Best Andalusia Road Trip: A Trio of Moorish Capitals

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

Sevilla

Andalusia Road Trip,Gardens at Sevilla's Alcazar
Gardens at Sevilla’s Alcazar

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

Cordoba

Andalusia Road Trip, Mezquita in Cordoba
Mezquita in Cordoba

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

Granada

Andalusia Road Trip. The Alhambra in Granada
The Alhambra in Granada

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

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About Iris A

Website: http://www.travelingwithiris.com

Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar for Iris A

    JuliaHammond

    Three incredible cities – and also well connected by train. My advice would be never to attempt them at this time of year as the area is nicknamed the frying pan of Spain. Temperatures well into the forties are common. But it’s fabulous in autumn and comparatively deserted in winter, and it’s never too early to be planning a road trip, right?

    Reply
    • Avatar for Iris A

      Iris A

      Spot on Julia! I wouldn’t recommend a summer visit either. It’s piping hot and most of Spain is somewhere on holiday in August anyway.

      Reply

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