de-DEen-US

Andalusia

What to see & discover

01

Granada

Like most others, we probably wanted to visit Granada primarily because of the Alhambra fortress. Construction of the UNESCO World Heritage Site was begun by the Moors as early as 1238 AD. Since then, Alhambra served as the seat of power of the Muslim-Moorish Nasrids until 1492, when the Castillians seized power and Alhambra fell into the hands of the Catholic Monarchs. The architecture of the Alhambra has been shaped differently by its history. For example, the three palaces of the Nasrids differ in their construction, as each palace was built by a different ruler. The influences of the Catholic kings are also clearly visible. In addition, the military complex and the gardens have their own character. All of this makes the Alhambra very exciting and worth seeing, which is why a visit to the fortress is a must during a vacation in Andalusia! Just make sure you get your tickets early, as visitor numbers are limited. You can book tickets here. Make sure that the Nasrid Palaces are included in the ticket, you shouldn't miss them!

After your visit to the Alhambra, you should definitely take a look at the fortress complex. The best-known place for this is the Mirador de San Nicolás, from where you can admire the entire fortress. It's just usually very busy there. We therefore walked a little further down the mountain and were able to watch the sunset (almost) all by ourselves at the Aljibe de las Tomasas. I found the view from there even more beautiful!

However, Granada is not only characterized by the Alhambra! The city is characterized everywhere by the medieval architecture of the Moors. So you should definitely take a stroll through the city. I enjoyed strolling from the cathedral to the Plaza del Carmen and browsing through the shops of the Alcaicería market on the way. I also liked the Albaicin district. There you will also find La Esquinita Argentina, which serves delicious empanadas! I have saved all the (other) sights of Granada for you here.

By the way: Granada is considered the birthplace of flamenco. So consider attending a flamenco performance! Most performances take place in the Sacromonte district.


02

Caminito del Rey

As much as we hate Instagram from time to time for the fact that there are hardly any undiscovered places left. But sometimes we also love Instagram for the fact that we keep discovering new places that weren't on our radar! It was the same for me with the Caminito del Rey. I would probably never have discovered it without an influencer's Instagram story!

The Caminito del Rey (narrow royal path) is a hiking trail near Álora in the province of Málaga. It used to be considered the most dangerous hiking trail in Europe. After several fatal accidents, it was therefore closed for a long time. However, the hiking trail was reopened to the public in 2015 after the path was made safe.

Today, the hiking trail is very comfortable and safe. It leads you along straight paths made of rock and wooden planks at a height of around 100m along steep walls through a narrow gorge of around 200m. The blue-green shimmering water of the Embalse Tajo de la Encantada is an omnipresent companion. For me, the hike was one of the highlights of our vacation. The nature along the way was spectacular. Just make sure you book your tickets early, as they are often fully booked weeks in advance. You can book your tickets here.

But not only the Caminito del Rey is worth seeing. The entire El Chorro region is considered an excellent hiking and climbing area and attracts visitors with its breathtakingly beautiful nature. For example, we were amazed by the sparkling waters of the Embalse Conde de Guadalhorce. Make sure you plan a little more time to explore the surrounding area!


03

Ronda

Ronda is particularly famous for one sight in particular: The Puente Nuevo de Ronda, which translates as the new bridge of Ronda. However, the bridge is not really new. It was built back in the 18th century. The Puente Nuevo crosses the 120m deep El Tajo gorge, through which the Río Guadalevín flows. It connects the old town of Ronda with the younger district of El Mercadillo.

However, the view of the bridge is even more spectacular than the bridge itself. To be precise, the view from the Mirador Puente Nuevo de Ronda. Because from here you can see the bridge, which is worth seeing architecturally. On the other hand, you can take a look at the beautiful landscape that surrounds Ronda.

Yet, Ronda should not just be reduced to its famous bridge! Because the city has much more to offer! The old town of La Ciudad in particular, with its whitewashed houses and red roofs, is well worth seeing. You will also find the Puente Viejo (old bridge) just 400m behind the Puente Nuevo. Although this is smaller and less spectacular, the view of this 16th century bridge is also impressive.

You will also find a number of buildings from the Moorish period in Ronda, such as the Palacio de Mondragon and the Baños Arabes. The Casa del Rey Moro palace with its gardens is also very beautiful. I also enjoyed simply strolling through the city. We discovered some cute boutiques. If you're hungry afterwards, you can treat yourself to a few tapas at Las Maravillas.

And another tip: on the way from Ronda to Marbella, we passed LA Organic, an olive oil farm. We made a little detour there, tasted some olive oil and then bought some for ourselves and our loved ones. In addition to the delicious olive oil, I found it very exciting to see an olive farm for once, as we usually tend to pass wineries.


04

Sevilla

Seville is the capital of Andalusia and is in no way inferior to the region. Because there is also a lot to see in Seville! That's why Seville needs its own blog post to present all the sights, restaurants and cafés (coming soon, until then you can find my Google Maps list here). But I would like to introduce you to my highlights of Seville here.

Admittedly, these are not just my highlights. The Alcázar Palace and its gardens attract tourists from all over the world. And understandably so! Alcázar is considered to be “one of the most complex and magnificent buildings in the world”. Similar to the Alhambra, Alcázar is architecturally influenced by the Moorish period with influences from Castilian rule from the 13th century onwards. However, we particularly liked the gardens of the palace, which felt like a small oasis of calm in the city.

No less famous is the Plaza de España. The square was the first thing we saw in Seville and left a lasting impression. The way the square is built with its large fountain is impressive.

A visit to Seville is worthwhile for these two sights alone. But the city has so much more to offer, e.g. the architecturally interesting Setas de Sevilla, the lively Mercado de Triana, the magnificent Seville Cathedral or the beautiful Casa de Pilatos. There is plenty to see! I've saved all the sights for you here.

P.S. If you're hungry, just pay a visit to the Mercado Lonja del Barranco. You're guaranteed to find something you like here!


05

Bolonia

We would certainly never have gone to Bolonia, or rather Playa Bolonia, if a friend hadn't recommended it to me! Niklas did an Erasmus exchange in Seville during his studies and knows his way around Andalusia very well. So how could I help but follow his tip? We were in the mood for a relaxing day at the beach anyway, which is why the trip to Playa Bolonia was the obvious choice.

The path to the beach, which took us through a green valley, was already very beautiful and worth seeing. But the highlight awaited us on the beach: the large shifting sand dune Duna de Bolonia. It gives the beach its special face, its particularly beautiful face. Just don't underestimate how long the walk through the sand to the top of the dune is. But you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the coast of Africa.

The beach is also known for the ruins of a Roman settlement - the Baelo Claudia - which archaeologists have excavated here. For once, however, we didn't go sightseeing but preferred to swim in the sea, read a good book and play a bit of beach tennis. For lunch, we went to the Restaurante Otero Bolonia, where we ate delicious seafood. The beach day couldn't have gone better!


06

Gibraltar (England)

Admittedly, Gibraltar is not located in Andalusia. As a British overseas territory, Gibraltar belongs to England. However, Gibraltar is located on a tongue of sea that borders Andalusia. You can therefore easily combine a visit to Andalusia with a visit to the Rock of Gibraltar.

However, I have to admit that we liked the view of the Rock of Gibraltar from Playa del Burgo better than Gibraltar itself. As soon as we reached Gibraltar via the runway at Gibraltar airport, we realized that we were in England: We are in England. Everything was very British. But - in our opinion - unfortunately a bit shabby rather than sweetly romantic British. The entrance fee to climb the rock would have cost £16, which we found a little expensive as we primarily came for the monkeys. Admittedly, the price also includes entry to the stalactite cave and the Military Heritage Center with the Great Siege Tunnels. According to friends, the stalactite cave is well worth it!

Yet, we liked the view of Africa from Europa Point Lighthouse. After all, where else can you get so close to this continent that feels so foreign to us? But even here we missed a certain charm. Everything seemed a little lovingly put together.

That's why Gibraltar didn't quite make it into my heart. But I've heard very different opinions of Gibraltar! So you should form your own opinion.


07

Cádiz

We only made a short detour to Cádiz, which was a shame in hindsight. We really liked the city, which is lovingly framed by the sea. Perhaps because of its proximity to the sea?

I was particularly impressed by the view of the cathedral in Cádiz, which towers directly over the sea. But I also really liked La Caleta beach. We sat here in the evening and watched beach volleyball players while the sun went down. It was simply beautiful! And I also liked the fishing district of La Viña. Here you will also find the restaurant El Faro de Cádiz, which serves delicious tapas (unfortunately a little more expensive).

What do we realize after our short trip to Cádiz? We could have spent more time there. Because Cádiz is worth it!


08

Tabernas

Our road trip also took us into the desert! The only natural desert in Europe: the Tabernas desert. And as if that wasn't unique enough, Tabernas is also famous for something else. Hundreds of feature films have been shot here, including “Play me the song of death” and “Manitou's shoe”. The impressive landscape offers a unique backdrop for western films.

If you are interested, you can even visit the various film sets here, such as Fort Bravo or Texas Hollywood. If you're lucky, filming might even be taking place there. Unfortunately, the entrance fees are not very cheap.


09

Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain range on the Iberian Peninsula. In winter, depending on snow conditions, you can even go skiing here! This makes the Sierra Nevada Europe's southernmost ski resort. From spring to fall, however, the region is more suitable for hiking or mountain biking tours.

On our trip through the Sierra Nevada, we were constantly amazed by the different views that presented themselves to us. It was here that I quickly realized that Andalusia is not just this mass tourism destination. It is much more than that!


10

What else to see

As Andalusia is so large, we were only able to see a fraction of the region. For example, we didn't visit the coastal towns of Málaga and Marbella. However, we did drive through the region and found it much more beautiful than we would have imagined! You will find masses of tourists here in summer, but obviously not without reason. And if you want to avoid the tourist crowds, then perhaps travel in spring or fall. The weather is definitely good enough then and it's less busy!

I would also have liked to see the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba and the Castillo de Colomares, both of which are characterized by interesting architecture. But I need a reason to come back again...



I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.