Andalucia is the southern most and second largest province in Spain and has coastlines that share both the Mediterranean and Atlantic seas. This area is rich in both culture and beauty. You can begin to understand why this area attracts visitors from far and wide. Our 5 top spots in Andalucia include Cordoba, Seville, Ronda, Malaga and Granada. Fantastic places you should see!
Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba
Having been both a mosque and a church, it represents a beautiful mix of cultures. With 856 columns and its characteristic arches of alternating red and white colours, it is an absolute marvel to gaze upon. Hundreds of small oil lights hung from the ceiling cast light on over 30 individual chapels. It truly is a place of magnificence.
Calleja de las Flores
This a narrow, pretty flower-lined street close to the Cathedral-Mosque of Cordoba. It is a popular spot and regardless of the season, has flowers in bloom. If this is your thing, then be sure to check the Taberna Los Geranios on the Calle de Comedias and the tribute on the Puerta del Rincon.
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos
This fortress housed Spanish royalty and was headquarters to the Spanish Inquisition tribunals over three centuries. The fortress boasts beautiful gardens and courtyards, so stroll the grounds and keep your eyes open for some beautiful sights.
Originally built in the 1st century BC, it has only two of the original sixteen arches remaining. It only takes a few minutes to walk across this 250m long bridge and it’s absolutely worth it. Once on the opposite side, you can view the Roman Bridge with Cordoba old town as its backdrop. Just fantastic.
Plaza de la Corredera
If you want to see a typical Spanish plaza then this is the place. Located right in the city centre, it is host to many of the town’s festivals. There are also plenty of cafés to choose from to stop and enjoy a break.
Orange Scented Streets
Orange trees decorate many of the streets in Seville infusing the air with their pleasant aroma. The fallen oranges give the drab pavement a distinctive splash of colour. It enhances Seville’s magic!
Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Sede de Sevilla
This is the largest Christian Gothic cathedral in the world. It houses the remains of several kings and Christopher Columbos. Built over the site of a demolished mosque, it was completed in 1504 but the minaret still stands.
Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla
Built in the 17th century and taking nearly 100 years to reach completion, this arena has been called one of the most beautiful and elegant in Spain. Free guided tours to the museum inside the arena and into the arena stands are scheduled each Monday afternoon from 15:00 to 19:00 in both Spanish and English. We don’t by any means advocate bullfighting but as in many things, it is interesting to know the history.
Maria Luisa Park
Originally part of the Palace Royal Gardens, this beautiful urban park has fountains, ponds, monuments and is inhabited by numerous bird species. Unfortunately, when we were visiting recent storm damage had caused a temporary park closure but from the outside, the 80 acres looked spectacular.
Royal Tobacco Factory
This building features an exquisite external façade. It now serves as the main building for the University of Seville, but in the 18th century it was used in the production of snuff (pulverised tobacco leaves producing dust which is inhaled) and for tobacco auctions.
This 18th century bridge towers 120m above the canyon floor and the Guadalevin River. The bridge has a chamber above the central arch which was allegedly used as a torture chamber whereby people were thrown to the rocks below! You are able to visit this chamber by descending steps close by.
Park Alameda del Tajo
This quaint botanical garden has statues and different types of trees native to the area. There are great cliff-side views from the nearby viewpoint.
Plaza des Toros de Ronda
This plaza is the oldest bull-fighting ring in Spain and is situated by the Park Alameda del Tajo.
Centre of Ronda
There is a one kilometre pedestrian walk area through the city centre past many shops ending at the Park Alameda del Tajo. A pleasant stroll with plenty of cafés to tempt you.
Castillo de Gibralfaro
This fortress has two rows of protective walls with multiple towers. It’s a steep walk up the hill to the entry point but it’s worth the short grind to enjoy spectacular views of Malaga.
Tip: There is free entry on a Sunday after 14:00.
Museo Picasso Malaga (MPM)
The museum houses Pablo Picasso’s paintings, musings and other works show casing his life. There is plenty on show to keep you enthralled.
Tip: Free entry on Sundays for the last 2 hours of opening.
Pompidou Centre of Malaga
This art museum hosts modern and contemporary art of the 20th and 21st centuries. The building is crowned by a distinctive multi-coloured cube, ‘El Cubo’, and is easily accessed via the pedestrian board-walk along the seafront.
Cathedral de Santa Maria de la Encarnacion
This huge cathedral took over 250 years to build with a completion date of 1782. It represents a synthesis of both Gothic and Baroque architecture. Grandiose is not an understatement!
El Teatro Romano
This 1st century Roman Theatre lies in the heart of old town Malaga and about 200m from the Cathedral de Santa Maria de la Encarnacion. It is free to visit and you can walk around the site.
A palace complex built during the 13th and 14th centuries with a consistent theme of ‘paradise on earth’. It has a rather modest walled exterior but this hides an interior of beautiful, intricately designed and coloured architecture. Part of this complex includes large gardens of fountains, reflecting pools and running water. The Moorish architecture is just exquisite. Read more on this alluring place.
We loved these five Andalucian cities. The good news is that each of these superb locations is within an hour or so driving from the other. Realistically, you could plan to see them all without too much fuss!
If anyone has found other interesting locations in this region we would really like to hear from you. Happy travelling!
Being an Australian boy brought up in the country, I learnt at an early age to enjoy the freedom and beauty of nature. Leaving Australia at the age of 20, although I didn’t know it then, would be the beginning of a life of adventure. So join me here on our travels and see the world through my eyes.