In place of a Summer break this year, I have of course been thinking back to previous trips around the globe. Dreaming of casual strolls in sun-drenched European towns and cities, indulging in sweet pastries, gazing at the intricate architecture and the pastel-coloured homes, complete with wild flower pots trailing down their balconies… It’s a dream I never seem to tire of.
Lately I’ve been in a particular Spanish day-dream, reminiscing on the two times I’ve been lucky enough to travel around some gorgeous parts of Andalucia, meaning I have fallen head over heels with this region not once, but twice. And now, thanks to sharing multiple memories on Instagram the last couple of weeks, it seems I’ve fallen a third time for this amazing part of Spain!
So here’s a round-up of some of my favourite Andalucia snaps (plus 21 reasons why it’s a MUST to add it to your future travel list!)
Seville is the perfect Spanish city break all year round, though during Summer it is also one of the hottest cities to visit in the whole of Europe. Packed with sunshine and culture, Seville promises leisurely days of sightseeing in the buzzing city centre and it’s colourful neighbourhoods, along with beautiful warm evenings, better for strollisipping sangria and dining on tapas.
Before you delve into Seville’s rich Moorish past, explore your surroundings. Be sure to wander the city’s streets, laneways and plazas – bright, colourful, lined with orange trees and pretty patterned tiles, typical of Andalucia.
Found in the Barrio Santa Cruz – the beating heart of the city – is Seville Cathedral, with beautiful details inside and out. Don’t leave without walking the 35 ramps up to the Giralda bell-tower to be rewarded with rooftop views across the city.
Get a glimpse of the Cathedral’s orange tree courtyard too, before heading back down to weave your way between the sweet scent of the trees. Then, exit on to Calle Hernando Colon for a spot of lunch! I can recommend Filo for great sandwiches and huge salad bowls!
Next on your Seville itinerary (or first) has to be a visit to the Real Alcazar de Sevilla, one of the world’s finest samples of Mudéjar style. A royal palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site and every historian/architect’s dream. This is a glimpse of the Alcazar gardens looked upon from the porticoes of the Galeria de Grutesco, one of the garden’s most striking features.
A trip to Seville is not complete without a wander through the Maria Luisa Park to discover the iconic Plaza de Espana, as pictured below. Extra special to witness as the sun begins to set.
Another place worthy of sunset views across the city is the Metropol Parasol. Found in La Encarnacion square in Seville’s old quarter. For just €3 you can ascend to this modern, open-air structure and stroll along the winding walkways to capture different angles of Seville’s gorgeous skyline.
After more information on travelling around Andalucia? Check out my one-week itinerary here!
Cordoba, the smaller sibling of Seville and arguably even more traditional given the quaint streets lined with orange trees and communal apartment buildings, complete with typical Spanish courtyards. There are also less ‘touristy’ spots in Cordoba and although only a couple of hours from the more populated cities of Seville and Granada, English is spoken far less here – but that can be a good thing.
You should most definitely start your time in Cordoba by leisurely strolling through the various sleepy streets and admiring the white houses and coloured flowerpots that adorn them.
You’ll also soon realise that flowerpots and arrangements are kind of a big deal in Cordoba, with many houses opening patios (courtyards) for a small fee or for free throughout the year. There’s even the Festival de los Patios, which occurs every May. This sculpture honouring Cordoba’s famous flowers can be found in the San Basilio district.
But you don’t have to hunt down courtyards to see beautiful flowers, they are pretty much everywhere you look, usually in lovely hues of blue to compliment Spain’s traditional white buildings, just like this taberna.
For a bit of sightseeing in Cordoba, aside from the main event; the Mezquita – also check out the fortress and pristine gardens of the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos.
While visiting, walk to the top of the fortress for views across Cordoba and it’s perfect blue skies and palm trees!
After a day or wandering the warm streets of Cordoba, don’t miss strolling by the Roman Bridge just in time for sunset… then head for a tapas feast at one of many nearby, traditional restaurants.
Although hard to pick a favourite, Granada just about wins first place for me. I had a very special feeling when I first stepped foot there back in 2016 on my first solo trip around Europe. It was just as wonderful experiencing it again two years later, but I feel there’s still so much to discover there. Probably the thing I adore most about Granada is the fusion of Spanish and Arabic history, resulting in a very vibrant Middle-Eastern influence seeping through every other building and street corner.