Seville has a lot to offer as you could have read earlier on my blog and the city really can steal your heart (like it did with mine, I fel in love with this city when I’ve visited it last summer). But Seville is also a good starting point to do some other day trips to explore more of the region Andalusia where Seville is located. When I was in Seville I also had time to do a few day trips. In my opinion Andalusia of the most beautiful and interesting regions of Spain. This region has a lot to offer and you could easily spend 3 weeks of traveling here and still haven’t explored everything of Andalusia. So here are the best trips you can take from Seville.
1. Córdoba & the Medina Azahara
It’s easy to take the train to Córdoba. It takes about one hour and it brings you directly to the city center. Córdoba is a real beautiful and bustling city with its cozy squares, narrow streets full with nice restaurants, its history and the mix of different cultures. The Romans captured the city in 206 BC. From the 3rd Century the Christianity had a big influence in Córdoba and it the 8th Century the Moorish captured the south of Spain (including Córdoba). Later the city got recaptured by the Christians again. That this city is full with history and different religion influences, you’ll notice on the architecture and its sights. When you enter the city center you’ll notice the big Roman city wall. You defiantly should visit the Juderiá, which is the old Jewish quarter. It’s full with the charming and narrow streets and atmospheric squares. Also the Mezquita is a must see! It’s a mosque built in the 8th century by the Moorish and when the Christians recaptured the city the Mezquita became a cathedral. You can still see both influences, which is why it’s on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Wander around in this city and you’ll realize visiting this city just one day won’t be enough.
From Córdoba it’s also possible to do a half day excursion to the Medina Azahara. These are ruins of the Arabian city located 8 kilometres outside the city of Córdoba. The best way to get there is with a car so you can decide how long you want to stay there or you can go with a special bus but you’ll have limited time. For the return you need to be punctual, because when you miss this bus there are no other transport options. If you’re coming with the car, the bus or via an excursion, you’ll always arrive at the huge parking place and from there you need to take a shuttle bus to the ruins itself.
The city was built when Córdoba was captured by the Moorish. Abd al-Rahman III, the ruler of the Caliphate Córdoba ordered to built Medina Azahara so it would became the new capital. They started building the city in 936. The ruins are really impressive to see. They’re still in good condition and with a guide it’s interesting to hear about its history.
2. Itálica Ruins in Santiponce.
From the bus station Plaza de Armas it’s easy to get at the Itálica Ruins in Santiponce. The ruins are located about 9 kilometres away from Seville. You need to take bus 170A or 170B and when the bus arrives at its final bus stop you step out. Sounds easy, right? It only takes about 30 minutes. Itálica is an old city of the Roman empire, located in the north of Santiponce. Itálica was built in 206 BC. The amphitheatre of this city was one of the largest of the Roman Empire. Itálica is now an archaeological site, since 1781. Now you can only see a small part of the city, but the amphitheatre is in a good condition. Also a fun fact, they filmed the Dragonpit scenes from season 7 & 8 of Game of Thrones here! So cool!
When you want to visit the Itálica ruins the entry is free when you’re a EU citizen. You won’t need a whole day for this trip. It will cost you a half day (including the bus ride), because you can get a good impression of the ruins in a few hours.
You can travel easily with the train to Jerez. The train brings you directly there and it takes about 1 hour. The official name is Jerez de la Frontera, but often referred as Jerez. This Andalusian city is famous for its sherry, the Andalusian horses (called Caballo Andaluz) and the flamenco. The horse riding school ‘Real Escuela Andaluza de Arte Ecuestra’ is worldwide famous and is well known for the horse shows. The Caballo Andaluz are also the oldest racing horses. In Jerez you’ll also find lots a traditional bodegas and cellars to taste sherry and other Southern Spanish wines. From Jerez it’s easy to get to Cadiz, so it could be an option for a combined trip.
Not only can Cadiz be easily combined with Jerez, Cadiz is also worth it to visit a whole day. Cadiz is one of the important seaport cities. Everything in Cadiz gives you Mediterranean charm, because this city is located next to the sea, you can breath the ocean air and there are seagulls everywhere. Cadiz has many beautiful beaches. One of them is Playa de la Caleta, located next to the old town. You have good view here at the old harbour and the two forts. Make sure you wander around in La Viña (the old fisherman’s neighborhood) and El Pópulo (beautiful and narrow streets). Also a fun fact: another name for Cadiz is Habanita (Little Havana), because of the history and similarities of Cuba. In the Spanish colonial times there was an important sea connection between Cadiz and Havana. The movie James Bond: Die Another Day used Playa de La Caleta pretending to be Havana. It was the scene with Halle Berry walking out of the sea in her orange bikini.
5. Ronda & Setenil de las Bodegas
Ronda is literally breathtaking. Unfortunately I didn’t had the time to visit this place, but it’s defiantly on my bucket list. The easiest way to get to Ronda is to take a guided tour or by car. Another option is taking the Los Amarillos bus Prado de San Sebastian bus station. It will take about 2,5 hours. The city is full with white houses (it’s part of the Pueblos Blancos, meaning White Villages), it’s surrounded by beautiful river valleys and is located at the top of a deep canyon. This city has also Moorish heritage. It’s a city to wander around, enjoy the beautiful views and enjoy all the nice food around there. The Tajo gorge in the middle of Ronda is one of the reasons why this city is breathtaking. The Puente Nuevo bridge connects the old Moorish centre and the newer El Mercadillo part. From this bridge you have an amazing view of the 130 metres deep ravine. Make sure you visit the Casa del Rey Moro gardens and the Alameda de José Antonio park for great landscape views. But also Baños Árabes, the Arabic bath houses. Another must visit when you’re in Ronda are the ruins of Acinipo. These ruins are about 20 kilometres located away from Ronda. The meaning of Acinipo is city of wine. Ronda was one of the few cities in the Roman empire where they made wine that was transported to Rome.
Setenil de las Bodegas is another white housed village from Pueblos Blancas. It’s a small but beautiful village, known for its rock-houses. You can visit Setenil as a day trip itself, but you can also combine it easily with Ronda. Especially when you’re traveling by car. There are also many tours that combine these two places. The rock-houses are really worth visiting.
Málaga is a town you can’t skip, because it’s not only a beautiful town but also a bustling one. Oh and it has 15 beaches! So, when you don’t only want to do sight seeing, you can relax and hang out there. Málaga is easy to get with a direct train from Seville. It takes about 2 hours. If you’re a museum lover Malaga is the right place. Think about the Picasso museum, Centre Pompidou, Carmen Thyssen Museum, Museo de Málaga and the Automobile and Fashion Museum. The center Málagueños is car-free and the new harbour is also something you should visit. Málaga is a perfect city for food lovers and shopping lovers. The best way to get around here is to rent a bicycle.
7. Granada & The Alhambra
Another trip you can do is visiting Granada, another city in Andalusia. You can get there by taking a direct train from Seville station, which will take about 3,5 hours. It’s also possible to take an ALSA bus from Plaza de Armas to Granada. This city is also a city full with cozy squares, beautiful streets and architecture. It’s also a city with history and a mix of different cultures. You can still see the Arabian influences. When you’re going to Granada it’s a must do to visit the Alhambra! It’s a historic palace with influences of the Moorish and catholic culture. While Granada isn’t a touristic place like Seville (ideal for tourist that are looking for a beautiful but less crowded place), the Alahambra is touristic. Make sure you get your entrance tickets in advance weeks before you go or you have to wait for hours to get or even get refused. The limit 300 visitors per hour. Also make sure you visit the neighborhood Albaicin. It’s an old Moorish neighborhood and it’s located on a hill. You’ll have a view of the Alhambra from here.
Source: Booking.comThe best way to go to Marbella from Seville is take the train to Málaga and from there a bus, which takes about 2,5 hours. It’s also possible to get there with a direct bus from Seville, but that will take about 3,5 hours. Marbella is the most famous sea-side resort. You can find here luxurious yachts and golf courses. Marbella has more to offer than this. It also has a beautiful historical centre with influences of the Moorish.
It takes much time to get to Gibraltar with public transport, so the best option is to rent a car. The island of Gibraltar is ruled by Great Britain, so you’ll cross a border. You also must catch a ferry to get there. You can visit the limestone caves of San Miguel, the Great Siege Tunnels or get a view on the landing strip of Gibraltar. The short runway runs the road between the border post of Gibraltar and the Spanish town La Linea (no joke). When an airplane is coming the cars will be stopped. Another thing you should to is get in the cable car that will bring you to the top of the rock. You won’t only have a beautiful of the street of Gibraltar, but you can also visit Apes’ Den where you can meet the colony of Berber monkeys of Gibraltar.
10. Doñana National Park
For the last few day trips it’s best to rent a car, because it’s hard to get there with public transport. Doñana National Park is an UNESCO listed park and it’s a protected nature reserve that features wetlands, pine forests, dunes and migrating birds. From July till October the wetlands are considering dry and when the autumn begins the wetlands get filled with water and a real immigration will start in the park. Many birds will come from the cold north to this park so they can hibernate. In the summer you can spot flamingos here. From the visitor center it’s possible to book tours.
11. Sierra Norte Natural Park
Sierra Norte Natural Park is the biggest nature park in the Sevilla area. The area extends over 1775 km². There are many villages with spectular views and old forts. There’s one visitor center ‘Centro de Visitantes El Robledo’ , which can be reached by car. From here you can get more information about this park, book tours, rent a bicycle (which is a good way to get around in the park) or hiking trails. Cazalla de la Sierra is also a village located in this area and is a good starting point for some fascinating hiking trails.
12. El Caminito del Rey
If you’re a adrealine junkie and a real fan of hiking and outdoor, oh and not being afraid of heights, you should defiantly visit El Caminito del Rey (The King’s Little Path). It’s a walkway pinned along the steep walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro. It was known as the most dangerous path to walk. After 5 people died between 1999 and 2000 while taking this path (it was forbidden to get there since 1992), it’s been closed for 14 years for renovation. Since 2015 it’s been officially re-opened and it’s safe now. The route is open in summer from 10 A.M. till 5 P.M. It’s a 2,5 hour/3 hour hike and in the meantime there are no possibilities to buy food and water. Make sure you take this with you. You can get here from Seville by renting a car and when you finished your route there’s a bus which costs about €1,50 to get you back to your startingpoint.