Spain Travels

Andalucía Guide + Photo Diary

February 20, 2017

When people think of Spain, they don’t immediately think of Andalusia. This region is a hidden treasure that should be appreciated as much as Barcelona or Madrid. There’s a lot to visit when it comes to Andalusia, so make sure to reserve a week in your calendar in order to explore it all. The best way to get the most out of Andalusia is to do a road trip by car, that way you can hit the biggest towns like Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada, and Marbella. The main attractions in this region are its architecture and monuments – they are rich in remarkable intricate detailing stemming from Arabic influences.

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To Sleep

AIRBNB

This is probably the easiest, most comfortable, and pleasant way to stay in Andalusia. Sometimes you can get really lucky with what you find and you’ll stay in the most pretty apartments with incredible views. It all depends on what city you visit, but if you’re doing a road trip around Andalusia, staying in Airbnb’s is where you get the most out of living like a local.

HOTELS

Try to choose a hotel that’s a little bit more traditional and maybe less modern because the features in some of the hotels are stunning. They could make for the most charming stay that is out of the ordinary.

In Sevilla:

Very lovely and charming. It’s slightly more modern (so quite comfortable) but still has that traditional detailing.

This is a classic, upscale hotel with stunning tile work and grand features.

In Córdoba:

A small boutique hotel in the centre that offers modern and cozy rooms with Andalusian qualities.

This hotel is situated in the Jewish centre so it’s historic and right in the centre – a delightful hotel with pretty rooms.

In Granada:

This hotel is one of my favorites. We went for a drink and watched the sunset from the main balcony, which was magnificent. It’s a big, lavish hotel on the hill, which you can see from almost anywhere. Therefore the view on Granada is spectacular and the hotel itself is  breathtaking.

A little treasure with a very nice view and a little more traditional.

This one is a little far away from Granada, situated directly in the Sierra Nevada. It’s more isolated but beautiful for a calm and relaxing stay.

To Eat

There are so many good places to eat around Andalusia. The tapas are great almost anywhere you go but be careful of the restaurants that cater especially to tourists as those will be a lot less traditional and more expensive. Go to the small streets where you’ll find local restaurants. The best tip is to ask a local for the best places to go, they will be glad to give recommendations. Don’t be afraid to try a place that doesn’t look nice from the outside because most likely the food inside will be amazing. Also, try to avoid the fried goodies… they really are addicting.

To Visit

The Mezquita de Córdoba:

This place blew my mind away – the Cathedral is sort of divided into two sections: the Christian and Muslim half. Already, this is impressive so just imagine what you find inside. There’s a lot of history behind this Mezquita, the structure of it being one of the most majestic. Absolutely do not miss this place.

Alhambra Palace, Granada:

Another place that you can’t miss is the Alhambra Palace just because you simply can’t miss it on your way up the hill. It’s the main attraction in this town and it’s placed right at the top so even if you want to see the view of the city, you’ll end up seeing the palace. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site (just saying…)

El Albayzín, Granada:

This is a neighborhood in Granada that must be visited. It was once the Arab neighborhood, therefore it has a lot of Moorish influence and where a lot Muslim culture resides. It was one of my favorite neighborhoods in the whole trip because it’s just so beautiful and you find a rich heritage.

Alcázar de Sevilla, Sevilla:

There’s something so intriguing about royal palaces, maybe because you can’t help but feel like a royal when you walk into one due to its opulence. The architecture is splendid and the palace grounds are divine.

Plaza de España, Sevilla:

A remarkable square with a building with a U-shaped building that has intricate details. Surrounding the square is a fairly big park that makes a perfect afternoon stroll.

GRANADA

We started our Andalusian tour in Granada, just an hour or so away from the Marbella airport. This was one of my favorite towns as most of it was perched on a hill (which was a little bit of a hassle to climb up sometimes but nonetheless a good workout). Everything about this place is just so impressive and breath-taking. I think what impacted me the most were the views from the top – nothing really beats that as you have a 360 view and can see the Sierra Nevada in the background. Spend a good 2-3 days here because there’s a lot to explore and you should try to visit as much as possible because it’s truly incredible.

CÓRDOBA

Next up was Córdoba, which was very pleasant as well. This place was slightly smaller and flatter than Granada, but the architecture and the sights were just as stunning.

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Mezquita de Córdoba

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The ‘flower’ street of Córdoba

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SEVILLA

This was one of my favorite cities as its bigger and more historic than the others. There are different neighborhoods to explore, which you can do pretty much in a day. There’s a lot to see, especially when it comes to the architecture. Every single street has something incredible to offer. Don’t hesitate to get lost because you’ll most likely end up somewhere wonderful! Also, this is the city where Flamenco was born, so ask a local for the best place to watch some Flamenco dance over a glass of wine or sangría.

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Plaza de España

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Get that sugar rush at any Confiteria

CADIZ

On our way back to Marbella to get the plane back to Paris, we stopped by Cadiz, which was  quite close to Sevilla. It’s a nice little windy town with minor sites and nothing impressive compared to the other cities, but it does have its qualities. This town is a good ‘lunch’ visit as there’s a nice market where you can find fresh fish.

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  • Thanks for the guide! And amazing photos!!

    xx Margaret
    http://www.maleemaleehong.com

  • Such a beautiful place – it seems so secluded and full of history, but still lots of energy. Definitely want to visit one day 🙂

    Erica
    http://www.eggcanvas.me

    • Thank you! It definitely was stunning and every corner had some kind of past behind it. You must visit!

  • Absolutely gorgeous photos and what a lovely guide!

    xxSara
    http://www.stylemba.net

  • I loved Seville so much, I really wish I had dedicated more time to the area and gotten around some more. It was such an inspiring place for me. I really do have to share some of our photos!
    xx Jenelle
    http://www.inspiringwit.com/

    • It’s really such a great place! It’s ok, the best thing about traveling is that you can always go back and see all the things you didn’t experience before! You should, I would love to see your photos.
      xx Gaby

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