Andalucía has the lot: glorious coastline, soaring mountains, cosmopolitan cities, white-washed villages, marvelous Moorish heritage...and that's just for starters. Granada makes an ideal base from which to day-trip your way around the region's many charms. Your only problem? Trying to choose from so many fabulous options.
For many travelers, Andalucía means one thing: Seville! At 256 km (159 mi) from Granada, this historical masterpiece of a city is steeped in beauty and impressive monuments dating back centuries. The Moors are to thank for gems such as the Gothic Cathedral with its celebrated Giralda and the magnificent Real Alcázar. Make sure you also allow time to stroll the labyrinthine medieval Jewish quarter. Of course, with so much to see, you’ll need to catch an early train to make the most of it.
Escape the city and head just over 30 km (19 mi) south from Granada to the Sierra Nevada, home to a great variety of unique flora and fauna, not to mention jaw-dropping views. This extensive mountain range features some of Spain's tallest peaks, including Mulhacén (3,482 m/11,424 ft) and Veleta (3,392 m/11,129 ft). Hikers and climbers will think they’re in heaven, while butterfly enthusiasts will be kept busy spotting the 20-plus species endemic to the area. Bus is the most practical way to get here.
Ready for some rural delights? An area of stunning natural beauty, dominated by the dramatic rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada, Las Alpujarras is about 70 km (44 mi) south of Granada. Breathe in the clean, fresh air as you admire its tree-clad slopes and impossibly photogenic villages. You won’t want to miss the famous medicinal spa town Lanjarón or Trevélez’s exquisite jamón. Hiring a car means you can explore this fertile region as the mood takes you, but there are buses too.
The Tropical Coast (approx. 65 km/40 mi south of Granada) offers the best of both worlds: fascinating history and beautiful scenery. Nerja boasts 16 km (10 mi) of dreamy beaches, along with the spectacular Caves of Nerja, where you’ll find amazing archaeological treasures over 20,000 years old. Scuba diving fans should head to Motril, while aspiring shutterbugs will flip for Salobreña, a white-washed, hill-top village with an impressive Islamic castle and sweeping views. Coach or hired car is your best bet around here.
Córdoba wears its illustrious history with grace. As you wander its flower-filled alleys, impressive squares and whitewashed courtyards, you’ll come across timeless beauties like its lavish mosque La Mezquita, and the remarkable cathedral built within after the Christians conquered the city in the 13th century. Then lose yourself in the evocative and ancient Jewish quarter, home to one of Spain's few remaining synagogues. Some 165 km (102 mi) northwest of Granada, Córdoba is best reached by bus.
We loved this tour! Beautiful area of Spain. The guides were helpful and provided a well organized tour. Lunch was lovely! Paella was great!
The coast is absolutely breathtaking. Our 10-year old daughter loved the beach and the caves. We wish we had more beach time though.
Reply by Viator, February 2013
Doing what: Cordoba Day Trip from Granada
this was great! Private car transfer from Granada hotel to Cordoba where we joined a tour for 3 hours (very good and informative) then free time for lunch and to soak up the atmosphere of this beautiful place before returning to Granada. Got back about 6.30 pm.