Andalusia, the southernmost region of Spain, is unlike any other in the country. The mixture of Mediterranean, Moorish and Spanish culture makes the area a delight for any traveler interested in both history and culture. Sevilla, the region’s capital, is where I recommend you start this Andalusia road trip but you may commence on any of the mentioned stops on this varied list. In order to maximize your experience in each city, plan to spend at least a full day on each stop, with a minimum of two weeks for the entire duration. You’ll encounter scenic seaside towns, UNESCO Heritage sites and highland sceneries as well.
Best Andalusia Road Trip I: A Trio of Moorish Capitals
The largest city in Andalusia warrants more than just a stop and stay. I chose Sevilla to be the point of origin for this Andalusia road trip for a number of reasons; but primarily because of its location. The city also has a number of must-see sights including the famed Alcázar, the oldest inhabited castle in Europe, and the Sevilla Cathedral, the largest Gothic Catholic churches in the world. The former was originally built as a Muslim fortress, but now serves as a museum and a royal residence. The latter was built in the 15th century and holds the remains of several prominent individuals in Spanish history including Christopher Columbus and King Ferdinand III of Castile.
Time allotted: 3 full days
Continue your Andalusia road trip to Cordoba, the primary Moorish outpost in the region. Undoubtedly the highlight of the city is the Mezquita. Considered by many as one of the best-preserved Moorish structures in the world, it contains both a cathedral and a mihrab so strikingly beautiful, it will leave you speechless. Cordoba was also an important Roman outpost for several decades before the Visigoths conquered it in 6th century BC. One of the iconic bridges over the Guadalquivir leading into the city was Roman built and provides some of the most picturesque spots in the city. If time permits, make sure to visit Juderia, the city’s Jewish quarter.
Time allotted: 2 days
After visiting Sevilla and Cordoba, take your rental car and drive towards Granada. This stunningly beautiful city sits at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and at the confluence of four rivers. All throughout the city, Islamic influences are apparent, especially when it comes to the city’s architecture. Granada, once the capital of the Muslim caliphate in Hispania, was under Moorish rule for hundreds of years before the catholic recapture of the region, Reconquista, in 16th century. Make sure to spend some time exploring Alhambra, Spain’s most visited attraction.
Time allotted: 2 days