I’m already back in Estonia, but wanted to give you a little overview of the road trip we did at the end of May in Andalucia. We managed to get through 12 towns in 9 days (pretty intensive schedule), but our idea was to see as much of Spain as possible. And I’m really glad we made it to so many different spots. But now from the beginning:
We flow from Barcelona to Sevilla. I love how cheap the domestic flights are – we paid 25€ for a one-way ticket. Crazy. Then we rented a car from Sixt, which cost us 176€ for 9 days. From Sevilla, we drove to Cordoba – Granada – Lanjaron – Almunecar – Malaga – Ronda – Setenil – Sahara – Gibraltar – Tarifa – Cadiz and back to Sevilla.
So, here’s a little overview of all the places.
Cordoba was one of my fav places we went to. Those fairytale like white houses, narrow streets and A LOT of flowers everywhere. The architecture reminded me of Marrakech a bit – in a good way. Our Airbnb was outside the old town and the vibe there was totally different. Cordoba, the old town part, felt like a place I could live for a while. In the morning we visited the Mosque of Cordoba. PS! It’s free to enter from 8.30-9.30 AM. Seeing important cultural places is cool, but I enjoy just wandering around the streets the most. We found a super-cute cafe with an empty rooftop for lunch. Anyway, Cordoba is a must-go, when in Andalucia.
In Granada, we stayed outside the city, which is a good idea when you are by car and want to find a cheaper Airbnb. And the place we stayed at in Monachil had the craziest view from the balcony. That was probably my fav Airbnb during the entire trip (just because of the view). Granada itself didn’t impress me as much. It felt a little ordinary. I didn’t see as much character or uniqueness there, as I saw in other places. But it was still nice, and my opinion is probably affected by the weather, haha. We didn’t see much sunshine on that day.
We hopped by Lanjaron just for some morning coffee. It was such a small town with a sleepy feel (because it was morning and off-season, I guess). Lanjaron had the white houses ♥ and lots of plants outside, which I can’t get enough. But there were also a lot of hotels and elderly people, we also imagined how we would go there on a holiday in 50 years, haha. We bought some baked goods from a local bakery and continued our trip.
And then we made it to the seaside COSTA TROPCIAL. Ah, there is something about the sea…it just makes me feel at home. Almunecar is definitely in top 3 on my list. The town was a perfect combination of the white houses (which by now you understand I’m crazy about), palm trees (we even saw papayas there!) and the beach. I took so many pictures there that Markus got a bit frustrated with me, haha. Almunecar is totally comparable with Cadaques in Costa Brava in my opinion. Although it was quite windy there and the beach was rather stony, the place just stole my heart.
Malaga felt like the Barcelona of the South. It was nice and spacious. There are some very fancy buildings, and you can tell it used to be a powerful and rich town. But coming from the small and magical Almunecar, Malaga didn’t impress me that much. Although we had the best lunch of the trip there. A place called Nic Pic (Calle San Juan de Letrán, 9). They had vegan menu del dia and it was AH-MAZING.
Ronda is located in s ridiculously beautiful place right on top of a cliff. It doesn’t even look real. Like really. I haven’t seen a town in such a location before. And we came there (accidentally) right on time of the Ronda Romantica festival, which meant huge celebration all over the town. People were singing and dancing in their national clothes and there were huge parades and a party later in the evening, where we tried freshly made potato chips (YUM), homemade orange wine and tinto de verano (like sangria). But Ronda is impressive and SO WORTH THE GO even without the festival. Just the nature. oh. my. god.
Setenil de las Bodegas
This is an extra small town with houses built into the cliffs. It looks very weird. But cool. I haven’t seen anything like this before. But again, white houses on the hillside. I’m sold.
Zahara de la Sierra
Haha, this was probably the oddest destination of them all. I thought like okay, yes this is UK territory but it is still Spain, haha NO. You change the countries – the border goes over the airport, so you actually walk over the take off road. And the architecture is totally different there. Plus there are double-deckers, red telephone booths and all prices are in pounds. And there was VEGAN BEN&JERRY’S in the supermarket. We went to the top of the rock of Gibraltar with the cable car. The view was good, but the whole experience was too touristic for my taste and rather expensive (back and forth was around 18€ per person).
By the evening, we ended up in Tarifa. Neither of us had any expectation about it – we only stayed there because it was a good location (between Gibraltar and Cadiz). But Tarifa was the biggest surprise ever! Reminded us so much of Canggu, Bali as it was the windsurf paradise and lots of cool people and surfer-vibe cafes. We both liked the laidback vibe of the town and from the first second could see ourselves living there. Super nice beach, many cafes and SOO many dogs and young people. Perfect combo with beautiful (white) old town with little design stores. Agh, we wished we had more time to just stay there. Tarifa also looked like a perfect spot for digital nomads.
This was our last destination before heading back to Sevilla to catch our plane. Cadiz is one of those bigger towns that didn’t impress that much. The architecture was not my cup of tea but there was a HUGE beach. Cadiz was the first location it was impossible to find parking. Fortunately, our Airbnb had private parking (which I recommend to check out there) and in the city center, we parked in a paid parking lot. The whole town felt a bit random, and we had a difficulty finding a decent cafe there, haha.
So, 9 days. 12 different towns. And around 1200 km. My top 3 favorites were definitely Cordoba, Ronda (and the surrounding villages of Setenil and Zahara) and Tarifa. The road trip was a perfect ending to our year living in Spain. But if I’d do it again, I’d probably leave off the list Cadiz and maybe Malaga. And spend more time in Tarifa. And we realised, that smaller towns are so much more interesting and nicer to be at. But of course, it depends on what you are looking for. And going to (popular) places off-season is the best travel hack. No problem with parking (mostly), not that many people and not-too-hot temperatures.
Hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in Andalucia. Let me know if you have any questions or comments!