The Southern part of Spain is different than Madrid, Barcelona and many of the other popular cities. The cities are much smaller and have an old town feel, not to mention the weather is warmer!
Getting there: If you are flying from the US to Spain, it is best to take a flight to Madrid or Barcelona on Norwegian Air and catch a connector to Malaga or Granada Airport. The Malaga airport is usually the cheapest southern airport to fly to in Spain, but sometimes you can get cheap flights to Granada which is the ideal starting point. The cheapest time of year to fly to Spain is in April/May or September/October – the weather is still very nice, but it’s considered off-season.
Day 1: Fly into Granada Airport, Spend day in Granada.
Day 2: Tour Granada.
Day 3: Travel to Malaga, Spend day in Malaga.
Day 4: Tour Malaga.
Day 5: Travel to Cordoba, Spend day in Cordoba.
Day 6: Travel to Seville, Spend day in Seville.
Day 7: Travel to Gibraltar, Spend day in Gibraltar.
Day 8: Travel back to Malaga.
Day 1: Granada
Stay: Granada Inn Backpackers – centrally located with dorms ranging from $12-15 per person, per night and privates also available.
Once you have settled into your room, depart for a day of exploring Granada’s endless alley’s and beautiful buildings, not to mention enjoying too many canas/tapas to count. Tapa: Small portion of food given to you when you order a drink (any size beer, alcoholic drink or non-alcoholic drink excluding coffee)
Different beer sizes: Una Cana- around 1/2 a pint, Doble – usually double a cana and tubo – usually 10 ounces. These are the most common sizes, although there are others.
Maybe some of you won’t be as surprised as I was to find out that tapas are not only served with every drink ordered but, they are also FREE in Granada. So, arrive to Granada on an empty stomach and plan to eat and drink your way through the city. If you are vegetarian, be sure to let them know as you order your first drink or they will deliver you the standard 1st tapa instead of the 1st vegetarian tapa.Visit the Cathedral and Royal Chapel which is centrally located in Granada and near alleys filled with shops to purchase leather and other goods.
Day 2: Tour Granada
After you have had your fair share of tapas, it is time to visit one of the most popular monuments in all of Spain, The Alhambra. It is suggested that you purchase tickets to enter the Alhambra 90 days in advance. If that is not a possibility for you, then you can wait in line starting at 5:30am to purchase tickets – the ticket office opens at 8:30am, but the line will be full. Only 6,600 tickets are available per day and while that may seem like a lot, there are also time slots and they limit 300 people to enter every 30 minutes.If you are unable to visit the Alhambra, (I did not plan in advance) you will still have the opportunity to walk around outside the palace grounds and see the fortress from the outside.
Although you will get free tapas at most bars in Granada, there are a few places that I recommend to eat (you will need to pay for the food)Cafe 4 Gatos: A friend of mine who lives in Granada showed me this spot and I fell in love. What more could you want besides a beautiful view of the Alhambra, toast with goat cheese, coffee and beer? I ordered the eggplant and goat cheese toast but they have a few other options that were just as delicious!Hicuri Restaurante Vegano: Another delicious place (especially for veg-heads like me!) with toast and a great menu. Favorites: Toast with avocado and tomato.
Day 3: Travel to Malaga, Spend day in Malaga.
Getting There: BlaBlaCar is a great/cheap option for getting from city to city in Europe. You can choose from different drivers taking passengers to the same destination or a destination near where you are travelling to. You can also Train or Bus to Malaga for very cheap, you can compare prices here. The journey is less than 2 hours and usually the buses also have restrooms.Stay: Lights Out Malaga – 4-6 bed dorms available for around $30 per night, per person. The hostel is centrally located near the Alcazaba.
Get ready for a hike! Put on your hiking shoes and get ready to visit beautiful buildings and beautiful viewpoints! Head towards the Alcazaba to start, which is located at the foot of Gibralfaro hill.
Before entering the Alcazaba, stop by the visitor’s center right outside and get a map of the popular tourist attractions in. There is an entrance fee of 2.20 euro, but it is more than worth it!
After visiting the Alcazaba, next head up to the Castillo De Gibralfaro = be prepared to climb cobblestone to one of the most beautiful vistas I’ve seen!
Eat: After all that climbing, reward yourself with a delicious meal at Restaurante Vegetariano de La Alcazabilla right near the base of the Alcazaba. Favorites: Vegetarian Paella and Sangria!
Day 4: Tour Malaga. Visit the Malaga Cathedral (you can find it on the map) but it is located a few blocks away from the Alcazaba entrance.
After checking out the Cathedral, walk along the port and head to the beach!There scene at the beach is filled with groups of all ages enjoying themselves. There are bars there so you can purchase some beers or just lay in the sun!
Day 5-8: Travel to Cordoba, Seville & Gibraltar
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to visit these beautiful cities on this trip to Spain. They are on my list for my next visit!
Please let me know if you need any guidance when booking your trip to visit Southern Spain!