles used in the Alhambra. The monument consists of a citadel, surrounded by gardens, ramparts, and palaces, which were an example of Islamic architecture when they were built.

The Alhambra was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, and it’s also one of the most visited attractions in all of Spain.

View of Alhambra at sunset
View on Alhambra at sunset, Granada, Spain

In addition to Alhambra, you should also visit the Albayzin – a neighborhood full of Moorish magic! It’s a beautiful labyrinth of narrow streets and squares, built with a stunning range of colors. You will love the architecture here, and all the history it holds.

This day tour also covers the Generalife Gardens, Nasrid Palaces, and the Alcazaba Fortress on a day trip. 

Day 4 of 7 days in Souther Spain Itinerary: Day trip to Cordova 

Cordoba is another Andalusian city that is worth visiting as part of your 7 days in Southern Spain itinerary. Visit Cordoba for its beautiful Mezquita. This is a Moorish mosque from the 8th century, so it’s one of Spain’s most unique pieces of architecture.

Ancient Roman bridge in Cordoba
Ancient Roman Bridge across the river Guadalquivir in Cordoba

Getting to Cordoba from Seville

Cordoba can be easily reached via public transportation or as a road trip from Seville. 

Cordoba was the seat of the Islamic Emirate after it was conquered in the 8th century. The city flourished under the second Caliph, Al-Hakam II.

During your trip, explore Mesquita or Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. The building has been excellently preserved and contains a number of very old pieces, such as wood panels from the 11th century, which you should definitely check out! It’s a beautiful place, and the mosque even has its own minaret.

Mesquita Cordoba
Interior of Mosque-Cathedral, Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain

Book: Combo ticket to the Mesquita and the Jewish Quarter here Or Cordoba Mosque, Synagogue & Jewish Quarter Tour with Tickets

Next, go to the Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos and learn past. Take the time to walk the beautiful gardens. 

Cordoba’s narrow streets of the Jewish Quarter. Do check out the whitewashed houses here sprinkled with pretty flowers. Or stroll along Calle de las Flores to experience one of the most beautiful streets in Córdoba.

End the day with a visit to a synagogue, the only one in Andalusia. 

Cordoba is an excellent place to wander around and enjoy the views, as well as visit some of the iconic attractions in Southern Spain. 

Day 5 of 7 days in Souther Spain Itinerary: Day trip to Gibraltar

From the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, step away into the different landscape – in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory.

We decided to visit Gibraltar from Seville Spain, as it was an easy trip (versus flying from the UK). You can also visit Gibraltar from Malaga, and Cadiz in Southern Spain. 

Views from Gibraltar

Known for its military history, the Castle of Moors, and the Rock of Gibraltar, this territory is home to stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. 

As you embark on this journey to Gibraltar you will also visit Punta de Europa, mainland Europe’s southernmost spot. This trip also welcomes you to views of the Strait of Gibraltar to the continent of Africa! 

How to get to Gibraltar:

In one day in Gibraltar, you must visit the amazing limestone caves of San Miguel (Cueva de San Miguel) and admire the numerous stalactite and stalagmite formations. 

Don’t forget to meet the cute Barbary monkeys at Apes Den, and also soak in the stunning coastline from there. 

Do visit the Europa Point, which is Gibraltar’s lighthouse at its southernmost point, and it offers great views of North Africa

Depending on your interests you can also go on a 2 hour history tour of Gibraltar, and tour the Great Siege Tunnels, which were excavated by hand in 1782 during the Siege of Gibraltar. Also, explore the Moorish Castle which is the oldest building in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar is known for duty-free shopping, so if interested do stop by Main Street for affordable jewelry, perfumes, watches, and electronic items.  

Finally, before leaving for Seville stop and eat fish and chips, or chicken tikka masala in Casemates Square. 

Read: Day trips from Seville Spain

Day 6 of 7 days in Souther Spain Itinerary: Day trip to Tangier

Another quick day trip from Spain to another country is that of Tangier in Morocco. Tangier is a nice city with a port, medina, and historical sites that are perfect for a day trip. We stayed in Tangier for more than 2 days and visited from Seville.

Tangier Morocco medina

Ways to get to Tangier Morocco: To get to Morocco from Spain you have to take a bus to get to the port of Tarifa and then arrive in Tangier. A day tour follows the same route, and includes lunch at the medina, along with sightseeing (Hercules Caves) and souks. 

On a day trip, here is what you can cover in Tangier (please check entry requirements for non-US/Canadian passport holders).

Explore the Caves of Hercules, which is an archaeological cave located in Cape Spartel, about 14 km or 8.6 miles west of Tangier. The cave’s interiors are fascinating, and it has two openings, one to sea and one to land. The sea opening is popularly known as “The Map of Africa”, and it actually looks like the map of Africa looking at the sea.

The cave itself is part natural and part man-made (by the Berber people). It costs 5 Moroccan dirhams per person to enter the cave. 

While you are at the site, don’t miss Cape Spartel, which is located about 1,000 feet above sea level at the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. 

Next head to the Petit Socco that surrounds the medina quarter of Tangier. Then sit down for a nice lunch of couscous and mint tea at a medina restaurant. 

You can go shopping here, or visit the Kasbah Museum located in the medina.

Day 7 of 7 days in Souther Spain Itinerary: Day trip to Ronda & White Villages of Andalusia

Finish your 7 day southern Spain itinerary with a visit to one of the White Towns of Andalusia. Pueblos Blancos are a series of white villages that are sprinkled all across the region. 

You can visit 1-3 villages in a single day, when on a road trip. Day tours also cover a similar itinerary. We personally liked Ronda, and so we will showcase this as a starting point

How to get to Ronda:

If you wish to explore smaller White Towns like Zahara de la Sierra, Arcos de la Frontera, and Grazalema, without Ronda, you can check out this day tour. 

White towns Arco de la Fronetera southern Spain itinerary 7 days
Arcos de la Frontera, one of famous Pueblos Blancos, in southern Spain

Arcos de la Frontera is a small town with amazing views over the mountains and other white towns. Grazalema is another village worth visiting. It is located within the Sierra de Grazalema National Park and is a popular spot for outdoor lovers. 

With a focus on this day trip to Ronda, you will love to know that it is one of the oldest towns in Spain. Built on two cliffs connected by a bridge, called New Bridge, Ronda offers a stunning view everywhere you look. The view of the Puente Nuevo bridge (New Bridge) along with the El Tajo gorge will blow your mind. 

View of the old town on Tajo Gorge in Ronda in 7 days in Andalusia itinerary

But Ronda is more than the cliffs, gorge, and the Guadalevín River, its historic town centre is a UNESCO site, and the Paseo de Blas Infante, which is the old town’s promenade that has stunning views of the El Tajo and more.

Ronda’s centre also welcomes you to amazing cuisine, and structures such as the Church of Santa Maria. 

7 days in Andalusia itinerary with or without a car (Sample 2: Seville as a base)

In this 7 day South Spain road trip we will focus on Andalusia only without leaving the country 🙂 Here is how the itinerary will look like,

Day 1 -2 of Southern Spain itinerary: Seville 

Spend 2 days in Seville exploring the city highlights. Here are our recommendations

  • Real Alcazar Palace, Seville Cathedral
  • Barrio Santa Cruz neighborhood
  • Plaza de Espanya
  • Neighborhood of Triana
  • Cooking class and Tapas tour
  • Flamenco show

Day 3 of Southern Spain itinerary: Italica Roman Ruins

Go on a half-day tour to Italica to explore Roman ruins. It is located only 9 km away from Seville (5.6 miles), so you can easily cover the site in half a day. 

Italica Roman ruins
The ancient Roman amphitheater with a moat to represent the naval battles in Italica, which was the capital of the Roman province of Betik.

Italica was founded as a place to settle and support wounded soldiers in the battle of Illica. Today it is the oldest Roman site in Spain. 

Some of the highlights of Italica include the amphitheater, this is the site where gladiator battles were held. And this one can house seating for up to 25,000 people.

There are columns, and forums to admire, as well also explore the monastery of San Isidoro del Campo, a medieval fortress from the Mudejar, Gothic and Baroque periods

If you are a GoT fan, you will love this!

You can book the tour here

Day 4 of Southern Spain itinerary: Granada

Spend day 4 in Granada.

Explore the following city highlights

  • Alhambra, the UNESCO heritage site. Do go on a guided tour to understand the complex history
  • Generalife Gardens
  • Explore the old Arab quarter – Albaicin

Day 5 of Southern Spain itinerary: Cordoba 

Head to Cordoba from Seville for a day

Panoramic view of Gardens at the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos in Cordoba
Panoramic view of Gardens at the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos in Cordoba

These are some of the highlights to add to your one day itinerary,

  • Explore the Mezquita de Cordoba – the Great Mosque of Cordoba
  • Wander the Jewish Quarter
  • Take a walk at the gardens of Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs
  • Visit the Medina Azahara – Conjunto Arqueológico Madinat al-Zahra – ruins in Cordoba

Day 6 of Southern Spain itinerary: Doñana National Park

Doñana National Park is located about an hour away from Seville by road. The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site to preserve its natural flora and fauna, and this is a great way to incorporate some nature time when you are in Andalusia. 

Donana National Park
The landscape of the Donana National Park. Southern Spain itinerary 7 days

On your day trip, 

  • Enjoy short trails at the Doñana National Park, including guided walks
  • Spot the local fauna, as well as migratory animals and birds 
  • Take a boat tour on the Guadalquivir River to see flamingos and other wildlife
  • Enjoy the views of the Doñana coastline, 
  • Hang out at the Playa de Matalascañas, dine, or grab a bite to eat before returning to Seville

Day 7 of Southern Spain itinerary: Ronda

End your 7 day itinerary in Andalusia with Ronda. One of the stunning white villages in Southern Spain, Ronda is not to be missed.

How to get to Ronda:

Walls of Ronda in southern Spain
Walls of Ronda and fortress church of the Spiritu Santo

Here is what you can explore in one day in Ronda,

  • Check out the ‘new bridge’ – 18th-century Puente Nuevo bridge
  • The views from the bridge and the El Tajo gorge are stunning
  • Visit the historic quarter and eat great food in a nice cafe
  • Explore the Church of Santa Maria located here
  • Walk the Paseo de Blas Infante, which is the old town’s promenade

7 days in Southern Spain Itinerary (Sample 3: With overnight stays in Seville & Granada)

In this Andalusia road trip itinerary, we suggest staying overnight in Granada, along with a few nights in Seville. You can book further accommodation in Malaga and hit the beaches of Costa del Sol if you prefer. 

Torre del Oro Seville Spain
Seville Spain

Day 1-2 of 7 days in Southern Spain: Seville 

The first 2 days of the one week itinerary in Andalusia stay the same. Arrive in Seville, pick up car rental and then spend the next 2 days exploring the UNESCO heritage sites, tapas bars, and flamenco shows.

Day 3 of 7 days in Southern Spain: Cordoba 

Spend time in Cordoba, and explore the city’s iconic landmarks. 

Day 4 – 6 of 7 days in Southern Spain: Granada, Malaga, Costa del Sol

Travel to Granada from Seville, and stay here for the next 3 days.


Accommodation: Meliá Granada. This is a nice 4-star hotel, with an onsite restaurant and bar. The location of the property is amazing – just minutes away from Alhambra, with quick access to tapas bars and Granada Cathedral. Check availability here

Spend one day in Granada, and then use the next 2 days to explore Malaga and its beaches, or you can also take a two-day trip and visit the Alpujarras mountains. 

Malaga is a lovely coastal city which is known for its lovely coastline and beaches and Pablo Piccasso. 

View of Malaga best day trips from Seville Spain
Aerial view of Malaga, Andalusia, Costa del Sol, Spain
  • Drive: To get to Malaga from Granada (or Seville) by car, it will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes or more, one way (depending on the route)
  • Train: If you take a train, it will take less than 2 hours.

Here is what you can see in Malaga in a day:

  • Visit the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress in Malaga city center
  • Wander the La Plaza de la Constitución square
  • Check out the Picasso Museum in Málaga
  • Known for its lovely promenade and coastlines, you must not miss Malaga’s charming port 
  • Hang out at La Malagueta beach – one of the most popular beaches in town!
  • Or shop at Calle Larios – a pedestrian shopping street in Malaga

Malaga is also an affordable city in Southern Spain, so you can also stay here for the remainder of the one week in Spain, and add a beach day out to your Andalusia itinerary. 

Hotel recommendation: Eurostars Malaga. This is a 4-star property, located very close to La Malagueta beach, and the train station. Great location if you wish to stay for 2 -3 nights in Malaga. Check prices and availability here.

Day 7 of 7 days in Souther Spain: Ronda (or Nerja)

Finish the trip by exploring Ronda (from Granada or Malaga), and then returning back to Seville. 

Seville to Ronda is 1.75 hours by road, and Granada to Ronda is 2 hours, one way. 

For a road trip, if driving 4+ hours is a little bit too much for day 7 of the itinerary, then swap Ronda for Nerja. 

Nerja in southern Spain
Spanish landscape, Nerja, Costa del Sol, Spain

Nerja is a small town in Southern Spain that oozes everything traditional and Andalusian charm. It’s known for its natural beauty and coastline, so most travelers go here to enjoy the sea views.

Here are the attractions in Nerja:

  • Walk along the Balcón de Europa – a scenic outlook that offers panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and coastline
  • Visit the Nerja Caves – a beautiful Mediterranean cave that was once used as a church and mosque
  • Take the coastal walk and hang out at the Nerja Playa Burriana

If you like sea views and getting to know the history of Spain, then Nerja is the perfect place for you, before bidding adieu to Andalusia. 

Now, Malaga to Nerja is 45 minutes by road, and after exploring this cute town, you can return to Seville in 2.50 hours. 

Additional Travel Tips for Southern Spain

Best time to visit southern Spain

One of our good friends in Canada told us, southern Spain is like Mexico to Europeans. With 300 days of sunny weather, many flock to Andalusia for its warm weather in the off-season and winter months.

This is for a good reason as the weather and temperatures are much more bearable as compared to hot/summer months like July and August.

Our trip was completed in late September, and during this time, days were definitely hotter. As you move away to the mountains (the Sierra Nevada and/or Granada) the daytime temperatures were better than Seville or Tarifa. 

Summers will be hot and dry with temperatures rising as high as 40 degrees C (104 F), fall and spring are better in terms of consistent temperatures (not too hot or cold). 

May, late September, and October are the best months in terms of both weather and crowds. 

Winters are great here as a warm destination (this is the warmest you can get in Spain in winter). Between November and February, most of the places have clear sunny weather. 

Even in winters, we recommend carrying a light cardigan (along with beachwear), you can surely ditch heavy knits and woolens when visiting Andalusia during these months. 

What to pack for southern Spain?

Here is a quick list of items to pack for your trip to the south of Spain:

  • Clothing: Wear long sleeves cotton or breathable fabrics. Pack some lightweight flowy dresses 
  • Cardigan: In the winter months, you won’t need down jackets, but a nice warm cardigan will suffice
  • Beachwear: If you are planning to hit the beach, or a resort with a pool onsite, pack swimwear for the occasion. Here is my favorite one from Amazon
  • Comfy walking or hiking shoes: You will need comfortable walking shoes to explore Roman ruins, historic town centres, and more. Here is my favorite pair
  • Sunscreen: Wear (and carry) sunscreen at all times of the year. Plus sunnies!
  • Camera gear: Ensure you have your camera, and SD card ready as you will be taking a lot of photos
  • Universal adaptor and cables: Don’t forget a universal adaptor, and charging cables
  • Travel insurance: To insure your trip against delays and cancellations. Get free quotes from World Nomads
How many days in Spain is enough?

Typically a one week in Spain is ideal. In 7 days you can mix a metro city like Barcelona, Madrid or Seville, and then include day trips to nearby towns, beaches or nature parks. 

How do you get around southern Spain?

A car is a great idea for southern Spain. Without a vehicle, train travel is the way to go. Trains are reliable, and you can easily keep a city as a base, and take trips via train. Even within the city public transportation is affordable and good. 

When trains take a longer time for a day trip look for day tours. Some small tours are really engaging and you get to learn about the destination with a local guide. Most of our trips in southern were by tours, and we were able to enjoy free time without being intrusive. Many tours will also cover a drink/lunch and entry passes.

What can you do in southern Spain?

We have highlighted the best spots in southern Spain for 7 to 14 days, but there is more. 

Seville
Granada 
Málaga
Córdoba
Cádiz
Tarifa
Jerez de la Frontera
Frigiliana
Ronda
Balearic Islands

How many days do you need in southern Spain?

Although there are lots to see in southern Spain, it is best explored at a slow pace. Or with a mix of active day – slow day cycle. Ideally, 2 weeks will be nice, where you spend 7 days in Andalucía actively checking off all the major attractions, and spend the rest of the time hanging out, and relaxing at a beach or historic town centre! 

Is Andalusia expensive?

For accommodation, food, and sightseeing set aside $110 USD per day per person (twin share basis).

Is northern or southern Spain better?

That’s a tough one. We liked both. Northern Spain has its own charm with Barcelona and its world-class attractions and exploring smaller cities like Girona, Bilbao, etc. Access to Pyreeness is a plus as well. 
Southern Spain has unique Moorish architecture and beaches. Andalusia gets an extra star for tapas and flamencos – we surely loved the food in southern Spain.

Is northern Spain cheaper than southern Spain?

Northern Spain is expensive as compared to its southern counterpart. From accommodation, food to tickets at sightseeing spots, north is expensive. Southern Spain was definitely affordable in terms of staying at the centre (3-star hotels) and eating out every day.

We hope you enjoyed reading our travel guide to plan a perfect trip to Southern Spain with your family or friends. Save this post so that you can review the tips later!

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