Musement takes a look at ten places not to miss in Andalusia, the captivating region of in the south of Spain.
What is it about Andalusia that tugs on our heartstrings? No matter how many times we visit, there are always new and enchanting corners to discover.
As one of the most captivating regions of Spain, Andalusia is home to an array of sites and sounds, and we have chosen ten that we believe are most representative of the spectacular region’s distinct charm. From the beaches of Tarifa to Doñana National Park to emblems of Andalusia’s rich historical legacy, here’s a look at ten places you must visit in Andalusia.
Granada, known for its eclectic mix of cultures, is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular cities in Spain. The Iberian and Arab legacy complement to result in a charming city that sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The crown jewel of this city is undoubtedly the Alhambra, a Moorish fortress famous for its exquisite palaces, courtyards, and gardens as well as an intriguing, and at times lurid, past.
Seville is the dazzling capital of Andalusia and a must-visit for Game of Thrones pilgrims. Immerse yourself in the city’s timeless elegance at the Royal Alcázar, the cathedral or the Giralda. The art and architecture mesh beautifully with the passion and sensuality of flamenco and, by extension, with the animated nightlife of the city.
Cordoba, characterized by its Muslim legacy, should not be missed when in Andalusia. The impressive Cathedral-Mosque, an emblem of the city, demonstrates this history and will leave you in awe. Stroll the narrow streets of the old town, sit down to savor some tapas along the Guadalquivir River, and live the Cordoba life—even if it’s only for a little while.
4. Doñana National Park, Huelva
If seeing an imperial eagle and an Iberian lynx is on your wish list, you should test your luck at Doñana National Park. This protected natural space in the province of Huelva is home to great biodiversity in an environment of unparalleled beauty. In the winter, more than 200,000 aquatic birds find refuge here.
5. Ronda, Malaga
One of the most internationally renowned Andalusian cities is Ronda. The city in Malaga, lodged in a big rock, stands out for its impressive Nuevo Bridge over the Tajo River, which provides for a fairy-tale visit. Don’t forget to go by the Puerta de Felipe V and the bullring. As Hemingway himself said, Ronda “and its surroundings are a romantic setting”.
6. The Sierra Nevada, Granada and Almeria
The provinces of Granada and Almeria are home to the Sierra Nevada, a group of mountains that are part of the Baetic mountain range. Mulhacén, which is about 11,425 feet high, is the tallest peak. Thanks to its geographical characteristics, the Sierra Nevada is home to 60 plant and 80 animal species native to the location as well as the tallest ski slopes in Spain.
7. Vejer de la Frontera, Cadiz
Vejer de la Frontera tends to be among the most beautiful towns in Spain, and it is not without reason. Located in the province of Cadiz, the town’s whitewashed facades shine with elegance. The scenery is beautiful—you should visit at least once in your lifetime! Wandering through the streets of the walled historic town is a delight. We also recommend that you enjoy the cuisine of Vejer.
8. Tarifa, Cadiz
Before leaving Cadiz, we arrive at the southernmost point of the peninsula: Tarifa. Between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, this is a little paradise for surfers and water-sport lovers alike—most of all for the enclave’s windy conditions. In this picturesque area of Cadiz, you enjoy the panoramas from atop a surfboard by day and with a drink in your hand by night.
9. La Alpujarra, Granada and Almeria
La Alpujarra is located between the provinces of Granada and Almeria at the base of the Sierra Nevada. Called the “land of pastures,” it was the last place inhabited by the Moors after the Reconquista of the Catholic Monarchs. The mountains, rivers, and valleys invite you to disconnect from everything and lose yourself along its trails.
10. Ubeda, Jaen
If a majority of Andalusia stands out for its Andalusian vestiges, Ubeda stands out for its Renaissance architecture. The reason? Queen Isabel I of Castile ordered the destruction of the city’s Arab legacy. Today, Ubeda, together with its neighbor Baeza, forms part of the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city was also declared an area of artisanal interest, so don’t miss the local ceramics and pottery as well as the esparto, leather, metal, wood, and stone artwork.