Things to do in Andalucia

Itineraries for Your Trip to Andalucia

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3 Days in Andalucia for First Timers

Curated by Lydia SchrandtLydia Schrandt is a writer, editor, and award-winning photographer currently based in Houston. She’s a contributor for USA TODAY 10Best and serves as the first chair of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers. Her work has appeared in Draft, Time Out Beijing, Travel+, USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

The birthplace of flamenco and tapas, Andalucia is what most people envision when they think of Spain. While there’s enough to do in the sunny region to occupy weeks, three days are enough time to experience some of the big cities and small towns. Here are some ideas for your itinerary.

Day 1

Choose one of Andalucia’s major cities to explore. Game of Thrones fans can spend the day in Seville, the capital, wandering the Alcázar and the Seville Cathedral on a skip-the-line or early-access tour. History buffs might opt for a day in Granada, home of the UNESCO-listed Alhambra. Alternatively, head to Córdoba to learn about the region’s Roman, Moorish, and Christian influences—or taste your way through the sherry wineries of Jerez. No matter where you end up, unwind in the evening with a flamenco show at a local tablao.

Day 2

Get an early start and cover a lot of ground en route to Andalucia’s charming white hill towns (Pueblos Blancos) that dot the northern part of Cádiz and Málaga. Many tours begin in Ronda, known for its deep gorge and historic bullfighting ring. Continue into UNESCO-listed Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park to other quaint villages, such as Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema, and Arcos de la Frontera. Most day trips include lunch—an opportunity to sample some of Andalucia’s traditional cuisine.

Day 3

Time for some outdoor adventure. Embark on a 4WD excursion into Doñana National Park, home to more than 300 bird species—or hike the notorious King’s Walkway high above Gaitanes Gorge. Other options include guided trekking in the Sierra Nevada mountains, kitesurfing lessons on the beaches of Tarifa, canyoning in Rio Verde, and horseback riding through Grazalema Natural Park. Polish off your journey through Andalucia with an evening of tapas washed down with local wine.

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