If you’re seeking charisma, Spain has it in spades. It’s hot, mountainous, Moorish and delicious. It’s home of adventurers, inventors and fascinating modern artists. The country’s a joy to explore, so hop in a car and discover it for yourself with our guide to the best road trips.
Seville – Córdoba – Granada – Malaga
Best for… Palaces, white towns, bright sunshine
The journey: 294 miles
For an Andalusian adventure, fly direct to Seville with British Airways. They savour life here in the home of Flamenco, orange blossom, deep-chested stallions and hot, dusty summers. Eat well at the tapas bars and seek shade in the world’s largest cathedral.
Where to stay: Magnificent period furniture, a courtyard retreat and a rooftop pool: Casas de la Juderia is a four-star hotel in Seville that’s very popular – and you can see why. Historic houses in the Jewish quarter were converted into the rooms and decked out in the finest style.
From Seville it’s a three-hour drive to Granada. Stop in Córdoba on the way for the day. Get there early for the famous Mezquita – a massive mosque left behind after 800 years of Moorish rule in Spain. The site is always busy, but you can seek solace in its hidden corners, before walking among its candy-coloured forest of pillars. Outside of the mosque – now a Catholic cathedral – look out for secrets in the Jewish Quarter. Not had enough of massive archaeological sites? Drive out to the Madinat al-Zahra, a ruined palace-city of epic proportions. Photograph vistas through the lovely horseshoe arches.
In Granada, make sure you book in advance to see a palace that’s still standing – the Alhambra. Parts of this carved masterpiece are well over a thousand years old. Spook yourself with accounts of the bloody murders in the glorious Palacio de los Leones, seeking recovery afterwards in the cool courtyards. The most fitting reward you can give yourself after a magnificent three-hour tour is chocolate churros in the street below.
Before you can even think about flying back from Malaga, take time on the seafront in this lively, summer-loving city. Wander around the nearby white towns of Mijas, Ronda and Nerja, then enjoy fresh sardines, a Picasso museum and a near-complete Roman amphitheatre smack in the city centre.
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