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Things to do in Andalucia

Things to do in  Andalucia

Welcome to Andalucia

Architectural marvels, bright blue oceans, dramatic hills—to visit Andalucia is to just scratch the surface. From the iconic streets of Seville to the historic walls of the Alhambra, Andalucia is packed full of architectural marvels and beautiful landscapes. The region’s arabic history and proximity to the ports of northern Africa give Andalucia a wholly unique feel both culturally and culinarily, with no shortage of things to do for both first-time and repeat visitors.

Top 10 attractions in Andalucia

#1

Alhambra (Alhambra de Granada)

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The Alhambra is not only Spain’s greatest architectural treasure, but one of the world’s wonders. It might not wow you right up front like a Taj Mahal or a Great Pyramid, but soon enough that austere exterior reveals a wonderland of musical fountains, cunningly devised gardens and finely carved palaces. Its construction was begun in the 11th century on the red hill known as Assabika, which overlooks Granada. The Alcazaba fortress was the first structure to be built, followed by the royal palace and residence of members of the court.More
#2

Royal Alcázar of Seville (Real Alcázar de Sevilla)

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The Reales Alcazáres, often just called the Alcázar or Royal Alcázar Palace, started off life as a fort, but various generations of rulers transformed it, building palaces, halls, courtyards and the adjoining gardens. Although it's far smaller than the Alhambra, it has the same kind of impact. It too is World Heritage listed. Actually, it's hardly surprising that the Alcázar recalls the Alhambra; some of the Alhambra's most prominent architects worked on it. Their masterpiece is probably the Patio de las Doncellas with its delicate arches, garden and reflecting pool. The Alcázar is associated with many colorful figures, most notably Pedro I (often called Pedro the Cruel), who ordered much of the Alcázar's construction. The rainwater tanks underneath the building are named for one of his victims, a beauty whom he pursued so ruthlessly that she disfigured herself with burning oil and became a nun. Not least of the Alcázar's pleasures are its gardens with their palms, pools and pavilioMore
#3

Mezquita (Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba)

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Originally the site of the Christian Visigoth Church San Vicente, Córdoba’s Mezquita -- or Grand Mosque -- stands as the city's most proud monument and one of the most exquisite Islamic structures in the western world. Its initial origins date back to the year 600 and, following the Islamic conquest in the 8th century, the site of the Visigoth church was actually split between Christians and Muslims for a time. Ultimately, it was bought out by the governor of al-Andalus, with the construction of the Islamic mosque beginning in 785 by Muslim emir Abdurrahman I. Since then, the structure has evolved right along with Spanish history. A minaret was added, and the building was enlarged, reaching its final size in 987. Then, when Kind Ferdinand conquered Córdoba during the Reconquista in 1236, the structure was consecrated as a Christian Cathedral.More
#4

La Caleta Beach

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Given that Cadiz is almost entirely surrounded by water, the desire to hit thebeach is bound to strike you at some point. When this happens, your go-to destination will be La Caleta, the only proper beach in old town. It’s an isolated shoreline that cozies up along the western side of the city, nestled inside a natural harbor once used by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans. Though it’s Cadiz’s shortest sandy shore, it ticks all the beach boxes, offering soft golden sands and calm waters, as well as amenities including lifeguards and showers. Perhaps best of all is that the beach is western facing, which means it’s the perfect spot in town to catch a dreamy Spanish sunset. While there, spy some of La Caleta’s notable sights, including the impossible-to-miss crescent-shaped Balneario de Nuestra Señora de la Palma y del Real, a 1920s spa whose gazebo-tipped arms reach out across the shore.More
#5

Plaza de España

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The Plaza de España is a magnificently proportioned semi-circular space designed for the Ibero-American World's Fair of 1929. It's edged by buildings and tile patterns that blend a Deco sensibility with traditional techniques. If it looks familiar, it may be because you've seen it acting as a backdrop in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. At the Plaza's center is an impressive fountain, and edging the buildings are little moats that you cross over elegant bridges. Next to the Plaza is the Maria Luisa Park, with its orange trees and formal gardens. These days the buildings in the Plaza are used by the government.More
#6

Genovés Park (Parque Genovés)

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While in Cadiz, a trip toward the sea can offer more than just pretty views. Indeed, if you go to the northwestern border of the island-like southern city, you’ll happen upon one of its favorite treasures, Park Genoves. Created in the 19th century, the seaside green getaway wasn’t always so green, though: it once went by the name of Parsley Promenade given its sparse vegetation. But these days the garden serves as a botanical wonderland filled with over 100 species of trees and shrubs. Strolling down its paths lined by fancily manicured greenery, you can escape the city and catch glimpses of the sea. Children will appreciate the man-made lake, which features dinosaur statues poking out of its waters, and a waterfall, which can be climbed atop, or even explored below by walking through its grotto. Whether you wish to sip on a coffee at the garden’s café, or prefer to find a quiet bench to relax on in the shade, the park is an enjoyable Cadiz stop that is worth a wander.More
#7

Malaga Alcazaba

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If you’re in Malaga, chances are you’ve not missed the town’s citadel towering in the center of the city. Known as the Alcazaba de Malaga, and built around the middle of the 11th century to act as a palace to the region’s governors, today the Alcazaba receives visitors year-round and is noted for its impressive gardens and panoramic views of both the city and the sea. La Alcazaba was built atop the vestiges of an old Roman fortress, and the proof of this is most evident in the Puerta de las Columnas gate (gate of the columns). Its name, in fact, refers and pays homage to the pre-existing roman structure used to help build the palace as it stands today. This gate and another lay before visitors on their way up to the structure which is actually two distinct architectural pieces: Alcazaba itself, and Gibralfaro Castle. Inside, you’ll see some of the noted gardens, fountains and towers in traditional Moorish design before entering the main lobby of the palace.More
#8

Generalife Gardens

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The Generalife was built as a summer palace for the Muslim emirs, a place of retreat where they could kick back with their harems and take some time away from the world. Its charming gardens – undoubtedly the highlight of the Generalife - are still a prime place to do just that. Generalife Gardens are designed for tranquility, with everywhere the trickle of running water cooling the senses. Tall cypresses frame pathways, fountains play in arches over long pools, streams flow down staircases, flowers and flowering trees cast their scent, and hedges enclose serene little lawns. The sultana’s garden, with its ancient cypress trunk, was where one sultan’s wife trysted with her lover (and was caught, precipitating bloodshed – hard to believe as you stand in this artful paradise).More
#9

Seville Cathedral (Catedral de Santa María de la Sede)

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When the designers of the Seville Cathedral set out to build a new church on the site of the city's old mosque, they didn't hold back. They wanted the best of the best, excess of excess, and they got it. Building of this new cathedral 'like no other' began in the 1400s and wasn't completed until the 1500s. It's still the biggest Gothic cathedral in the world, and the third-largest church. It has 80 chapels. And oh, what's inside those chapels! Gold...and more gold; priceless works of art by the likes of Goya and Murillo; stained glass; and, it's said, the remains of Christopher Columbus. Next to the cathedral is the Giralda Tower, once the minaret of the mosque that made way for the cathedral, now a bell tower. Climb the steep ramps, designed for horses and riders, to the very top for incomparable views of Seville and its cathedral.More
#10

El Tajo Gorge

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The gorgeous old Moorish town of Ronda is high in the foothills of the Sierra de las Nieves and was occupied by the Phoenicians and Muslims before the Spanish re-conquered Andalusia in 1485. It teeters precariously atop the El Tajo Gorge, with jaw-dropping views across the rugged countryside, and is one of the few towns in the world to be split in two by a ravine. The rocky, sheer-sided limestone cliffs of El Tajo Gorge plummet 390 ft (120 m) to Guadalevín River far below and at its narrowest it is only 225 ft (68 m) wide. Over the millennia the river has carved out this massive canyon as it is fed by snow melt in spring. Three bridges span the gorge and the biggest of these is the triple-arched Puente Nuevo, which was built in the late 18th century. It has become one of the most iconic images of Spain. Start an exploration of the gorge from the pathway that leads down behind the tourist office in Plaza España, just on the north side of the Puente Nuevo.More

Trip ideas

How to Choose an Alhambra Tour

How to Choose an Alhambra Tour

Game of Thrones Film Sites in Seville

Game of Thrones Film Sites in Seville

Top activities in Andalucia

Alhambra and Generalife Small-Group Guided Tour in Granada. Skip the line

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Alhambra and Generalife Small-Group Guided Tour in Granada. Skip the line

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Gibraltar Day Trip from Seville

Gibraltar Day Trip from Seville

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Granada Day Trip from Seville

Granada Day Trip from Seville

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Recent reviews from experiences in Andalucia

star-5
Ronda trip
Vivienne_F, Feb 2020
Ronda Day Trip: Wine Tasting, Bullfighting Ring and Optional White Villages
It is quite a long day, but you do get to see a lot, and the white villages and Ronda do not disappoint.
star-5
The best experience
Enina295, Oct 2019
Alhambra: Nasrid Palaces & Generalife Ticket with Audioguide
The audio was great, I didn't have to follow tour guides with bad english.
star-5
If you are in Andalucia, you have to...
Thomas O, Oct 2017
Malaga to Granada: skip-the-line at Alhambra & Nasrid Palace - for cruisers only
If you are in Andalucia, you have to visit this place.
star-5
One of the highlights of Andalucia...
Steven C, Mar 2017
Jerez and Cádiz Day Trip from Seville Including Sherry Tasting, Andalusian Horse Show and Ferry Ride
Fascinating city where I got to see the real Spain.
star-5
Granada day trip, the amazing visit to the legendary alhambra palace
hmosli, Dec 2019
Granada Day Trip from Seville
Spain is blessed to preserve such Islamic monuments in Granada and Cordoba and many other places as they ate major touristicattractions.
star-4
Hi. A well worthwhile trip-such a...
Ann D, Nov 2017
Las Alpujarras Full-Day Tour from Granada
A well worthwhile trip-such a stunning area to visit-even though it was raining.
star-5
our guide Theresa was very...
mhmyrah, Oct 2017
Alcazar of Seville Early Access with Optional Seville Cathedral
our guide Theresa was very knowledgable and spoke excellent English.
star-5
A brilliant trip! In fact, the...
Neil P, Jun 2016
Granada Hot-Air Balloon Ride
The balloon team from Gloobo were excellent, and although most on the trip were Spanish, our pilot spoke fair English and took the trouble to include us in everything that was happening.
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We enjoyed the tour very much. The...
Ned L, May 2016
Jerez and Cadiz Day Trip from Seville
His English was excellent given that the tour was both in Spanish and English.
star-5
Our tour guide, Luca, was awesome...
Michael V, May 2017
White Villages Guided Day Tour from Seville
During the drive out to the white villages he provided us a wealth of information about each of the towns we were about to visit, as well as telling us about the people and culture of Andalucia.
star-5
First of all, the stops we went to...
Nicole O, Mar 2017
White Villages and Ronda Day Tour from Seville
I was on a tour with both English and Spanish speakers and he took the time to both explain things in both languages but also translate so our group could bond and communicate with each other.
star-5
It was a huge pity that the weather...
MRSMLGODFREY, May 2013
Skip the Line: Alhambra and Generalife Gardens Half-Day Tour
At the beginning of the tour we had our doubts because of the large number in the group (30 English speakers) but there was no problem because we had earphones so that we could hear Antonio very clearly all the time.
star-5
Excellent way to see Andalucia more...
Elina K, Aug 2010
Ronda & Setenil with Wine Tasting from the Costa del Sol
Excellent way to see Andalucia more widely with reasonably price.

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