Looking for the best places to visit in Andalusia, Spain? Great! We spent almost three months driving around Andalusia and exploring everything it had to offer. From beautiful nature, and magical villages to royal palaces, these are all the best places to visit in Andalusia!
Andalusia is one of the most interesting and popular regions in Europe with so much to offer as it is a year-round destination full of sunshine, tasty food, rich culture, art, and history! It is the perfect mix of everything for every type of traveler!
In this blog post, you will find all the best places to visit in Andalusia with descriptions, lots of photos, and exact locations where they can be found on Google Maps to make it easy for you to plan your Andalusia travel itinerary. Happy exploring!
Read more >>> 15 best cities and towns to visit in Andalusia, Spain
1. Montefrío – the most beautiful view in the world!
One of the best places to visit in Andalusia is this whitewashed village – Montefrío. it has gained global recognition and rightly so. Not only it is one of the most beautiful whitewashed villages in Andalusia, but it is one of the villages with the best view in the world!
Did you know that National Geographic made a list of villages with the best view in the world and Montefrío village in Granada province in Andalusia was one of them? Check that photo above again and see for yourself!
There is a viewpoint named after National Geographic where you can see the exact view that has captured the world. The village is one of the hidden gems in Andalusia with its Iglesia de la Encarnacion being the only completely round church in Spain!
Even if you don’t have time to explore the whole village and drive up to the castle and church on top of the iconic cliff, I highly recommend stopping at the viewpoint (location below) to see the view to tick that off your bucket list!
2. Caminito del Rey – the best hiking trail in Andalusia!
Caminito del Rey is one of the best adventures to do and one of the best places to visit in Andalusia. It was once considered one of the most dangerous hikes in the world but since reconstruction a couple of years ago it is now a relatively safe and easy hike!
Caminito del Rey translates as the King’s Little Path – the King of Spain really was here and even crossed one of the bridges! It is a unique walkway pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge. It is one of the most beautiful places in Andalusia!
The hike is about 8 kilometers long from start to finish (there is a 1 to 1.5-kilometer walk from the parking lot to the start of the trail). It goes along a wooden and concrete walkway. The hike offers some of the most scenic views in Andalusia!
To walk in complete safety and find out more about the gorge and the iconic hiking route I recommend joining a guided tour, but you can also go on your own. However, this way you will skip some educating information, but that is up to you.
Location: Caminito del Rey
3. Ronda – home of the most iconic bridge in Andalusia!
Puente Nuevo bridge is the essence of Ronda and it sits on the best places to visit in Andalusia. It is definitely one of the most iconic places in the South of Spain and likely the main reason people travel here from all over the world!
The bridge stretches over a 100-meter-deep gorge – El Tajo – connecting two parts of Ronda town. Ronda was my favorite town in Andalusia, and definitely amongst the most beautiful places in Andalusia!
There are multiple viewpoints you can go to get great photos of the Puente Nuevo bridge and the gorge, the river, and the waterfall. However, the Arco del Cristo viewpoint was my favorite of all the best Puente Nuevo bridge photo spots!
From this viewpoint, you can get the best photo of the famous bridge because the bridge and the waterfall are both very well visible. You can easily take a photo of yourself standing in the shot without covering the beautiful view!
Location: Arco del Cristo viewpoint
4. Baños Árabes – a piece of Andalusia’s history in Ronda!
Another place in Ronda that I would include amongst the best places to visit in Andalusia is the Arab Baths. They were built during the Islamic period in Spain and now are part of a unique historic heritage. Today they serve as a reminder of the complicated history Andalusia has had.
Although you will see such baths in many places around Andalusia, I found these in Ronda to be the best ones in terms of explaining how everything worked, how it looked, and what happened in each part of the site.
Baños Árabes or Arab baths in Ronda is a unique archeological site showcasing a 13th-century bathhouse. Those horseshoe-shaped brick arches and star-shaped holes in the rounded ceiling make this one of the most beautiful Instagram spots in Ronda.
Once you enter the site, you will be instructed to go inside one of the rooms in the Arab Baths to watch a 5 to 10-minute video. The video explains everything about the Arab Baths with illustrations and photos. Definitely recommend!
Location: Baños Árabes of Ronda
5. Plaza de Toros de Ronda – largest bullring in Spain!
One of the best places to visit in Ronda is the bullring – Plaza de Toros de Ronda. For an entrance fee, you can visit this 18th-century bullring and a museum. If you still haven’t been in any bullrings in Spain then this is definitely one to go to.
With 5 thousand seats it is definitely not the biggest in Spain in this regard, however, the ring itself at 66 meters in diameter is the largest ring in Spain making it one of the best places to visit in Andalusia to get a piece of Spain’s history and heritage!
I loved exploring the bullring and taking colorful photos while there! We also explored a museum dedicated to the art of bullfighting and saw the backside of the arena. Although I am not a fan of bullfighting I appreciated finding out more about the rich history behind it all.
Location: Plaza de Toros de Ronda
6. Setenil de las Bodegas – Spain’s iconic cave village!
Not a single list of the best places to visit in Andalusia would be complete without the iconic Setenil de las Bodegas cave village! The most famous thing about the village is that people here still live in cave houses and work at shops and cafés built under rocks.
The most popular place in Setenil de las Bodegas village is Calle Cuevas de la Sombra (Street of Shadow caves). It is the only street in the village completely covered by rocks and this is where you will get one of the most iconic Instagram spots in Andalusia!
There is only a small part of the street that goes under the rock (like 100 meters or so). So I really recommend walking there and back to see this place from both sides of the street.
If you have more time, there are other bucket list things to do in Setenil de las Bodegas including shopping in the deepest cave in the village! Setenil de las Bodegas was definitely amongst the most beautiful villages in Andalusia that we visited!
Location: Calle Cuevas de la Sombra
7. Alhambra – the world-famous fortress in Granada!
Alhambra is arguably the most famous tourist attraction in Granada, Andalusia, and possibly in Spain. It is a massive fortress on a hill in Granada at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Spain and is one of the best places to visit in Andalusia.
Inside the citadel, there are multiple palaces and residences built for kings, expansive gardens, and other infrastructure made for Alhambra to be a self-contained city. It is one of those bucket list places you simply can’t skip!
The Nasrid palaces – multiple royal palaces built by different Arab kings from the Nasrid dynasty – are the crown jewel of Alhambra. If you don’t visit the Nasrid palaces, then you haven’t seen Alhambra!
Palace of the Lions (one of the Nasrid palaces in Alhambra) is one of the most famous palaces in Islamic architecture in the world and, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful places in Andalusia.
There is a wide courtyard surrounded by a stunning forest of columns that have ornately carved decorations and Arabic inscriptions. In the middle, there is a magnificent marble fountain that is held by twelve sculpted lions.
No wonder Alhambra was amongst the finalists at the New 7 Wonders of the World voting contest! If there is one place that must be on your Andalusia bucket list then those are the Nasrid palaces in Alhambra, Granada!
Location: Entrance to the Nastrid Palaces
8. Monasterio de la Cartuja de Granada – the world’s most beautiful sacristy!
While in Granada, I highly recommend visiting the most beautiful sacristy in the world inside Monasterio de la Cartuja in Granada. Located on the outskirts of the center of the city, this monastery is one of the most beautiful places in Andalusia!
Monasterio de la Cartuja de Granada is a place with indescribable beauty. The plain grayish outside walls hide some of the most beautiful things you will ever see! The sacristy left a big impact on me and I will never forget this place!
The monastery was built in the 16th century and combines many architectural styles. The complex consists of a huge courtyard and many different rooms and halls around the perimeter – like the church, the sanctum, the sacristy, and common rooms.
However, this place hides one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Andalusia and a must-see attraction in Granada – the sacristy. It is considered to be the most beautiful sacristy in the world and I can attest to that.
The paintings inside the dome, the marble, the exquisite carvings, and the bedazzling art is something I will never forget. The famous Nasrid palaces in Alhambra have a really serious competition here! I really hope you get to visit this place!
Location: Monasterio de la Cartuja de Granada
9. The iconic Cathedral and the Royal Chapel of Granada!
Located in the heart of Granada city is the lavish cathedral – Cathedral of Granada. Built in the 16th century, this Renaissance cathedral is an impressive sight to see in Granada.
With its gold-and-white interior, massive dome, and many chapels it tells a story about the city’s history throughout centuries and is a great symbol in Andalusia’s reconquest.
Like many other Christian cathedrals and churches all around Andalusia, this cathedral was also built upon a mosque. Mosques that were built during the Islamic period in Spain were usually destroyed or redesigned soon after Spain’s territory was reconquered from Muslims by the Catholic Monarchs.
The Granada Cathedral has a secret – integrated into the building complex of Granada Cathedral is the Royal Chapel of Granada. It is the burial place of the aforementioned Catholic Monarchs – Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II.
It was under their rule when the last Moorish dynasty in Andalusia – the Nasrid dynasty – fell and all the lands in Andalusia were reconquered from the Muslims. They were both titled the Catholic Monarchs in recognition of their defense of the Catholic faith.
Today you can buy tickets and enter the Royal Chapel. There is a crypt under the floor where you can walk down and see the tombs of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. There are separate tickets and entrances for the cathedral and the Royal Chapel.
10. El Torcal de Antequera – the most unique rock formations in Andalusia!
El Torcal de Antequera is a nature reserve in the province of Malaga – a mountain range that is considered one of the most impressive karst landscapes you will see in Europe! This place was one of my favorite hidden gems in Andalusia!
The unusual thing about this place is that this mountain range actually once was the bottom of the sea. Due to the tectonic activity, the bottom of the sea was pushed up high above the sea level. And, actually, this activity continues to this day!
As proof of that, you can find many fossils and seashells up in the mountains. This is pretty bizarre if you think about the fact that the highest point in El Torcal de Antequera currently stands at 1336 meters above sea level!
The layered rock formations have formed due to erosion. The water washes away the soft part of the mountains and leaves these unique layered towers for you to enjoy! This is definitely something I had never seen before!
The easiest way to visit this place is to drive up to the Visitor’s Center, park your car, and then choose one of the hiking trails they offer. They are marked pretty well and it would be hard to get lost there.
My favorite places there were the Sombrero rock formation which is a bit further away from the regular hiking routes as well as the large ammonite fossils (they are now extinct!). You can find one of the fossils here on your way to the Sombrero rock.
Location: El Torcal de Antequera
11. Home of the kings – The Royal Alcázar of Seville!
Royal Alcázar of Seville is one of the most beautiful palaces in Andalusia and the crown jewel of Seville. It was built as a house for kings and still is the house of kings – the upper floors of Alcázar still host the royal family when they visit the city of Seville.
Royal Alcázar of Seville is a complex that consists of palaces, patios, courtyards, staterooms, unique bathing rooms, and massive gardens with pathways, ponds, fountains, trees and flowers, benches, pavilions, and even a maze.
Royal Alcázar of Seville is a must-visit place for any visitor to Seville and is definitely amongst the best places to visit in Andalusia and in Spain! It is a prime example of the Mudéjar architectural style in Spain!
Especially such places as Patio de Doncellas – the main courtyard in the Alcázar – and Salón de Embajadores feature outstanding ornaments and decors in Mudéjar style. Stunning! If you want a crowd-free experience, go there first thing in the morning!
Location: Royal Alcázar of Seville
12. The most famous square in Andalusia – Plaza de España in Seville!
Although the Royal Alcazar and other palaces in Seville are incredibly majestic and stunning, actually my favorite place in Seville is the well-known Plaza de España square with its pointed towers, arches, colorful tiles, and bridges!
Plaza de España is a landmark square and one of the most beautiful places in Seville and in Andalusia! The best thing about this places is that you can visit Plaza de España square for free, so definitely include this place in your Seville travel itinerary!
Plaza de España square was built for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition that took place in Seville. The square is shaped in a huge half-circle with two massive towers, a water feature and bridges over it, and a long walkway lined with arches.
The square has beautiful architecture and simply stunning ornaments and decorative elements. It features scenic bridges with lanterns, archways, and beautiful ornaments decorated with colorful tiles.
If you are looking for a photo without the crowds I suggest coming here in the morning. We arrived a bit after 8 AM and it was empty, but it does get very crowded during the day and it gets even more lively in the evening with people playing music, dancing, and chatting.
Location: Plaza de España
13. One of the most beautiful palaces in Andalusia – Casa de Pilatos in Seville!
Amongst the best things to do in Seville is visiting the dazzling Casa de Pilatos! It is a 16th-century palace located in the historic part of Seville’s city center. Casa de Pilatos is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Seville!
The jewel of this place is the main courtyard. It blends together Gothic, Mudejar, Renaissance, and Romantic elements through statues, archways, marble, and colorful tiles putting it amongst the best places to visit in Andalusia.
As you walk around the patio you will be amazed by the details, the statues, the windows with columns and arches, the colorful tiles creating delicate mosaics, and so on. It is incredible to imagine all the work that was put into creating this!
There are two gardens in the palace complex. The gardens in private residences centuries ago were a major sign of wealth. And these ones in Casa de Pilatos are truly the oasis of peace – this was one of my favorite places to visit in Seville!
Gardens are decorated with lush plants and blooming flowers, colorful benches and fountains, flower pots, and trees. By the way, several movies have been shot here including Lawrence of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven, and Knight and Day.
Location: Casa de Pilatos
14. The icon of Seville – Cathedral of Seville with the tomb of Christopher Columbus and the striking La Giralda tower!
The Cathedral of Seville is a landmark attraction in the city of Seville and in Andalusia. It is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and is one of the largest churches in the world and the largest Gothic church in the world making it one of the must-see places in Andalusia.
As you get to Seville, this is one of the landmark monuments you will notice right away. It is truly spectacular and jaw-dropping! I really recommend walking around the cathedral and admiring the spectacular architecture up close.
Beware that this is a tourist hotspot so definitely buy tickets in advance for your desired time! We bought tickets for visiting the inside of the cathedral and for climbing up to La Giralda tower. There are different ticket combinations to choose from.
If I could go again I would buy a visit to the roof of the cathedral too. Although La Giralda tower is very high you can’t see much as all the windows have bars in front of them. But you would see everything from the roof!
The Cathedral of Seville also is the burial site of the well-known Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. He is famous for discovering a route across the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and the Americas.
His tomb is located in the main hall of the cathedral. As you get inside the cathedral, just walk around the whole main hall and you will eventually stumble upon it as it is located on one side of the hall. Plus there are direction signs so you will easily find it.
La Giralda is the name of one of the main symbols of Seville – the bell tower of the Cathedral of Seville. It was built in the 12th century as a minaret for a mosque during the Islamic period in Andalusia.
When the territory was again ruled by the Catholics, many buildings around the city were redesigned for Christians. So the top part with bells and the statue was added to the tower. You can now climb up to the top part of the tower to see Seville from above!
La Giralda tower is one of the most popular places to visit in Seville so it was quite busy. You can buy tickets to the tower at the same time you buy tickets online for visiting the cathedral.
Visits to the tower happen first – before you are allowed to explore the cathedral, everyone is directed to climb up to the tower first. There is a spiral ramp without steps leading up to the very top of the tower. From there you can observe Seville to all sides.
Walking up to the top of La Giralda is one of the bucket list things to do in Seville. There is no better place to see the city from above, although the view is a bit covered as there are bars in front of the windows on top.
If you buy tickets well in advance, you can try to walk up on round hours when the bells ring! You are standing right below them so the sound is pretty loud and impressive. An extra show for you if you time it right!
15. Magical gardens and courtyards of Palacio de las Dueñas!
One of my favorite things to do in Seville was exploring the magical Palacio de las Dueñas palace complex! It is a 15th-century palace featuring a very rich collection of art pieces from around the world.
This massive complex consists of multiple palace buildings, patios, and stunning gardens with blooming trees and water systems. It takes a while to see everything as there are so many unique and beautiful corners, gardens, and rooms!
In my humble opinion, this palace is one of the most beautiful places in Seville. The architecture, the gardens, the archways around the patios, fountains, sculptures, and endless rooms full of art pieces and objects make this a must-visit spot in Seville.
Every corner in the Palacio de las Dueñas complex is so beautiful and well-maintained! Makes it hard to choose my favorite place! But I guess the main patio with yellow arches could be THE ONE.
In the 20th century, this palace became a meeting place for the members of many European royal families and international celebrities like Jacqueline Kennedy, Wallis Simpson, and Grace Kelly.
Although it is a bit pricey (we paid 12 EUR each) this is one of those places that I felt was absolutely worth the price! And this is the right place to come for some of the most stunning Instagram photo spots in Seville!
Location: Palacio de las Dueñas
16. One of the largest wooden structures in the world – Setas de Sevilla!
Setas de Sevilla is an architectural masterpiece in the heart of Seville city. It is a massive wooden structure in the shape of mushrooms. If you are looking for some of the most unique Instagram spots in Andalusia, this is a pretty cool spot!
Initially, the project was called the Metropol Parasol, but local citizens started to call them ‘setas’ or ‘mushrooms’ so the name was officially changed. And I agree with the citizens – these do look like mushrooms!
Setas de Sevilla was built in 2011 as the largest wooden structure in the world. You can either admire it from the side or pay 15 EUR to climb up on top to a viewing platform. From the viewing platform, you will get unmatched views over Seville city!
Although we did not get to climb on the roof platform of Setas de Sevilla, we definitely were amazed by them while standing at the bottom. They did an incredible job when building this structure! You can’t leave Seville without visiting this masterpiece!
Location: Setas de Sevilla
17. The most flowerful village in Andalusia – Iznájar!
Iznájar is a small hilltop town in Córdoba province – a typical Andalusian mountaintop town with whitewashed houses and a castle on top. However, it has a secret right in the heart of it – Patio de las Comedias.
Patio de las Comedias in Iznájar is one of the most beautiful places in Andalusia for sure! It is a small square between buildings that is meticulously decorated with blue flower pots, plants, plates, colorful doors, tables, and chairs as well as a fountain making it one of the best places to visit in Andalusia.
Apart from the famous courtyard, there are a couple more things to do and places to see in Iznájar like the Santiago Apóstol church and Iznájar castle. My favorite places were the impressive viewpoints with stunning views you get from this hilltop town!
Location: Patio de las Comedias in Iznájar
18. The most famous cathedral in Andalusia – Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba!
Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba is a landmark tourist attraction in Andalusia and is one of the main reasons people visit this city making it a must-visit place in Andalusia.
Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba is a spectacular cathedral that was once a mosque when Córdoba was under Islamic rule. When the Christian kings conquered the city it was redesigned into a cathedral.
The building itself was expanded over the centuries and under different rulers so it is an important historic monument included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
Although it is now a cathedral, for the most part, it still looks like a mosque. If you want to visit the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba you have to buy tickets in advance. You can do it online for a certain hour when you wish to come.
I recommend coming in the morning. The lines outside are massive, however, the building is massive too so there is a place for a lot of people. Although we came in the morning there were already about 200 people in line in front of us (but it moved fast).
This is one of the bucket list places to visit in Córdoba and one of the most iconic and beautiful places in Andalusia in terms of architecture – the endless red-and-white striped archways is something you don’t get to see very often.
Location: Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba
19. The famous flower courtyards – Patios de Córdoba!
Another one of the best places to visit in Andalusia are the famous flower courtyards called ‘patios’ in Córdoba. There is a whole festival in May where numerous courtyards compete for the award of the best and most beautiful courtyard in the city.
Exploring these flowerful patios is a must-do thing in Córdoba! A lot of people visit Córdoba during the festival in May, however, we went there right before that and managed to see the flowers in full bloom while skipping large crowds of visitors.
You can also visit the patios all year round on your own. Many patios are maintained and remain beautiful throughout the year with spring, summer, and autumn months being the best ones when a lot of different flowers will be in full bloom.
Location: Patios de Córdoba
20. The most flowerful palace in Córdoba – Palacio de Viana!
Palacio de Viana is a stunning Renaissance palace with numerous gardens, patios and courtyards, vibrant flowers and blooming bushes as well as rooms full of art collections and artifacts. Every corner around there was very picturesque and beautiful.
This palace-like house is a real example of how wealthy families lived in Córdoba centuries ago. Every room here is filled with relics and tools that were used in each corresponding room during daily life centuries ago.
But I have to admit that this place is famous for its’ incredible courtyards. There are numerous courtyards and each is unique and well-maintained. There is an entrance fee to see Palacio de Viana, but at certain hours you can visit its courtyards for free.
Palacio de Viana is definitely a must-see tourist attraction in Córdoba! We only had limited time to explore all the rooms and corners, but I was stunned at how beautiful everything was and how big this place was. It felt like a never-ending maze of gardens!
Location: Palacio de Viana
21. Castillo Almodóvar del Rio – The Game of Thrones castle in Córdoba!
Castillo Almodóvar del Rio is a medieval-time castle dating back to the 8th century. It is located just a 30-minute drive away from Córdoba in a town called Almodóvar del Río and it is one of my favorite castles and one of the best places to visit in Andalusia!
Everything about this castle feels like stepping back in time a thousand years ago. No wonder the Game of Thrones series decided this exact castle was good enough to be included in the series. You should definitely include it in your Córdoba itinerary!
Castillo Almodóvar del Rio castle is located on a hilltop next to the Guadalquivir river and offers fantastic views over the surrounding area. It was a place of the highest strategic importance in Andalusia throughout the centuries.
It is hard to fathom the secrets these castle walls are hiding in them. This place was a fortress, a prison, and experienced many battles. If you are looking for some truly unique spots in Córdoba, this is the place to come!
By the way, the photo on the balcony was taken from the Torre del Homenaje tower. It is basically the first tower you see when you arrive at the castle. This exact view as I am posing in the photo (the first photo) featured in the Game of Thrones series!
22. The symbol of Córdoba – Puente Romano de Córdoba!
The iconic Roman Bridge is one of the symbols of Córdoba city so definitely add this to your list of the best places to visit in Andalusia! It is a long, arched bridge crossing the Guadalquivir River and connecting both sides of the city.
The bridge dates back to the 1st century BC when it was built by the Romans. Since then it has been reconstructed multiple times and has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in Córdoba and in Andalusia.
Crossing the bridge is a must-do thing when visiting Córdoba. There is a big stone tower at the end of the bridge – Torre de Calahorra. Today it hosts a small museum about Córdoba and offers amazing views over the city (you can climb up to the roof!).
If you cross the bridge coming from the Historic Center there is an iconic photo spot on the other side of the bridge with a scenic view of the bridge and the skyline of Córdoba (first photo). It is beautiful during the day, but might be even more magical in the evening!
23. The majestic Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos in Córdoba!
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (Castle of the Christian Monarchs) are premises of a 14th-century palace. There is a palace, courtyards, defensive walls and towers, and extensive decorative gardens with fountains and pools.
Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos palace-fortress served as one of the main residences for the Christian Monarchs – Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. They were called the Christian Monarchs because of their Catholic faith.
The palace itself was not too exciting at least for us. However, we really liked climbing up the defensive walls and towers. There you can get pretty nice views over Córdoba Old Town, the river and the Roman bridge.
Without a doubt, the most beautiful part of Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos was the extensive gardens. They really take care of the gardens here! So beautiful!
There were multiple rectangular pools with fountains, other fountains with sculptures, and decorative trees cut into different shapes. There were majestic statues of the Christian kings and endless flower fields.
I bet upkeeping the garden takes a lot of effort as Córdoba is the hottest city in Europe! Although this palace was not too impressive, the gardens, on the other hand, were amongst the most beautiful ones we saw in Andalusia.
Location: Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (entrance)
24. Olvera – the town with the most picturesque views!
Featuring some jaw-dropping views, Olvera is one of the most beautiful towns in Andalusia with some unmatched picturesque views! It sits on a hilltop with a church and castle standing high above the rest of the village.
Must-do things in Olvera whitewashed town include exploring the Historic Center of the town and climbing up Calle Calzada street to the scenic Iglesia Mayor Parroquial hilltop church.
The best place to visit – Olvera Castle! The castle was built in the 12th century as part of the defensive system for the Nasrid Kingdom. It sits on a rock at 623 meters above sea level and offers some of the most picturesque views in Andalusia!
If you visit the castle (it has working hours and an entrance fee), there are stone stairs leading up the cliff to the castle and at one point you can get this iconic view of the massive church below you! One of the most iconic Instagram spots in Andalusia!
25. The most unique castle in Andalusia – Castillo de Colomares!
Although it sounds like it is a castle, Castillo de Colomares is actually a monument in the form of a castle dedicated to the life of the explorer Christopher Columbus. It is one of the most unique, but, at the same time, beautiful places in Malaga province.
What makes it very unusual is that it does look like a centuries-old castle, but it was actually finished in 1994 after a 7-year-long construction. You can visit this beautiful hidden gem in Andalusia for an entrance fee of 3 EUR.
This monument was a work of a private artist so you won’t find it in most travel itineraries about the best things to do in Malaga so many tourists, unfortunately, never find out about it.
Besides the beautiful architecture, this monument also houses the smallest church in the world measuring less than 2 square meters! Can you imagine a church that small? I hope you get to visit this place – one of my favorite hidden gems in Andalusia!
Location: Castillo de Colomares
26. The unique fortress-cathedral in Almería!
Almería Cathedral is one of the most iconic and interesting buildings in Almería and in Andalusia! The cathedral was built in the 16th century. And, actually, it served not only as a cathedral but also as a defensive fortress against the Moorish forces.
You can actually see that the front facade of the cathedral looks different than you might have seen for other cathedrals in Spain. It has massive high defensive walls, defensive towers, and even holes that were used for cannons.
The cathedral-fortress is the only this type of cathedral in Spain from that century. The facade was built in Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles, but the interior is Gothic with baroque and Neo-Classical details.
At certain hours you can visit the cathedral and its massive premises for an entrance fee. beware that the entrance to the cathedral is NOT through the front facade but through Museo de la Catedral de la Encarnación.
Once you buy tickets you are free to roam around the inner courtyard, inside the cathedral, the sacristy and its multiple back rooms and museums featuring impressive collections of treasures. One of the most unique hidden gems in Andalusia for sure!
27. The impressive ‘movie star’ – Alcazaba de Almería!
Alcazaba de Almería is a must-visit tourist attraction in Almería. The best thing about it is that the visit to this place for EU citizens is free and only 1.50 EUR for nationals from other countries. For such a cool place with impressive views over the city, this is a great deal you cannot miss in Almería.
The Alcazaba name comes from Arabic and basically signifies a walled fortification in a city. There are many Alcazabas in Andalusia that were built during the Islamic period in Spain. You can see them in almost every big city in Andalusia.
Almería city was founded by the Moorish forces in the 10th century and during that time Alcazaba de Almería was built. It featured many buildings inside like a castle, a mosque, water cisterns, baths, gardens, and living quarters.
Alcazaba de Almería is a real movie star. The massive fortification has been featured in numerous movies like Conan the Barbarian, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as well as in Wonder Woman 1984.
Alcazaba was also used as one of the locations for the Game of Thrones TV series when Alcazaba de Almería served as the capital of Dorne during the sixth season of the show.
The Alcazaba de Almería was one of my favorite places to visit in Almería. It definitely feels like stepping back in time. With its Moorish architecture, and impressive walls and gates, it is well worth your time!
Location: Alcazaba de Almería
28. Soportújar – village of witches and magic!
Here’s an unusual idea if you have some extra time to spare for a mountain-style road trip in Andalusia! Soportújar village deep into the Sierra Nevada mountains is one of the most beautiful and unique villages in Andalusia!
It is the village of witches and magic because the narrow streets are filled with magical creatures from famous fairytales. Although it sounds like a playground for kids, I did find it super amusing as an adult, so there’s that!
The most iconic places here are the Baba Yaga house on chicken legs, the witches’ house from Hansel and Gretel, and the fountain of the dragon. There were creatures from world-famous fairytales as well as some that I did not recognize.
And, no, it is not a temporary exhibition – this is how they live in this village! People just mind their business and walk around their home soil with all these creatures around. Tourism can bring lots of income, so this is what they have chosen to do! And it works as this was one of my favorite hidden gems in Andalusia!
29. The unbeatable view from Castillo de Gibralfaro on Gibralfaro mountain in Malaga!
One of the most iconic places in Malaga city is Gibralfaro Mountain. It sits right next to the center of the city making it one of the best places to see Malaga from above. Especially this iconic shot of the Spanish bullring that you can get only in Malaga.
Gibralfaro Mountain has a paved path leading uphill the mountain with some benches along the way. It starts down at the city center and finishes at the Castillo de Gibralfaro castle with a couple of popular viewpoints along the way.
On top of the mountain, you will see a castle – Castillo de Gibralfaro. The castle dates back to the 10th century when it was built by the emir Abd al-Raḥmān III who founded the Caliphate of Córdoba – the medieval Islamic kingdom in the territory of Andalusia.
You can access the defensive walls that surround the castle area and almost walk around the whole territory along the walls! There are a couple of viewpoints and sentry boxes for guards along the way. Visiting the castle is one of the bucket list things to do in Malaga.
You can see prices and visiting hours for the castle here. There is an entrance fee to the castle, but you can visit it on Sunday afternoons for free. You can reach the castle by car, by bus or by taxi.
However, I really recommend hiking either up or down the hill on foot. This way you can visit the beautiful viewpoints that overlook the city along the way. Check out Mirador de Gibralfaro which was my favorite viewpoint (location below)!
30. The unique Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga!
One of the symbols of Malaga is the cathedral! It is a landmark building in the city and by being built in the Renaissance architectural style it is one of the most beautiful places in Malaga and also in Andalusia!
Apart from the beautiful architecture, this cathedral also holds a special secret – you can actually climb on the roof of it for some of the most iconic photos and incredible views in Malaga city! Visits to the roof happen in groups at certain times.
You can buy tickets at the cathedral or online where you can see the timetable for the visits. The roof is not easily accessible as you can only get there by ascending ~200 steps through a narrow staircase.
The group is accompanied by two guides who will let you walk around the perimeter of the roof. The views of the city and the port of Malaga are quite magnificent! If you can, go there before sunset when everything is in golden shades and colors!
On the roof, you will notice that the cathedral is missing a piece – the second tower. There is a base prepared for the second tower but, unfortunately, it was never finished because of the lack of funds. An unexpected feature of this unique building!
31. The most beautiful Old Town in Andalusia – Marbella!
Marbella Old Town is considered to be the most beautiful Old Town in Andalusia. Although Marbella has grown to be quite a big city, the Old Town is still the same authentic Andalusian whitewashed town!
If you are looking for those Southern vibes in a typical Southern town with white houses, winding cobblestone streets, flower bushes, colorful doors, and plants everywhere, then paying a visit to Marbella Old Town is a must.
We spent a couple of days exploring Marbella Old Town. Some of the best places to visit in Marbella include the Plaza de los Naranjos Square, Calle Carmen Street – one of the most beautiful streets in Marbella, and the Santo Cristo de Marbella chapel.
Enjoying tapas at El Boqueron or MIA CAFE – Tapas & Bar is definitely amongst the best things to do in Marbella! There are many beautiful spots around Marbella Old Town and countless photo-perfect corners everywhere you look!
Location: Marbella Old Town
32. Bucket list place – The Balcony of Europe in Nerja!
Nerja is a coastal town in the famous Costa del Sol area in Spain. It is located just a 50-minute drive away from Malaga city and offers more authentic experiences in a more relaxed atmosphere than the big Andalusian cities.
The most famous bucket list place in Nerja is the Balcony of Europe. It is a viewpoint built above a cliff – a large platform stretching into the sea with some fantastic views over the Mediterranean Sea, the mountains, and the coastline.
Standing on the Balcony of Europe has to be amongst the best things to do in Andalusia! I recommend coming here for the sunrise as it appears in the Mediterranean Sea and looks absolutely magical.
During the day this has to be the busiest place in Nerja as there are benches to sit on, restaurants, ice-cream shops, and a beautiful palm-lined promenade. People just come here to relax and socialize.
The Balcony of Europe is the ultimate bucket list place to visit in Nerja and one of the most popular photo spots in Nerja, so definitely take a photo here! You can get a great shot on the balcony, from the side, or from the beach next to it.
The square on top of the balcony is lined with beautiful white double arches decorated with Andalusian-style blue flower pots with flowers. We came here to watch the sunrise and it was one of my favorite memories from our Andalusian road trip!
You can buy an ice cream and sit down at one of the benches next to the palm tree-lined alley in the famous square. Such a scenic place and such a moment to remember from your Andalusia trip!
Location: Balcón de Europa
33. The underground mystery – Cueva de Nerja!
Nerja Cave is probably among the most impressive and beautiful caves I have visited (and I have visited many!). It is a popular tourist attraction and a must-visit place in Nerja so it also must be amongst the best things to do in Andalusia for sure!
The entrance to the cave costs 13 EUR and can be bought online for the exact time you wish to visit. It goes like a conveyor belt – you arrive at your designated time, show tickets to the staff, and enter the cave.
The cave is pretty huge and full of stalagmites and stalactites. You can get there by taxi, a car, or a special tourist train that goes from Nerja center to the cave and back. This is definitely one of those iconic bucket list places to visit in Andalusia!
Location: Cueva de Nerja
34. The impressive Aqueduct Eagle in Nerja!
Just a short trip outside the center of Nerja is a massive hidden gem in Andalusia – Aqueduct Eagle or El Acueducto del Águila. It is a beautiful aqueduct that is quite different from others that I have seen around Spain.
There are super long and impressive arches on 4 levels! The aqueduct is pretty huge and is quite a sight! The best part – you can access it up close. Visiting this gigantic structure is a bucket list thing to do in Nerja!
There are a couple of accessing roads to see it from the top, however, I think the best view of the aqueduct is from the bottom. This 19th-century structure is 40 meters high and 90 meters wide!
If you want to get there, then drive to this place, park your car, and then it is a very short walk (300 meters) to the bottom of the aqueduct. If you don’t have a car, you can take a taxi.
Location: Aqueduct Eagle
35. Historic Center of the most charming village in Andalusia – Frigiliana!
Frigiliana is considered one of the most beautiful whitewashed villages in Andalusia, Spain. With narrow cobblestone streets, houses, and stairs decorated with flowerpots and plants, this is a charming destination in the South of Spain.
We spent 3 fantastic days exploring the historic center of Frigiliana. The village has unbeatable views and it is one of my favorite places in Andalusia! Check out the best places to visit in Frigiliana and the most beautiful photo spots in this charming village!
Visiting the Historic Center of Frigiliana will only take a few hours so it is a great destination to include in your Andalusia itinerary. It is located just 15 minutes away from Nerja so it will be an easy detour to this wonderful village.
36. One of the most beautiful cathedrals in Andalusia – Catedral de Cádiz!
Catedral de Cádiz is amongst the most beautiful buildings in Cádiz and in Andalusia. The construction of the cathedral started in the first half of the 18th century and lasted for more than 100 years. It was built in neoclassical and baroque styles.
At the time of building this cathedral, Cádiz was a booming city and the massive cathedral was built, in part, as a consequence of that – to impress the trading partners (like America) and to present the city as an important, well-off partner.
Visiting the inside of the cathedral is an extraordinary experience on its own, however, there is more to the cathedral. You can actually climb up to the Bell Tower (or Clock Tower) of the cathedral.
The Bell Tower of the Cathedral of Cádiz was one of my favorite places to visit in Cádiz! Climbing to the tower is included in the entrance fee to the cathedral. First, you visit the cathedral, and then at the exit of the cathedral, there is a door to get to the tower.
The climb is long. There is a continuous incline spiraling upwards until the very top of the tower. There are no stairs, but a flat surface leading up. Once you get to the top there are 360-degree views over the city.
I really recommend walking up there at full hours when the bells ring. It was loud and it was fun! You can buy entrance tickets at the entrance or online. The same ticket includes a visit to the cathedral, to the crypt underground, and also to the Clock Tower.
Check out seaside views of the Cathedral of Cádiz!
If you are looking for some iconic views of Cádiz then this is definitely one of those – one of the most iconic Instagram photo spots in Andalusia! There are two nice viewpoints at the seaside (locations below).
The best view and photo spot of the cathedral is from the Baluarte de Capuchinos fortress located right next to the seaside promenade. You get a fantastic overlook of the city coastline and the majestic Cathedral of Cádiz.
There is also another viewpoint along the promenade – Mirador El Vendaval – where you can get another great shot of the coastline and the cathedral. However, I could say that this from the Baluarte de Capuchinos fortress was slightly more iconic.
37. Arcos de la Frontera – Andalusia’s most scenic town!
Although there are many villages and towns in Andalusia built upon a cliff or a hill, Arcos de la Frontera is somewhat on another level! Standing on the very cliffside on a massive towering cliff this town has some of the most outstanding views!
Plus, there is a scenic river flowing around the village’s cliff from three sides making it one of the most inaccessible places in Andalusia. Of course, it is easier nowadays with bridges and paved streets, but you still have to climb to get to the best spots.
The best places to see in the Arcos de la Frontera include Iglesia de San Pedro church, the photo-perfect Bésame en este Arco white arch, cliffside viewpoints Mirador de Abades and Mirador Plaza del Cabildo, and Basílica de Santa María de la Asunción.
Location: Arcos de la Frontera
38. World-famous sherry and wine bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera!
Jerez de la Frontera is world-famous as the world capital of the fortified wine – sherry. It is the birthplace of this popular drink. And the area around Jerez de la Frontera is the only place where it is allowed to produce this specific drink – sherry.
Visiting one of the world-famous sherry and wine bodegas is one of the best things to do in Andalusia. There are multiple bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera, but we opted for the iconic González Byass sherry bodega Tio Pepe thanks to their long history of sherry making.
Even though we are not sherry fans we joined a guided tour through their bodegas to find out more about the art of wine and sherry making. You can find and book different tours on their website.
The best part of the tour was visiting the storage cellars of sherry and wine barrels. They are dark, and gloomy and have a rich and sweet smell inside them. Truly a fantastic experience!
Hearing how much effort is put into each bottle made me appreciate the art of creating such drinks. My favorite part was admiring the different sizes, shapes, colors, and ages of the oak barrels.
There was one hall with barrels signed by all the famous visitors to this bodega. We noticed signatures by people from royalty to Hollywood and back! These bodegas are the essence of Jerez de la Frontera so I hope you get to visit one!
If you happen to visit the famous González Byass sherry and wine bodega then you will stumble upon one of the hidden gems in Andalusia – a street named Calle Ciegos or the Alley of the Blind which is considered one of the most beautiful streets in Spain!
The combination of the narrow and winding cobblestone street, the vine leaf cover above the head, and the view of the cathedral at the end of the street make this an iconic place in Andalusia!
We visited this place in spring when the leaves were not in full bloom yet. However, we got a great view of the cathedral! In a couple of weeks – sometime around May or later – the street will look like a leave-covered tunnel!
39. Border between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea in Tarifa!
The final place on the Andalusia bucket list goes to Tarifa. It is amongst the most unique towns in Spain and there is a special reason – it is the Southernmost point in not only Spain but in the whole of Europe.
Definitely one of the bucket list things to do in Tarifa is walking the border between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. There is a narrow road into the water that draws a line between the two bodies of water.
Approximately in the middle of the road, there are two metal signs indicating which side of the road belongs to which territory – the ocean or the sea. Definitely snap a photo here while standing between the sea and the ocean!
This is a must-visit place for any visitor in Tarifa! Luckily the road is open all the time so you can go there any time of the day you want. Beware that the wind may get crazy here! It almost swept us off our feet!
As you walk further down the road you will reach the Isla de Tarifa islet. It is the Southernmost point in Spain and in Europe. However, you should know that the whole islet is closed down. You can only get there in guided groups by booking an appointment prior to your visit.
Although you probably won’t be able to access the islet, you won’t miss out on much! There is not much left of the fortress and the old port that was on the islet years ago. But you can walk down to the beaches on the islet and enjoy the scenery from there.
40. Júzcar – the blue Smurf village of Andalusia!
The Smurf village Júzcar is Spain’s bluest village and one of the most unique hidden gems in Andalusia! Although it was once a regular whitewashed Andalusian village, it was all painted blue for the marketing purposes of The Smurfs movie!
When the movie came out they decided to keep it blue (although the deal was to paint it white again!). Because of its unusual color, Júzcar now attracts a lot of tourists – probably the main reason locals wanted to keep the color and not go back to white.
Some of the best things to do in Júzcar include walking around the narrow streets of the village, finding all the street art paintings on the walls, buying Smurf souvenirs, riding the zipline over the village, and, of course, finding where is Papa Smurf!
More Andalusia travel inspiration!
Andalusia, the Southern region of Spain, is a one-of-a-kind place. It offers the perfect mix of history, architecture, vibrant cities, quiet hidden villages, unique nature, scenic hikes as well as sandy beaches and the perfectly blue water of the Mediterranean Sea.
We spent almost 3 months discovering everything Andalusia had to offer starting from world-famous places like Alhambra, we went underground inside Nerja cave, hanged in the air at the Caminito del Rey hike, and picked up our jaws when we saw Ronda bridge.
I hope you enjoy your time in Andalusia as much as we did! And I hope you will get some inspiration from my blog to make your trip even more adventurous, fun, and full of unforgettable memories! Andalusia is definitely worth it!