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Everything You Need to See in Andalusia, Spain | 7 Day Itinerary

Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week


 

Andalusia: Southern Spain Itinerary

Cities: Cordoba, Seville, Granada
Length: 7 days, 6 nights

Gypsies, flamenco, horses, bulls – Andalusia is the Spain of story and song. For 781 years the region was a Moorish empire named for Al-Andalus (Arabic for “land of the west”) and where the history and character of the Iberian Peninsula is most visibly and aromatically apparent.

On my two week trip throughout Spain, the southern cities in Andalusia were my favorite. I spent the days wandering the narrow, white washed alleys, relaxing siesta style from the hot Spanish sun, and emerging once again at night to taste my way through as many tapas bars as humanly possible. Read on for an easy 7 day / 1 week itinerary for Southern Spain.


Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week
Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week

Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week

Trip Highlights

1 | Appreciating the exquisite architecture of Granada’s Alhambra and Cordoba’s Mezquita

2 | Dancing the flamenco

3 | Admiring the Golden Age of Spanish art at Seville’s Museo de Bellas Artes

4 | Trying a little bit of everything on an evening tapas crawl

5 | Enjoying the simple beauty of a bygone era by exploring the gleaming pueblos blancos (white villages)

Cities Covered


Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week

Cordoba


Recommended: 2 days, 2 nights

A must-see destination, featuring one of the world’s greatest Moorish buildings, the Mezquita, at its heart.

Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week

Seville


Recommended: 2 days, 2 nights

Seville is the heart of Andalusia, combining gorgeous buildings with a vibrant flamenco and tapas scene.

Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week

Granada


Recommended: 3 days, 2 nights

Overlooked by the seductive Alhambra, the historic city of Granada is one of Spain’s most compelling attractions.


Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 WeekEverything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week

The Best of Andalusia: Seville, Granada and Cordoba Tour

6-8 days (adjustable)

Before You Go:

  1. I found Rick Steve’s 2016 Spain guidebook invaluable for his in-depth coverage of several museums and sights
  2. Buy your train tickets! Spain’s rail system operates on a flexible pricing scale where the farther out you purchase, the more you save. First check times on Renfe, the national website, then book on Rail Europe, which accepts foreign credit cards
  3. Granada’s main attraction, the Alhambra, limits the amount of daily visitors so tickets are impossible to buy upon arrival. Instead book far out in advance (ideally 60 days before your trip) to get the best shot of booking the ideal time slot. Tickets can be bought online at Ticketmaster.

Read more: Essential Tips for Visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Spain

 

Southern Spain Itinerary

Click the toggles to expand each day’s itinerary.

DAY 1: Arrive Cordoba
DAY 2: Cordoba Sightseeing
DAY 3: Seville
DAY 4: Seville Sightseeing
DAY 5: Granada
DAY 6: Granada Sightseeing
DAY 7: Depart Granada

Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week


Getting In and Around

Our itinerary went Madrid – Cordoba – Seville – Granada – Barcelona as this was the easiest logistical route. You can easily do the reverse, but I wouldn’t recommend for example, Barcelona to Madrid then south as you’d be stuck south and have to backtrack to one of the major cities anyway, wasting time. Flights from the Andalusia cities typically have a stopover in Madrid or Barcelona before heading international.

Train: Seville and Cordoba are connected to Madrid via the high speed AVE rail line. From Madrid’s Atocha station, the trip takes approx. 2 hours to Cordoba, add an extra 75 minutes if heading straight on to Seville.

Spain’s national train system is run by Renfe, and you can find the latest schedules and times tables on their site here. Be warned that the site is difficult to navigate for non-locals – it doesn’t quite translate things fully to English and has incredible difficulty accepting American bank and credit cards. When planning, I first looked up the routes and times I wanted using Renfe, then booked through Rail Europe, which is English friendly, has a customer service chat for additional guidance, and easily accepts American credit cards. Give Renfe a try first, and if you feel like bashing your head against a wall, buy through Rail Europe.

Renfe operates on a tiered pricing schedule where the earlier you buy, the more you save. There are two types of ticket fares available: turista (2nd class) and preferente (1st class) and seats are assigned. I found the turista tickets to be just fine, with the seats quite comfortable and roomy. Train time tables come out roughly 60 days in advance, but don’t be alarmed if the tables aren’t out – the site is known for being delayed. If you’re taking the high speed train, buy your tickets well in advance of your trip as they get increasingly more expensive and certain routes and times can sell out.

Bus: buses in Spain are quite comfortable and I found them most convenient for day trips. On the Andalusia route, I would recommend the bus only on the Seville – Granada route as the fare is such a steal and the ride is doable at 3 hours. The local bus company Alsa departs Seville’s Plaza de Armas and if you book in advance, fares are as low as 5 euros per person! I booked about two weeks prior and still got a steal at 10 euro pp.

Getting Around: In Cordoba and Seville, I got around purely on foot. The towns are small and all the main sites are within walking distance if you stay in the old quarters. Granada is much larger, it’s more of a hustle and bustle city and I used the local bus on occasion – there is a tourist bus that runs in a loop to tackle all the farther sights.

Everything You Need To See in Andalusia, Spain with 1 Week

This is a pretty condensed itinerary (roughly 2 days per city) and goes well within a larger trip to Spain if you’re also spending another week in Madrid and Barcelona. If you have more time, I have expanded guides for Cordoba, Seville and Granada covering restaurant recommendations, convenient and affordable hotel options and a more complete sights list.

 

Planning a trip to Spain and Portugal? Save this post by pinning it for later or read the full series: 


a 2 - 3 week spain and portugal itinerary

 

Itinerary and Travel Guides


Spain and Portugal Itinerary Advice for 10 Days

How to Experience the Best of Andalusia (Southern Spain) in 1 Week

 

Andalusia


Spain’s Best Hidden Attraction: The Cordoba Patio Festival

5 Unforgettable Things to Do in Cordoba, Spain

Quick Guide to 48 Hours in Seville

Know Before You Buy: Alhambra Tickets for Granada, Spain

Where to Eat Tapas in Seville – 3 Must Try Spots

Spending the Perfect 3 Days in Granada, Spain

 

 

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Carmen's Luxury TravelAugust 7, 2016 - 5:13 pm

I just love your posts on Spain! Andalucia is one of my favorite regions in the world. Thanks for sharing and happy travels :)

travelling chingritaAugust 7, 2016 - 5:35 pm

you’re tempting me more and more to visit spain! i’m trying to remain disciplined until my best friends and nieces go back to visit so i can tag along and then discover the places i wanna check out… especially granada!

annaAugust 7, 2016 - 10:36 pm

I love your website and the layout! So clean :) I absolutely love Spain and seeing the Alhambra was one of my trips highlights as well!

SaliniAugust 8, 2016 - 5:50 am

I loved going through the spanish cities through your blog. I am not acquainted with these Spanish cities, I enjoyed them a lot. You have got some great photos here. I am amazed by the greenery and the beauty of the boutique hotel.

MariaAugust 8, 2016 - 11:22 am

My sister went to Andalucia a few years ago with her family and ever since then, I have wanted to go as well. Your pictures are absolutely stunning and I would love to see it with my own eyes even more now!

[…] Read more: 7 Day Andalusia Spain Itinerary – Everything You Need to See […]

JannaAugust 9, 2016 - 11:45 pm

Oh my how lovely and charming Andalucia is! I’ve never heard of this place before so thanks for sharing. You have some beautiful photos as well!

Lesley CarterAugust 13, 2016 - 3:07 pm

Dancing the flamenco sounds like so much fun. I’m a horrible dancer but I love trying.

mark wyldAugust 14, 2016 - 4:18 pm

We are headed for Granada and Seville in November can’t wait. You articles on these cities have been a timely read lately on what to expect in this region of Spain

Aileen AdalidAugust 14, 2016 - 7:33 pm

I haven’t been to Andalusia but I’ve absolutely heard great things about it! Reading about your post now, I can see even more as to why. :D

ElenaAugust 15, 2016 - 6:11 am

Andalucia is one of my favorite places (second to Lisbon and way higher than any other destinations on Earth). Hence, I am glad that you liked it and put together an itinerary for those who would want to visit it. With limited time in mind, this is a lovely plan (keeping in mind that there are tons of other worthy places to visit there). I would add a word of caution, though: during summer all three cities get scorching (36C-40C with bright skies). I agree that walking is the best way to explore any new place, but those unaccustomed to extreme heat should be very careful.

SherAugust 15, 2016 - 10:36 am

Ah totally agree about the heat Elena! I definitely advocate doing as the locals and taking a big siesta from 2-6pm to avoid the sun. I went in May and it was already a scorcher!

Rush ShahAugust 16, 2016 - 9:22 am

I absolutely love your posts on Spain and Andalucia! I’m actually leaving for Spain later today and this guide and the one on Alhambra have been so helpful! I’ve read dozens of guides so far and bought the Rick Steves guidebook, but your blog still trumps them all! :)

We have tickets for the Alhambra for the afternoon session with a 2:30 pm entrance time for the Nasrid Palaces. Is the weather really THAT hot/unbearable? We live in NY so I wouldn’t say we are used to extreme heat.. What do you think? Thanks again!

SherAugust 16, 2016 - 10:02 am

Hey Rush! Thanks so much for the kind words. I doubt I am more helpful than Rick Steves but your comment made me smile ha.

I went to South Spain in May and the weather was unpredictable. Half the week was 90 degrees and then half the week rained.

I will say that in general the cities are much quieter in the morning (7-12pm), by 1pm everyone is out and about so you’d probably be more uncomfortable with the combined crowds and heat. The Nasrid Palace is enclosed and pretty cooling with all the stone, the gardens might get pretty hot as they are extensive and completely unshaded.

vs. NYC: The weather in NYC these past few days has been brutal all day, super muggy into the evening! My experience with Spain was that it would start off relatively cool in the morning and then get boiling hot by 11am but there wasn’t really sticky humidity. Layers are great to pack! Have a great trip!

[…] is one of the most famous towns in Southern Spain and a must stop on any Andalusian itinerary, if only to visit the Alhambra palace. We did a loop through Southern Spain from west to east […]

[…] Read more: The Perfect 7-Day Andalusia, Spain Itinerary […]

[…] Looking to hit up more of southern Spain? Check out this one week itinerary for Andalucia! […]

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