- Watch a flamenco show in Seville
- Explore Ronda and the white villages of Andalucía
- Experience the ancient city of Málaga, with 3000 years of history
- Check out the remarkable palace of the Alhambra, in Grenada
|Day 1||Welcome to Málaga||Malaga|
|Day 2||Walking Tour of Málaga - Treasure Hunt - Optional Sailing Experience||Malaga|
|Day 3||Drive to Granada - City Tour||Granada|
|Day 4||Family Tour of the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens||Granada|
|Day 5||Drive to Córdoba, via Antequera||Córdoba|
|Day 6||Drive to Seville - City Tour - Evening Flamenco & Tapas||Seville|
|Day 7||Free Day in Seville||Seville|
|Day 8||Drive to Ronda - Explore the White Villages||Ronda|
|Day 9||Drive to Málaga - Optional Activity En Route||Malaga|
|Day 10||Depart Málaga|
Day 1: Welcome to Málaga
Welcome to Spain! Upon arrival in the Andalusia region, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel.
Depending on your time of arrival, there may be time to do some exploring after settling in. Located at the top of the Costa del Sol, the ancient metropolis of Málaga dates back 3000 years, to Phoenecian times, and it just so happens to be the city that produced Picasso.
Visit the magnificent 10th-century Castillo de Gibralfaro, which sits on a hill overlooking Málaga city. Stroll along pretty paths lined with greenery and flowers like jasmine and bougainvillea, as well as orange and lemon trees.
For dinner, sample the local cuisine, which is big on fish and seasonal vegetables, as well as olives, almonds, grapes, raisins, and baked goods. Check out the waterfront or the Old Town along Calle Marques de Larios, which has some excellent restaurants.
Day 2: Walking Tour of Málaga - Treasure Hunt - Optional Sailing Experience
On a family-friendly half-day tour of Málaga, your guide will show you some highlights of the city, including the unconquered Alcazaba fortress and the majestic Cathedral of Malaga, built on the site of a mosque. Learn about the city's history and all the civilizations that have left their mark here. Also check out Plaza de la Merced, where Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born.
After the tour, refuel with lunch before embarking on your next fun adventure: a treasure hunt. You will start at Plaza de la Constitución, where a guide will explain the game and give you all you will need to find the treasure (a GPS compass and a treasure map). You will explore places of cultural interest and notable monuments while hunting for your treasure. Every member of the family will have a good time!
Later, if you wish, you can enjoy a relaxing optional sailing experience. Sail into the Bay of Malaga, in the heart of the Mediterranean.
Day 3: Drive to Granada - City Tour
After breakfast, pick up your rental car and head to Granada, a drive of about 90 minutes. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and have some time to relax and unwind.
In the late afternoon, meet your guide for a city tour of Granada. Visit all the major sites, including the Plaza Nueva (the oldest square in the city), the Albaicín (the medieval/Moorish historic center), Barrio Realejo (the historic Jewish Quarter), and the 16th-century Catedral de Granada, the largest and most opulent Roman Catholic church in the city.
End the day at a local eatery where you can enjoy some traditional tapas and adult refreshment. Bring your appetite, as Granada is known for its huge portion sizes.
Day 4: Family Tour of the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens
Granada was once the last bastion of Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). You can see examples of this history at Granada's most famous landmark, the Alhambra. In the morning, take a family-friendly tour of this remarkable site.
The imposing Islamic fortress was built atop a hill overlooking Granada, and dates to the 9th century. It was rebuilt in the 14th century by the Nasrid Dynasty, and served as a Moorish palace until 1492, when after the Christian reconquest it became the Royal Court of Ferdinand and Isabella. It's now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On your tour, walk through its grand halls and the Generalife Gardens, full of colorful flowers and fountains, and offering panoramic views of the city below.
After the tour, enjoy some free time to explore Grenada on your own. You can walk around the labyrinthine streets of the Albayzin and Sacromonte quarters, the well-preserved historic neighborhoods of the city. Visit the Granada Cathedral, Royal Church, Alcaicería (old silk market), and Madraza (medieval Quranic school).
Day 5: Drive to Córdoba, via Antequera
In the morning, drive two hours north to Córdoba, stopping at Antequera en route. The city of Antequera is full of cultural heritage and monuments. Check out megalithic sites at the Dolmen de Menga and Tholos of El Romeral; the Alcazaba fortress, with an interesting dungeon; the largest mating site of pink flamingos in the Iberian Peninsula at Fuente de Piedra; among many other options.
After Antequera, continue to Córdoba. After checking in to your hotel, get out and explore the city as there's quite a bit to see here: it's a historical hodgepodge of Moorish, Gothic, and Jewish architecture. Visit the breathtaking Mezquita (Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba), a pagan temple that was converted into the great mosque of the Ummayad caliphate, and then a Catholic church. Meander through the winding streets of the Jewish Quarter and visit the 14th-century Córdoba Synagogue. Check out the 14th-century Alcázar de los Reyes, where Christopher Columbus met with the Catholic monarchs and was granted approval for his voyage west in search of the Indies. The terraced gardens, fish ponds, flower beds, and orange trees here make for great photos.
Day 6: Drive to Seville - City Tour - Evening Flamenco & Tapas
After breakfast, drive towards Seville. After checking in to your hotel, head out into the city with a guide.
Start by visiting the Seville Cathedral, a 15th-century Roman Catholic church that's home to the tomb of Christopher Columbus. Then, travel back to the era of the Christian conquest when you visit the Alcázar of Seville. This royal palace was commissioned for King Peter of Castile in the 14th century, and was built over the site of a former Muslim fortress. It features well-manicured gardens, and the building itself is one of the finest examples of Mudéjar architecture in the nation.
Next, walk to the fashionable Santa Cruz neighborhood, once the Jewish Quarter. It's a colorful and well-preserved part of the historic center, with many cafés and tapas bars. You can also visit craft markets and shops where artisans produce intricate silverwork and elegant garment embroidery.
In the evening, head to Seville's historic old town for an evening of delicious tapas at family-run taverns and authentic flamenco, a musical style birthed right here in Andalusia. For dinner, feast on local delicacies like acorn-fed Iberian ham, gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp in oil), and bacalao (salt cod). The dance performance will be held in a 15th-century building. It's the perfect setting in which to experience the power, passion, and drama of real flamenco.
Day 7: Free Day in Seville
Today you can explore Seville on your own. Alternatively, opt for one of the following excursions:
- Olive oil tour. A day trip to the countryside. See the production of one of Spain's biggest exports first hand on a tour of an Andalusian olive oil estate. It was from here back in the 17th-century that Christopher Columbus' son Hernando began exporting olive oil to the Americas. The excursion ends with a tasting of olive oils from the estate.
- Dancing horses and sherry tasting: Drive to Jerez de la Frontera to see the dancing horses of the Royal Equestrian Academy, an important institution that the city is famous for. Explore the academy grounds, which are a 19th-century palace, as well as the saddlery, training areas, carriage museum, and academy museum. After lunch, visit a local sherry bodega (winery), where you'll tour the old buildings and learn about the sherry production process. The drink is made from white grapes grown nearby.
Day 8: Drive to Ronda - Explore the White Villages
After breakfast, drive towards Ronda. Prepare for breathtaking scenery as you pass through some of Andalusia's most enchanting places. Drive through olive groves, rolling meadows, cork forests, and mountainous terrain while visiting several of the region's famous 'white villages', iconic whitewashed houses perched on the sides of cliffs, visible for miles around.
Your first stop will be Zahara de la Sierra, where you'll visit an olive mill, followed by a drive up and over to Grazalema. Here, you will sample the renowned payoyo cheese and explore the streets of Spain's most charming white village.
Continue onto Ronda, situated atop a dramatic gorge. Explore the town at your leisure.
Day 9: Drive to Málaga - Optional Activity En Route
Today, drive back towards Málaga. On your way, you have the choice to hike at Caminito del Rey or visit the amazing Nerja Cave.
Hike El Caminito del Rey for an adrenaline rush along a stunning network of walkways built along a deep gorge carved out by the Guadalhorce River. At times, the gorge reaches 2297 feet (700 m) deep. This hike requires safety equipment! It takes about three-four hours.
Or, visit Nerja Cave and the Nerja Museum, which focuses on the rich history and culture surrounding the caves.
Continue to Málaga, where you'll check into your hotel and return your rental car. You'll have the rest of the day to relax and enjoy your last night in Spain.
Day 10: Depart Málaga
It's time to say farewell! Depending on the time of your flight or train, squeeze in one more walk through the streets of the ancient city, perhaps picking up some last-minute souvenirs. You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport or railway station for your departure.