Southern Spain brags lots: granite-coloured seashores lapped by heat Mediterranean waters, storied cities influenced by Islamic structure, tucked-away tranquil villages and breathtaking gorges punctuated by cliff-hugging climbing routes. Whilst you’ll by no means match all the things into one go to, a one week Andalucia street journey by the Province of Málaga and close by will introduce you to lots of the area’s highlights and hidden gems.
On this Andalucia street journey itinerary, I’ve centered on a number of the main sights and fewer visited spots round Malaga, with a detour to Granada for the show-stopping Alhambra. Having lived within the metropolis for 3 months final yr for my Spanish course, I promise you it’s one attraction you possibly can’t skip.
After all, there are additionally loads of implausible locations in Andalucia that I haven’t included, reminiscent of Seville or Cordoba’s trio of World Heritage Websites. However these are nice spots for a standalone metropolis break, therefore why on this whirlwind itinerary, you’ll profit from having a rental automobile to see a number of the much less apparent choices as a substitute. Or, if time permits, make it a two-week journey utilizing my further recommendations beneath.
Why hire a automobile in Malaga to discover independently
Malaga Airport is the fourth busiest in Spain. It even has inter-continental flights, making it one of the best gateway to southern Spain and, particularly, the area of Andalucia. Whereas Seville additionally has an airport, it’s smaller, and flights are extra restricted. Therefore why beginning your Andalucia street journey right here is smart. On the subject of reserving a Malaga airport automobile rental, it’s normally finest to skip the dealer and reserve direct to safe one of the best value – and with Malaga Airport being bigger than Seville, there are typically extra selections and offers to be discovered right here.
After all, should you’re planning to simply get pleasure from a metropolis break in Malaga or a weekend in Seville, then hiring a automobile is probably not wanted. You may also suppose a automobile isn’t required as a result of Spain has Europe’s most intensive high-speed community. However for this itinerary which incorporates a few of Spain’s hidden gems throughout the Malaga province, a automobile won’t solely allow you to profit from your time but additionally will let you attain small villages and extra distant seashores not often serviced by buses, not to mention have a practice station.
Tip: Obtain the Telpark app to search out and pay for parking areas within the main cities.
One week Andalucia itinerary beginning and ending in Malaga
After touchdown at Malaga Airport and gathering your rental automobile, it’s time to hit the street – I suggest ending your go to in Malaga as a substitute, so there’s no last-minute rush – and heading straight to the seashore to clean off the flight in these alluring heat waters.
Day one: Malaga to Nerja
Driving time: Round one hour
Monitoring the coast east, you’ll discover a bevvy of gorgeous bays and seashores to chill out on as you head to spend the night time in Nerja, a coastal resort metropolis backed by verdant mountains. There are some nice (however generally busy) seashores within the metropolis itself, so I’d suggest stopping at one or two of the sights and seashores en route, reminiscent of Playa las Dunas. Simply bear in mind that the seashores on this stretch of coast are barely greyer in color than these in west Andalucia.
Day two: White Villages (or Serra Nevada) and Granada
Driving time: Round 90-120 minutes relying on detours
After breakfast in Nerja overlooking the ocean, it’s time to proceed your one week Andalucia street journey inland to the grand metropolis of Granada.
However first, choose your detour. You possibly can both go to the Serra Nevada, a powerful mountain vary with tiny villages and winter snowboarding choices simply exterior Granada or cease at one of many Pueblos Blancos as a substitute. These small, whitewashed villages characterise the area, and there are a pair close by, reminiscent of Frigiliana.
After having fun with lunch within the mountains or a small village, proceed to Granada, among the finest cities to go to in Spain for meals. Right here, park up the automobile and revel in a drink-laden dinner, as in most bars, you’ll be served scrumptious free tapas with each beverage. Truthfully, whereas dwelling right here, I typically didn’t even purchase dinner however stuffed up on these. Have a night stroll across the metropolis within the cooler air, however plan for an early begin to tour the Alhambra.
Day three: Granada
Driving time: Round 75 minutes
If there’s one factor you have to do throughout an Andalucia street journey, it’s go to the huge palaces and gardens of the Alhambra advanced. Make sure you guide your tickets prematurely (both with a information or learn up on the historical past of the Alhambra earlier than your go to) as they typically promote out, and intention for one of many first timed entrances of the day. These Islamic palaces are ornate, intricate and unforgettable. Afterwards, take a stroll across the Albaicín neighbourhood, the place the Muslim affect stays on present, earlier than having fun with a typical lunch.
You possibly can then both spend one other night time in Granada earlier than setting off early to the Caminito del Rey or drive to the small, laid-back and charming city of Antequera for an evening to see a barely slower-paced a part of Malaga province.
Day 4: Caminito del Rey, Setenil de las Bodegas and Ronda
Driving time: Round two hours
One other attraction you’ll must guide prematurely, the Caminito del Rey, is actually not for these with a concern of heights. This spectacular gorge is hugged by a strolling path which clings to the sting of the gorge, with bridges crossing the glowing waters beneath. The almost 8-kilometre route may very well be rushed in a few hours, however enable a bit longer to actually profit from the dizzying views.
Subsequent up, it’s again within the automobile, as your Andalucia street journey brings you for a late lunch in Setenil de las Bodegas – or maybe you’d favor to cease in a close-by winery for lunch as a substitute? Both approach, this hidden gem of Europe is properly price visiting; probably the most fascinating function is the whitewashed properties that are beneath an enormous rock slap – it’s fairly one thing!
After a couple of hours exploring, head to Ronda for sundown to snap some images of the well-known Puente Nuevo bridge earlier than dinner.
Day 5: Ronda and the Costa del Sol
Driving time: Round 75-minutes
Ronda is an absolute magnificence, and there are a good few sights right here to discover – such because the bridge and the Arabic Baths. However by now, you’ll seemingly be prepared to move again to the coast, and the beautiful seashores of the Costa del Sol are solely round one hour away.
Drive south, maybe stopping on the blue-painted village of Júzcar en route, and also you’ll arrive at Marbella, a preferred vacation resort which may very well be a wonderful late lunch choice – though personally, I’d counsel not staying right here and heading barely additional alongside the coast for extra peaceable expertise round Playa del Chaparral or Playa de Carvajal.
Day six: Costa Del Sol and Malaga
Driving time: Round 90-minutes, together with detours
After a lazy day on the seashore, it’s time to begin the drive again to Malaga to finish your one week Andalucia street journey. Completely try to cease on the best way on the whimsical Colomares Monument close to Benalmádena, a peculiarly formed fortress devoted to Christopher Columbus.
You probably have an early flight the subsequent day, I’d counsel returning to Malaga a bit earlier so you possibly can discover the town slightly at present as a substitute.
Day seven: Malaga and depature
Spend your final day exploring Malaga Outdated City and the town’s highlights earlier than your departure. Make sure you go to the Eleventh-century Moorish Alcazaba, the Teatro Romano de Málaga, or, should you’re an artwork fan, the Picasso Museum, dwelling to an enormous assortment of his work.
Different locations to go to in Andalucia and Malaga with a automobile
In the event you’re fortunate sufficient to have one other week in your trip or would like to cut and alter a few of these locations, you’ve gotten loads of different choices to select from.
There are such a lot of issues to do in Seville that I at all times counsel making it a three-day metropolis break minimal, therefore not together with it on this Andalucia itinerary. With palaces aplenty, probably the most spectacular and largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe, flamenco exhibits, and a number of the most stunning Islamic (Moorish) structure within the nation, such because the Royal Alcázar of Seville, this can be a metropolis that sizzles each in sights and local weather.
Gibraltar is an oddity. A tiny British Abroad Territory situated on the southern tip of Spain, it’s fairly a novelty to pay a go to and be transported to an English-speaking nook of the Iberian peninsula. The principle attraction is the enormous Rock of Gibraltar that dominates the panorama – simply watch out of the monkeys on the climb up!
Arguably probably the most underrated cities in Europe, Cordoba is dwelling to a trio of Unesco-listed sights, together with the distinctive Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. This magnificent constructing was saved from destruction, in contrast to lots of Spain’s Mosques from the Moorish interval, and now blends two religions and architectural designs into one.
Ayamonte and on to the Algarve
From Seville, it’s not far to drive to Portugal. Simply be sure you guarantee your automobile rental covers driving overseas, and then you definitely’re free to move to any of one of the best locations to go to within the Algarve. Cease on the Spanish border city of Ayamonte on the best way (guide a meal at LPA restaurant, it’s one in every of my favourites) after which discover the rocky bays and cliffs of Lagos’ Ponta da Piedade, get pleasure from some surf on the west coast, or hike alongside probably the most breathtaking cliff-top trails on this planet, the Seven Hanging Valleys Path.
Nonetheless you select to spend your one week Andalucia street journey, you actually can’t go improper. There are such a lot of inviting seashores, villages and cities to discover that turn into reachable by a rental automobile that you just’ll be in for a scrumptious deal with on any detour you are taking.