Best cities to visit in Andalusia - Olvera
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27 hidden gems and secret places in Andalusia, Spain

Let’s explore some hidden gems and secret places in Andalusia that not too many people know about! We spent more than two months driving around the South of Spain and exploring all the best places it had to offer. Let’s dive in!

In this blog post, you will find all the hidden gems and secret places in Andalusia with descriptions, photos, and locations where they can be found on Google Maps. I am pretty sure we covered the most unusual places to see there! Happy exploring!

Read more >>> 17 most beautiful castles and palaces in Andalusia, Spain

This post contains some affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you!

1. Castillo de Colomares – the most unique castle in Andalusia!

Castillo de Colomares - hidden gems in Andalusia, Spain

Although it sounds like it is a castle, Castillo de Colomares is actually a monument in a 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.

Castillo de Colomares - hidden gems in Andalusia, Spain
Castillo de Colomares - hidden gems in Andalusia, Spain

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.

Unique hidden gems in Andalusia - Castillo de Colomares
Unique hidden gems in Andalusia - Castillo de Colomares

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 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 for sure!

Location: Castillo de Colomares

2. World’s most beautiful sacristy in Granada!

Granada, Spain - best things to do & most beautiful Instagram spots in the city
The sacristy inside Monasterio de la Cartuja de Granada

Discover the most beautiful sacristy in the world inside Monasterio de la Cartuja de Granada – one of the hidden gems in Granada! Located on the outskirts of the center of the city, this monastery is a must-see place in Granada!

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!

Granada, Spain - best things to do & most beautiful Instagram spots in the city
Granada, Spain - best things to do & most beautiful Instagram spots in the city

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.

Granada, Spain - best things to do & most beautiful Instagram spots in the city
Granada, Spain - best things to do & most beautiful Instagram spots in the city

However, this place hides one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Andalusia and one of the most beautiful places 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 competition here!

Granada, Spain - best things to do & most beautiful Instagram spots in the city
Entrance gate to Monasterio de la Cartuja de Granada

You will find a ton of hidden corners and truly beautiful gems in the monastery! Definitely, my favorites among them all were the church and the sacristy. The patio was great too for some fresh air and relaxation. I really hope you get to visit this place!

Location: Monasterio de la Cartuja de Granada

3. El Torcal de Antequera – the most unique rock formations in Andalusia!

Unique hidden gems in Andalusia - El Torcal de Antequera
Sombrero rock at El Torcal de Antequera

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!

Unique hidden gems in Andalusia - El Torcal de Antequera
Unique hidden gems in Andalusia - El Torcal de Antequera

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!

Unique hidden gems in Andalusia - El Torcal de Antequera
Unique hidden gems in Andalusia - El Torcal de Antequera

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

4. Calle Ciegos – one of the most beautiful streets in Spain!

Best Instagram photo spots in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

One of the most special and beautiful spots in Andalusia is hiding in the heart of Jerez de la Frontera city! There is 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!

Best Instagram photo spots in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
Calle Ciegos or the Alley of the Blind in Jerez de la Frontera

This street was once a public street. It was named Calle Ciegos or the Alley of the Blind because this was once a usual gathering place for poor and blind people who would beg for money from churchgoers. The street was a regular route to go to the church.

However, it is not publicly accessible today. After the famous González Byass sherry and wine bodega expanded, the municipality allowed this street to be included in their territory. You can only access it if you go on a tour to González Byass bodegas.

I would guess you can visit this street if you go to the Restaurante Pedro Nolasco restaurant that is located right next to this street. Or if you stay at their hotel – Hotel Bodega Tio Pepe – and ask them to show you this street. It is all part of their territory.

Location: Calle CiegosBodega Tio Pepe

5. Soportújar – village of witches and magic!

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Soportújar
Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Soportújar

Soportújar village deep into the Sierra Nevada mountains is one of the most beautiful and unique villages in Andalusia. And it is definitely one of my favorite hidden gems in Andalusia as well!

Soportújar is the village of witches and magic – all the narrow streets are filled with magical creatures and characters from different fairytales which makes this one of the most unusual places in Andalusia!

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Soportújar
Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Soportújar

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. This village feels like a big playground for kids and adults alike. I really hope you get to visit this place!

Location: Soportújar

6. Montefrío – the village with the most beautiful view!

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Montefrío

Montefrío – 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?

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Montefrío
Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Montefrío

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!

Location: Montefrío village seen from National Geographic viewpoint

7. Júzcar – the blue Smurf village of Andalusia!

Juzcar, Malaga - best things to do and places to see in the blue Smurf village in Andalusia, Spain
Juzcar, Malaga - best things to do and places to see in the blue Smurf village in Andalusia, Spain

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.

Juzcar, Malaga - best things to do and places to see in the blue Smurf village in Andalusia, Spain
Juzcar, Malaga - best things to do and places to see in the blue Smurf village in Andalusia, Spain

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!

Location: Júzcar – the Smurf village (Pueblo Pitufo)

8. Castillo Almodóvar del Rio – The Game of Thrones castle in Córdoba!

Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and the best Instagram spots in Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and the best Instagram spots 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 hidden gems in Córdoba and in Andalusia as well!

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!

Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and the best Instagram spots in Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and the best Instagram spots in Córdoba

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.

Córdoba, Spain - best hidden gems and secret spots in Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain - best hidden gems and secret spots in Córdoba

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!

Location: Castillo Almodóvar del RioTorre del Homenaje

9. Osuna – a village with the most beautiful street!

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Osuna
Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Osuna

If you are into architecture then visiting Osuna is a must! Osuna features the best preserved historic center in Andalusia and Calle San Pedro de Osuna street which is considered the most beautiful street in Spain in terms of architecture.

Hidden gems in Andalusia - Osuna
Hidden gems in Andalusia - Osuna

Calle San Pedro de Osuna street is said to be like an open-air museum of architecture. There are numerous well-preserved centuries-old Baroque facades lined within a short distance which makes it easy to visit.

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Osuna
Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Osuna

There is another unique spot in Osuna – the ‘little Egypt in Spain’ or the old stone mine quarry. It definitely looks like the tombs of the Egyptian rulers! This place is open to visitors and you can visit the mines for an entrance fee. Check their working hours!

Location: Calle San Pedro de OsunaEl Coto Las Canteras

10. Pulpí Geode – the biggest geode that you can visit in the world!

Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Pulpí Geode
Entrance to the geode where you crawl waist-deep inside
Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Pulpí Geode
Inside Pulpí Geode

If you want to see one of the most unique places in the world then I would recommend taking a road trip to Pulpí Geode. Geode is a hollow space between volcanic rocks filled with large natural crystals.

Pulpí Geode – located about a 1h15min drive away from Almería – is the largest geode in the world that is possible to visit by the public. The geode measures 8 meters long and 2 meters wide with crystals measuring up to 2 meters long!

The geode was discovered in 1999 under an abandoned silver mine. In recent years it has been open for guided visits so this is a real off-the-beaten-path place in Andalusia that not many people know about yet!

Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Pulpí Geode
The tour takes place underground deep into the silver mines
Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Pulpí Geode
You will see crystals in multiple places

Visits to the geode are in groups at certain hours so you need to book your spot as early as possible online. The ticket cost 22 EUR per person. The tour is in Spanish but you get an audioguide in English.

You can’t walk inside the geode, but you are allowed to peek inside waist-deep in the cavity. Photos in the caves are allowed only with the tour guide’s phone (not the best camera, of course..). You can then buy all the photos for 1 EUR afterward.

This is definitely one of those hidden gems in Andalusia that only a small part of tourists get to visit. It is located rather far away from the main tourist hotspots and is not so well-known. But I’m really glad we visited this unique place!

Location: Pulpí Geode

11. Iznájar – the most flowerful town in Andalusia!

Iznajar village, Cordoba - things to do in the hidden flower village in the mountains of Andalusia, Spain
Iznajar village, Cordoba - things to do in the hidden flower village in the mountains of Andalusia

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 one of the most beautiful hidden gems in Andalusia right in the heart of it – Patio de las Comedias.

Iznajar village, Cordoba - things to do in the hidden flower village in the mountains of Andalusia
Iznajar village, Cordoba - things to do in the hidden flower village in the mountains of Andalusia

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.

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

12. Explore the archeological site of Medina Azahara!

Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and most beautiful Instagram spots in Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and most beautiful Instagram spots in Córdoba

Medina Azahara is an archeological complex of a Medieval palace near Córdoba city. It is a must-visit place for any visitor to Córdoba who enjoys historic sites.

There is not much left of the palace – mostly ruins. However, there are some exquisite examples of Moorish-style arches (see photos).

Entrance to the Medina Azahara archeological site is free for EU citizens and 1.50 EUR for nationals from other countries.

You can’t drive to the archeological site yourself. There is an organized bus that takes visitors to the archeological site and back to the parking lot every 15 minutes.

Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and most beautiful Instagram spots in Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and most beautiful Instagram spots in Córdoba

Once you get to the parking lot and park your car, you need to go to the ticket office to get your entrance ticket to the archeological site. Even if you are a citizen of the EU and entry is free, you still need a ticket.

Then go to the bus stop and wait for the bus. You can buy bus tickets on the bus or from a tour guide at the bus stop. Round trip bus tickets cost us 3 EUR each. The trip from the parking lot to the archeological site takes about 20 minutes.

Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and most beautiful Instagram spots in Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain - best things to do and most beautiful Instagram spots in Córdoba

Once you get off the bus there will be a staff member checking entrance tickets and then you can finally explore on your own. The territory is pretty massive.

This was once a territory of a palace with worship places, servant quarters, staterooms, and so on. Pretty amazing to imagine all the life that went on here!

One of the most interesting and well-preserved places in the complex was Edificio basilical superior. There were many beautiful arches and columns left from the past times – a beautiful example of Moorish-style architecture.

Location: Medina AzaharaParking lotTicket officeEdificio basilical superior (photos of arches)

13. Vícar – the most colorful village in Andalusia!

Vicar village, Almeria - things to do in the most colorful village in Andalusia, Spain
The most colorful village in Andalusia – Vícar!

Vícar village in Almería province in Spain is one of those true hidden gems in Andalusia! This tiny village at the foothills of the Sierra de Gador mountains is probably the most colorful village in the South of Spain!

Vicar village, Almeria - things to do in the most colorful village in Andalusia, Spain
Vicar village, Almeria - things to do in the most colorful village in Andalusia, Spain

The best things to do in Vícar include visiting Plaza del Cerrillo square, finding the rainbow stairs, checking out Church-Fortress of San Benito, and walking up to the Mirador de Vícar scenic bench.

Vicar village, Almeria - things to do in the most colorful village in Andalusia, Spain
There are multiple scenic benches around Vícar

The most colorful streets in Vicar that are full of street art paintings and colorful decorations are Calle Granero street, Calle Real which is my personal favorite, and Calle Iglesia. This is one of the most beautiful whitewashed villages in Andalusia!

Location: Vícar

14. Be blinded by the gold at Basílica de San Juan de Dios in Granada!

Granada, Spain - hidden gems and secrets in Granada
Granada, Spain - hidden gems and secrets in Granada

Basílica de San Juan de Dios is a true hidden gem you cannot miss in Granada! I am definitely not one of those people who always have to visit churches and cathedrals wherever I go, however, sometimes it is worth it and this is one of those times.

This 18th-century Baroque basilica is simply breathtaking. It is as if they tried to compete with the famous Nasrid palaces in Alhambra when they built this place.

Embellished with ornate frescoes, golden altars, and a soaring dome, I was almost blinded by this bedazzling beauty. It is gold, treasures, and stunning art everywhere you look!

Granada, Spain - hidden gems and best kept secrets in Granada
Granada, Spain - hidden gems and best kept secrets in Granada

There is an entrance fee to see this extraordinary building, but it is so worth it! The best thing is that you can not only visit the big hall of the church but also walk to the secret chambers.

Normally in such places as churches or cathedrals, there are rooms and chambers that are reserved for church personnel only, however, in this basilica you can explore truly almost everything!

Granada, Spain - hidden gems and best kept secrets in Granada
Granada, Spain - hidden gems and best kept secrets in Granada

Every room, staircase, and chamber is filled with jaw-dropping Baroque decorations, sculptures, furniture, and art. I thought this would be a relatively quick visit, but this unbelievable beauty left me speechless and unable to take my eyes off the spectacularity of it all.

The visit includes visits to the main hall, behind the main altarpiece, the sacristy, dressing rooms, and side chapels. My favorite spot was up on the upper balcony where you can see everything from above. Definitely stop here to explore some bedazzling hidden gems!

Location: Basílica de San Juan de Dios

15. Olvera – the town with the most picturesque views!

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Olvera
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 town.

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Olvera
Calle Calzada street
Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Olvera
The landscape of Olvera town

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!

Location: Olvera

16. See the impressive Aqueduct Eagle in Nerja!

Best Instagram spots of the most beautiful places in Nerja, Spain

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

17. Frigiliana – the most charming whitewashed flower village!

Best Instagram spots of the most beautiful places in Frigiliana village, Spain
Best Instagram spots of the most beautiful places in Frigiliana village, Spain

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.

Best Instagram spots of the most beautiful places in Frigiliana village, Spain
Best Instagram spots of the most beautiful places in Frigiliana village, 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!

Location: Frigiliana

18. Visit the ancient Roman city – Itálica!

Hidden gems in Andalusia - Italica, an ancient Roman city near Seville

Itálica is a hidden gem in Andalusia just a few minutes’ drive away from Seville! Itálica is an archeological complex of a place that once was an ancient Roman city founded by the Romans 206 years BC when they had conquered the territory of today’s Spain.

This was an iconic city said to be the birthplace of three future Roman emperors – Trajan, Hadrian, and Theodosius. Itálica was actually the first Roman settlement in the territory of today’s Spain and the first Roman city outside of Italy.

Hidden gems in Andalusia - Italica, an ancient Roman city near Seville
Hidden gems in Andalusia - Italica, an ancient Roman city near Seville

You can visit this iconic archeological site for free if you are a citizen of the EU. The visit costs just 1.50 EUR for nationals from other countries. Itálica is actually a pretty well-preserved Roman city considering it was covered by the ground for a long time.

Italica features cobbled Roman streets, baths, and many buildings. The star of the show is the majestic amphitheater said to be the third largest amphitheater in the Roman empire seating 25 000 spectators (about half as in the Colosseum in Rome).

Location: Itálica

19. Gruta de las Maravillas

Hidden gems in Andalusia - Gruta de las Maravillas

Gruta de las Maravillas or the Grotto of Wonders is a spectacular cave complex in the province of Huelva in Andalusia. It is one of the most spectacular hidden gems you will find in Andalusia – especially if you are a cave lover!

Hidden gems in Andalusia - Gruta de las Maravillas
Hidden gems in Andalusia - Gruta de las Maravillas

Visits to Gruta de las Maravillas happen in guided tours. Although the tours are in Spanish, you can get an audioguide in English and follow along. The caves feature massive stalagmites and stalactites as well as small underground lakes.

Location: Gruta de las Maravillas

20. The unique fortress-cathedral in Almería

Best things to do and most beautiful Instagram photo spots in Almería, Spain
Best things to do and most beautiful Instagram photo spots in Almería, Spain

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.

Best things to do and most beautiful Instagram photo spots in Almería, Spain
Best things to do and most beautiful Instagram photo spots in Almería, Spain

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.

Best things to do and most beautiful Instagram photo spots in Almería, Spain
Best things to do and most beautiful Instagram photo spots in Almería, Spain

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!

Location: Catedral de la Encarnación de AlmeríaEntrance

21. Hike to the impressive La Garganta Verde gorge!

Hidden gems in Andalusia - La Garganta Verde hike
The end of the La Garganta Verde hiking trail

If you are a hiker, this is one of those hidden gems in Andalusia you might enjoy quite a lot! La Garganta Verde is a short scenic hike to a deep river canyon and back up. The hike is only 6.5 kilometers long, it also has a considerable 350 vertical meters.

The hike starts at the road and continues for a while along a gravel path taking you along some beautiful viewpoints. Then it starts descending along a smaller path down into the gorge once you reach the riverbed.

Hidden gems in Andalusia - La Garganta Verde hike
La Garganta Verde canyon
Hidden gems in Andalusia - La Garganta Verde hike
Cueva de La Ermita cave

The riverbed was completely dry when we went so we found the way into the river and hiked for just a couple of hundred meters until we reaches the massive Cueva de La Ermita cave and the most narrow place deep inside the canyon. The canyon is pink!

After that, you just turn around and hike back up. In order to hike the trail you must apply for a permit because this is a protected area. It is free of charge and you can apply for it online. The trail is open between October 16 and May 31.

Location: La Garganta Verde

22. Explore the volcanic Cabo de Gata Natural Park!

Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
Faro de Cabo de Gata lighthouse
Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
Playa de los Muertos in Cabo de Gata-Níjar National Park

Cabo de Gata-Níjar National Park is a natural park in Almería province. And one of the most unique hidden gems in Andalusia! It is a protected natural area with rocky islands, white-sand beaches, wild coastline, and mountains.

Go kayaking and snorkeling to discover Posidonia meadows!

Cabo de Gata Natural Park has rich biodiversity not only on the land but also under the water. The water actually hides one of the best-preserved Posidonia meadows in the entire Mediterranean Sea that you can actually explore on a snorkeling tour.

Not to mention exploring the underwater caves, and narrow gaps in the rock that were created by the recent volcanic activity of the area. This area is truly a wild side of Andalusia and definitely worth exploring by joining a snorkeling tour!

Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
Arrecife de las Sirenas
Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
Playa del Arco

Take a sailing tour along the beaches from Carborneras

If exploring the underwater world is not for you then you can explore the unique beaches of this natural park by joining a guided yacht tour to wild beaches with crystal clear water in the park. You will see volcanic cliffs and caves not accessible by land! As well as a fossilized coral reef at Cabo de Mesa Roldan.

Another option to explore the area from a boat is to take a sunset sailing tour on a luxurious sailboat with a glass of Cava while watching the sun go down. It is a more relaxed way to see the unique rock formations while floating in the Mediterranean.

Location: Cabo de Gata

23. Tour the Tabernas Desert – the only desert in Europe!

Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Tabernas Desert
Things to do in Almeria, Spain - Tabernas Desert

Known as the only desert in Europe, the Tabernas Desert is one of those truly unique hidden gems in Andalusia and in the province of Almería! If you are looking for something very unusual to do in Andalusia, then try this one!

Because of the similarities to other deserts around the world like in the southwestern United States, northern Mexico, and others, this desert has been a popular place to shoot many movies.

The desert has been featured in multiple Spaghetti Westerns as well as in the sixth season of the Game of Thrones series. There are three main film sets in the desert – Texas HollywoodMini Hollywood, and Western Leone – used as shooting locations. And you can visit them!

Have fun at the Western Theme Park – Mini Hollywood!

If you are looking for an unforgettable day in the Tabernas Desert, then this tour is for you! The Western Theme Park Oasys – originally used as an old western movie set – invites you to have an action-filled day with entertaining performances like the Sheriff’s intervention of a western bank robbery!

Have fun while stepping into the “Wild, Wild West” and visit old school classrooms, the Sheriff’s office, and other historical attractions. The western village is built just like people lived in the past with all the buildings and houses you would find in a typical village. A lot of fun is guaranteed!

Go on a horse riding tour through the Tabernas Desert!

One of the best ways to explore the only desert in Europe that resembles the southwestern United States is by tapping into your inner cowboy! Join a guided tour through the desert on a horse and visit the filming locations for Indiana Jones and the Game of Thrones!

Go on an adventurous 4×4 drive through the desert!

There is another great way to explore the only desert in Europe – go on an adventurous 4×4 drive through the desert! This tour will take you along the unique landscapes of the desert that are featured in hundreds of films and series!

During your drive, learn about the ravines and other geological formations as well as the flora and fauna that live here despite the odds. This is a great tour to do at any time of the year in a small group as you can sit in a car and see everything up close in case of colder weather.

Location: Tabernas Desert

24. See one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Spain at Villaluenga del Rosario!

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Villaluenga del Rosario

With a population of less than 500 people, Villaluenga del Rosario is a tiny but very scenic village in the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park right down the Navazo Alto mountain. It doesn’t get more authentic than this!

There is a beautiful viewpoint – Mirador Villaluenga del Rosario – right in the heart of the village where you can climb up to see the village from above. On the outskirts of the village, you will find a beautiful hidden gem – the cemetery.

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Villaluenga del Rosario
Villaluenga del Rosario cemetery

The unique cemetery was built inside the ruins of a church destroyed by Napoleon’s troops. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Spain, so that is definitely a good reason to stop by this village during your Andalusian road trip!

However, there is another reason to go to Villaluenga del Rosario. This village is the home of the Payoyo cheese! The cheese has received many prestigious awards and is considered a Spanish delicacy.

Payoyo cheese is only made from the milk of goats and sheep that graze in Villaluenga del Rosario and other areas of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park! There is a factory right here in this village where you can buy this exclusive cheese!

Location: Villaluenga del RosarioMirador Villaluenga del RosarioCemetery

25. Arcos de la Frontera – the most scenic town!

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Arcos de la Frontera

Although there are many villages 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 village 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 villages 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.

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Arcos de la Frontera
Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Arcos de la Frontera

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

26. Guadix – the hidden cave house town!

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Guadix
Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Guadix

Guadix is a town near Granada with a unique secret – the town has a cave house neighborhood! There is an area in the town where people live in cave houses. If you check the photos you can easily see the white tall chimneys coming out of the ground.

Most beautiful whitewashed villages and unique towns in Andalusia, Spain - Guadix
View from Mirador del Cerro de la Bala

The ground here made it easy to create holes and build houses inside them. There are some cave houses that have been turned into hotels. Mirador Padre Poveda viewpoint is a great spot to go to see the neighborhood from above.

Location: Cave house neighborhood in GuadixMirador Padre Poveda viewpoint

27. Los Coloraos Desert

Hidden gems in Andalusia - Los Coloraos desert

Los Coloraos Desert is a semi-desert and arid area in Granada province and one of the most unique hidden gems you will find in Andalusia! Despite the name, it is factually not a desert but rather a huge territory of badlands.

Because of erosion, this territory has a dramatic landscape that somewhat resembles the famous Grand Canyon in the USA. It is especially striking during sunset when everything turns into reddish and orange shades.

We decided to explore and drive as far as we could and see the landscapes. There is a gravel road GR-1600 that starts here and we continued driving on this road up to around here stopping at Mirador de Gorafe along the way.

We didn’t have a 4×4 but the weather was dry and the dirt/gravel road was quite okay for our regular car. If you drive a regular car you should see for yourself how far you want to continue. The landscape is beautiful and very unique!

Location: Los Coloraos Desert

Happy exploring!

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, exciting, and unforgettable! Andalusia is definitely worth it!

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Amazing must-see hidden gems in Andalusia, Spain
Amazing must-see hidden gems in Andalusia, Spain

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