The perfect Andalucia road trip for 10 days in Andalucia in southern Spain: where to go in Andalucia, what to see in Andalucia in 10 days & how to go around Andalucia in 10 days.
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If you are looking for a well-balanced and not fast-packed southern Spain itinerary you have found the right post. While I have spent a month traveling south of Spain, many people have only several days of their vacation to spend on a trip. That’s why I have tailored a perfect itinerary for southern Spain for first-time visitors covering the highlights of southern Spain and at the same time giving much time to leisurely enjoy the best of Andalusia.
In this post, you’ll find the perfect Andalucia road trip itinerary regardless of if you are planning to rent a car or to use public transport. The best way to explore the south of Spain is by renting a car as it gives you the freedom to see the countryside at leisure without depending on trains and buses, although the public transport system in Spain is great if you would prefer not to drive.
You can do this Southern Spain trip in 7 days, but I would recommend 10 days in Andalucia. Otherwise, you will be spending time traveling and less enjoying your Southern Spain trip.
For your Andalucia road trip you can rent a car at Malaga airport and follow this Andalucia road trip itinerary:
- ANDALUCIA ROAD TRIP ITINERARY: How to spend awesome 10 days in Andalucia
ANDALUCIA ROAD TRIP ITINERARY: How to spend awesome 10 days in Andalucia
Southern Spain Itinerary 10 days
STEPS AND TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR PERFECT TRIP
1. Find and book your flight: Skyscanner
2. Find and book your stay: Booking.com, HotelsCombined.com
3. Find and book the best car rentals: Discover Car Hire
4. Get travel insurance (insure yourself against any accident, sickness, theft, and canceled flight): WorldNomads.com
5. Find and book great guided day tours: GetYourGuide, Viator
This 10 days Andalucia road trip is a round trip that starts and finishes in Malaga. This southen Spain itinerary covers 3 ultimate southern Spain destinations (Seville, Granada, Cordoba), Jerez de la Frontera (the heart of Andalusia), exquisite and genuine Andalusian ‘pueblos blancos‘ (Iznajar, Arcos de la Frontera, Ubrique), stunning seaside town of Cadiz, spectacular Ronda and Malaga, the capital of Costa del Sol.
Day 1: MALAGA
Malaga has the biggest airport in Southern Spain and the 4th busiest airport in Spain (following only Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, Barcelona El Prat Airport, and Palma de Mallorca Airport by traffic). Thus, the best is to start and finish the southern Spain trip in Malaga.
Things to do in Malaga: Start your visit to Malaga by having a cup of coffee and a glass of fresh juice at Mercado Central de Atarazans before you officially start sightseeing Malaga. One of the top places to see in Malaga is the vibrant Mercado Central de Atarazans. Another popular place in Malaga for sipping morning coffee is Café Central Málaga. Later after a cup of morning joe head up to Castillo Gibralfaro (a hilltop castle) for the spectacular views of Malaga. After admiring Malaga from the hill, go down the hill to Alcazaba (a medieval Moorish palace with amazing sea views). Afterward, plan your visit to Malaga Cathedral (called also One-Arm Lady) and Picasso Museum Malaga. Just to remind you, Malaga is the hometown of Picasso. So, please take the time to visit the amazing Picasso Museum.
At the time you finish visiting the Picasso Museum, lunchtime is already going to be. I would recommend having lunch at the iconic El Pimpi tapas bar and afterward have your Spanish siesta. In the late afternoon have some beach time on sandy Malagueta beach. After all, you are on Costa del Sol. Reserve your hot Malaga evening for cocktails, sangria, and some of the typical local tapas.
- Morning: coffee at Mercado Central de Ataranzas, visit Castillo Gibralfaro and Alcazaba, Malaga Cathedral and Picasso Museum
- Lunch: El Pimpi & afternoon siesta
- Late afternoon: Malaga beach
- Evening: cocktails and tapas bars (check out Mañana Cocktail Bar Malaga) or take an Evening Wine and Tapas Tour in Malaga
Where to stay in Malaga
- BUDGET: The Lights Hostel, Alcazaba Premium Hostel, Oasis Backpackers’ Hostel Malaga, Malaga Stop Hostel AB
- MID-RANGE: Malaga Premium Hotel, Soho Boutique Museo, Hotel Malaga Picasso, Hotel Sercotel Málaga, La Casa Azul B&B + Apartments
- UPSCALE: Vincci Selección Posada del Patio, Hotel Palacete de Alamos, Gran Hotel Miramar, Molina Lario, Barceló Malaga
Day 2: GRANADA
In the early morning on the second day, head to Granada. Distance between Malaga and Granada is only about 30 km.
- From Malaga to Granada by car: an hour and 45 min drive.
- From Malaga to Granada by bus: There are about 8 daily buses from Malaga to Granada. A one-way Malaga to Granada bus ticket is about 12 €.
- From Malaga to Granada by train: If you want to travel more comfortably from Malaga to Granada, consider taking a train from Malaga to Granada. But in that case, the train route goes from Malaga to Antequera (about 30 min train ride), and from Antequera to Granada (an hour and a half train ride). A train ride from Malaga to Granada is from 20 € and up.
Main attractions in Granada, Spain: Alhambra Palace (the most visited site in Spain), Carrera del Darro (the most beautiful street in Granada), Albaicín quarter, Sacromonte (Granada’s gypsy quarter), Granada’s Arabic Baths (Granada’s Banuelo is the oldest surviving Arabic baths in Spain), Granada Cathedral (in Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque style; still not finished)
- Early in the morning: Alhambra (book your ticket in advance! and go early as possible), visit Granada Cathedral (built-in Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque style)
- Afternoon: have tapas lunch at Bar Los Diamantes (Granada’s most famous tapas bar for fried fish) at Plaza Nuevosiesta and visit authentic Arabic Baths (Granada’s Banuelos is the oldest surviving Arabic baths in Spain). Or, opt for an afternoon spa time in Hammam Al Andalus (in the center of Granada near Plaza Nueva)
- Late afternoon: stroll Carrera del Darro (the most beautiful street in Granada) which starts from Plaza Nuevo and goes to the famous Albaicin quarter and head to Albaicin for the sunset.
- Evening: go to Sacromonte (Granada’s gypsy quarter) for a flamenco show and dinner
Tip: For roaming Alhambra palace, cobbled stone streets of Granada, and hilly Albaicin, you will need comfortable walking shoes. If traveling in summer, check out my list of top comfort women’s sandals for walking.
Where to stay in Granada:
- BUDGET: Lemon Rock Hostel, White Nest Hostel, Lavadero de la Cruz, Hotel Carlos V
- MID-RANGE: Hotel Inglaterra, Apartamentos Turísticos San Pedro, Eurostars Catedral, Palacio Cabrera – Lillo, Suite Balcón de Granada, The Gran Vía Balconies
- UPSCALE: Shine Alcaiceria, Petit Palais 1829, Palacio Cabrera – Lillo, Luxury Alhambra Penthouse Collection, Piso en calle Recogidas (Centro), Casa Miravalle Apartamentos Darro
Day 3: IZNAJAR AND CORDOBA
On the third day, head from Granada to Cordoba with a stop in Iznajar.
Iznajar is one of the most beautiful white villages in southern Spain with an outstanding hilltop setting overlooking Iznajar lake. If you want to see an authentic Andalusian village, this is a place to visit.
The distance between Granada and Iznajar is about 90 km.
- From Granada to Iznajar by car: an hour and 10 min
- From Granada to Iznajar by bus: an hour and 30 min from Estación de Autobuses de Granada. A one-way Granada to Iznajar bus ticket goes from 8 € and up.
The next stop on this south of Spain itinerary is Cordoba.
After visiting Iznajar head to Cordoba. The distance from Iznajar to Cordoba is about 130 km.
- From Iznajar to Cordoba by car: an hour and a half drive
- From Iznajar to Cordoba by bus: 2 hours and a half drive. A one-way Iznajar to Cordoba ticket is about 12 €.
In the past Cordoba was the capital of Muslim Spain and the center of medieval Europe. A mix of beautiful setting on the river Guadalquivir and some extraordinary historic treasures gives a special romantic vibe to Cordoba. La Mezquita (the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba) is without any question one of the most fascinating architectural masterpieces in the World.
Main attractions in Cordoba in Spain: Mosque of Cordoba (the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba), Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs, Juderia de Cordoba (Jewish Quarter), Puente Romano (the Roman Bridge), Moorish tea rooms (teterías) in Cordoba, los patios de Cordoba (beautiful old-time patios full of flowers and with an old-times vibe)
When you reach Cordoba, most likely noon is already going to be. Check-in at your stay and head to the picturesque Old Jewish Quarter (el Barrio de la Juderia de Cordoba) for lunch and stroll around world-famous Corodobese patios and afterward visit Alcazar Palace of Cordoba (one of the primary residential palaces of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon).
- Lunchtime: Juderia de Cordoba (Jewish Quarter), Alcazar of the Christian Monarch (the royal palace of Cordoba)
- Afternoon: tea time in a Moorish tea room Salon de Te in Barrio Judería (in the Jewish Quarter) (http://salondetecordoba.es/)
- Evening: leisure stroll around romantic Cordoba – walk the Roman Bridge and have dinner
- Next day in the morning: visit La Mezquita in Cordoba (it opens at 8.30 am) before you head to Seville
Where to stay in Cordoba:
- BUDGET: Mayflowers Hostel, Hotel Riviera, El Antiguo Convento, Hostal Azahar
- MID-RANGE: Hospedería del Atalia, Urban Vida Alcázar, La Boutique Puerta Osario, Hacienda Posada de Vallina
- UPSCALE: Las Casas de la Judería de Córdoba, Hotel Madinat, Patios del Orfebre, Hospes Palacio del Bailio, Casa el Reloj
Day 4-5: SEVILLE
Seville is next stop on this South Spain itinerary. The distance from Cordoba to Seville is about 145 km.
- From Cordoba to Seville by car: an hour and 50 min drive.
- From Cordoba to Seville by bus: 2 hours and 15 min ride. A one-way Corodab to Seville bus ticket costs about 12 €.
- From Cordoba to Seville by train: It is a 45 min train ride. There are about 25 trains a day from Cordoba to Seville. A one-way Cordoba to Seville train ticket goes from 7.50 € to 30 €.
2 DAYS IN SEVILLE – ITINERARY:
1st day in Seville:
- Late morning: Seville Cathedral (with the tomb of Christopher Columbus and climb to La Giralda tower), El Divino Salvador church, Casa de Pilatos (a palace in Renaissance and Mudèjar style with a collection of azulejos and Goya paintings)
- Lunchtime: recommended places to eat in Seville: Cocome (healthy, vegetarian), Al Wadi (Moroccan, vegetarian), Az-Zait (Mediterranean, European, Spanish)
- Afternoon: Parque de María Luisa, Plaza de Espana (Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones were filmed there), Museo de Bellas Artes (with a collection of religious art)
- Evening: tapas dinner at Santa Cruz quarter and a flamenco show at the Museo del Baile
2nd day in Seville:
- Morning: Real Alcazar Palace with gardens (Alcazar Gardens are the Water Gardens of Dorne in Game of Thrones), Hospital los Venerables (a 17th-century baroque building with the Diego Velázquez Center)
- Afternoon: walk Guadalquivir riverfront and climb historic Toro del Oro tower, visit Real Maestranza Bullring, go to the Metropol Parasol for sunset panoramic views of Seville (3€ ticket)
- Evening: head to Triana quarter for a leisure walk and have tapas dinner
Where to stay in Seville:
- BUDGET: For You Hostel Sevilla, El Viajero en Sevilla, Casa Boutique La Pila del Pato
- MID-RANGE: Welldone Metropol, Welldone Antiquarium, Puerta Catedral Indias Lofts, Suites Murillo Catedral, Sevilla Central Suites Apartamentos Puerta Jerez
- UPSCALE: Hotel Ateneo Sevilla, Palacio Bucarelli, Hotel Gravina 51, Slow Suites Setas, Hotel Casa Del Poeta
Day 6-7: CADIZ
After Seville, Cadiz is coming next in your Andalusia itinerary. The distance from Seville to Cadiz is about 120 km.
- From Seville to Cadiz by car: an hour and 40 min
- From Seville to Cadiz by bus: about a 3-hour bus ride. A one-way Seville to Cadiz bust ticket costs about 14 €
- From Seville to Cadiz by train: an hour and 40 min. A one-way Seville to Cadiz train ticket goes from 10 € and up
Cadiz is my favorite place in Andalucia. Why? Because of the people. Simple as that. In Cadiz, you will find the friendliest people in southern Spain. More I travel, more places with welcoming and open-hearted people capture my heart. Architectural masterpieces and fascinating nature are always on my itinerary. But what keeps me longer in one place are good-hearted people. And Cadiz is one of the places like that. In Cadiz, you will meet cheerful and easygoing people, smiling, chatting laud, laughing spontaneously and always ready to help a stranger in need. ‘Joie de vivre’ of Cadiz is unparalleled!
But don’t get me wrong, Cadiz is not only about friendly people. Cadiz is also about great beaches and exceptional seafood.
Related read: Best Seafood in Spain
If you happen to travel to Andalucia in the snails season, you should give a try to caracoles tapas in Cadiz. Most likely you are going to be surprised how tasty they can be. Like I was! You can read more about it here Eating Snails in Spain.
Because of friendly people, great food and excellent beaches, I would suggest planning to stay at least 2 days in Cadiz.
Main attractions in Cadiz: Castle of San Sebastián, Santa Catalina Castle, Cádiz Cathedral, Mercado Central, Barrio del Pópulo ( the oldest quarter in Cadiz stretching from the Town Hall to the Cathedral), Torre Tavira (observation tower with great views of Cadiz), first-class seafood restaurants, Blue Flag beaches (Playa La Caleta, Playa De La
2 days in Cadiz – itinerary:
- Morning: visit Cadiz Cathedral, Castle of San Sebastián, Santa Catalina Castle,
- Afternoon: walk Cadiz waterfront promenade, head for sunset to Torre Tavira
- Evening: Go to La Vina quarter and have dinner at Casa Manteca (my favorite taberna in all Southern Spain for a great atmosphere and excellent food!)
- Morning: Head to Mercado Central to enjoy your breakfast and to hang out with local people
- Rest of the day: Beach time and seafood time. Swim, sunbathe, and eat. You are on vacation in Spain!
Where to stay in Cadiz:
- BUDGET: Summer Cádiz, Pensión España, Cadiz Inn Backpackers
- MID-RANGE: La Posada del Mercado, Hotel Monte Puertatierra, Apartamentos Tandem Ancha 34
- UPSCALE: El Armador Casa Palacio, Piso Calle San Francisco, Casa de La Botánica, Parador de Cádiz
Day 8: JEREZ, ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA & UBRIQUE
After some seaside time, you are heading to the inland south of Spain. Typical Andalusian white villages are next on your Andalucia itinerary.
Distance from Cadiz to Jerez is about 37 km.
- From Cadiz to Jerez by car: about 35 min drive
- From Cadiz to Jerez by bus: from an hour up to two-hour bus drive A one-way Cadiz to Jerez bus ticket goes from about 1,5 €.
- From Cadiz to Jerez by train: about 35 min train ride. A one-way Cadiz to Jerez train ticket goes from 7 €.
On the 8th day early in the morning, you are heading to the heart of Andalusia: Jerez, Arcos de la Frontera and optionally Ubrique. Andalusia is about sherry, horses, and flamenco. And Jerez is the true home of sherry wine, Andalusian horses and flamenco. Andalusian horses are one of the most famous equestrian breeds in the world.
Things to do in Jerez: watch equestrian ballet at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, taste authentic sherry in Jerez (from light and dry sherries such as Manzanilla and Fino to as darker and sweeter sherry such as Oloroso), sample wines and popular local tapas in traditional ‘tabancos‘, tour the cellars of González Byass or bodega Tío Pepe for authentic sherry tastings, visit the Yeguada de la Cartuja stud farm near Jerez
- Morning: take a 2.5-hour tour of sampling wines and popular local tapas in traditional ‘tabancos‘
- Afternoon: watch 90 min equestrian ballet of Andalusian horses
If you’re traveling Andalucia in May, then the Feria del Caballo (the Horse Fair) is a must! There you will have a feeling of stepping back in time and you will see Andalusia at its best: Andalusian women wearing traditional flameco dresses – colorful ‘rajes gitanas’ or ‘gypsy dresses’, flamenco singing and dancing in noisy public ‘casetas’, Andalusian horses parade …
Distance from Jerez to Arcos de la Frontera is 35 km.
- From Jerez to Arcos de la Frontera by car: a 30 min drive.
- From Jerez to Arcos de la Frontera by bus: about 35 min ride. One bus per hour a day. A one-way bus ticket goes from about 4 €.
- From Jerez to Arcos de la Frontera by train: No train line.
Best things do to in Arcos de la Frontera: stroll narrow picturesque streets of this breathtaking Andalusia white town, head to the viewpoint of Mirador of the New rock for striking views, visit Casa del Conde del Aguila built in the late Gotic and Mudejar style.
If you travel by car, I suggest visiting Ubrique also. There’s no direct bus line from Arcos de la Frontera to Ubrique. Ubrique is a typical whitewashed Andalusian town situated in between two nature parks. If you are a nature lover, Ubrique area is a place to see in the south of Spain. If you are traveling by car you can enjoy scenic views on your way from Arcos de la Frontera to Ubrique.
Distance from Jerez to Arcos de la Frontera to Ubrique is about 43 km
- From Jerez to Arcos de la Frontera to Ubrique by car: about 45 min drive.
- If you are traveling by bus go straight from Arcos de la Frontera to Ronda and make late check-in in Ronda.
Day 9: RONDA
Distance from Arcos de la Frontera to Ronda is about 90 km.
- From Arcos de la Frontera to Ronda by car: an hour and 10 min drive.
- From Arcos de la Frontera to Ronda by bus: a 2-hour bus ride. A one-way ticket is about 10 €. 2 buses a day run on the route.
Main attractions in Ronda: Puente Nuevo bridge, terraces of Jardines De Cuenca, Plaza Del Toros (Ronda’s bullring), Banos Arabes
The next stop on your Andalucia trip itinerary is Ronda, one of the most spectacular towns in Southern Spain. Ronda might be a small town by size, but the atmosphere is world-class. If you like small towns with a spectacular countryside setting, most likely you will fall in love with Ronda. Ernest Hemingway and Orson Wells did. Even more, cremated remains of Orson Welles and his beloved Paola Mori have dispersed down a well on a small country estate on the outskirts of Ronda.
“There is one town that would be better than Aranjuez to see your first bullfight in if you are only going to see one and that is Ronda. That is where you should go if you ever go to Spain on a honeymoon or if you ever bolt with anyone. The entire town and as far as you can see in any direction is romantic background..” – Ernest Hemingway noted about Ronda.
- Morning: go for breathtaking views of Puento Nuevo Bridge, head to La Casa del Rey Moro to visit the bottom of El Tajo gorge, walk another two bridges in Ronda – Puente Viejo and Puente Arabe, visit the Mondragón Palace ( a Moorish, Renaissance, and Gothic style palace),
- Lunchtime: Restaurante Bardal (a Michelin star restaurant)
- Afternoon: visit Ronda’s Bullring, stroll the Alameda del Tajo Park just behind the bullring, visit La Casa Del Rey Moro (the House of the Moorish King), go to the Mirador de Ronda (the viewpoint of Ronda) for sunset
- Evening: our some of the bodegas in the countryside around Ronda
Where to stay in Ronda: have your ‘honeymoon’ night in Parador de Ronda with a spectacular location on the edge of the gorge and breathtaking views!!!
DAY 10: MALAGA
Depending on your flight time, you can go directly to Malaga Airport, stay on the last day in Malaga or even take a day trip from Malaga to Gibraltar.
The distance from Ronda to Malaga is about 103 km.
- From Ronda to Malaga by car: an hour and 30 min drive.
- From Ronda to Malaga by bus: 3-hour bus ride. A one-way ticket is about 15 €.
- From Ronda to Malaga by train: from an hour and a half to a 2-hour ride. A one-way ticket is about 15 €.
ANDALUCIA ROAD TRIP ROUTE
Andalucia road trip by car: stops + driving distances + driving times
|Stops on Andalucia road trip||Driving distance||Driving time|
|Malaga to Granada||19 mi (30 km)||1 h 45 min|
|Granada to Iznajar||56 mi (90 km)||1 h 10 min|
|Iznajar to Cordoba||81 mi (130 km)||1 h 30 min|
|Cordoba to Seville||90 mi (145 km)||1 h 50 min|
|Seville to Cadiz||75 mi (120 km)||1 h 40 min|
|Cadiz to Jerez de la Frontera||23 mi (37 km)||35 min|
|Jerez de la Frontera to Arcos de la Frontera||22 mi (35 km)||30 min|
|Jerez to Arcos de la Frontera to Ubrique||27 mi (43 km)||45 min|
|Arcos de la Frontera to Ronda||56 mi (90 km)||1 h 10 min|
|Ronda to Malaga||64 mi (103 km)||1 h 30 min|
MAP OF THE SOUTHERN SPAIN ITINERARY
Andalucia road trip: south of Spain map
BEST TIME TO VISIT SOUTHERN SPAIN
The best time to visit Andalucia is spring and autumn. In summer months (June, July, August) temperatures in Andalucia go above 40ºC with hardly bearable heats. Pleasant temperatures to travel southern Spain are from February to May. May is a great month to go to Andalucia as some greats festivals happen at that time. And Holy Week in Andalucia is another level.
The best months to take the Andalucia road trip are spring months (March, April, May) and autumn months (September, October, November).
RECOMMENDED READ – ANDALUCIA TRAVEL GUIDES
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