Fall In Love When You Explore The South of Spain
If you have never had a chance to explore the south of Spain, let me tempt you. We started our journey with the art and architecture of Madrid. And didn’t miss the chocolate churros! From there we headed south to the Costa Del Sol and explored the beach towns. Day trips took us to small hill towns and amazing vistas. We explored Granada for a weekend and didn’t want to leave. Our trip finished up in the colourful and flavourful city of Barcelona. We fell in love with the south of Spain. You will too!
The Art and Architecture of Madrid
Madrid was a great gateway into Spain. It was the place where we started to fall in love with the south of Spain. There were lots of easy flight options to get to Madrid. We wandered around and saw the architecture.
There were 3 large art galleries and they were all available with the Madrid Pass. We wished we planned for a few days though. They looked small but there was an impressive amount of local art and classics. We found art and architecture in the churches of Madrid. The Almudena Cathedral offered exterior and interior wonders everywhere we turned.
Located right beside the Almudena Cathedral was the Palacio Real. You might be deceived into thinking this was just like any other Palacio but you would be mistaken. From the armoury with walls lined with weaponry to the vast rooms still decorated in period regalia, we were awed.
We liked Madrid so much better than we expected to. A hotel near Santa Ana Square gave us easy access to the life of the city. Even after we were robbed in Madrid, the beauty of the city remained. It taught us some good tips about being much more careful when we travel!
Madrid was hub in the Spanish train system. From there we caught a high-speed train to explore the south of Spain.
Costa Del Sol For Relaxation
We started our trip along the Costa Del Sol in the south of Spain in the port city of Malaga. While we were not really tempted by the beach, there was much to see when we walked around.
We used the coastal train and bus system and explored the smaller beach towns. A day in Nerja convinced us that this might be a great place to stay next time. It was a smaller town with crystal clear water.
We headed to Marbella for a week of relaxation. This was a great place to enjoy the beaches, wander the boardwalk or savour the fresh seafood. All of the things we looked for in the south of Spain!
Heading Into the Hills
There was easy access to the local bus system when we wanted to explore the south of Spain and other nearby beach towns. When we wandered further for the day, a bus trip to the white hill town of Ronda was a treat. If you take the bus to Seville, Ronda was a great place to get off for a short stay. The bus trip through the mountains offered scenic delights back to the sea. Houses perched on the hilltops had the most amazing views.
The white town high in the hills provided some breathtaking views of the surrounding land and the deep gorge cut through the town.
Granada and Alhambra
We booked only two days in Granada and we wished we booked more. The Moorish influence was everywhere in the intricate detail on the buildings.
We saw the awesome Alhambra from various vantage points through the city. But the view from afar did not prepare us for the beauty of Alhambra up close. We walked for a full day and not see it all. Each wall and ceiling was carved in artistic detail. The stone looked like lace.
We only spent one day at Alhambra. There was far more to see. We will definitely add Granada to any plan to return to the south of Spain.
See Colourful Barcelona When You Explore The South Of Spain
A high-speed train ride got us to the jewel of the south of Spain, Barcelona. We were glad we spent a few days touring the colour and playfulness created by Anton Gaudi. Parc Guell provided us with acres of fun. Casa Batlló sent us home with a desire to fill our home with colour and curves. While the Sagreda Famillia church was still not fully finished, the work in progress was impressive. We spent hours just walking around the outside. If you want to go inside, make sure to book your tickets in advance.
A Mountain Trip From Barcelona
The public transit system in Barcelona got us to everything we wanted to see. If you want to explore further, try the local rail system. For a great day trip, we headed north. Montserrat was a monastery in the mountains. A series of cable cars, rack trains and funiculars took us higher and higher on the mountain.
On the main level we explored the monastery and museum. A visit to the church let you join the pilgrims in line to touch the Black Madonna statue.
We took the funicular up and got amazing views. And then took the funicular down a level and walked the cragged path and saw the statues in the rocks. This was the original resting place of the Black Madonna statue.
Montserrat is a great day trip from Barcelona, whether you are going for the natural beauty or the religious experience.
When we were back in Barcelona, we wandered the various neighbourhoods. As we walked down Las Ramblas we watched the street entertainers. And didn’t miss a stop at La Boqueria market for a snack.
When we headed to the waterfront we found Columbus pointing at America. There were walking and biking paths all along the water to explore. From the waterfront we caught a cable car and saw the sights high above Barcelona.
When the sun went down, we made our way and saw the Magic Fountain. It was a colourful water show set to music and a favourite of young and old.
Explore The South of Spain And Find Much To See And Do
Madrid was a great place to start our trip. An easy train trip took us south to the Costa Del Sol. There were so many options for great beach towns along the coast. The mountains offered amazing sights and a different kind of break. Barcelona called to us and one trip won’t be enough!
We visited to explore the south of Spain twice. But there was still so much to see. Two days in Granada was not enough. We did not see the flamenco dancers in Seville until a later trip. And we left the colour and Moorish influences in Cordoba for a return visit. There were so many other beach towns. We can’t wait to go back. You too will fall in love when you explore the south of Spain!
Have you had a chance to explore the south of Spain? Do you have a favourite spot for us to visit on return trips?
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