Ultimate 1 Week Andalusia Itinerary
Today, I offer you a 1 week Andalusia itinerary!
This superb region in the south of Spain allows you to soak up the sun but also to choose from a host of activities and visits whatever your tastes: nature, heritage, hiking, museums…
When to go to make the most of it? What are the must-see cities to visit? Is a week enough to have a great vacation?
In this article, I’m going to answer all these questions and give you some tips for concocting a trip that meets your expectations!
Why target a single region of Spain?
When you travel, despite your thirst for discovery, you have to know how to be realistic: in one week, it’s impossible to cover all of Spain. Moreover, if you target several large cities such as Madrid, Barcelona or Seville, they offer so many things to visit that it will be impossible to explore them properly in 7 days.
In this article, I suggest you go on a road trip of 1 week Andalusia itinerary. The region offers a good balance between land and coast, all with often ideal weather. Seville, the capital of this Spanish autonomous community, is often considered the most beautiful city in Spain, and the region is not lacking in small villages full of charm.
Be aware that a week passes very quickly. Even if you limit yourself to one region, you will have to make choices, the best is often to leave for 2 weeks to fully enjoy it.
In terms of organization, you can of course go down to Spain with your own car or other vehicle, and stay at a hotel, in a guest house or with locals, during your road trip. You can also choose to rent a motorhome. This can be a convenient option if you are a large group and/or traveling with young children and wish to avoid the logistics of multiple accommodation changes.
If you want to save time, you can find a flight to Malaga or Seville (remember to compare prices), then rent a car or a van there. This way you will make the most of the trip! Remember to book your ticket and rental in advance to pay less.
When to go to Andalusia?
Sometimes, as French people, we perceive Spain as a neighbour… and tend to forget that the south of the country is actually quite far from the climate we know. Andalusia is a very hot region and in summer, this heat is overwhelming, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 45°C in full sun.
For this reason, it is preferable to travel either before summer, around May for example, or after (in September-October), the climate is very mild and often less oppressive than in June-July-August. If you opt for the high season, plan “cool” activities (museums, monuments closed) alternating with walks outside, you will make the most of your stay!
One Week Andalusia itinerary: where to go?
For this 1 week Andalusia itinerary, we will start from Malaga… but you can of course do the loop in the other direction or skip certain stages at your convenience to spend more time in other places!
Day 1-2: Malaga
Malaga is a very large city of more than half a million inhabitants, which marks the starting point of the “Costa del Sol”, a sunny coast punctuated by towns such as Torremolinos or Marbella. It is also the birthplace of Pablo Picasso.
I advise you to devote a good part of your first day to discovering the historic center, which condenses in a restricted geographical area a host of monuments and museums worthy of interest!
I advise you in particular:
- The Cathedral of the Incarnation (located at 9, Calle Molina Lario), knowing that it is possible to climb to the top of the towers to enjoy an exceptional panorama of Malaga. There are audioguides in French on site. Renaissance style, the cathedral was built from the 16th century.
- The Alcazaba, reachable in less than 5 minutes on foot. It is a magnificent palace dating from the 11th century, built at the time when the Hammudites (an Arab-Berber people) occupied the region. The fortress dominates the sea because it is built on a relief. Right next to it are the remains of a Roman theatre.
- A museum, like the museum dedicated to Picasso, which is a 2-minute walk from the Alcazaba (at 8, Calle San Agustín). The opportunity to see a lot of works but also to learn a lot about the childhood and the life of the painter. If Picasso’s work does not appeal to you, you can also opt for the Carmen Thyssen Museum (Plaza Carmen Thyssen), quite largely devoted to 19th century Spanish painting and located 7 minutes on foot from the Alcazaba.
The historic center is rich in small restaurants, whether for lunch or dinner. Examples include Meson Mariano, Blossom, La Barra de Zapata or Matiz. Also go visit the Atarazanas central market, where you can stock up on good local products for your road trip in Andalusia over 1 week and find tapas bars!
At the end of the day, some enjoy the view from the Gibralfaro Castle (1 km from the Alcazaba). For my part, I do not find it of major interest so I advise you rather to enjoy the evening by going to see a flamenco show, like that of Tablao Flamenco Alegria, which is very famous. The opportunity to immerse yourself in Andalusian culture!
In addition, the place has the advantage of being in the same geographical area, which is perfect for not wasting too much time traveling since you stay little time in each city.
If you don’t like flamenco, you can also opt for a catamaran cruise at sunset, or for a walk through the streets of Malaga after dark.
The next morning, I advise you to go and have a relaxing experience at the Al Ándalus hammam. The architecture is absolutely magnificent with hammam and baths at different temperatures. Go for a last walk on the port of Malaga, before hitting the road, rested, towards our next stop: Granada.
Where to Stay in Malaga
- The Lights Hostel: This hostel located 400 meters from the cathedral. A bed in a dorm starts from 20.50€/night with a breakfast at 1.50€. Strong points: clean, nice rooftop, very friendly staff.
- Ibis Malaga Centro Ciudad: Located next to the cathedral and 5 min from the Picasso museum. Modern double room (typical style of this hotel chain) starting from 65€/night, breakfast for an additional 7.95€. Its best features: very central location to visit Malaga on foot, many breakfast options. friendly staff. It’s my favorite hotel for its exceptional value for money!
- Barceló Malaga: located 10 min walking from the historic quarter and 600 meters from the Center for Contemporary Art. Comfortable and design room starting from 135€/night, breakfast for an additional 18€. Best features: Rooftop pool, location, beds are very comfortable. It’s a great place to stay in Malaga.
- Gran Hotel Miramar: This 5 stars hotel is located 10 meters away from the Malagueta beach. Very elegant and beautifully decorated room, starting from 250€/night, breakfast for an additional 25€. Its best features: the decoration of the hotel and the rooms is truly stunning, the pool, the Spa, the breakfast is delicious. The best choice for a luxury stay in Malaga!
Day 3: Granada
It takes about 1h30 by road to go from Malaga to Granada (Granada) by the A92. Located almost at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the city is famous for its treasure, the Alhambra, a vast fortified ensemble of Nasrid palaces, the Alcazaba of Granada, the Generalife (summer palace), the palace of Charles Quint, gardens and fountains.
In the afternoon, I especially advise you to take a walking tour of Granada to discover one of its particularities: the four “old towns” that make up the historic center, with the old gypsy quarter (Sacromonte), the old Jewish quarter (Realejo San Matias), the old Catholic town (Centro Sagrario, with its magnificent cathedral) and the ancient old town with its white houses (Albaicin).
Everything occupies a fairly large area, it is possible to take a guided tour of some neighborhoods at low cost so as not to miss the places of interest in the heart of Granada.
In the evening, you also have the possibility here of enjoying very good flamenco shows (it is advisable to book in advance!) like those of Al Alborea. Don’t miss the magnificent view of the city from the Mirador de San Nicolás, the city has many places like this to admire the different districts and the Alhambra, which lights up at dusk of the night.
If you are looking for good, fairly central restaurants in Granada for lunch or dinner, take a look at Arrayanes, El Mercader, Las Tomasas, Jardines Alberto, Puerta de Syria or Carbon Black.
The next morning, head to the Alhambra, preferably as soon as it opens (often around 8:30 a.m.). There too, it is possible to visit with a guide in French, which will occupy your whole morning.
If you are interested in heritage, you can visit the monastery of San Jeronimo before leaving Granada, it is a real architectural masterpiece. Otherwise, you can leave earlier for Seville!
If you need more information to plan your trip to Granada, you can read my detailed article: 2 Days Granada Itinerary.
Where to stay in Granada
- Granada Inn Backpackers: Hostel located 10min away from the Cathedral and 20min from the Alhambra. One bed in a dorm starting from 16€ per night, breakfast included. Best features: the beautiful patio, the location, the very friendly staff.
- Hotel Universal: Located 400m from the Cathedral and 700m from the Albaicin neighborhood. Clean and comfortable double room starting from 65€ per night, breakfast included. What I loved: the friendly staff, the central location close to stores and restaurants. It’s my favorite hotel in Granada for its amazing value for money!
- Granada Five Senses Rooms & Suites: Located on Gran Via avenue, 200m away from the Cathedral. Design and modern room starting from 100€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the rooftop pool, the rooms decoration, the generous breakfast.
- Alhambra Palace: This 5 stars hotel is located 10min walking from the Alhambra or the Albaicin neighborhood, next to the Carmen de Los Martires garden. Cozy and spacious room starting from 200€, with an additional breakfast for 19€. Its best features: the Moorish-inspired decoration, the splendid view over the Alhambra from the terrace, the overall comfort. It’s my favorite hotel for a romantic gateway in Granada!
- Parador de Granada: This luxury hotel is located within the Alhambra itself! The rooms are a mix of modern design with touches of antiques elements, starting from 420€ per night, with an additional breakfast for 21€. What I loved: The exceptional location, the overall atmosphere, very helpful staff, the restaurant with a view over the Generalife. This is the best hotel for a luxury stay in Granada!
Day 4-5: Seville, Jewel of Andalusia
Impossible to spend a 1 week Andalusia itinerary without going through Seville! It will take about 2.5 hours to get there from Granada.
Depending on your time of arrival, you can begin to discover the city: the pretty shopping streets in the center, the cathedral and the neighboring Patio de Banderas, the Alcazar and then the very beautiful Plaza de España (Spain Square) with its large fountain and its small canals. At the end of the afternoon, it is very pleasant to take advantage of a little shade in the paths of the nearby Maria Luisa park.
On a hot day, enjoy a drink under the trees at the Premier Garden Cocktail Bar, located a few minutes’ walk from the Spanish Steps.
In the evening, Seville is a dynamic city: you can go and enjoy the tapas bars, for example at Enramadilla not far from the Spanish Steps, at El Pasaje, Pelayo or El Librero in the historic center. You can walk at nightfall, the monuments are nicely lit which allows nice walks and beautiful souvenir photos!
You can, in this city too, attend a flamenco show at the “Museo del Baile Flamenco” and visit the museum which will tell you everything about this cultural heritage of Andalusia.
More original, it is possible to climb on the roofs of Seville Cathedral for a guided tour in a small group. I did it during my trip to Andalusia and it remains one of my best memories. The visit is offered during the day but also at the end of the day which, depending on the season, can allow you to live an experience at night or at sunset ( information on the cathedral website ).
The next day is already the 4th day of this road trip in Andalusia over 1 week and for this first full day in Seville, I recommend that you visit the Alcazar and the cathedral, two symbols of the city.
The Alcazar was built from the 9th century, so it is a very old fortress originally built by the Muslim peoples who occupied the area. It was then remodeled, notably with the construction of a very beautiful palace in the Mudejar style. The whole is surrounded by gardens, with fountains, patios…
It takes between 2 and 3 hours to walk through the monument if you really want to enjoy the gardens. There are quite a few explanations on site so an audio guide (or a real guide) can be useful to also understand what you see and have some anecdotes about the place!
Then you can go and discover the nearby cathedral, built from the 15th century. It has the particularity of having been built on the site of an old mosque, a mosque which had a very beautiful minaret. The minaret was preserved and transformed into a bell tower, the Giralda. Inside, no stairs but access ramps that allow you to climb quietly to the top.
Legend has it that this architecture was intended to facilitate the ascent of the minaret by the muezzin when he had to go and launch the call to prayer at the very top, five times a day. The layout allowed him to ride a mule rather than on foot.
Today you will enjoy from the top of the Giralda one of the most beautiful panoramas over Seville. It takes about 1h30 to visit the interior and climb to the top of the tower.
Restaurants like Gusto, Laherre or El Sella (in the Triana district) are good places to try!
How to occupy the rest of the day as well as a second full day in Seville? Know that the city is full of beautiful museums and palaces that are part of Andalusian heritage: the Museum of Fine Arts, for example, is really superb, you can also visit the Palacio de las Dueñas, the Hospital de los Venerables or even , in a very different genre, the bullring of Seville.
About a 25-minute drive from Seville on the SE-30, you can also discover the archaeological site of Italica, with lots of mosaics and a gigantic amphitheater which was also used as a filming location for the Game Of Thrones series.
If you are staying in a hotel with a swimming pool, you can also simply enjoy a few hours of swimming and relaxation to recharge your batteries while waiting for the rest of the road trip! It’s up to you to pick ideas according to your tastes! Seville is also an ideal city to find a choice of souvenir shops if you want to do some shopping.
If you’re going to Seville and want more info about the city, you should read my detailed article: The 15 Best Things to do in Seville.
Where to Stay in Seville
- Black Swan Hostel: Youth hostel located within 10 minutes walking distance from the Cathedral and the Alcazar. Very stylish and contemporary dormitory bed from 17€ per night, breakfast included! Strong points: the relaxed atmosphere, the friendly staff, the free dinners cooked by volunteers. This is the best choice if you are looking for a youth hostel.
- Hotel Don Paco: Located in the centre of Seville, at 10 minutes on foot from the Cathedral. Spacious room and comfortable bedding from 60€ per night, breakfast at 10€. Strong points: excellent breakfast, the peaceful atmosphere and the swimming pool on the roof. My favorite in Seville for its great value for money!
- Hotel Fernando III: Located in the historic district of Santa Cruz and therefore close to the Cathedral and the Alcazar. Modern and spacious room from 106€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the excellent location, the pool on the roof, the very helpful staff.
- EME Catedral Hotel: Located right next to the Cathedral and the Giralda. Very modern double room from 180€ per night, breakfast at 20€. Strong points: The best location in town, the hotel design, the swimming pool with the view on the Cathedral, the amazing breakfast, the very helpful staff. Don’t hesitate, it’s the best luxury hotel in town!
Day 6: Cordoba or Cadiz
For this 6th day of our one-week Andalusia itinerary, I offer you two possibilities: discover the city of Cordoba, inland (more for heritage lovers) or go to Cadiz (more for those who have want a mix between visits and seaside with beaches).
Either way, you can leave your vehicle in Seville and go on a day trip by public transport. These are cities on a human scale, which are easy to visit on foot.
It takes about 55 minutes by train from Santa Justa station in Seville to reach Cordoba, a pretty Andalusian town on the banks of the Guadalquivir river. Cordoba is a paradise for all heritage lovers, as well as being a modern city with small shopping streets, restaurants, etc. Like many places in Andalusia, it has experienced successive influences (Roman, Muslim, Christian) which have shaped the architecture of the city.
You can visit a sublime mosque-cathedral there – which I recommend as the decor is so beautiful, take a quick trip to the Alcazar of Cordoba which is very empty and bare but has beautiful gardens. Lose yourself in the small cobbled streets of Cordoba, explore the Jewish quarter with its synagogue from medieval times. Go admire the Roman bridge which spans the Guadalquivir and offers a very beautiful view of the city. If you go there in May, there is also a “festival of patios” which allows you to discover a host of flowery patios.
You will find many good restaurants in Cordoba: El Rincon de Carmen, La Albahaca, El Churrasco, Casa Pepe de la Juderia, Regadera…
If you want more info about how to visit Cordoba in 1 or 2 days, you can read my article: Cordoba Itinerary.
Where to Stay in Cordoba
- Option Be: Hostel located in the district of Judería. Bed in dormitory from 22€, breakfast included. The positive aspects of this brand new hostel: perfect staff welcome, comfortable bed, very clean, outdoor pool and great location.
- Ayre Hotel Cordoba: Located within a 10 minute drive from the center of Cordoba, at the center of a beautiful and quiet garden. Room with classic decoration but very spacious from 61€, breakfast 10€. The best: quiet location, large outdoor pool and free parking. We love to be far from the crowds and the city.
- Hotel Boutique Caireles: Located in front of the Mosque of Cordoba, right in the historic district. Modern and bright room from 67€ breakfast included. The best: the view of the Mezquita from the rooms, the kindness of the staff who also speaks French. My favorite for its great value for money!
- Eurostars palace: Located on the paseo de la victoria, within a 5 minute walk from the entrance of Judería and Mezquita. Huge room and very good design from 110€ per night, breakfast at 14€. The best: good geographical location, swimming pool on the roof. The best choice in Cordoba for an affordable luxury stay!
If you prefer to go by the sea, direction Cadiz. It’s a little further (allow 1h30 to 1h45 by train from Santa Justa station) but still leaves time to enjoy the day. Cadiz is located on a strip of land largely surrounded by the sea.
The city allows some cultural visits: cathedral (and a bell tower which can be accessed), Roman theater or the Torre Tavira, a tower at the top of which you can have a very nice panorama of the surroundings. But it lends itself especially to walks in the open air. On the ramparts, on the “Passeo Fernando Quiñones”, in the Parque Genoves, a large landscaped park, a small bubble of freshness in the city…
You can enjoy its beaches (La Caleta, Santa María del Mar, La Victoria) but also sit quietly on a terrace to taste churros for example! Cadiz exudes a beautiful sweetness of life.
The restaurants La Candela, Casa Lazo, El Faro de Cadiz or the tapas bar La Tabernita are good places to eat.
Where to Stay in Cadiz
- Cadiz Inn Backpackers: Hostel located 10 minutes’ walk from the Cathedral. Bed in dormitory from 14 € per night. strong points: its roof terrace and the staff welcoming.
- Hotel La Catedral: As the name suggests, it’s located right next to the Cathedral. Modern and elegant room from 60 € per night, including breakfast. I have a big crush for the rooftop terrace with an outdoor pool and breathtaking views of the cathedral! This is my favorite in Cadiz for its great value for money!
- Parador de Cadiz: Located in front of the ocean and 5 minutes’ walk from the beach of La Caleta. Very nice modern and bright room from 138 € per night, breakfast included. Strong points: outdoor pool with nice views, quality of service, well-equipped rooms, original and modern architecture. It’s the best hotel in town, perfect for a luxury stay in Cadiz!
Day 7: Ronda and the Pueblos Blancos (white villages)
Before returning to Malaga, it would be a shame not to devote some time to the “pueblos blancos”, nickname given to small villages on the mountainside, with whitewashed houses which gave their nickname to the “white villages”.
There are 19 in total on the tourist route of the pueblos blancos, to which we generally add the village of Ronda. To visit them, you have the choice between an excursion with a guide from Seville or an itinerary that you build independently according to the villages you want to see.
Of course, it would take much longer to explore this route. If you leave for 10 days or 2 weeks in Andalusia, you will be able to enjoy it more.
Nevertheless, in one day, you can absolutely visit a few villages. I particularly advise you to start with Zahara de la Sierra (1h20 drive from Seville) and Grazalema (30 minutes from Zahara de la Sierra). Then two possibilities:
- Visit Ronda (40 minutes from Grazalema) and the village of Setenil de las Bodegas (25 minutes from Ronda) before returning to Seville which will take around 1h40. You will then have to take the road if you want to return to the starting point of our road trip itinerary, a Seville-Malaga which can take 2h10. It’s been a long day in the car so if you have the option of making the return trip to Malaga the following day, that’s just as well.
- First visit Setenil de las Bodegas (45 min from Grazalema) then Ronda (20 min from Setenil) before heading straight towards Malaga (1h20 by car) which is much more direct.
After the walk, I recommend stopping by the village of Arcos de la Frontera. To visit it on foot, follow the “ruta monumental” signs and you’ll see churches and the castle. You’ll also find several coffee shops and restaurants.
Stay for one last night in Arcos.
If you chose to stay at the El fogon del Duende B&B, go eat at the “La posada del Duende” restaurant, located only 5min away by car. The food was great, so we had diner there twice!
Where to Stay in Arcos de la Frontera
- Bed and Breakfast El fogon del Duende: An excellent choice of accommodation in Arcos. Double room from 45€. per night. The best budget choice!
- Hôtel Los Olivos: Located in Arcos historic center, in typically Andalusian house. Comfortable double room from 90€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the view from the rooftop terrace, the breakfast and the very kind staff.
- Parador de Arcos de la Frontera: Also located in Arcos historic center, large and quite double room from 120€ per night, breakfast at 17€. Strong points: the great view on the the Andalusian countryside, the traditional house, the best location. Looking for a more high-end place to stay in Arcos? This is the best hotel!
Here we come to the end of this 1 week Andalusia itinerary. The program is designed to be quite adaptable. For example, you can spend less time in Seville and more on the road to the pueblos blancos, you can also sacrifice a day that interests you less in favor of other activities (beach, hiking in the Sierra Nevada, etc.).
The idea is to adapt the itinerary to your tastes to your way of traveling (we do not do the same activities when traveling with young children and with friends, alone or as a couple!).
What Budget Should You Plan for a 1 week Andalusia Itinerary?
As often, it is difficult to give a precise budget for your stay because it will depend a lot on the choices you make in terms of accommodation, outings and visits.
The biggest item of expenditure will often be the transport + hotel combo (or motorhome if you choose this mode of travel). You can use comparators like Omio to find cheap flights to Spain. By booking in advance, for example, you can find a Paris-Malaga around 80-120€ round trip. The 7-day rental of a motorhome costs between 700 and 900€ depending on the size of the vehicle. The hotel will cost you more or less depending on the standard you are looking for (booking in advance also saves money).
Local highways are free. It has often been said that petrol is cheaper than in France, but at the moment fuel prices have also exploded in Spain, unfortunately.
On the other hand, you can eat very well for cheap by favoring small local tapas restaurants rather than large renowned addresses. You can also choose to cook yourself… by taking advantage of all the local markets to buy good regional products, olives, good cold cuts from Andalusia or freshly caught fish and seafood.
Overall, on a 1-week Andalusia itinerary, you can get away with around 600€ per person traveling in pairs with moderate expenses. the budget can go up if you do a lot of sightseeing, opt for a high-end hotel in the towns you pass through, and enjoy the best restaurants in each destination.
Last advice before your trip to Andalusia
Remember to book a ticket in advance when you want to do a popular activity, it will save you a long queue, which is always unpleasant when you go on a road trip where you have little time at each stage. of the course.
If you go hiking, remember to plan plenty of water reserves (don’t hesitate to aim for 3L per person!). Ditto if you are going to enjoy the beaches. I haven’t talked about the beaches very much because in my opinion, Andalusia is so rich in terms of heritage that it would be a shame to spend too much time at the beach there if you are only going for a week. Nevertheless, there are beautiful beaches near Seville (Matalascañas near Doñana National Park, Cuesta Maneli) or Malaga (playa de Calahonda).
If you have a tight budget, replace certain “secondary” cultural visits with simple walks in the cities. Many places in Andalusia are of great beauty and offer absolutely superb free viewpoints, such as in Granada with the various “watchtowers”. There’s also often street entertainment, like free flamenco shows in Seville’s Plaza de España, where you can just reward the performers with a tip.
Conversely, if you have the means, do not hesitate to hire a guided tour for the great monuments such as the Alhambra in Granada or the Alcazar in Seville. On a week-long Andalusia itinerary, you won’t have much time to spend on each stage, so it’s a good way to learn a lot about the places you pass through!
In any case, I hope that you will make the most of your stay in the heart of Andalusia and leave with good memories and beautiful photos! It’s a region that I adore for its richness: magnificent landscapes, history, culture, the possibility also of doing very simple hikes in nature.
In short, I recommend the destination!
Are you going to Andalusia? Read also
- What to do in Andalusia? The Top 20 places to see in this region of Spain
- 2 Days in Granada: Ultimate 2-Day Itinerary
- Cordoba: Top 15 things to do
- Ronda: Top 10 things to see
- Seville: Top 15 Things to Do and See
- Malaga Itinerary: 2 Days Itinerary With Map