One of my favorite areas in Spain is Andalusia, which is full of amazing National Parks and lovely little villages. You could easily spend weeks exploring this beautiful region, but if you have less time, this 3-day road trip itinerary will guide you through several of Andalusia’s highlights.
For a trip like this, many people rent a car so that they have total control over their itinerary and time. We suggest you check out this website which compares all of the prices across the different companies so that you can find the best rate for your trip dates.
A summary of this 3-day Andalusia road trip:
- Day 1: Ronda
- Day 2: Sierra de Grazalema, El Bosque, and Tajo del Aguila
- Day 3: Arcos de la Frontera and Seville
Day 1: Marvel at the steep cliffs in Ronda
If you Google Ronda, you are guaranteed to come across some beautiful pictures. But pretty as pictures can be, they can never fully capture an experience.
My pictures can’t either, Ronda is simply too spectacular… It’s impossible to capture how it feels to peer down the steep cliffs or to walk across the bridge over the narrow gorge, separating one side of the village from the other. If you are anything like me, this will give you severe vertigo.
It’s a mesmerizing sight at the same time, I couldn’t tear my eyes of the magnificent scene of the river far below and the lovely white houses perched on the edge of the cliffs. Ronda is one of those places that makes this route one of the most scenic road trips in Europe, and it’s a must-see for any visitor to the region.
Besides the spectacular cliffs in the middle of town, Ronda has nice plazas, beautiful old buildings and cute narrow streets.
Where to stay
If you’re looking for budget hotel or hostel options, check out this list of budget places to stay. A few of the best are the Alberge Los Molinos, El Refugio Hostel, and Hotel Morales. Also, there is an excellent campsite within walking distance of the city center of Ronda, Camping El Sur.
Drive the scenic A-372
Spanish summers are hot, especially in Andalusia, which is why it’s smart to start your day early if you are visiting in June-August.
In the morning: drive the very scenic A-372 through the Sierra de Grazalema. It’s a gorgeous road full of twists and turns, with beautiful views around every corner. Take your time, this isn’t a road to drive fast!
Visit pretty El Bosque
Stop in the pretty little village of El Bosque for a cup of coffee or better yet, an extensive Spanish lunch with tapas and a glass of Sangria (no alcohol if you’re the driver of course). There are several nice options for lunch in this typical Spanish town.
Around El Bosque there are good hiking opportunities, inquire at the Visitor Centre of El Bosque about the (condition of the) trails. At the Visitor Centre you can also learn more about the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park.
Where to stay
Continue your journey over the beautiful road to the village Algar. Just past the village you can find Tajo del Águila, a rural mansion offering rooms and several cottages. While this may not be the most luxurious place to stay, the view is 5 stars (if not more)!
Stroll around Arcos de la Frontera
After breakfast and a cup of coffee or tea, hit the road again for the third day of your Andalusia road trip. From Algar, drive the CA-5221 until you arrive at the beautiful village Arcos de la Frontera.
Perched high on a spectacular cliff, the view is breathtaking, both from below as well as from the top. The center of Arcos de la Frontera is beautiful too, with steep narrow streets, cute cafes and little white houses.
Explore the highlights of Seville
After exploring Arcos de la Frontera, hop back into your car and drive the remaining 90 kilometers to Seville. I’m the first one to admit that an afternoon in Seville is not nearly enough to see everything this city has to offer. However, it’s enough to give you a taste of Seville that will make you want to come back for more. And for even more ideas, see this perfect itinerary for Andalusia which covers even more things to see and do in Seville and other nearby cities.
In the time that you have available there are 2 places that should be at the top of your list:
- First, head to the magnificent Plaza de Espana. This huge semi-circular plaza is the highlight of any Seville city trip. You can spend hours admiring the beautiful mosaics, numerous bridges and fountains.
- Seville Cathedral is the other must-see if you only have limited time in Seville. This UNESCO Heritage Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the world and a huge and impressive building.
- If you haven’t worn out your feet yet, also visit the 36 meters high Torre del Oro, a former watchtower and prison located along the bank of the Guadalquivir river.
If you’re looking for an affordable place to stay, check out our reviews of the best hostels in Seville here, or click here for a full list of all budget accommodation options in Seville.
If you have more time in Andalusia
If you have 4 days, spend another day in Seville, there are so many more place to visit in this beautiful Spanish city. If you have 5 days to explore Andalusia and if you are starting your trip from Malaga, then head to Granada to see the Alhambra on the first day, it’s an amazing place. Then follow the rest of this itinerary and spend your last day in Seville.
Lotte is a thirtysomething adventurer from the Netherlands who tries to combine a fulltime job and traveling the world with her husband and 1-year-old son. She writes about their family adventures on her blog Phenomenal Globe. She loves hiking and road trips, especially around her favorite countries Canada, New Zealand, and Japan. Follow her on Instagram: @phenomenalglobe.