• Krista the Explorer

The Great Andalusian Road Trip

What better may to explore the beautiful southern Spanish region of Andalusia than with a road trip? I've only been to Spain twice, to visit Madrid and Barcelona, so this was a completely new experience for me. And it definitely didn't disappoint! There's so much to do in Andalusia, from strolling along the picture perfect beaches, to exploring its historic cities, to roaming through the mountains and countryside. The region is steeped in history, dating all the way back to the third millennium BC! Also, if you're a big foodie like me, this is the place to be. You may have had tapas up north, but getting tapas from its birthplace is just something else. Buy a drink, get free tapas. Safe to say I had a lot of tapas, I couldn't help myself. If you love a glass of wine, it'd probably be a good idea for you to stop in Jerez which is famous for its sherry, and not too far from Cadiz and Seville either. I visited the region at the end of February/early March, and the weather was perfect the whole trip. I'm sure the prospect of free tapas has already convinced you to visit Andalusia, but if not, my points of interest definitely will!

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Caminito del Rey
Just a short drive from Malaga, this is a huge must! It takes 2-3hrs in total to walk around the gorge, and is very easy as well. I had never done anything like this before and was so glad I went. Couldn't recommend it enough!
Explore the Beaches
So many beaches, so little time! Spain is famous for its beautiful beaches, but some of the best ones are those that only the locals know about!
Explore the World's First and Only Smurf Village, Juzcar
These buildings were originally white, but they were painted blue to celebrate the premiere of The Smurfs. They decided to leave them this colour as it brought tourism to the area, so now it's the world's only smurf village! There are smurfs dotted around the village too if you can spot them.
I had a couple of hours here, all of which were spent exploring the various points of interest on the hill of course. Take the cable car to the top (not cheap, but you save a little by booking it online), and you can either take it back down or walk if you have the time. If you get halfway down and think "nah I'd rather take the cable car", there's some steps you can climb that takes you right back up. It's A LOT of steps, and there are monkeys in your face, but it makes for a great story!
Don't Forget About the Monkeys!
They're actually very calm and won't bother you unless you entice them. It's still a little daunting trying to squeeze past them in narrow parts though!
Dramatic, right? When I was researching Andalusia this was a big thing on my list. The city sits atop a hill, and is beautiful in its own right. But I wanted to get a good view of the bridge that connects the two parts of the city. Word of warning, Google doesn't inform you that the road to get to this viewpoint is almost impassable, so either get yourself a 4x4 vehicle, or walk down to it using the footpath.
This ancient port city is very beautiful, with its white buildings and palm trees lining the plazas. Make sure you walk along the waterfront, and explore the castle that's quite literally in the middle of the sea.
Plaza de Espana was, in my opinion, the most beautiful spot in Seville. There's a lot to see in the city, but it can be done in a day if you're determined!
Game of Thrones Location Alert: Real Alcazar de Sevilla
I'm a huge Game of Thrones fan (who isn't?!), so there was no way I was missing the chance to visit Dorne.
This is definitely one of my favourite cities now. Walking through the old town is an incredible experience, with its medieval winding streets. A trip to the Mezquita is a must. It's a world heritage site and is a beautiful mixture of Christian and Muslim influence. Another must see is the Alcazar, which is just a short walk from the Mezquita.
Granada is well worth a trip. If you're looking to explore the Alhambra, make sure you book your ticket months in advance as it sells out very early. However, if you're like me and didn't have enough time to do that, wait until midnight the day before you want to visit and they re-release tickets that have been cancelled. BE QUICK though, there are a limited number available. Take time to explore The Alcaiceria (bazaar) as well, there are some gorgeous things to buy there. Just behind the cathedral there is a smaller chapel where Ferdinand and Isabella are laid to rest, which I would recommend if you are a history geek like me!
Carthusian Monastery
Situated just outside of Granada's center, it's definitely worth a trip to see this stunning monastery. It's one of the best examples of Spanish Baroque architecture in the country, and is very extravagant inside.
Malaga is a hot (pardon the pun) tourist destination. It's one of the oldest cities in the world, and as you explore the city you quite literally take a walk through time. At the base of the Medieval fortress lies the ruins of a Roman amphitheater, and just a short walk from them you'll find a museum dedicated to Picasso, who was born in the city. Make sure you take time to appreciate the cathedral and the winding streets which are full of shops, bars, and amazing places to eat. Speaking of eating, check out We Love Malaga for a great walk and taste tour that includes a lot of history as well. If you're interested in an evening tour, Spain Sherpas has a wine and tapas tour that's very good as well.
Puerto Banus, Marbella
What better way to spend a few hours than pretending to be filthy rich? Puerto Banus is crawling with fancy yachts and flashy cars, so keep your eyes peeled for a celebrity or two.
There are lots of beautiful white towns in Andalusia, which makes it difficult to choose which ones to visit. This one provides a great example of Moorish influence and has some beautiful narrow streets to explore.
I love to eat, so naturally eating tapas almost every day was something I was more than ready to do.
Not going to lie, I had a lot of these. Probably too many, but how can you say no?! Especially since they're eaten for breakfast in Spain. It's the best start to the day in my opinion.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead, book that flight I know you've already looked up.


My name is Krista, and like many people I love to travel! I think it's important that people share their travel experiences, so I hope that mine help you in some way in your own travels, or inspire you to travel more! 

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© 2018 by Krista the Explorer