This is the best trip if you want to experience a stereotypical Spain :) Good food, sangria, flamenco, little streets, friendly people and more.
Highs & Lows
A unique culture and friendly people
It can get VERY hot
When people think of traveling to Spain, usually they visualize Sagrada Familia, Ibiza, terraces in Madrid, and always sunny beaches. However, one of the most memorable places I've visited in Spain is the southern region of Andalucía and its beautiful cities, full of color and unexpected delights.
Did you know that the majority of Spanish words starting with 'al' are derived from Arabic? Remember this when visiting different palaces in Andalucía.
The most famous saying about this city is that 'Sevilla has a special color' ("Sevilla tiene un color especial") and I couldn't agree more. I would probably also add that it has a unique smell (thanks to orange trees on every corner) and a cheerful vibe that will infect you for good.
One of the things that I've enjoyed the most was just walking around the old town and especially in the district of Santa Cruz, which is a former Jewish quarter of Seville. Don't use any map and just get lost, you won't be disappointed, I promise. In this maze of narrow streets, you can find hidden patios with flowers, colorful walls, and cute coffee shops and restaurants.
I've also visited the "must see" Alcázar, a 700-year-old former royal palace, which is a really exotic place. Fun fact, I've recognized some spots from Game of Thrones, which I had no idea was shot there.
Other of my best "must-see" places:
- Climbing to the top of La Giralda (apart from incredible views, this is also a good workout).
- Torre del Oro. Walking by the river in the evening and stopping to have some wine.
- For the fun - having a drink or few in Alfalfa (a street packed with bars) and enjoying the people and the local vibe.
One of the most spectacular things I've seen in Málaga (and actually during the whole trip in Andalucía) was El Caminito del Rey. It's a walkway suspended 100 meters up against the walls of a narrow gorge that has some breathtaking views. The location is 60 kilometers outside the city, but it was worth the way. You can get there by car, but I've booked an organized excursion that picked me upright from the center of Málaga.
Calle Larios is the main street with lots of shops and vibrant energy. There are lots of amazing restaurants in the old town, but our favorite one was El Pimpi (very traditional and with an authentic interior design). You can also sit outside and enjoy the view of "teatro romano".
Since Picasso is from Málaga, we also went to the Picasso museum to enjoy a big collection of his painting.
And of course the beach. Maybe it's not the best beach in the world, but still very nice, and it has lots of little restaurants of seafood.
One of the most spectacular places I've visited on this trip was La Alhambra. It's a spectacular palace and fortress from when the Arabs ruled the peninsula. La Alhambra is situated in a place of rare beauty. The palace is just gorgeous, and it holds lots of interesting historical things. If you like history (and especially if you want to understand why Spain is the way it is), beauty, and architecture, it's a place for you. Just make sure you book your tickets in advance, as it is one of the most visited places in Spain.
Most of the bars and restaurants give complimentary tapas with each drink. So after sitting for a few hours in a nice outside terrace, sipping your sangria, you can get quite full (it's good to know for those on a budget who don't want to spend lots of money on lunch).
Paseo de los Tristes is a very nice place for a walk (especially during a sunset).
Q & A
What would you have changed?I wish I had more time to enjoy it slowly.
Anything go wrong during the trip?Not really
Restaurant recommendations?El Pimpi in Málaga
Tips you would give a friend?Go there when it's not that hot.
Packing tips?Don't forget sunscreen and a hat.
Transportation Tips?Travel in AVE or rent a car.
Any surprises?Free tapas in Granada