When someone asks me about my favourite holiday and destination ever, I always mention Andalusia in the south of Spain. Even though my trip to for example Canada is high on the list, the roadmap through Andalusia has made an everlasting impression. This article will highlight the places we visited in a 2 week Andalusia itinerary. Good to know is that we visited the area around Christmas and New Years, which meant that we didn’t visited beaches and such in the area. Nevertheless, the weather was great and it was surely possible to relax on a terrace in the sun.
We started of in Nerja, a smaller coastel village near Malaga as our first destination. We drove here straight from the airport and checked into our hotel. Afterwards we discovered the boulevard, had a Gin & Tonic at El Mirador at Balcon de Europa and went for the first tapas dinner from the vacation. Near Nerja, you’ll find the Nerja Caves that were well worth a visit when you are into such activities.
Granada was definitely one of the highlights of the trip due to the diverse range of activities and sights in the city. The place is known for the famous Alhambra, which you can’t miss. Next to that, you can take in some Arabian influences and enjoy some lovely tapas (a peace of tapas comes free with every drink, can you believe that?!). Do you want to have a full view of every place worth visiting in Granada? Check out this full Granada city guide.
We’ve spend Christmas in Córdoba, although we have to admit that maybe wasn’t the best decision as many restaurants were closed or already fully booked. That aside, Córdoba is a lovely smaller city worth visiting. The main sight is the Mezquita, which is a Mosque – Cathedral in the centre of Córdoba. I’ve also really enjoyed just strolling around the little streets, gardens and have some drinks with a view on the river and the bridge. When heading from Granada to Córdoba, you could add an additional stop at Jaén. Read more about this beautiful city in my short city guide.
The biggest city of the area is Sevilla, which is where we celebrated New Years Eve. Sevilla is a lovely city with amazing tapas bars (think of the eldest tapas bar La Rinconcillo), neighbourhoods that are more of the beaten track, the impressive Plaza de España and Metropol Parasol. In my opinion, 3 nights in Sevilla is just right as you can definitely treat the place as a separate city trip within your holiday. All Sevilla tips can be found here.
Jerez de la Frontera is probably the most famous city for sherry in Andalusia. That’s also why our main activity in Jerez de la Frontera was visiting a bodega / doing a sherry tasting at Tio Pepe. Next to that, the somewhat larger city Càdiz is only a short ride away from Jerez. In order to not move hotels too often, we decided to stay for both nights in Jerez. We found ourself a lovely hotel including a spa, where we could relax after a full day of exploring the area. Learn all about Jerez de la Frontera in this guide.
The great pro of renting a car and doing a roadtrip in a certain area is of course the freedom. When driving around the Jerez / Vejer area, you can also visit Los Caños de Meca, a nice beach in the south-west of Spain. Looking for a nice place to eat? Try La Breña! When driving around, you’ll also see some great country side roads – which shows it is always worth to set Google Maps to avoid high ways.
Vejer de la Frontera is a small white village an hour from Jerez de la Frontera. There are several cities/villages that are famous for the white houses, however, from driving past other villages and research, we were happy we chose Vejer for the night. Definitely have a stroll around and when you are there for just one night definitely have your dinner at El Jardin del Califa. Read about everything you can do in this lovely village in this Vejer city guide.
One of the places I would recommend to quickly touch upon when driving to your next destination is Setenil de las Bodegas, a small village that is build under/within a cave. It is so small, I would say that a lunch stop is good enough and it doesn’t necessarily need to be an overnight stay. Another spot to quickly pass by is Zahara de la Sierra, to discover amazing views and see a different side of Spain. You’ll pass both places when driving from Vejer de la Frontera to the next destination, Ronda.
Ronda is famous for the bridge that separates the old and the new part of the city. Visiting Ronda should definitely be on your list, however, it doesn’t necessarily need an overnight stay. However, we did stay in a really nice apartment with a great view. When we were there, we had a lovely tapas dinner at Tragatá, a restaurant that I can definitely recommend.
The perfect day trip from Malaga or your perfect stop on the way from Ronda to Malaga is the Caminito Del Rey, a famous cliff hike in Andalusia. The hike takes around 3 hours and definitely buy a ticket beforehand based on your travel plan. Do you want to know more about this hike that should be part of your ultimate 2 week Andalusia itinerary? Click here to read the guide to Hiking the Caminito del Rey!
The last destination of the trip was Malaga – to finish the itinerary and travel route close to the airport. Personally, I was a little bit two sided about Malaga. On the one hand, if I would have to pick a city where I would live in Andalusia, this would be the one. On the other hand, I think it was my least favourite city of the trip as there were less unique things to see. However, what is really awesome about Malaga is the fact that there is a beach including some nice beach bars and the tapas is great. I would also highly recommend the Boutique Hotel we stayed in – for the night but also to have some nice breakfast or brunch.