5 Reasons To Visit Andalusia Spain

Reasons To Visit Andalusia Spain

Visit Andalusia Spain For So Much To See And Do

When we headed south to visit Andalusia Spain we found so much to see and do. We visited many of the larger cities – Granada, Cordoba and Seville. But we also enjoyed some great small towns as we went into the hills and also explored the Costa Del Sol region.

There were many reasons to visit Andalusia Spain. It was a region of Spain we enjoyed and will re-visit again. Let us show you why ….

About The Andalusia Region In Spain

The Andalusia region is a large area on Spain’s southern coast. The Guadalquivir River flowed south and west across Andalusia. We saw this river in Córdoba and Sevilla before it finished at the Atlantic Ocean west of Cádiz. This river created large fertile areas and resulted in large agricultural areas in Andalusia. This included large wine growing regions.

Region Map.jpg

From the 8th-15th centuries, this area of what would become Spain was under Moorish rule. This Moorish legacy was evident in the architecture when we visited amazing sights such as the Alcázar castle in Seville, Córdoba’s Mezquita Mosque-Cathedral and Granada’s Alhambra palace.

With 800 kilometers of coastline, this region was well known for its sunny climate with great beaches. We explored many of the beach towns along the Costa Del Sol.

We were delighted by the Andalusian traditional activities such as bullfighting, flamenco, Andalusian horse shows and the Moorish hammam spas we found through that area. And the food and drink was perfect for our tastes!

1) It Was Easy To Get Around

We found it easy to hop from town to town on the train. Trains typically ran several times a day between most bigger cities with many stops along the way. We generally visited for many weeks at a time. It was not always easy to haul all of our bags up onto the train. But it was far less expensive than paying for baggage for short hop flights.

On our visits, we chose hotel bases inside the city. We walked a lot. But the heat and cobblestones often forced us to look for alternatives. Public transit in all of the major cities in Andalusia was great with a mix of buses, trams and subways.

Transportation Seville Tram.jpg

Most places we stayed were relatively flat, so biking was also an option. In some places eBikes were available. Biking was certainly a fun activity along the seaside boardwalks. In some places we could even grab a pedicab and sit back.

Transport Seville Pedicab.jpg

If we wanted to be spoiled, we found horse and carriage rides were easily accessible. A more comfortable ride and a tour too!

Transport Maria Luisa Park Horse and Carriage - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

For day trips, we chose local buses. Trips to visit Ronda high in the hills or along the coast were part of the fun experience. We considered renting a car but did not need to. If we returned and explored more of the smaller towns or headed into the park areas, a car would definitely be considered.

We found it easy to get around on our visit to Andalusia.

2) Old Towns Provided A Great View of Spain’s History And Architecture

Many of the sites in the old cities of Andalusian Spain were designed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Staying inside the Old Towns provided easy access to the amazing cultural sights we found.

We loved the Moorish architecture we found when we explored Old Town Granada. From everywhere in the city we saw Alhambra high on the hill. We explored Alhambra for a day and were awed by the architectural detail we found in stone carved like lace.

Sights Granada Alhambra - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Sights Granada Alhambra.jpg

In the Santa Cruz area of Seville, we spent days as we explored the Seville Cathedral and the Real Alcázar Palace Complex. We found fascinating historical sites with beautiful architecture.

Sights Seville Cathedrale Puerta de San Cristobal - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Sights Seville Alcazar Palace Inside.jpg

When we wandered through the Maria Luisa Park in Seville, we found several architectural gems. The Pabellon Mudejay building and the Plaza de Espana were not UNESCO sites. But we were glad we didn’t miss these architectural gems.

Sights Seville Pabellon Mudejay - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Sights Seville Plaza de Espana - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Our hotel in Cordoba was inside the Mezquita and Historic Centre. The whole Old Town area was designated as a UNESCO site. We explored the Old Town and spent days as we wandered through the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos and then visited the Cathedral-Mosque.

Sights Cordoba Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos.jpg

Sights Cordoba Mosque-Cathedral Arches - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

The big cities took us many days to explore. But one day we headed to the small white hill town of Ronda. This provided another view of the architecture and history of the Andalusia region.

Andalusia Sights Ronda White Town - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

We were delighted with so many UNESCO sites when we visited. But we were sorry we missed a day trip to see the two small Renaissance towns of Ubeda and Baeza in Jaen province.

3) Andalusian Experiences Provided Great Entertainment

We started our Andalusian experiences with a flamenco show in Seville. Our visit started with a walking tour with stops at a guitar shop and local costumer. I would have loved to buy an authentic flamenco dress. All I went home with was a large supply of fans! We had great seats at the show as we enjoyed the Spanish guitar and dancers.

Traditions Seville Flamenco.jpg

Traditions Seville Flamenco - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

In Córdoba, we enjoyed an Andalusian horse show. The coordinated moves of the horses kept us mesmerized. We even got more flamenco dancers!

Traditions Seville Horse Show.jpg

Traditions Seville Horse Show - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Córdoba had a strong Moorish history. We found bath houses in the Moorish gardens at the Alcazar in Córdoba. We also found a whole site in the old town of Córdoba for baths at Los Baños Del Alcazar Califal.

Traditions Cordoba Banos del Alcazar Caliphal Castle Baths.jpg

After many days walking in Old Town in Cordoba, one afternoon we took a relaxing break at a hammam spa. The bathing ritual and calming atmosphere left us ready to head back out and explore more.

Traditions Cordoba Hammam Spa.jpg

Bull fighting was an Andalusian tradition that we did not experience on our visit. But we did see the massive bull fighting ring in Seville. And when we visited Cordoba, we found the bull fighting museum on our walk around Old Town.

Traditions Santa Cruz Plaza de Toros Statue Glorieta Curro Romero - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Traditions Cordoba Bull Museum.jpg

We were glad we experienced some of the unique traditions. Some fun entertainment on your visit to Andalusia Spain.

4) Relaxing Green Spaces For Regular Breaks

We found the southern region of Andalusia Spain to be very hot in the summer. But we were happy when we discovered that so many of the streets had tree lined boulevards with lots of shade. There were fountains everywhere. And even if we did not splash in them, the trickling water had a cooling effect.

Gardens Seville Santa Cruz Puerta de Jere Walkway.jpg

Gardens Seville Santa Cruz Puerta de Jerez Fountain de Hispalis.jpg

Many of the large tourist sites also had massive gardens. We wandered through the Maria Luisa Park in Seville and found lovely gardens, ponds and fountains.

Gardens Seville Maria Luisa Park.jpg

Gardens Seville Maria Luisa Park - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

In Seville when we visited the Alcázar palace complex we enjoyed a relaxing break as we wandered by the gardens and fountains.

Gardens Seville Alcazar Palace.jpg

The vast gardens at the gardens at the Alcazar in Córdoba were an attraction in themselves. Topiary, fountains and statues drew our interest as we wandered.

Gardens Cordoba Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

There was so much to see on a visit to Andalusia Spain. So we were glad we took time our and enjoyed the vast green spaces we found in the cities.

5) Sandy Beaches And Blue Waters

The Andalusia region has about 800 kilometers of coastline. So it was no wonder that we spent a lot of time as we explored the beach towns. For part of our visit, we used the beach town of Marbella as our base. Long boardwalks let us enjoy this view. Restaurants lined the boardwalk. And beach clubs offered beach essentials like chairs and umbrellas.

Beach Marbella - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg
Beach Marbella.jpg

On day trips, we wandered along the coast. On one day trip from Marbella we took the coastal local bus and went into Fuengirola. The ride was the ultimate milk run with frequent stops and slow travel. The bus ran as far as Torremolinos but we didn’t go that far when we visited. We enjoyed the small town sites and then headed for the water and the view.

Beach Fuengirola - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Beach Fuengirola.jpg

From our stay in Malaga we got on the local milk run bus and explored the lovely town of Nerja. We wandered the cobblestone streets to the Balcon de Europa and joined the rest of the tourists gawking at the sea way down below us.

Beach Nerja - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Beach Nerja.jpg

The beaches were a great reason to visit Andalusia Spain.

6) Great Food Was Available Everywhere

We found tasty food and drink everywhere we visited in Andalusia Spain. As seafood lovers, there was no end to the fresh seafood we found along the coast.

 Food Seafood Paella - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

 Food Seafood Octopus - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

As Canadians, we were not used to the very late hour for dinner in Spain. Maybe because we were often wound down for the day when locals headed out. We generally had our big meal at lunch. And then enjoyed a great spread of tapas for dinner. We loved to share a wide variety of tasty small plates.

Food Tapas.jpg

Food Tapas - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

On our stay in Seville, we did an amazing food walking tour and tried local food and drink treats. We loved hearing so much about the local history and traditions.

Food Tour Vermouth Sherry - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Food Tour Vermouth Meat Tray.jpg

As chocoholics, we sampled chocolate churros at every stop. While locals might take their churros without the dark chocolate, we never passed on that treat. When we finished our visit in Madrid, we made sure we visited Chocolateria San Gines for one final treat.

Food Churros Chocolate - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

When we wanted a treat to cool down, we found ice cream and gelato shops everywhere. There was an amazing selection of flavours. But you know we did not pass on the dark chocolate!

Food Ice Cream Chocolate.jpg

So much great food and drink on our visit to Andalusia Spain. We had local wine with our meals. And we tried many different sherries on our food tour in Seville. But we were sorry we missed the chance to tour the wineries in Andalusia Spain. A great reason to head back.

7) Interesting Sights Everywhere We Looked

We found something interesting to look at everywhere we walked. Iconic images of Spain decorated the walls of buildings.

Art Seville Bull.jpg

On our stay in Marbella, we were fascinated with the unique displays of metal sculptures. Many of them were attributed to Dali.

Art Marbella Street Statues.jpg

Art Marbella Street Statues - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

When we crossed the Guadalquivir River in Seville, we explored the Triana neighbourhood. The fancy iron work on the balconies and colour tile work drew us through the streets.

Art Seville Triana Tile - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

Art Seville Triana Balconies.jpg

In Cordoba we found more colourful tile displays as we walked through the Old Town. And fun statues and street art made us stop many times.

Art Cordoba Tile.jpg

Art Cordoba Statue Manuel Garrido Moreno - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

When we went into the churches in Andalusia Spain, we were amazed at the intricate and ornate details we found.

Art Granada Church.jpg

Art Granada Church - Much To See And Do - Visit Andalusia Spain.jpg

A visit the the old Synagogue in Córdoba provided a different religious view. And the inside of the building showed what might have originally been the private synagogue of a wealthy man.

Art Cordoba Synagogue Walls.jpg

We found so many big tourist sites when we visited Andalusia Spain. But we also found time to just wander and take in the interesting and beautiful sights that were everywhere.

We Found So Many Reasons To Visit Andalusia Spain

We loved our visits to Spain. It was easy to look back and recall the many reasons to visit Andalusian Spain.

There were great historic sites, many with vast gardens. It was never hard to find good food. This region was the birthplace of many traditional forms of entertainment. We were immersed in tradition as we watched a flamenco show, enjoyed an Andalusian horse show and relaxed at a hammam. Awesome beaches and beach towns provided a break from sight seeing.

We visited many of the larger cities and some smaller ones too. And we explored the Costa Del Sol region. But we will have to visit Cadiz and Almeria on a return visit.

We missed the chance to hop over to Gibraltar. If we headed to Gibraltar, we wanted to see the Gorham’s Cave Complex with its steep limestone cliffs and four caves with archaeological and paleontological deposits.

Our visits focused mostly on urban areas. So we missed the two National Parks (Doñana and Sierra Nevada) and numerous other Natural Parks. Since nearly a fifth of Andalucia was protected areas there was much left to explore in the outdoors.

With so many reasons to visit Andalusia Spain, we know we will return again and again.

Do you have other reasons to visit Andalusia Spain? Have we missed a major stop that should be on the plans for our next visit?

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  1. Your post is just right in time. Yesterday I booked flights to Malaga for January. We will go for some climbing but are also planning on some sightseeing in Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada. We will try to fit in the Andalucian Horse Show in Granada and a Flamenco Show in Sevilla.

      • Andalusia has always been on travel bucket list. It’s a perfect mix of natural beauty, history, architecture and fun. The Seville Cathedral looks amazing. I never knew there’s a museum dedicated to bull fighting. It’s so great to know there are so many options to explore the place. However biking is my personal favourite.

  2. I have seen so many travel shows on this area. Between the food, sights, and culture, it is definitely on my bucket list. And as usual, your photography is amazing.

  3. You’ve picked the perfect moment to publish this post: I’m planning on going to Andalusia in a couple of weeks and putting my itinerary together. To get around by public transportation is key for me, so what you write is very reassuring. I’m also very much looking forward to the foods and the good wine – I’ll begin my tour at Jerez, if you know what I mean 😉

    • I am excited that you will be visiting Andalusia Spain. We certainly did all of our travels in Spain by public transportation so you will have no problems. So many great stops along the way. Will look forward to following your travels.

  4. I absolutely love places that have history and architecture. I have never been to Spain but I do have it on my list of places to visit. I am surely adding Andalusia region to my list. And it makes it like a great place as it is easy to move around the region.

  5. Beaches, architecture, gardens, and great food (though I’m not sure I’d brave that octopus). There seems to be something for everyone here! I would have a harder time eating later, but when in Rome! (Or Andalusia!)

  6. I’m in love with the architecture and the food! But I agree with you about not wanting to eat my meal late in the evening. We are early to bed, early to rise.

  7. Wow all of the architecture here is so beautiful. There is so many great things to do it seems like. I would love to take the carriage ride around to see all of the gardens and architecture.

  8. The old architectures in Andalusia region are absolutely beautiful. I think I can spend days here just to visit each one of them. But the food look as amazing, too. Seems like you had the best time there.

  9. I passed through Andalusia quickly top see the Alcazar but it looks like I missed out on many more cool things to do!

  10. It looks so culturally rich. I hope I get to see it in person some day. I took an introductory class for Spanish recently. I think it’s just deja vu that I get to read about this beautiful region too.

  11. Andalusia looks so charming and beautiful. I loved this old rustic town. The colourful rikshaw, the food, the historic sites make me feel to Spain right now. Hopefully will visit soon.

  12. I’d love to head back and see more of andalusia. I got visit cordoba during a research exchange and loved it. Didn’t get much chance to fully experience the surrounding areas though. It looks stunning

  13. Andalusia is my favorite region in Spain. The Moorish architecture is just stunning, and the flamenco shows are sooo amazing. Just that summer heat is something else but otherwise it’s simply the best. I didn’t get to visit la Mezquita as you mentioned, but after seeing your photos I do regret it. Well next time!

  14. I agree with you completely that Andalucia is worth seeing. Personally, I visit often because I have a friend in Sevilla. True, it is easy to get around by public transport. I traveled around Andalusia by trains and buses, the journeys were always safe, and it was easy to get by local transport even to smaller towns. Old Towns are fabulous, full of history. The only place I haven’t seen yet from your list is Alhambra in Grenda. Some of my favorites places are Maria Luisa Park in Seville, Mezquita in Cordoba, and Ronda. I also love flamenco shows and great Andalusian foood.

    • I hope you do get to visit Granada when you get back to this part of Spain. We almost missed it but were so glad we did not. The Alhambra was great but we loved the small city too.

  15. When I went to Barcelona I struggled to find food that I enjoyed, but after reading your post I think I may just have to give Spain another chance! This was such a helpful post!

  16. Traditional hammam, flamenco , churros dipped in choco sauce; the perfect holiday feels!! The sights look lovely too. Dali influence in Marbella & as a base to explore the coastline/relax by the beach sounds very inviting!

  17. One of my favorite cities is Barcelona. Reading your adventure, it seems Andalusia does not disappoint. The exotic landscapes, the laid-back lifestyle and the rich history of Andalusia Spain make it a must-see destination for any traveler. And not to forget the food!

  18. I love the architecture! It’s amazing to me how the Moors had so much influence early on. I haven’t toured Spain much, but the tiles and shapes from the Moors remind me of time spent in Portugal. I guess it makes sense b/c they are neighboring countries. Looks like a lovely trip!

  19. Andalusian Spain is surely an inviting place. It has so much to offer. I am blown away by the architecture. It would be a treat to capture it into my lens. I loved the fact that it has a lot of entertainment options and great food too. The gardens and white town were added charm to Andalusian Spain. Loved it.

  20. The flamenco dresses are gorgeous. My mum bought my daughter one of those when she was younger as a souvenir from a trip. It was a well-used dress up outfit for a few years! It’s great to see so many gardens and shady spaces around, especially with trickling water. I reckon you’d need it. There’s definitely so much to explore in Andalusia, particularly the beautiful old buildings.

  21. Just won three nights in Andalusia in the mountains and was thinking of combining that in a road trip, so glad I found this post And I love doing food tours – so mentally added to Seville. Completely forgot about Cordoba, that looks gorgeous. Back to planning 🙂

  22. I did three out of the five in Andalusia region, each excelling the other in terms of sights and monuments. This eBike concept is a newly introduced one I think, we didn’t see them when we were there. Very helpful to get through narrower lanes. Hope I can get there again.

  23. What an incredible region! I was just browsing destinations in Spain a few days ago and had no idea that Andalusia had this much to see and do. I LOVE the architecture and all those gorgeous patterns and tiles, and it’s great to hear that traveling between small towns is easy. The paella and tapas you had look delectable too!

  24. This was such an excellent primer on Andalusia Spain, and also provided so much detailed information that I can use as I plan a June trip to Spain. (Lord, it’s going to be hot, but I will look for those fans you mentioned!) After reading your post, I’ve considered adding more items to my itinerary, and am very excited for the trip. Appreciate these useful tips and inspiration.

  25. Andalusia is hands down my favorite place in Spain! Plaza de Espana in Sevilla is one of the most beautiful squares in the world! I also loved the Bridge of Ronda and the town of Cadiz! this article brings back so many nice memories! I hope I can go back!

    • We have loved our visits to the Andalusia region of Spain. Each spot seems so different and great. Definitely an area we will re-visit over and over again.

  26. Lovely post and beautiful images as always.
    I live in Andalucia in the province of Almeria. You must try and visit this province next time you are here!

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