This southern Spain road trip takes you on a fabulous loop through the stunning Andalucian landscape, concluding in the spectacular Sierra Nevada mountains. This is very possibly the best road trip Spain. Andalucia epitomises southern Spain; a wonderfully vibrant and colourful place to visit. You will travel along coasts and into mountains, but also take in Andalucia’s iconic cities and sights along the way. When to visit: the best time to visit Andalucia is in the late spring or early autumn, when you’ll avoid the summer heat and traffic, but still have beautifully warm weather. For a truly peaceful trip, visit in the winter time when the roads will be quiet and the cities more relaxed. Flights: British Airways currently have return flights to Malaga starting from £60 per person return in Oct/Nov/Dec.
The drive from Malaga Ronda (via Marbella) is stunning & one of the best during this road trip in Andalucia, so why not start as you mean to go on!
Situated between the natural parks of the Sierra de Grazalema and the Sierra de las Nieves, Ronda sits in a bowl surrounded by dramatic mountains and boasts one of the most extraordinary locations in Spain, sitting as it does each side of the100 metre (328 foot) deep El Tajo gorge. There is some wonderful walking to been joyed in this spectacular cleft in the landscape: from the old town, a dramatic path (the Camino de los Molinos) takes you right down to the bottom ofEl Tajo, to the foot of the mighty “New Bridge” that spans the canyon. The views are the best to be had. In Spring the whole valley floor is awash with flowers.
We recommend visiting the impressive Ronda Bull ring, visit one of the many excellent bodegas for some wine-tasting.
The past runs deep in Cadiz, where cobbled medieval streets spill out into whitewashed Spanish plazas and Roman ruins. As one of Europe’s oldest cities, it has the feel of an urban island, marked almost entirely by beaches and ultramarine harbours dotted with fishing boats.
The famous faded splendour of the sea city of Cadiz is caused by the effect the sea air has on its architecture, leading to the facades of buildings crumbling and bleaching. Almost completely surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Cadiz is a fabulous city for simply wandering and soaking up the ambiance. Narrow buildings with painted facades, twisting back streets, pretty flower filled squares and a few fabulous churches await you. End the day by watching a perfect sunset from Playa de la Caleta, situated right in the old town.
Head out for food and you’ll find it is all about fish! Whether you fancy picking your fish and having it cooked for you at Mercado Central de Abastos, or you’re looking for a plate of fabulous fresh tapas with a fino sherry or simply locally-caught seafood for dinner, you’ll find it in Cadiz.
Today you head to the city of Jerez for winter warmth, flamenco and lashings of sherry! Jerez de la Frontera has been the home of sherry since the 14th century. The particular local soil, climate and grape variety combine to create this complex and delicious drink. Initially, a pretty standard wine is produced and then placed in an oak barrel where the magic happens! You cannot visitJerez without visiting a bodega and enjoying a tour and tasting session at the end to understand how this often misunderstood drink is created.
As well as sherry, Jerez is also famous for its flamenco tradition. Flamenco literally means ‘hell-raising’ and when you watch this steamy and seductive dance you’ll understand why... Considered an art form in Spain, you’ll find flamenco clubs aplenty in the narrow streets of the Barrio de Santiago quarter, but don’t turn up before 10pm as things don’t really get going until well after that.
We recommend visiting the Equestrian Art. If there is no performance on the day of your visit you can Royal Andalusian School of still see the horses train and also visit the museums and gardens.
Move on to your next wonderful stop. Seville is a glorious city - unashamedly flamboyant. In the old town you’ll find three of Seville’s best attractions; the superb Gothic Cathedral, the imposing Giralda Tower and the stunningAlcazar. Visit all three for a fascinating taste of Seville’s history.
Right next to the old town, you’ll find the narrow alleys of the Barrio Santa Cruz, the heart of Seville’s lively tapas culture and offering some of the best plates in Andalucia.
Be sure to watch live flamenco herein case you fell asleep from all the sherry in Jerez!
Another day, another city for our discerning travellers. Rich in history andMoorish architecture, Cordoba is an intimate and atmospheric city, most famous for the ancient Mezquita (mosque-cathedral), one of the most spectacular in the world.
The Mezquita is a remarkable building, the result of a mosque built well over a thousand years ago and added to numerous times before being consecrated asa cathedral in 1248 by the reconquistadors who freed Spain from the rule of the Moors in the same year. The result is an eclectic mix of Moorish andRenaissance architecture that blends to create a cathedral unlike any other in the world, and is the one place you must visit in Cordoba.
The gardens of the Alcazar provide contrast and relief from the, at times, overwhelming Mezquita. With sparkling water, tall palms and cypress trees, this is a perfect spot to stop for an hour or so before taking a stroll across the beautiful Roman Bridge, thought to be built in the 1st or 2nd century, for a fabulous view of the old town. Meander through the Jewish quarter where you’ll find narrow lanes and pretty squares. Many of the whitewashed houses are covered in blooms from window boxes filled with colourful trailing geraniums in summer, providing the perfect images of this gorgeous city.
Alhambra Palace. This spectacular Moorish palace sits high on a hill overlooking the city and is the jewel in Andalucia’s crown. Enjoy a day in leisure in Granada.
Top tip: Book ahead for the Alhambra Palace.
Head for the mountains after all those cities! The stunning Sierra NevadaNational Park awaits you today. This is a hiker’s paradise, offering trails of varying lengths and difficulty amidst humbling mountain scenery.
We have allowed for 2 and a half days of walking here, but you could easily stay for longer and do more. Bubion and Capileira are other pretty villages well worthvisiting.
You will be based in Trevelez (the highest village in Spain at 1,476m) which is most well-known for its mouth-watering cured ham, jamón serrano. Its clear mountainair is ideal for drying the sweet-tasting ham, which has its own Denominaciónde Origen. Try it for yourself at any of Trevélez ́s many bars, which have hams hanging from the ceiling. Local specialities made with ham include habascon jamón (broad beans and ham) and the local fresh trout (trucha) is simply the best!
Today you will head back to the airport, return your rental car and fly home with suitcases stuffed with jamon serrano and sherry no doubt.
Over the years we have researched and refined the list of vehicle equipment that we provide. The equipment is identical in every vehicle but we always ensure you have the essentials for each country and its respective driving conditions.
We have access to a range of vehicles for this itinerary. Should you wish to use another vehicle, just let us know and we will include it it your itinerary.
All our itineraries are tailor made, but here are some of our favourite routes and camp combinations.