Road trip in Andalusia? Discover South of Spain by car
Andalusia is one of the most visited regions in Spain. The region has plenty of authentic cultural cities, the Costa del Sol on the Mediterranean Sea, beautiful nature and a wonderful climate. Andalusia is also the cradle of sangria and flamenco. Culture in abundance!
Would you like to explore Andalusia by car? Be sure to take a look at our mapped routes through Andalusia. They will take you along the most beautiful places of the region!
Road trip in Andalusia
1.1. Moorish Andalusia
Andalusia is the southernmost region of Spain. For about 700 years, until the fifteenth century, the region was ruled by the Moors. Nonetheless, the Catholic kings were eventually able to recapture the region back again. The Moorish period clearly left its mark on Andalusia. You will find a special mix of styles. Typical is the Mudejar style, an architectural and art style that mixes the Roman, Moorish and Catholic styles. The Mudejar style can be found in many buildings.
The region has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with an average temperature of around 25°C. But, there are large differences within Andalusia. In April or May it is already pleasantly warm on the Costa del Sol while in Sierra Nevada you can still go skiing.
1.3 Local products
Andalusia has a lot of delicious local products. The most popular are: Sangria, gazpacho and sherry. However also the local deep-fried sardines, stewed artichokes with shrimps or the refreshing tomato drink salmorejo from Córdoba are worth a taste!
1.4. Map with road trip through Andalusia
We mapped out a complete road trip which you can follow by car, motorcycle or motorhome. Discover in 10 days the most beautiful places of Andalusia. (free download + map)
Granada, Alhambra and more
Granada is the capital of the province Granada and lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. It is a must to include a visit to the capital! The city has a long history and was marked by Roman, Moorish, Jewish and Christian influences. The main highlight in the city is the Alhambra, a palace complex on a hill overlooking the city. The Alhambra is one of the most beautiful Moorish buildings as well as one of the most important tourist attractions in Spain. It is therefore not surprising that the palace is on the UNESCO world heritage list.
Get lost in the Moorish neighborhood of the city, the Albaicín. You will walk (Use our walk in Granada) between whitewashed houses, small squares and beautiful facades. There are several viewpoints throughout the city that give you an impressive view of the city as well as the sunset. In order to discover everything during your visit, you can read our blog post about the most beautiful highlights in Granada.
Click here to reserve your ticket for Alhambra
Málaga: Moorish castles, museums and beach
Málaga is an important port city on the Costa del Sol and is mainly known as a resort city, but don't let that stop you. Besides all the skyscrapers and hotels you will find two beautiful old castles from the Moorish era: the Alcazaba and the ruins of the Gibralfaro. The cathedral of Málaga at the Plaza del Obispo is also well worth a visit.
Besides, Málaga has a large number of museums, including a section of the Centre Pompidou of Paris and the Picasso museum, who was born in this city. You should also visit Calle Larios, the city's largest shopping street, and El Pimpi, Málaga's most famous bodega.
The tourist center Torremolinos
What once was a small fishing village, turned into a popular holiday destination on the Costa del Sol: Torremolinos. The town is located on the beach where you will find many resorts, clubs, shopping malls and bars. In the town you can visit the old defense tower to which the town owes its name, the Torre de Molinos.
There is also an old bull arena that is nowadays mainly used for concerts, festivals and other festive gatherings. When visiting the city, make sure to take a stroll through the Parque de la Batería between fountains, tropical plants and a small lake. Ideal for stretching your legs during your road trip. The largest water park on the Costa del Sol, Aqualand, is also nearby.
Resort town Estepona
A little further on the Costa del Sol, between Marbella and Manilva, is the town of Estepona. This town, also called the pearl of the Costa del Sol, is just like Torremolinos a resort town. However, since the town is less known than Torremolinos it is less crowded. Be sure to enjoy the beaches and have something to eat at the restaurants on the promenade. In the city center you will find many white-painted buildings and a square full of fragrant flowers, the Plaza de las Flores.
The town of Ronda is one of the oldest cities in Spain, but what makes it special is its unique location on top of a rock. Make sure to visit the El Tajo Gorge during your road trip, it divides the city of Ronda into two parts. The river Guadalevín that flows through the gorge is crossed by three bridges: the Puente Romano, the Puente Viego and the famous Puente Nuevo. The latter bridge is the largest of the three with a height of 120 meters above the gorge.
In Ronda you will find the oldest bull arena in Spain, the Plaza de Toros de Ronda. The arena was built in 1784 and until today, bullfights Corrida Goyesca are held. Along, You will find the largely intact Baños árabes underneath the city, an old Arab bathhouse from the thirteenth century. The cathedral Santa Maria la Mayor is also highly recommended, as is the house of Don Bosco. Lastly, It is nice to do a wine route through the city along the various bodegas. To make sure you won't miss out on anything, we've listed all our favorite highlights in Ronda for you to check out.
Cádiz, the oldest city of Western Europe
Cadiz is considered to be the oldest city in Western Europe. After all those centuries of history, the city is still one of the most important seaports of Spain. You will find the sixteenth-century Santa Catalina castle, the eighteenth-century San Sebastian castle, the baroque Catedral de Cádiz and the remains of a Roman theatre.
Also take a walk along the old city wall and climb the Torre Tavira for a beautiful view of the city. Don't miss out on anything during your visit to the city and read our blog post about all the must see spots in Cadiz.
Jerez de la Frontera, the birthplace of sherry
Jerez de la Frontera, or Jerez, is known for two things. In the first place, Sherry. You can taste the fortified wine in all the bodegas around the town where you will be stunned by the tastiness of it. Secondly, Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre, the traditional Spanish horse riding school where many shows are held with Andalusian horses.
Also make sure you visit the Alcázar of Jerez and its beautiful gardens as well as the cathedral of Jerez.
Click here to reserve your ticket for the horse riding school
Capital city Seville
Seville is the capital of Andalusia. The city is full of impressive buildings such as the cathedral of Seville and the accompanying Giralda tower. The most impressive building of the city is the Real Alcázar, the Moorish palace complex of Seville. It is one of the oldest palaces in Europe and it is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Plaza de España is also a monument that you should definitely visit. Along, Take a stroll through the Triana district across the river, the birthplace of flamenco.
Another highlight is the Jewish quarter Santa Cruz. Here you will walk through the narrowest streets while passing the coziest little squares (Use our free city walk Seville). Also in the district La Macarena you can find many different monuments, including the Basilica de la Macarena. We've listed the most important highlights of Seville so you won't miss out on anything!
The bustling town of Córdoba
Córdoba is the capital of the province Córdoba and dates back from the Roman times. Like Jerez and Seville, Córdoba also has a beautiful Alcázar, but the main attraction of this city is the Mezquita Cathedral, an old mosque that was transformed into a Catholic church in the thirteenth century after the area was recaptured from the Moors. The Mezquita was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984, but later the entire historic center of the city was added to the World Heritage List.
It is advisable to plan your visit to Córdoba in May, when the whole city is prepared for the Patio Festival. Residents open their decorated patio to the public. Don't want to miss out on anything in Córdoba? Read our blog post with the most important highlights of Córdoba.
11.1 Parque Nacional Cabo de Gata
In addition to the many historic cities, Andalusia also offers many beautiful nature areas. The nature park Cabo de Gata is the driest area of Europe and is characterized by many volcanic rocks and large cliffs. The area, in the far east of Andalusia, is the most important protected coastal area of the region. You will find rugged mountains, along with paradisiacal and well-hidden beaches.
11.2 Parque Nacional de Doñana
The Doñana National Park is the largest nature park in Spain and of great ecological importance. The area is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. You will find mountains and forests as well as rivers, marshes and dunes. It is a paradise for birdwatchers, because many bird species, including protected species, come to the area. You can see vultures, hawks and flamingos. It is also possible to spot lynxes, horses and camels in the park.
El Caminito del Rey, for the daredevils!
The El Caminito del Rey is a 7.5-kilometer-long footpath near Málaga. It was once given the dubious honor of being the most dangerous hiking trail in Europe. Nowadays, the path has been adapted and safer to access. The path passes cliffs, lakes and mountains and those who dare can enjoy beautiful views. Find out more about the place in our blog post about the Caminito del Rey.
Our tip: Want to visit Caminito del Rey? Read our tips + How to book tickets (quickly fully booked, so be on time!).
Hoe bereik ik Andalusië?
13.1. Met de auto:
- Vanaf België en Frankrijk rij je via de AP7/A7 snelweg via Barcelona langs de kustlijn naar Murcia en door naar Granada en Málaga. Het is zo’n 1700 tot 2000 kilometer rijden naar Andalusië.
- Vanuit het noorden van Spanje rij je via Madrid over de AP4/A4 snelweg naar Cordoba en Sevilla.
13.2. Met het vliegtuig:
Er wordt door verschillende vliegtuigmaatschappijen vanuit verschillende luchthavens vaak gevlogen op Sevilla en Málaga. Je kan daar dan een auto huren om de streek zo te verkennen.
WEGLATEN NEEM IK AAN?
Which car to rent?
- Are you still unsure which car to rent for your road trip?
- Do not rent a car that is too small, go for a comfortable car.
- Be sure to book an all-inclusive insurance policy so you can drive around in peace.
- A reliable car rental company is Rentalcars (very large offer).
- Read more tips about renting a car on vacation.
Practical info for your road trip in Andalusia
- In Andalusia you have to pay toll on some roads. These are the Autopista roads, the highways indicated with AP. The most important ones are the AP7, the AP46 and the AP4.
- On the autovía roads, the general highways marked with the letter A, you do not have to pay toll.
- Inside the built-up area you can only drive a maximum of 50 km/h, outside the built-up area 90 km/h, on roads with more than one lane in both directions 100 km/h and on highways and motorways 120 km/h.
- In Spain it is not allowed to inform other road drivers of the presence of speed monitors or police, and the use of radar detectors is therefore also forbidden.
- If you have a child under 135 centimeters, you must have a special restraint system in the car which you can adjust to the height of the child.
- Police can ask for a direct payment in case of a traffic violation. Only policemen with a fluorescent vest with 'tráfico' on it may do so. If you pay directly, you only have to pay half of the total fine.
- Parking on the street is often difficult. Fee-paying parking is marked with a blue line. You may park here for a maximum of two hours. It is therefore advisable to park in a parking garage. This is also cheaper and safer.
Where to stay in Andalusia (with discount)
Looking for a place to stay during your vacation in Andalusia? It is best to book an accommodation not far from Malaga, Sevilla or Granada. In these cities there is a wide range of stays to choose from.
Don't miss out on anything during your stay in Andalusia
Like most of us, you don't want to miss out on anything during your vacation in Andalusia. Well, we have some good news, because we already did the research for you! Buy our travel guide Andalusia with all the important highlights in the region (+ GPS coordinates). Prefer to try it out first? Download your free preview travel guide Andalusia here.