Top 5 most enchanting cities in southern Spain

“Feeling the moment” isn’t hard to do in Southern Spain. The historical diversity, unique gastronomy and vibrant folklore is unlike any other place/destination. Everywhere you turn there is an aliveness surrounding you- in the cities and the people. But there is also a relaxed lifestyle that unquestionably welcomes the spontaneous and unexpected. Whether you are wandering through the awe-inspiring Alhambra in Granada or the enchanting views of Costa de la Luz, there is something unforgettable around each corner of Southern Spain. These top 5 most intriguing places in the Andalucia region are steeped in vibrant culture, rich in history and will leave you forever remembering the splendor and luxury of Southern Spain.

Sevilla

Sevilla is the heart and soul of Andalucia. A crossroad of ancient civilizations, Sevilla has the largest old quarter in Europe, where Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Jews have left a lasting mark that is still appreciated today. As you walk down it’s narrow, cobblestone streets it’s easy to gain a sense of the rich Spanish culture.Stay at a luxurious 5 star hotel right in the center of the city, where you’re only minutes from the famous sites. Sevilla hosts the beautiful Giralda Cathedral, where you can walk to the top and experience breathtaking views of the city. If you want a sense of quintessential Spanish neighborhood, take a stroll through the quaint Barrio de Santa Cruz and stop at one of the many tapas bars that line the cobblestone streets. Take a trip to the majestic Plaza de España, home of the Iberio-American Exposition in 1929 and inspiration for several Hollywood movie sets. Sevilla is alive with vibrant culture, rich in history and full of secrets around every corner. There are many opportunities to stay at a luxurious 5 star hotel right in the center of the city.

Granada

Granada is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Southern Spain. The splendor of the famous La Alhambra, the gorgeous mountain views and the unique city make it a truly luxurious get-away. Take a walk through the city to discover some of its most intriguing secrets and find the passages, dungeons and Spanish patiosthat are hidden in the streets of El Albaizin. Traditional tapas restaurants are plentiful throughout the city, so take a moment to savor the delicious Andalucian cuisine. The grandiose Moorish palace, La Alhambra, sits in the hillside and offers an unbelievable view of the city. You can wander through its extensive gardens during the daytime and return later for a night tour of the palace, when it is bathed in golden, shimmering lights and more intriguing than ever.

Cordoba

Ancient architecture, hidden plazas and patios filled with bright flowers, Cordoba is the perfect example of precioso, or “lovely.” Smaller than Sevilla, but with a similar ambiance and architecture, Cordoba is a must-see when traveling through Southern Spain. Right next to some of the best vineyards and olive oil farms in Spain, it is easy to go on a culinary excursion for a day to discover some of the greatest flavors included Andalucian cooking. Stay at one of Cordoba’s exclusive boutique hotels and be a short walk from the beautiful mosque and Jewish quarter. Cordoba comes alive at night, so enjoy a walking tour of the city in-between delicious tapas, wine and unforgettable flamenco shows.

Ronda

The ancient city Ronda is home to Spain’s oldest bullring and some of the most beautiful landscape in the country. The infamous gorge running alongside Ronda offers a breathtaking view as you hike along the many pathways surrounding the town. Ernest Hemingway and Orson Wells spent many summers in Ronda and wrote about the passionate bullfighting traditions that still remain today. Hemingway published two nonfiction books on the topic, “The Dangerous Summer” and “Death in the Afternoon.”Saidto be the city that makes you“fall in love” with Southern Spain, the enchanting pueblo blanco of Ronda is not to be missed.

Vejer de la Frontera

Imagine a traditional whitewashed village, built into the hills of Southern Spain, bathed in intense Andalucian sunlight…that is Vejer de la Frontera. One of the most spectacular pueblos blancos in Southern Spain, the town of Vejer de la Frontera looks over rolling vineyards, fields of olive trees and gorgeous landscapes. Vejer is a place to relax, to sit back and take a moment for yourself as you listen to flamenco music, drink fine Spanish wine and enjoy themagnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and Andalucian countryside. As you walk along the winding cobblestone streets,remnants the ancient city abound. Pass by old fortified walls, archways into the city and the old Moorish castle as you get a taste of what life used to be in this quintessential Andalucian town.

Lindsey O’Connor is Chief Editor at Andalucia Inside.

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Comments (12)

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  1. The World of Deej says:

    Sevilla has been on my list for a while. Nice to find it on yours also!

  2. Pepe Sanchez says:

    There are no rolling vineyards nor fields of olive trees in or around Vejer de la Frontera … Are you sure you have visited Vejer ?

  3. As a local from Seville, I love my city and fully agree with this post. Vejer is a small town, not a city as such, but yes, full of charm and lovely. Cadiz province is definitely my favorite.

  4. Rachel Webb says:

    A nice round-up to just a sprinkling of the many lovely villages, towns and cities all across Andalucia. So much to see, so much to do and so little time, even when you live in Andalucia.

  5. Adam says:

    We have visited 4/5 of your list ;) Andalucia is amazing. It is like a small state within Spain, from beaches, beautiful landscapes to amazing mountains. I really enjoyed Granada with awesome Alhambra. Thanks for sharing your experience, I just miss some photos ;)

  6. UD says:

    Hi…I am planning my honeymoon in spain in 1st half of november….please suggest the best places around that time….will not like too much cold though!

  7. Paul Johnson says:

    Congratulations. :)

    What do you mean by “too cold”?

    It certainly won’t be warm anywhere in southern Spain at that time of year…

    Paul

  8. Andy Tope says:

    Ah, an article after my heart, thank you. I’ll be visiting all these places and living in Seville for six months next year (sadly, not in a five star hotel though). Of course I’m a bit excited!

  9. Lisa Atkin says:

    loved reading this article – we travelled around 4 out of 5 of these places & absolutely fell in love with Andalucia! Can’t wait to return – even more so after reading this!!

  10. Rachel Webb says:

    ‘Too cold’ would be the inland more mountainous area such as Jaen where I live! Try the Mediterranean coast around Valencia or Almeria for the mildest climate.

  11. jingjing says:

    I am leaving US to Spain in June 10th this year. I need some great insightful support and advises on which smaller cities that is original and excites me if I go visit by taking bus or train rides from Madrid all the way to Seville in Spain. Can someone help me out soon? I appreciate it!!!

  12. Cheryl Embry says:

    I have been all over South if Spain, Ronda, Granada and the trees there looked like the bark was coming off and what it was was Cork on the trees!! Lol and go to the Rock of Gibraltar you can take a ferryboat over to South Africa to Rick the Cassaba!! Unbelievable trip!!! Read up before you go on and about each city and whats there. Be educated before going. There are beautiful Castles there ! You need to rent a car and map out everything. Lemon Fish was my favorite food there! Also they do close down the shops at noon til 3:00 to rest and you eat dinner at midnight! Everything happens at midnight!!!
    We went for dinner at 6:00 and they were just starting to cook.
    We got a great deal to fly over for 400.00 round trip!! Each.
    Next time tho first class for as long as your on that plane.

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