It’s my absolute favourite part of Spain, and there’s no doubt that the most southerly region of this country – Andalusia – is a favourite for many other travellers too.
But what’s the best way to take in the diversity and drama of this unique area I hear you cry!
Well the answer is via an Andalusia road trip of course… alternatively known as an Andalucian road trip if you want to spell it the Spanish way!
With a fascinating history that charts the rise of both Moorish and Catholic empires, along with some of the oldest and grandest heritage sites in Europe, one of the strongest cultural identities in Spain, great hiking trails and a whole load of tapas and flamenco thrown in for good measure, not to mention the beautiful beaches – there’s no question Andalusia packs a serious travel punch.
You could easily spend months exploring the region but, as few of us have this much time at our disposal, I’ve compiled this epic 10 day Andalusia road trip itinerary to help you see the best of it care of an easy day by day guide.
Its’ time to get exploring…
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When to Road Trip Andalusia?
But before we launch into the day to day itinerary for your southern Spanish road trip, it’s worth taking a bit of time first to think about when to plan this adventure for.
And no question in my mind, that the best time to visit Andalusia is either during the spring months of April, May & June or in the autumn months of September and October.
During both these seasons, you’ll experience delightfully warm weather that will allow you to take full advantage of the region’s beauty at its best, without wilting in the summer heat, which regularly sees temperatures in excess of 40 degrees celsius.
Quite simply, sightseeing (or driving for that matter) when it’s this hot is just no fun, so sticking to the months either side of the peak summer is your best bet here.
These so-called “shoulder” months are also likely to be quieter, meaning thinner crowds and better prices, as long as you avoid peak times like Easter or school holidays, so do make sure you check when these dates fall and skip them!
How Long to Road Trip Andalusia For?
As I mentioned in the intro to this article, you could easily spend months exploring Andalusia and still not see it all, so when I talk about timeframes, I’m aware I need to be realistic and consider the amount of time most people have for their Andalusian road trip.
And for that reason, I’ve settled on 10 days, which you’ll soon discover in more detail care of the day by day itinerary I’ve outlined below.
If you’d rather not hire a car to see Andalusia, then this 10 day guided tour is the perfect alternative. It covers the exact same itinerary but removes the stress of having to drive in a foreign country, which sounds very appealing to me!
That said however, if you did have a bit more time, you could easily extend this itinerary to 14 days by adding on the destinations of Jerez and Cadiz – both historic cities in Andalusia that each deserve at least a day of your time.
And if you’re really keen on the beach and a bit of ritz, then Marbella is a good coastal addition too!
Otherwise, if you’re looking to go the other way and shorten your Andalusia road trip itinerary from 10 to 7 days, I recommend casting your eyes over the itinerary below to see which spots appeal to you the least – you can then shorten your stay in these spots by a night or 2 and clawback 3 days to give you a week’s itinerary instead!
Where to Begin Your Andalusia Road Trip?
And now it’s time to launch into this southern Spain itinerary and look first at the best place to begin (and likely end) your Andalusia road trip.
And in my opinion, the best place to do that is Malaga… for a number of reasons….
#1 First up, Malaga has some really excellent car hire places that offer some of the best deals going, which makes for a delightfully affordable road trip experience.
Thrifty Car Hire offer some good deals across Spain generally, but it’s Malaga-based Wiber Car Rental who always tend to offer the best prices in my opinion. A smaller, Spanish company, their online booking system is easy and their staff at the depots are always very friendly and speak great English.
#2 The second reason I recommend beginning your Andalusia road trip in Malaga is because this city is easy to get to.
Yes Malaga has both a bus and train station, with regular arrivals from around Andalusia and Spain.
From either the train or the bus station (they are pretty close to each other), it’s then just a quick and easy taxi ride to the city centre – Uber is the cheapest option and fares cost around 7€.
When it comes to booking train and bus journeys to Malaga, I highly recommend Trainline, as they make it easy, quick and simple to compare hundreds of rail and coach journeys to the city from across Spain and Europe.
Otherwise, if you’re arriving into Malaga from further afield, it’s great to know there’s also a good international airport just outside the city with regular flights from London, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, Rome and many other destinations.
As always, I suggest using Skyscanner to find the best flight prices as they include budget airlines in their searches too.
From the airport, it’s then easy to catch a bus or a train to the city centre of Malaga and your accommodation.
#3 And the third reason I recommend beginning your Andalusian road trip in Malaga is because you can’t beat starting and ending a holiday at the coast in my opinion, and this city is the perfect spot for that!
After all, to get the best deal on your hire car it’s likely you’ll need to take it back to the spot you hired it from, and what better place to end up sipping a Tinto Verano and watching the sunset, than over the Mediterranean?!
Day 1-3: Malaga
Stay: Hotel Palacete de Alamos
So now that we’ve ascertained Malaga is the best place to begin your Andalusian road trip, it makes sense to kick off this itinerary there.
An absolutely delightful city full of history, great museums, fab restaurants and a vibrant, authentic culture (who knew?!), Malaga’s main beach – La Malagueta – is an easy walk from the city centre and the perfect spot to spend your first afternoon / evening after you arrive in the city and check-in to your accommodation. Don’t miss sampling the freshly grilled sardines here or catching the sunset with a cerveza!
Your second (and first full day) in Malaga should then be given over to exploring the historic centre of this city, including its great museums (the Picasso Museum is my fav), the Cathedral, the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro Castle.
For more info about the best attractions in this city (as well as the top places to eat and stay) check out these Malaga articles I wrote…
And then on your last day here, it’s time to get out and about for the first time and head beyond the city to explore some of the top day trips around Malaga.
For beach lovers, there’s plenty of good options to explore that are accessible by bus (if you haven’t picked up the rental car yet). Check out my top 7 picks here.
Otherwise, for the hikers among you, you can’t miss heading out to trek through the amazing and adrenaline-raising suspended walkway of Caminito Del Rey.
Given the nature of this adventurous hike, only limited numbers are allowed daily. You’ll therefore need to book your tickets weeks (or even months) in advance.
This top-rated tour includes entrance to the walk, as well an English-speaking guide, which comes highly recommended!
Day 4: Ronda
Stay: Catalonia Reina Victoria
And now we move onto day 4 of this Andalusian road trip and it’s time to really hit the road!
The first place to head for is the beautiful town of Ronda, which lies about 100km west of Malaga in a drive that will take you around an hour and a half to complete.
Driving is simple, mostly along the A-367 and A-357, but setting off early will get you to Ronda will plenty of time to explore the small historic centre of this charming cobbled town.
While the town is definitely worth some of your time, it’s really the views from Ronda’s famous bridge – el Puente Nuevo – that make this place stand out, and I highly recommend a hike through the lovely landscape here to take in the view of the bridge from loads of different angles… not just the top of it!
Learn more in this post I wrote about the best way to visit Ronda’s bridge and to take in the magnificent views!
After a good day sightseeing and, hopefully hiking, it’s time to chill out with some good tapas and enjoy the lowkey Ronda vibes, especially after all the day-trippers have left.
Day 5-6: Seville
Stay: Hotel Cetina Sevilla
From Ronda, it’s then time to press on further west to the capital of Andalusia – the elegant and regal city of Seville. Historic and grand, it’s fascinating how different to Malaga it feels!
After all, Seville is one of Spain’s hottest cities and you do not want to be lugging your stuff around with you!
Once you’re all checked in and refreshed, it’s then time to hit up the Seville streets and get your sightsee game on!
With a day and a half left here, you’ve got enough time to do it all, but don’t miss the Triana district, the Setas de Sevilla or the city’s amazing Cathedral and Giralda Tower.
Learn more about all these places and the best way to get tickets in this post about my 19 fave things to do in Seville.
Day 7: Córdoba
Stay: La Casa del Aceite
Then, after a couple of days in Seville, it’s time to continue on your Andalusia road trip to another historic city, this time it’s Córdoba.
Originally a Roman settlement, Córdoba sits on the banks of the river Guadalquivir (the one that also runs through Seville) and is famous for its Mezquita-Cathedral, which is an amazing piece of Moorish architecture that’s now UNESCO-listed.
A former Mosque and now Cathedral it belies much of the history of the region and is a prominent historic attraction across Spain.
Stunningly beautiful, the minaret was converted to a bell tower when the structure became a Christian place of worship in the 13th century.
I highly recommend taking a guided tour of the Mezquita-Cathedral, so that a) you can really learn about what you are seeing and b) because most guided tours include skip-the-line tickets, which is definitely what you need with only an afternoon here to enjoy it!
Once you’ve finished exploring this icon, you should then have a few hours left to wander the rest of this heritage destination before finding somewhere to stay for the night.
Check out these other top things to do in Cordoba for more ideas.
Day 8-10: Granada
Stay: Catalonia Granada
And finally we come to the last destination on this Andalusian road trip itinerary and that is the magnificent city of Granada.
Another historic gem, this traveller favourite lies to the southeast of Cordoba and should only take you a little over 2 hours to drive to from there.
When you arrive, check into your Granada Airbnb and spend the rest of the day exploring this gorgeous city including its Cathedral, tapas bars and great sunset lookout.
Get all my top recommendations in this post.
Then on day 2 in Granada, it’s time to tackle the magnificent gem that is the Alhambra – and what a way to round up your time in Andalusia!
Another UNESCO beauty and former palace of the Moorish rulers, you need to allow the best part of a whole day to explore this glorious site in all its splendour.
For more information about what times to visit the Alhambra, the best way to buy tickets and my other hot hacks, check out this article I wrote all about it, otherwise, the only key thing to know is that you just have to go and you have to take your camera!
Alhambra tickets should be bought in advance and should include the Nasrid Palaces.
- Get an entrance ticket here.
- Purchase an entrance ticket with an audio guide here.
- Or pick up an entrance ticket that includes a guided tour here.
And finally, on day 10 of your Andalusia road trip itinerary, you’ll need to head back to Malaga, but not before either a detour to enjoy the beaches and snorkelling opps in Nerja or to the beautiful hills and hiking possibilities of the Sierra Nevada.
Both are easily accessible from Granada and make for a great day trip before you head back to Malaga to return your rental car and finish your magical time in Southern Spain.
5 Packing Essentials for Andalusian Road Trips
- UV sunglasses
- Good trail shoes for walking
- Natural 30 SPF sunscreen
- Good insect repellent
- Sony A6000 camera
Travel Insurance for Road Tripping in Spain
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Travel Money for Andalusia
When it comes to paying for things in Andalusia, you want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates when using your card abroad, which is why I always take my Wise Card away with me wherever I travel.
The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups, no sneaky transaction fees and a free Euros account, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card in Spain… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold!
Get yours here.
Where to Travel After Andalusia?
If you still have time for more travelling after Andalusia (and lucky you if so!), then you may want to head Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia – all top destinations within Spain that can easily be reached via car or train.
Check out these articles for some great inspiration…
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So there you have it folks, my perfect Andalusian road trip itinerary and the best guide to exploring southern Spain.
Tell me, which is your fav destination on this list?
Or do you have other top Andalusian places to visit? I’d love to hear about them for my next trip!
Just drop them into the comments below if so…