When planning a road trip to Southern Spain, the most asked question must be: how much time to spend in Andalucia? How much time to spend in Seville and how long should I stay in Granada? Or how long can I stay at Malaga beach? I had the same questions when I planned my Andalucia travel itinerary and pieced the small bits of information together and came up with my own 10-day Andalucia road trip itinerary.
I want to make planning your Andalucia travels and Southern Spain itinerary easier for you. Therefore, I put together this list of things to do in Andalucia and the main highlights, and how much time it takes to visit the highlights of Andalucia.
I paid for everything in full myself. I was not paid or sponsored. All my opinions and experiences are my own.
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10-Day Southern Spain Road Trip Itinerary around Malaga, Ronda, Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada (with free download)
At the bottom, you can download my free Andalucia road trip itinerary spreadsheet. You can fill in the things that interest you in Andalucia Spain. When you add everything up, you’ll see how much time you need to spend in the different cities of Andalucia Spain.
Impatient? Download the FREE sample itinerary for your Andalucian road trip straight away.
Andalucia in the South of Spain
Andalucia is the most Southern province of Spain. It consists of 8 smaller regions, each with its own character. It was under Arabic rule by the Moorish kings until 1492. After this, the Catholic monarchs ruled over Andalucia.
The mix of Roman, Moorish and Spanish history, combined with the great food culture and its excellent climate makes this area of Spain so popular with tourists and travelers. What attracts you to travel to Andalucia?
The average temperature in Andalucia in summer is 36°C (97 °F). These scorching temperatures are not meant to explore cities but April and May are lovely months to visit Andalucia and October and November are very pleasant too.
What to see in Andalusia and what to include in your Southern Spain itinerary?
The beaches of Andalucia draw sun-seekers year-round, especially the Malaga beach, but this Andalusia road trip itinerary is about cultural exploration.
Here is a list of the main Andalucia highlights and the things to do in the Andalucian cities.
Málaga and Málaga beach
- Main start and finish of an Andalucia itinerary
- Malaga airport is connected with air, rail, and road with Madrid and Barcelona
- Famous is Malaga beach for sun-seekers
- White Villages around Malaga
- Famous “Pueblo Blanco”- White Village of Andalucia
- Old-stone bridge connecting modern Ronda with historic Ronda
- Film set for many episodes of Games of Thrones
- Seville Cathedral and Giralda Bell Tower.
- Royal Alcázar, the palace of Sevilla
- Excellent food and tapas culture
- Mezquita of Cordoba. Mosque turned into Catholic Cathedral
- Famous Alhambra Castle and Palace in Granada
- Ancient Arabic neighborhood the Albeyzín
Other places in Andalusia worth your time
The places I didn’t visit (on this trip) but are very much worth your time:
- The oldest city of Europe: Cádiz
- Horses and sherry in Jerez de la Fonterra
- Monkey spotting in British Gibraltar in one day
- Other white villages of Andalucia
My 10-Day Andalusia Road Trip Itinerary
My road trip through Andalucia was in November and I split my days in half. I drove during siesta time and arrived in my new city early evenings.
This way, I had 1 evening to look around, a full day of exploring, and a morning of wandering around. This worked really well for me.
Below you’ll find the travel itinerary for my 10-day Andalucian road trip cramming in as much as the highlights of Southern Spain as possible.
Day 1: Start in Malaga
This was my travel day and I arrived late in the evening at Malaga Airport. I picked up my rental car and checked into my Málaga hostel.
The first tapas of my Andalucia travel was an excellent choice.
Day 2: Malaga morning tour
Because I had little time in Malaga, I skipped Malaga beach but joined a Food Tour around Málaga instead.
In half a day, I learned about Malaga’s history and sampled some delicious wines and foods of the region at the market and in local tapas bars.
I got to see a glimpse of the Picasso Museum and the Cathedral of Malaga. The Alcázaba of Málaga looks really impressive and you can easily spend half a day there.
Total time spent in Malaga: 1 night
Drive to Ronda
After 2.30 pm, I left Malaga and drove off to Ronda. In the afternoon I settled into my Ronda hotel and explored the city on foot.
I wanted to see the sunset in the center so I headed for the bridge. It was Friday night and the streets were buzzing with people. I never experienced such an alive and vibrant little village before.
Unfortunately, dark clouds prevented any gorgeous sunset from showing itself, so I went back to the main shopping area.
I was looking for a bathing suit, see my story about the Hammams in Andalucia, and I looked for some souvenirs and delicious tapas dinner.
Day 3: Explore around Ronda
I woke up early to explore more around Ronda because I wanted to see the famous bridge of Ronda from below the canyon.
More things to do in Ronda: explore the bullfighting arena and visit the vineyards of Ronda.
After this, I left for the Pileta Caves.
20 km outside of Ronda, these caves are privately owned property and the tour takes you through history and the earliest cave drawings. Unfortunately there wasn’t a tour available so I continued my road trip.
Roman Ruins of Acinipo near Ronda
Ronda la Vieja is situated 15 km outside of Ronda and this is the place of the Roman settlement of Acinipo at Ronda.
Does anybody say Roman theater?
I am in!
It was raining, hailing and even snowing at the top of the sight, but I had fun roaming around the old Roman Ruins of Ronda!
Total time spent in Ronda: 1 night
Do you like Roman Ruins? Check out my post about the Roman Heritage in Orange, France
I took the touristic route down to Seville and passed many of the white villages of Andalucia on my way. The scenery was amazing with big thunderstorms rolling in, double rainbows crossing the road and no traffic at all.
Because of the bad weather, I didn’t see any opportunities to stop for photos but if you have more time, I can definitely recommend this.
First evening in Seville
After check-in at my Sevilla hostel, I joined another food tour: the Tapas and Wine Tour of Seville!
And boy, did I not regret this!
I sampled some amazing tapas and wine.
I benefited from this immensely for the rest of my trip because I got some really good pointers about tapas in Andalucia and how to order.
Day 4: Explore Seville
Rise and shine! The rain vanished without a trace and sweet Seville saluted me this morning.
I joined a Bike Tour around Seville to explore some of the major sights of the city.
We explored La Triana, the center of Seville and we went to Plaza España which is the prettiest thing I have ever seen.
If you like bike tours as much as I do, you might be interested in my Bike Tour of Rome
After the bike tour in Seville, I had a nice tapas lunch and visited Sevilla Cathedral and the Giralda bell tower.
I watched the sunset at the Setas in Seville (also named the Metropol Parasol). This modern futuristic building had some interesting angles at sunset.
Day 5: Morning in Seville
This morning, I packed my bags and prepared to leave Seville. I had half a day left and had to make the difficult decision to either go back to the lovely Plaza d’España or explore the Real Alcázar of Seville. I opted for the latter.
The royal castle of Seville is still in use when the king and queen of Spain visit Seville.
The castle is used for many Hollywood movies and TV series and it is absolutely stunning to explore. I might even argue it is as beautiful as the Alhambra in Granada!
Total time spent in Seville: 2 nights
Stronghold of Carmona
A little later than anticipated, I left Seville behind and headed west towards Cordoba.
I stopped in Carmona, a small stronghold in ancient times.
I wanted to explore the Roman ruins of Itálica outside of Seville (because, hello.. Roman Ruins!!) But they are closed on Monday’s. My luck.
I climbed the fortress of Carmona and had a lovely lunch at the town square before I continued my journey to Cordoba.
After check-in at my Córdoba hotel, I visited the Hammam of Cordoba and got a massage. After this, I had a lovely tapas dinner with a little too much to drink.
Day 6: Take in the highlight of Cordoba
I wanted to get up early and see the Mezquita of Cordoba for free (between 8.30 and 9.30 am entree is free.) but I couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed. Because I was a bit cold and tired, I slept in.
A little bit later that morning I visited the Mezquita of Cordoba and reserved a spot on the list to climb the bell tower at sunset.
I roamed the streets of the city and returned to climb the bell tower.
The sunset was covered in thick clouds so I decided to head for dinner. Delicious tapas (again) and I sampled some local wines (again.)
Total time spent in Cordoba: 2 nights
Day 7: Drive to Granada
In the morning, I had another sleep-in session and a very exuberant breakfast. I left for Granada but took a little detour to visit the old sight of Madinat Al-Zahra. This ancient Arab city is now in ruins, but there is still plenty to see for a little half-day trip.
In 2018 it was added by Unesco to their World Heritage listing.
Visit Madinat Al-Zahra Day Trip from Cordoba
I left my car at the museum and took the shuttle bus to the sight. I wondered around and imagined what it would be like to live in this palace city around 1100 AD.
After my visit, I returned to the highway and put the pedal to the metal to reach Granada.
I checked into my Granada hostel and found my way to the center. I picked up my Granada card at the tourist office and took a crack at conquering Arab neighborhood, Albaycin but I struggled to make it up the hills so I settled for some tea and sweets in a tea house.
Day 8: Granada, Save the Best for Last
I woke up really early and headed to the Alhambra of Granada. My Granada Card was my entry ticket to visit the Nasrid Palace at 9.00 am and I enjoyed the Alhambra gardens early morning. Was this the highlight of my travel to Andalucia?
I wandered through the palace and took in all the splendor of this magnificent sight. It was pristine and so delicate. It was really early and also really cold, so I settled in a hotel for some tea. I took some time to warm up again before I went back to explore the rest of the Alhambra.
By 2 pm I was absolutely dead tired and I headed back to town for lunch and some much needed siesta time.
At night, I met up with a friend from Seville and we went out for tapas dinner in a local bar. Order one drink, get free tapas with it. Only in Granada.
Day 9: Explore more of Granada Spain
On the last full day of my Andalucia road trip itinerary, I explored more of Granada. I visited the Cathedral and the Royal Tombs (Capilla Real) which were included in my Granada card.
I also took the tourist train around town to see more of the city (without walking).
In the evening I joined a walking tour of the old town and enjoyed some amazing views of the Alhambra from the Albeycin.
For my last evening in the south of Spain I climbed to the top of the Albeycin for an excellent steak dinner to wrap things up.
Total time spent in Granada: 3 nights
Day 10: Last day of the Andalucia Road Trip Itinerary
I can’t believe it has already been 10 days in Andalucia!
This morning I packed my bags and enjoyed one last visit at the hammam in Granada and treated myself to a Kessa massage.
I drove back to the coast and explored Malaga’s old castle, (Castillo de Gibralfaro).
From here you’ll have beautiful views of the harbor and the city of Malaga and its endless stretches of coastline.
I couldn’t believe it was about time to return my car and fly back home again! I saw so much on my travel through Andalucia.
Recommended changes for my Andalucia Travels
As you can read above, I had quite a busy schedule and in the end, got a bit tired. Looking back, I could have easily made some changes. Here are my recommendations for the changes on my own Andalucia itinerary:
- Take more time to stop in the white villages of Andalucia from Ronda to Seville.
- Stay a day (or two!) longer in Seville.
- Visit the Roman Ruins of Itálica outside of Seville.
- Stay a day shorter in Cordoba or visit Cordoba on a (half) day trip. Read my blog why.
- Can’t get enough? Me neither. I planned the 2nd Tour of Andalucia around Cadiz Province.
I used the Lonely Planet Andalucía Guide Book to read about the history and culture of southern Spain. Pick up a copy of the Lonely Planet Andalucia (Travel Guide).
Make your own Andalucia Road Trip Itinerary
If you plan your own Andalusian road trip, I made things easy for you. I put together a spreadsheet with all the mentioned activities and things to see and do in Andalucia. If you put the things you wish to do on your list, my spreadsheet will tell you how much time you need to plan in each city.
This way, you can build your own Andalucia road trip itinerary! You can download my Andalucia travel planner for free with this link or click the image below.
So, now you know what to see in Andalucia. If you downloaded my FREE sheet to plan your own Andalucia travel planner. All you need to do now is pin the image below to Pinterest or leave a comment and tell me when you’ll go roadtrippin’!
I find your trip itinerary very helpful and interesting, the only thing that I would find even more helpful would be to add how long it took you driving between the destinations so I can plan accordingly.
Thanks Dean, glad you liked it. I didn’t include that information because it really depends on your driving style and how often you stop for photo options and breaks. I think the longest it took me to drive was maybe 2 or 3 hours. You can use google.maps to see how long it takes to drive from one place to the next and then round up to have an indication.
I have tried to join your mailing list so I can download the itinerary sheet for Portugal and Spain but have not received a link back. Maybe this is because it is a weekend but thought I should pop an email of just in case.
Hey Paul. When you sign up, you need to confirm via E-mail and then you receive an automatic message with the link and password. Maybe check your spam filter? I don’t see a succesful sign up yet. Naomi.
Thanks for the tips and draft itinerary. Unfortunately my wife and I only have a week including flying to and from UK so that arguably leaves 5 complete days but as haven’t booked flights yet (will try for Friday to Friday third week of Oct, it could be more. We would both like to see Alhambra otherwise flexible. Guess we have a dilemma to cut out some things you suggest. Have you a brief itinerary to suggest please?
Hi Kevin. Thanks for your message. It really depends what you’d like to see and what interests you most. It you have your own car, I’d suggest a day in Ronda and then focus on Granada and Seville if you like a taste of Andalucian life. I’d focus on max 2 cities for the 5 days, giving you time to see the highlights and enjoy the good food and flow of Andalucia. Let me know if you have more specific questions. Have a great trip!
Cannot wait to get to this part of the world! This post has been so helpful. We are going to start/end in Madrid but I will definitely be able to use all these ideas to create an awesome road trip itinerary. Thank you!
I’m sure you’ll have a great trip Rebecca. Let me know how things turned out!
I enjoyed your Andalusia and Cadiz itinerary. I’m planning to go there next month. I actually have been planning a similar itinerary to yours, but after I read your Cadiz itinerary, I’m contemplating ditching the city (maybe not completely, but just hit the attractions such as Alhambra, Alcazar) and go to the rural/villages side. I love stunning hidden-gems that are less discovered.
As you have done both, I would love to hear your thought on this. I actually would love to stay longer and just explore everything, but sadly it’s not possible.
Hey Olivia. Great plans! I loved Cadiz city though! I visited on a day trip from Jerez and it was amazing. But all comes down to time and money and efficiency. It was very easy for me for my 2nd road trip to focus on the rural side as I’ve already seen Cordoba and Granada. They are quite far from Cadiz. You could plan to stay west of Malaga. So Malaga Ronda Cadiz and Seville for example. It all depends on your interests and time. I travel quite fast so can do a lot in little time but other people might like more time to just be and go to the beach or visit local markets and sleep in.