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6 Incredible Places to Visit in Andalusia, Spain: Southern Spain Travel Guide

Updated: Apr 4


Southern Spain Travel Guide

If you are looking for some of the best things to do in Andalusia, Spain, this post is for you!


Andalusia, Spain's Southern region, is known for its charming villages, historical cities, blissful year-round weather, and spectacular coastline. I spent two weeks road-tripping in Southern Spain in April 2023 and enjoyed every moment. I only wish I had more time to see more! In this Southern Spain travel guide, I'm sharing my list of some of the top places to visit in Andalusia.

 

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO VERSION HERE:


 

Frigiliana

Staircase at Calle Zacatin Frigiliana Spain
Staircase at Calle Zacatin

Stairs at Calle El Garral in Frigiliana Spain
Stairs at Calle El Garral

We flew into Málaga and spent the night before making the 45-minute drive to the incredibly picturesque hillside village of Frigiliana.


With its white-washed houses with colorful blue accents, winding cobblestone streets, and sweeping views of the Mediterranean, it is no surprise that Frigilana has been voted The Prettiest Village in Andalusia by the Spanish Tourism Authority.


As far as things to do in Frigiliana, we enjoyed strolling the pedestrian streets (and taking tons of pictures along the way), popping into the shops, and trying out the local restaurants. Aside from the pretty streets, there are a few scenic overlooks with spectacular views of the village atop the mountains and the sea in the distance.

Frigiliana Spain Costa Del Sol

Mirador de Frigiliana viewpoint
Scenic viewpoint at the top of Frigiliana

 

Nerja

Playa el Salón beach Nerja Spain
Views from the beach promenade in Nerja

During our stay in Frigiliana, we drove the short drive (about 20 minutes) to Nerja for a beach day. Nerja is a resort town located along Spain’s Costa del Sol. It is known for its beautiful beaches, cultural attractions, and outdoor activities.


After arriving, we headed straight to one of the most popular spots in Nerja- the Balcon de Europa, a large balcony on a cliff with panoramic views of the Mediterranean and surrounding mountains. After taking in the turquoise views from the balcony, you can walk down to the beach and stroll along the promenade that takes you past a few coves and small beaches.


Nerja also has a very pretty old town center with Andalusian whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets, and plenty of local shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. It's a great area to grab a drink and some tapas after exploring the beaches.


Balcón de Europa in Nerja Spain
Pretty beach cove right below Balcón de Europa

 Balcón de Europa in Nerja Spain
Balcón de Europa

 

Marbella

Old town marbella spain
Colorful pedestrian street in old town Marbella

old town marbella spain

The next stop on our road trip through Southern Spain was Marbella. Marbella is a luxurious beach town on the Costa del Sol known for its yacht scene, stylish hotels, high-end shopping, and nightlife.


Many of the beaches in Marbella have lounge chairs equipped with straw umbrellas that you can rent by the hour. We particularly loved exploring the old town section with its corridor-like streets and white-washed buildings draped in colorful flowers. In the center of old town Marbella is Plaza de Los Naranjos, a bustling square with plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants to choose from.


We also checked out Parque de la Alameda, a lovely park with lush tropical foliage, fountains, and marble-paved walkways.


Parque de la Alameda Marbella Spain
Parque de la Alameda

 

Tarifa

Mirador del Estrecho in Tarifa Spain
Views of Africa from Mirador del Estrecho

After spending a couple of days exploring Marbella, we headed to Tarifa. Due to its strong winds and climate, Tarifa is a mecca for wind sports. Shortly after arriving in Tarifa, we headed to the beach to check out the windsurfers and kitesurfers.


Another notable thing about Tarifa is that it is on the southernmost point of Continental Europe, just 9 miles from the northern coast of Africa. On a clear day, you can see views of Africa across the Mediterranean. I recommend driving to Mirador del Estrecho, a viewpoint over the Strait of Gibraltar with a great view of Africa in the distance.


I also recommend walking the Isla de Las Palomas, a causeway where you can walk the line between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean, which is pretty neat.


Tarfia is also home to a historical section with whitewashed alleys and plazas, all enclosed by 13th-century walls.


Isla de Las Palomas Tarifa Spain
Isla de Las Palomas divides the Atlantic and the Mediterranean

Windsurfers and kite surfers on the beaches of Tarifa
Windsurfers and kite surfers on the beaches of Tarifa

Old Town Tarifa spain
White-washed streets in Old Town Tarifa

 

Cadiz

Cadiz Spain

Old town cadiz spain

From Tarifa, we headed to Cadiz, one of the oldest cities in Western Europe, founded 3000 years ago. That alone certainly makes Cadiz worth visiting. The narrow cobbled streets and well-preserved architecture in Cadiz's old quarter will make you feel like you stepped back in time. And its pastel-colored buildings with peeling paint feel reminiscent of Havana, Cuba.

My favorite part of Cadiz was walking around the old quarter. Walking along streets that, for the most part, haven't been touched in 3000 years feels surreal. Another fun thing we did was climbing up to the bell tower of the Cadiz Cathedral, which has panoramic views over Cadiz and the Atlantic Ocean.


Old town of Cadiz in Spain
Old town of Cadiz

Views from the Cadiz Cathedral
Views from the bell tower of the Cadiz Cathedral

 

Seville

Seville Spain

Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville's old quarter
Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville's old quarter

Plaza de España Seville Spain
Plaza de España

Seville was the final stop on our 2-week long road trip through Southern Spain. Seville is the capital of Andalusia and is known for its historical sights, gothic cathedrals, and magnificent plazas.


There is so much to explore in Seville, but a few highlights were strolling the streets of the Barrio Santa Cruz district, one of the most picturesque sections in Seville's old town quarter. Also not to be missed are the Seville Cathedral and the Plaza de España, which showcase Seville's blend of Moorish and Gothic architecture.

 

Top Hike Recommendation:

Caminito del rey hike near malaga spain

Caminito del rey hike near malaga spain

If you're looking for an epic hike in Southern Spain, I recommend the Caminito Del Rey trail, located about an hour's drive from Malaga. Caminito Del Rey used to be considered one of the most dangerous hikes in the world, but in 2015 the path was restored, making it much safer.


The hike consists of an aerial path suspended over 300 ft against the wall of a narrow gorge, making for a truly unique and exhilarating experience. Advanced tickets are required for this hike, which you can purchase on their website.

 

I hope you enjoyed my guide to some of the best places to visit in Andalusia, Spain! Before you go, be sure to subscribe to the blog so that you don’t miss the latest blog posts, videos, and other good stuff. You can also check out more adventures on Instagram and Youtube!


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