The ultimate 2-week road trip through Andalusia, Spain

Day 1-2: Arrival in Málaga, visit Castillo de Colomares and stay overnight in Mijas

We landed at Málaga Airport. Pick up your rental car and drive in 30-40 minutes to Benalmádena. In this small town you can visit the monument Castillo de Colomares.  This monument pays tribute to the explorer Christopher Columbus and his crew. Esteban Martin Martin designed the fairytale castle and had it built between 1987 and 1994. He was very fascinated by the famous explorer. The monument is rich in beautiful details, an impressive architectural style, statues of gargoyles and here you will find the smallest chapel in the world! From the monument you have a panoramic view of the sea.

Continue your journey after the sunset towards Mijas and stay here the first night. The next morning you can experience the local life in Mijas. Mijas is full of beautiful viewpoints and cute narrow streets.

In the afternoon you can drive to your next stop; Ronda. From Mijas it is about 1.5 hours drive. The route takes you past rolling landscapes and along the way you will encounter many beautiful views.

Day 3-4: Discover Ronda

Many people make a day trip to Ronda, but staying in Ronda gives you the chance to fully discover and experience this incredible city. Ronda is located in a mountainous area, high on the edge of the El Tajo gorge that divides the city in two. The parts are connected by the ancient bridge Puente Nuevo, which is the icon of Ronda. Other highlights of Ronda include Spain’s oldest bullring, the cobbled streets of the historic center and the best-preserved Arab baths in Spain; Baños Árabes de Ronda.

Discover more: 6 Most Beautiful Sights of Ronda, Spain

Day 5: From Ronda to Setenil de las Bodegas, Zahara de la Sierra towards Seville

Today you will drive from Ronda to Seville with two beautiful and worthy stops. The total journey is 2.5 hours (not counting the time you discover the towns). The first stop is the small, whitewashed cave village Setenil de las Bodegas. Here you admire the special Cuevas del Sol, rock dwellings.

The second stop is at the idyllic hill town of Zahara de la Sierra. When you arrive, you can already see the town and its 13th-century castle towering over the landscape. Zahara de la Sierra is located on top of a rock, surrounded by green nature and turquoise water. The town looks very cosy, but unfortunately it was siesta time and everything was closed when we arrived here. So keep that in mind if you want to discover Zahara de la Sierra.

Make your way to your final destination, Seville, where you will spend the next few days.

Day 6-8: Staying in beautiful Seville

Seville is in our opinion one of the most beautiful cities in Andalusia, where there is much to discover. You can easily spend 3 full days in Seville. Enjoy the Spanish sun and the pleasant atmosphere on one of the terraces of the delicious tapas restaurants. Visit the ancient palaces with Moorish influences or watch a flamenco performance to experience Andalusian culture at its best.

Read more: 8 Best things to do & see in Seville

Day 9: Staying in Córdoba

The drive from Seville to Córdoba takes almost 2 hours. Plan 1 full day to discover all the must-sees in Córdoba. One of them is the impressive Mezquita Catedral. The mosque dates from the 8th century and around 1523 a cathedral was built in the middle of the mosque. Numerous styles and religious elements of Islam and Western culture converge here. You only see this combination a few times around the world. Admire the beautiful elements of the Mezquita, such as the chapels, red and white arches, a prayer hall, decorations and stained glass.

Another highlight is the Puente Romano, a 2100 (!) years old bridge, built over the Guadalquivir river. The bridge was built by the Romans and later extended by the Moors, giving it its current appearance. From the bridge you have a nice view of the old town, the Puerta del Puente and the Mezquita. For all Game Of Thrones fans; the bridge is a filming location. It is the long bridge to the free city of Volantis.

Food tip: Looking for a cute place to have some breakfast lunch or dinner? Then definitely go to Breakfast Club & Co. The interior and the food is so colorful! This place is right next to the bridge.

Day 10-11: Beautiful nature in Antequera and staying in Granada

From Córdoba to Granada it is about 2.5 hours if you drive via Antequera. This route was our favorite during the road trip! Both the town of Antequera and the beautiful nature reserve nearby; El Torcal de Antequera are worth a visit. In this nature reserve you drive on steep roads past rocky outcrops, panoramic viewpoints and you spot eagles hunting for their prey. If you have more time, we definitely recommend hiking in this area.

Granada is the end destination for this day. This city certainly impressed us. During a road trip through Andalusia you will come across a lot of beautiful architecture with Moorish influences and, in our opinion, the most impressive building can be found in Granada; the Alhambra. The complex is located on top of the hills behind the city and is a must see when you are in Granada.

Also read: Tips for a visit to Granada

Day 12-14: Staying in Málaga and make day trips to Nerja and Marbella

Spend a morning in Nerja

On the way from Granada to Málaga, make a stop in Nerja (1 hour drive from Granada), a coastal town located directly on the Mediterranean Sea. The salty sea air, palm trees, bays and clear blue water give you the ultimate holiday feeling! Be warned as Nerja is very touristy. Don’t let that put you off, as it’s definitely worth a stop here on your Andalucia road trip. There are several reasons to visit Nerja. Walk down the boulevard and take a look at Balcón de Europa, a former fortress that rises far above the rocks, from here you have a beautiful view over the coastline and the impressive mountainous environment. You can also spend a day sunbathing on one of the beaches. The most beautiful beaches of Nerja are; Playa de Calahonda, Playa Carabeo, Playa El Salón, Playa la Caletti, Playa El Chorrillo. You can also do many water activities, such as paddle boarding, water skiing and snorkeling.

After a visit to Nerja, drive to Málaga in 45 minutes. This will be the end destination of your road trip through Andalusia.

Spend an afternoon in Marbella

A trip from Málaga to Marbella is a 45 minute drive. The old town is full of character and well worth a visit. Here you walk through colorful narrow alleys, past impressive churches such as Iglesia de la Encarnación, towards Plaza de los Naranjos, where you can admire the 16th century old town hall. Besides visiting the city center it is also nice to walk through the tropical city park la Alameda. And a little further you will find the boulevard Paseo Marítimo and the beach. These are the perfect places to relax and unwind.

Looking for a cute place to have a drink? Then definitely go to the urban restaurant The Farm. You can relax in their green courtyard while enjoying a refreshing drink.

Spend the rest of your time relaxing in Málaga

We fell in love with Málaga immediately and you are warmly welcomed by the Malagueños. This atmospheric city has a lot to offer; sun, sea, beach, beautiful green city parks, walking routes and a bustling harbor and boulevard. And until late in the evening you can enjoy the vibrant outdoor life, delicious tapas and cocktails on the terraces of the many restaurants, bars and rooftop bars.

Read more: 10 Best things to do & see in Málaga

The costs of traveling through Andalusia

Our daily budget was around €50 per person; including activities, a rental car for 10 days, fuel, parking costs, accommodations and food and drinks.

How to get around in Andalusia

We recommend renting a car from (not sponsored). If you arrive at Málaga airport, you will be taken by shuttle bus to their car shed in 5 minutes. Here you only have to pay and collect the keys. The communication with is super easy, the cars are well maintained and you can book a car in advance.

Tip: Avoid toll roads during your road trip. The other routes were often not the fastest, but so authentic and beautiful.

Tips for a visit to Granada, Spain

The must see in Granada; the Alhambra

The Alhambra sits atop the hills behind the city and is a must visit when in Granada. The Alhambra was built during the time when the Moors ruled Europe. The palace gives you a good idea of ​​how the sultans used to live back then.

The complex consists of a number of sights; The Nasrid Palaces, the Alcazaba Fortress and the Generalife Summer Palace, including the giant gardens. So you can easily walk around the Alhambra for a few hours. There is no certain route along the various sights. There are several entrances, so you can decide for yourself what you want to see first. We first wanted to see the Arab Nasrid palaces. We had booked the first time slot – at 8:30 am – so it was (still) fairly quiet there.

The enchanting Nasrid Palaces

The Nasrid Palaces consist of:

Le Mexuar is the oldest palace in the Alhambra. It was the reception room of the kings and important matters were arranged here.

Palacio de Comares is the palace of the sultan, with its private quarters and the throne and ambassadors hall. In our opinion, the patio de Arrayanes is the most beautiful part of the Alhambra. The basin reflects the beautiful architecture. Be sure to stand still for a while in the throne room. This place is magical. We could stare for hours at the beautiful ornamentation, decoration and geometric figures. So many details!

Palacio de los Leones housed the private quarters of the royal family. The jewel of this palace is the beautiful patio, surrounded by columns and where the fountain of 12 marble lions takes center stage.

The ancient Alcazaba Fortress

Before the Moors invaded Europe and expanded the construction of the Alhambra, the military fortress Alcazaba already stood on the hills. A strategic location! The Alcazaba is therefore the oldest part of the Alhambra of which only the outer walls and meter high towers remain.

The summer palace Generalife

Make sure you have access to the summer palace with your ticket; Generalife. Stroll through the green, relaxing and one of the oldest Moorish gardens with ponds, hedges, flowers, fountains and water jets. What you should not miss is Patio de la Acequia and the beautiful views over the neighborhoods of Granada.

Useful tips for your visit to the Alhambra

💛 Claim your ticket online! The Alhambra is very popular so it is necessary to buy tickets in advance. 

💛 You can buy an audioguide on site. We definitely recommend it to find out everything about the Alhambra. The audioguide costs €6 and is also available in dutch. 

💛 Booking a ticket can be quite complicated. You must have separate entrance tickets for certain sights. If you want to see it all, make sure your ticket gives you access to the following complexes: the Nasrid Palaces, Alcazaba Fortress and the Generalife Summer Palace, including the gardens. 

💛 Make sure you are on time for your booked time slot. Navigate to Calle Real de la Alhambra to arrive at the main entrance. The path to the main entrance is quite steep. So take into account extra time if you go on foot.

Here you experience authentic Granada

If you go to Granada, be sure to stroll through the narrow and atmospheric streets of the authentic neighborhoods Albaicín & Sacromonte. Because they are on top of the hills, you will be surprised by the beautiful viewpoints of the Alhambra and the rest of Granada. Besides that, you will find lots of bars and restaurants and Arabic and Moorish influences in the architecture.

Walk to plaza de San Nicolas during sunset to spot a beautiful view!