5 travel itinerary ideas for Andalusia, Southern Spain
Planning a great trip to Andalusia without knowing Southern Spain well is not easy but we are here to help! In this article we have compiled 5 Andalusia travel itinerary suggestions, ranging from 4 to 10 days.
But first, you may be wondering:
- What’s the most convenient city to start an Andalusia travel itinerary?
- What is the best way to travel around Andalusia?
- What is the best time of the year to travel to Andalusia, Southern Spain?
- Do I need a visa for my trip to Andalusia?
- Do you recommend to buy travel insurance for a trip to Southern Spain?
- Is Andalusia a good destination to travel with kids?
- How many days should an Andalusia travel itinerary include?
Then, with all this background information, we recommend to check out our 5 Andalusia travel itinerary suggestions:
- 4 days in Southern Spain. Andalusia highlights itinerary
- 5-day itinerary of Southern Spain. Essential Andalusia
- 6 days in Southern Spain. An ideal itinerary of Andalusia
- Andalusia in 7 days. The best travel itinerary for a week in Southern Spain.
- Southern Spain 10-day itinerary. Andalusia in all its splendor.
Finally, after reading our travel itinerary suggestions for Southern Spain, you may have at least two more questions:
- Where to stay along an Andalusia travel itinerary
- How do I add unique experiences, magic and value to my Andalusia travel itinerary?
What’s the most convenient city to start an Andalusia travel itinerary?
We recommend to start your Southern Spain travel itinerary in Seville. This will make an epic start for your trip to Andalusia.
Besides, Seville is probably the most convenient city to start a trip through Andalusia. Getting to Seville is easy. The city has a good international airport, which is only 20min by car from the city centre. There’re also high-speed trains to Seville departing from Madrid approximately every hour and the journey takes only 2’5 hours. If your flight to Spain arrives in Barcelona, it is also easy and affordable to fly to Seville from there. Vueling is a convenient airline to fly from Barcelona to Seville and the flight takes only 1,5 hours.
What’s the best way to travel around Andalusia?
Trains are very comfortable and punctual in Southern Spain but the railway network is limited to the main cities. If you are willing to include whitewashed villages, natural parks, smaller towns and rural areas in your Andalusia travel itinerary, a road trip is the best option. Therefore you will need a car.
The roads in Andalucia are excellent and there are many offices of the usual international car rental companies. However, getting in and out of the historical centre of Southern Spanish towns and cities by car is not fun. Extremely narrow streets, a serious lack of outdoor places to park and very confident pedestrians walking and crossing as if cars didn’t exist are very common in the old city quarters. These areas were not designed for cars, so you will enjoy them immensely as a pedestrian but definitely not as a driver.
Because of this, our recommended way to travel around Andalusia is with a private professional driver. This option will save you the stress of driving, finding your way and parking as well as the worry to not damage your car while navigating the narrow streets of Southern Spanish historical centres. Besides it will save you the time to manage a car rental, to study all the insurance options and to plan your route. Also, it will give you total freedom to enjoy the fabulous Southern Spanish wines! Finally, we invite you to take into consideration the value that having a local person with you will add to your trip.
If you are still thinking about driving yourself, we strongly recommend to not venture into any of the historical centres of Southern Spain with your vehicle. Leave your car outside the old town and take a taxi from there to the historical centre. This will save you a lot of stress, time and energy.
What’s the best time of the year to travel to Andalusia, Southern Spain?
Andalusia in January – February – March
This is our winter, which is generally very mild and dry. Minimum average temperatures range from 2ºC (Granada) to 10ºC (Cadiz) and maximum average temperatures range from 17ºC (Granada) to 21ºC (Cadiz). The average of rainy days per month during this period is between 4 and 7. As for hours of light, the shortest days of January have 10 and the longest days of March have 12,5. So still, plenty of hours of daylight to enjoy!
These months are ideal for the low-season traveller. Hotel prices drop significantly, reservations are generally not necessary in restaurants and tickets for landmarks can be bought on the same day easily. Also, ski lovers are in for a treat with a trip to Andalusia in January, February or March as Sierra Nevada, our regional ski resort with a total slope length of 106.8 km, is open throughout these months. Regarding local festivals, the city of Cadiz celebrates a fun and wild carnival in February, which lasts for a good two weeks!
Andalusia in April – May – June
Spring is by far the most cheerful season to visit Andalusia. It’s during these months when the vast majority of traditional local festivals take place. Amongst them, the so-called “ferias” (Spring fairs) are a real highlight of this time of the year.
These are preceded by the processions of Semana Santa (Easter week), which are the fascinating manifestations of fine art and religious fervour that flood the streets of our cities and towns from Palm Sunday until Resurrection Sunday every year (Covid19 permitting).
As for temperatures and rainy days, Spring in Andalusia is ideal. Minimum average temperatures range from 8ºC (Granada) to 14ºC (Cadiz) and maximum average temperatures range from 17ºC (Granada) to 32ºC (Seville). The average of rainy days per month during this period is between 1 and 6.
Andalusia in July – August – September
The Summer in Southern Spain is warm and dry. Temperatures are most pleasant in the morning and in the evening. Afternoons can be very hot (average afternoon temperatures range from 28ºC to 36ºC), so it’s best to spend them somewhere cool. That’s why we recommend to include hotels with a pool in your Andalusia travel itinerary if you are planning your Southern Spain trip for the months of July, August or September.
Our recommendation to make the most of your days during a trip to Andalusia in the Summer months.
What we locals do to cope with these hot afternoons is to split our daily activity into two slots. We wake up early in order to get as many things done as possible in the morning, before the heat comes. Then we usually come back home to rest and come out again when the sun sets, to enjoy the evening. That’s why cities seem dead from 3pm to 7pm approximately.
Summer evenings are long and magical in Southern Spain. Andalusian people love staying out until late to enjoy the relief of having more gentle temperatures after a hot day. We strongly recommend to take a siesta in the afternoon in order to gather energies for a slightly extended evening. We also recommend to wake up early if you want to do and see things during the day. It will be hard to wake up early after a slightly late night but you have your recommended afternoon siesta to look forward to and to push yourself to get up!
July, August and September are common months to vacation amongst Spaniards, who usually go to the coastal areas of Spain itself. Because of this, non-coastal destinations are rather quiet during the Summer and hotel prices drop slightly. This is the case of cities like Madrid, Seville, Cordoba and Granada. However, coastal destinations such as Cadiz and Malaga are the busiest during the summer and hotel prices rise accordingly.
Andalusia in October – November – December
Autumn is an ideal time of the year to travel to Andalusia. During these months travellers will enjoy a relaxed low-season ambiance and gentle post-summer weather. Minimum average temperatures range from 3ºC (Granada) to 11ºC (Cadiz) and maximum average temperatures range from 23ºC (Granada) to 26ºC (Seville). As for rainy days per month, the average ranges from 4 to 7.
Cities recover their normal dynamics by mid October, when everybody has come back from their holidays and re-adapted to their routine. Hotel prices start to drop significantly a couple of weeks later (late October).
November is a great month to experience the regular local atmosphere and dynamics of Southern Spain as there are neither many tourists nor any major festivals. The next big regional festivals are Zambombas of Jerez, which start in early December and last until just before Christmas. Zambombas are definitely worth attending if you enjoy experiencing local traditions. No other city in Spain celebrates the arrival of the winter festive season like Jerez.
Do I need a visa for my trip to Andalusia, Southern Spain?
US travellers are exempt from the requirement to be in possession of a visa to enter Spain for a stay of less than 90 days. For other countries please check the corresponding entry requirements with the Embassy of Spain in your country.
Do you recommend to buy travel insurance for a trip to Southern Spain?
As a specialist travel agent, we strongly recommend to buy travel insurance for all foreign travel. The effort to buy travel insurance is too small compared to the complications that may arise in case of an unexpected medical issue while abroad.
Is Andalusia a good destination to travel with kids?
Absolutely! Spain is a very family-oriented country, so kids are most welcome pretty much everywhere. The vast majority of hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, monuments and culture spaces in general will offer kids a warm welcome. The same applies to seniors, who are very respected in Spain as our local ones are an important part of our families and communities. Southern Spanish cities and towns are great destinations for family travel. There are also great options for outdoors family adventure travel in rural areas.
How many days should an Andalusia travel itinerary include?
We believe that 4 days is the shortest time one should spend in Andalusia and we understand that more than 10 days is probably beyond the average international trip for most 21st century travellers. Because of this, we suggest 5 different itineraries for travel to Andalusia ranging from 4 to 10 days.
• 4 days in Southern Spain, Andalusia highlights itinerary
If you have 4 days for your Andalusia travel itinerary, we strongly recommend to focus on Seville, Cordoba and Granada. This will allow you to discover the three former Hispanic-Muslim capitals of Andalusia at a reasonable pace.
Our suggested 4-day itinerary for travel to Andalusia is as follows:
Day 1: Seville. UNESCO World Heritage Sites and evening flamenco performance. Overnight in Seville.
Allow at least 3 hours to visit the Cathedral, la Giralda, the Alcazar and the Archive of the Indies in Seville. Then, explore the iconic quarter of Santa Cruz, which is a delightful labyrinth of narrow streets featuring beautiful examples of traditional Southern Spanish architecture. A great place to stop for some food and great wines in the Santa Cruz district is Casa Roman.
In the early evening, buy tickets to watch a good flamenco performance. Museo del Baile Flamenco has daily flamenco shows with very talented performers.
Day 2: Seville palaces in the morning and afternoon bike ride. Overnight in Seville.
Seville has fantastic private palaces that are open to the public. These are Casa Pilatos, Palacio de las Dueñas and Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija. They are all different and we recommend to visit at least two of them. Afterwards, you many want to have a bite near the surprisingly modern Metropol Parasol, where there are many great food spots.
Our favorite is Palo Cortao. A small restaurant with great food, super friendly and professional staff and amazing wines (great sherries amongst them).
Then, hire a bike for two or three hours. Seville has 179 kilometres of bike lanes and it is completely flat, so cycling is easy, safe and a great option to optimise your time in the city.
Start pedalling to the beautiful parque de Maria Luisa. Once there, make sure you don’t miss two majestic outdoor spaces annex to it: Plaza de España and Plaza de America. This will allow you to see the most exquisite constructions erected in Seville in the 1920s.
From there, cycle along the Guadalquivir river to see Torre del Oro and to enjoy the beautiful views of the quarter of Triana, located on the other side of the river.
Day 3: from Seville to Granada via Cordoba to see the Great Mosque-Cathedral there. Overnight in Granada.
Travel from Seville to Cordoba in the morning and spend 4 – 5 hours in the city. Cordoba was the first Hispanic-Muslim capital and it treasures probably the most thought-provoking building that Spain has to offer: the great Mosque-Cathedral. Make sure you don’t miss it and explore also the Jewish quarter. If you want to venture beyond the main attractions in Cordoba to see some local action too, walk to Plaza de la Corredera and have something to eat and drink there. Then continue on to Granada.
Day 4: Granada. The Alhambra and the quarter of el Albayzin. Overnight in Granada.
Enjoy your last morning in Andalusia exploring the quaint quarter of el Albayzin and the breath-taking views of the Alhambra that it has to offer. El Albayzin has an exotic Hispanic-Muslim footprint in its urban structure, houses and gardens and it makes a delightful and relaxed stroll.
In the afternoon, visit the majestic Alhambra and el Generalife or summer palace of the last Hispanic-Muslim sultans. Allow at least 3 hours to visit these sites and make sure you buy your tickets in advance.
Then in the evening, we recommend to enjoy the local tapas scene in Granada. The quarter of El Realejo has great tapas bars as well as a vibrant local atmosphere.
• 5-day itinerary of Southern Spain, essential Andalusia
A 5-day Andalusia travel itinerary will allow you to see the three great Hispanic-Muslim capitals (Seville, Cordoba and Granada) and still enjoy a full day trip to the province of Cadiz.
Our suggested 5-day Andalusia travel itinerary includes Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Jerez and Cadiz as follows:
Day 1: Seville. Alcazar, Cathedral, Archive of the Indies and Jewish quarter in the morning – afternoon and flamenco performance in the evening. Overnight in Seville.
Day 2: Full day trip to Cadiz and Jerez from Seville. Overnight in Seville.
Visit a Sherry bodega in Jerez to do a sherry tasting and learn about the art of pairing food and sherry there. Then discover the stunning colonial city that Cadiz is.
Day 3: Seville. Palaces of the Spanish nobility in the morning and bike tour in the afternoon. Overnight in Seville.
In the morning, visit Palacio de las Dueñas, Casa Pilatos and/or Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija. Continue your exploration of the city by renting a bicycle for the late afternoon – early evening and pedal to Parque de Maria Luisa, Plaza de España, Plaza de America, Torre del Oro and the Guadalquivir river banks.
Day 4: from Seville to Granada via Cordoba to see the great Mosque-Cathedral, the Jewish quarter and Plaza de la Corredera. Overnight in Granada.
Day 5: Granada. The quarter of el Albayzin in the morning and the Alhambra and el Generalife in the afternoon – early evening. Overnight in Granada.
• 6 days in Southern Spain, an ideal itinerary of Andalusia
6 days in Andalusia allow for a travel itinerary including Seville, Cordoba, Granada, a day trip to Cadiz and Jerez from Seville and some strategical stopovers to explore smaller towns that are true hidden gems. We are talking about Carmona, Ecija, Priego de Cordoba and Alcala la Real.
Our suggested travel itinerary for 6 days in Andalusia is as follows:
Day 1: Seville. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the morning and flamenco show in the early evening. Then tapas dinner in Seville old town. Overnight in Seville.
Day 2: Full day trip to Jerez and Cadiz from Seville. Overnight in Seville.
Learn about sherry in the sherry capital, do the corresponding tastings, have lunch there and then travel to the coastal town of Cadiz to see its gorgeous colonial architecture.
Day 3: Seville. Historical private palaces and bike tour. Overnight in Seville.
In the morning, visit the majestic private palaces that are open to the public in Seville old town (Casa Pilatos, Palacio de las Dueñas and Casa de la Condesa de Lebrija). Then eat something to gather energies for a late afternoon exploration by bike of Plaza de España, Plaza de America, Parque de María Luisa, the Guadalquivir River and Torre del Oro. Overnight in Seville.
Day 4: travel from Seville to Córdoba stopping along the way in Carmona and Ecija. Overnight in Córdoba.
Have an early start this day to travel first from Seville to Carmona. There we recommend to visit its vast Roman necropolis as well as its old city quarters.
From Carmona, travel to Ecija for a visit to its archaeological museum and to enjoy its many noble mansions and baroque religious constructions. You may want to have lunch in Ecija (there are many good food spots around Plaza de España) before traveling to Cordoba.
Upon arrival to Cordoba, visit the Great Mosque Cathedral and the Jewish quarter. For dinner, check the tapas bars around Plaza de la Corredera.
Day 5: from Cordoba to Granada via Priego de Cordoba and the fortress of la Mota in Alcala la Real. Overnight in Granada.
Priego de Cordoba is an impeccable and picturesque whitewashed town surrounded by hills and olive trees. Its old town is definitely worth a stroll to enjoy the charm of traditional Southern Spanish architecture, both civil and religious. Priego has also a castle, which is a great example of the defensive architecture of Southern Spain. However we recommend to enjoy this type of architecture by visiting the impressive fortress of la Mota in the town of Alcala la Real.
Day 6: Granada. The quarter of el Albayzin in the morning and the Alhambra and el Generalife in the afternoon. Overnight in Granada.
• Andalusia in 7 days. The best travel itinerary for a week in Southern Spain
One week in Southern Spain will allow you to see many of the wonders that Andalusia has to offer. Seville, Cadiz, Jerez, the white villages of Arcos de la Frontera, Medina-Sidonia and Vejer de la Frontera, Ronda, Granada and Cordoba will make a fabulous 7-day travel itinerary for Andalusia as follows:
Day 1: Seville. World Heritage Sites and flamenco show. Overnight in Seville.
Visit the Cathedral, la Giralda, the Alcazar, the Archive of the Indies and the Jewish quarter (Santa Cruz). Then have a break and start your evening attending a good flamenco show. Top up your day with a nice tapas dinner. Eslava has fabulous food and wine but it’s popular, so go early!
Day 2: Seville. Historical mansions and bike tour. Overnight in Seville.
See two of the three gorgeous private mansions that are open to the public in the city. These are Casa Pilatos, Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija and Palacio de las Dueñas. Then have some food around the Metropol Parasol area to later hire a bike and explore Parque de María Luisa, Plaza de España, Plaza de America, Torre del Oro and the Guadalquivir River. If the days are long, you may want to pedal all the way to the unique Monastery of La Cartuja.
Day 3: From Seville to Jerez via Cadiz. Overnight in Jerez.
Travel from Seville to the Atlantic coastal city of Cadiz. Once there, enjoy its fabulous colonial history and vibrant food scene. After lunch, travel to the nearby city of Jerez, and spend the rest of the day enjoying the joyous atmosphere of its old town. In the evening, enjoy a good sherry pairing dinner. La Carbona is a wonderful restaurant with fabulous sherry pairing menus.
Day 4: Full day trip from Jerez to the white villages. Overnight in Jerez
Jerez is strategically located for a wonderful day trip exploring the nearby white villages of Arcos de la Frontera, Medina-Sidonia and Vejer de la Frontera. These are three of the most beautiful white towns that Andalusia has to offer.
Day 5: From Jerez to Granada via Ronda. Overnight in Granada.
The drive from Jerez to Granada is simply gorgeous and adding a stopover in Ronda will make it even more special.
Ronda is probably the most romantic town in Andalusia. Perched on top of a cliff and featuring a majestic bridge over the Guadalevin River, Ronda has a very charming Hispanic-Muslim footprint. Also it offers breath-taking views of the surrounding fertile valleys and natural parks. Besides, Ronda has the oldest bullring in Spain, which you may want to visit. For lunch, check out the tapas bars and taverns around plaza del Socorro. Then continue on to Granada.
Day 6: Granada. Albayzin, Alhambra and Generalife. Overnight in Granada
Visit the quarter of El Albayzin in the morning and the Alhambra and el Generalife in the afternoon. If you still have energy to do some more sightseeing, don’t miss the Royal Chapel. This is where the Catholic Monarchs are buried and their tombs are an exquisite sample of Spanish Renaissance sculpture.
Day 7: From Granada to Cordoba. Overnight in Cordoba.
Travel from Granada to Cordoba early in order to make it to Cordoba on time to see the Great Mosque Cathedral and the Jewish quarter at a relaxed pace. Then in the late afternoon – early evening, you may want to see the exquisite Palacio de Viana and have a farewell tapas evening around Plaza de la Corredera.
• Southern Spain 10-day itinerary. Andalusia in all its splendor.
10 days in Andalusia will make an ideal travel itinerary including Seville, Granada, Cordoba, Ronda, Cadiz, Jerez, the UNESCO Renaissance towns of Ubeda and Baeza, the white villages of Grazalema, Zahara de la Sierra, Setenil de las Bodegas, Arcos de la Frontera, Medina Sidonia and Vejer de la Frontera as well as an epic hike: el Caminito del Rey.
Our suggested way to configure a 10 day travel itinerary for Andalusia is as follows:
Day 1: Seville. UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Santa Cruz district and flamenco performance in the evening. Overnight in Seville.
Day 2: Seville. Discovery journey beyond the World Heritage Sites. Overnight in Seville.
Visit Casa Pilatos, Palacio de las Dueñas and Palacio de la Condesa de Lebrija. Then be surprised with the modern lines of Metropol Parasol to finally hire a bike to explore the outer areas of the historical centre like Parque de Maria Luisa, Plaza de España and Torre del Oro.
Day 3: From Seville to Jerez via Cadiz. Overnight in Jerez.
Travel to the coastal city of Cadiz, the colonial gem of Andalusia and be surprised with its resemblance to Havana, San Juan in Puerto Rico, Cartagena in Colombia and Montevideo in Uruguay. Enjoy a nice lunch there to later visit Jerez, where you may want to have a sherry tasting before discovering its vibrant old town and having some tapas for dinner in its tabancos!
Day 4: Full day trip from Jerez to the white towns of Arcos de la Frontera, Medina-Sidonia and Vejer de la Frontera. Overnight in Jerez.
These three whitewashed monumental towns make an ideal day trip from Jerez. They are all gorgeous and reasonably near each other.
Day 5: From Jerez to Ronda via Grazalema, Zahara de la Sierra and Setenil de las Bodegas. Overnight in Ronda.
Travel from Jerez to Ronda but stopping along the way in the small villages of Grazalema, Zahara de la Sierra and Setenil de las Bodegas. This trio of white villages is different from the one suggested for the previous day. They are smaller, are surrounded by breath-taking landscapes and have a special rustic charm.
Day 6: Ronda discovery journey. Overnight in Ronda.
Enjoy a quiet day in Ronda exploring its romantic old town at leisure. Don’t miss the New Bridge over the Guadalevin River, the bullring, the Palace of Mondragon and the Arab baths. They date from the Hispanic-Muslim times and they are surprisingly well preserved.
Day 7: From Ronda to Granada stopping along the way to walk El Caminito del Rey. Overnight in Granada.
El Caminito del Rey is a stunning hike along the vertical walls of a deep gorge. It is not for the faint of heart but it is very well organised and absolutely safe. We strongly recommend it.
Day 8: Granada. UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Overnight in Granada.
Spend your day discovering the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the city. These are the quarter of El Albayzin, the majestic Alhambra and the gardens of el Generalife.
Day 9: From Granada to Cordoba via the UNESCO Renaissance towns of Ubeda and Baeza. Overnight in Cordoba.
The unique Renaissance beauty of the towns of Ubeda and Baeza, only 15 min away by car from each other, is not found anywhere else in Andalusia. They were both registered on the list of World Heritage Sites in 2003 but they still remain unexplored. We believe they are definitely worth-seeing in a 10 day travel itinerary of Andalusia.
Day 10: Cordoba discovery journey. Overnight in Cordoba.
Enjoy your last day in Andalusia seeing the Great Mosque Cathedral and the Jewish quarter first. In the afternoon you may want to travel to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of Medina-Azahara, before returning to Cordoba old town for a farewell dinner.
Where to stay along an Andalusia travel itinerary
These are our hotel recommendations for each of the cities where we suggest to stay in our 5 Southern Spain travel itineraries. We love boutique hotels, so you won’t see any big chain hotels in our list.
Where to stay in Seville:
- 5 star hotels: Mercer and Palacio de Villapanes.
- 4 star hotels: Gravina 51 and Casa 1800 Sevilla.
Where to stay in Cordoba:
- 5 star hotel: Palacio del Bailio.
- 4 star hotel: El Balcon de Cordoba and Casas de la Judería.
Where to stay in Granada:
- 5 star hotel: Palacio de los Patos.
- 4 star hotel: Villa Oniria.
- (*) There’s also a fabulous superior 3 star hotel: Casa 1800 Granada
Where to stay in Jerez:
- 5 star hotel: Casa Palacio María Luisa (our favourite hotel in Andalusia actually).
- 4 star hotel: Palacio de Garvey.
Where to stay in Ronda:
- 4 star: Hotel Soho Boutique Palacio San Gabriel (in town) and Hotel Fuente de la Higuera (in the country).
How do I add unique experiences, magic and value to my Andalusia travel itinerary?
Contact us! We will be most happy to listen to your preferences and expectations for a dream trip to Andalusia and to add context, meaning, depth and value to it. We love to help our guests connect to the essence of our homeland through authentic local experiences. Having an Andalusia trip planner is the best way to maximise your time and your enjoyment before and during your trip.
Meaningful encounters with the local community, immersive journeys into our traditions, outdoor adventures, access to places that are not open to the public and a good interpretation of everything will help you to understand what Andalusia is really about, with us as your local hosts.
We are a local specialist travel agent born in 2013. We design and conduct private customised trips to Andalusia with a special focus on culture & lifestyle, food & wine and outdoors & nature. Our bespoke trips are a combination of selected private tours and experiences with personal local hosts, private transportation services in modern and comfortable vehicles with impeccable drivers and accommodation in hand-picked hotels.
Iván Ricoy is a travel agent for Spain trips specialised in the Southern region of Andalusia.