Andalusia

Spain
Jerez de la Frontera

Discover a region peppered with architectural treasures and charming towns, which are enriched by a backdrop of rugged mountains and legendary beaches.

With high mountain peaks, miles of beaches and a desert, Andalucía is a region of stark physical contrasts. This natural diversity is matched by its breadth of architectural treasures, from prehistoric structures to Moorish fortresses. Visit ancient cathedrals, castles and palaces, hike through valleys and swim in the Mediterranean Sea.

Andalucía’s cities are filled with a wealth of architectural gems. Go to Guadix to look at its many cave houses and see the megalithic tombs near Antequera. When you are in Seville, tour the cathedral, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world. Visit Granada for its spectacular Alhambra, a vast Arab fortress that dates back to the 9th century. Look down on the city of Almeria from the Alcazaba, a hilltop Moorish fort.

Every year, millions of tourists head to Andalucía for its beaches. The region basks in the sun’s rays for at least 300 days of the year and so a visit to the seaside isn’t just for the summer. Among the most popular beaches are Playa Victoria in the old port city of Cádiz and the long, sandy stretches of Marbella, a favorite destination of the rich and famous.

Close to the border with Murcia is the naturist beach resort of Vera Playa, which claims to have the only naturist hotel in Spain. If you want to escape the crowds, there are lots of secluded coves all along Andalucía’s large coastline.

The beaches are only one part of the region’s natural charms. Drive through the desert Tabernas, where many westerns were filmed. Trek through the high mountain valleys of the Alpujarras and go skiing in Sierra Nevada, the snowcapped peaks above Granada. Camp under the stars in the Sierras de Cazorla, a vast protected area within Jaen province that encompasses pine forests, mountain ranges, waterfalls and rivers.

There are lots of routes into Andalucía, with many international travelers flying into airports at Malaga, Seville and Almeria. Here, you can enjoy a relaxing vacation of year-round recreational activities and great natural and architectural beauty.

Popular cities in Andalusia

Plaza de Espana showing a castle, night scenes and street scenes
Seville

Reasons to visit

  • Plaza de España
  • Seville Cathedral
  • Aquopolis
Granada
Granada

Reasons to visit

  • Granada Cathedral
  • Alhambra
  • Calle Gran Via de Colon
Cordoba featuring a garden
Córdoba

Reasons to visit

  • Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba
  • Roman Bridge
  • Tendillas Plaza
Malaga Historic Centre which includes a city, street scenes and heritage architecture
Málaga
Experience the traditional festivals, tapas bars and museums of this modern, sprawling city, where Picasso was born and the beauty of the Costa del Sol awaits.

Reasons to visit

  • Port of Malaga
  • Plaza de la Merced
  • Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta
Marbella which includes a coastal town, general coastal views and rugged coastline
Marbella
Visit this upscale stretch of coast to sunbathe, spot celebrities or explore the archaeological heritage of this former Moorish settlement.

Reasons to visit

  • Real Club de Golf Guadalmina
  • Marbella Old Town
  • Puerto Banus Marina
Almeria
Almeria

Reasons to visit

  • Alcazaba