Escape to Spain's sun-kissed southern coast for 10 days of fun, food, culture, and beaches—with a dash of Morocco thrown in for good measure. Begin with tapas tours in Málaga, the birthplace of Picasso, followed by snorkeling, sunset cruises, and coastal hikes. Then, laze on the famous beaches of Marbella before hopping over to Tangier—Morocco's bohemian gem—for a private walking tour. Finally, return to Spain and enjoy free time to explore Cádiz at your own pace.


  • Discover the joys of Spanish cuisine on a guided tapas tour
  • Cruise along the beautiful coast of Málaga during sunset
  • Laze on some of the most beautiful beaches in Marbella
  • See the highlights of Tangier, Morocco, on a private tour
  • Relax on the shores of Cádiz and see its historic landmarks

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Málaga (Spain), Tapas Tour Málaga
Day 2 Segway Tour of Málaga, Sunset Cruise Málaga
Day 3 Maro Cliffs Hike, Day Trip to Nerja & Frigiliana Málaga
Day 4 Olive-Oil Tasting, Evening Flamenco Show Málaga
Day 5 Drive to Marbella, Sunset Cruise Marbella
Day 6 Marbella Self-Guided Tour & Beaches Marbella
Day 7 Ferry to Tangier (Morocco), Guided Tour Tangier
Day 8 Ferry to Tarifa (Spain), Drive to Cádiz, Explore Cádiz
Day 9 Cádiz Free Day Cádiz
Day 10 Drive to Seville, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Málaga (Spain), Tapas Tour

Discover Andalusian culture on a tapas tour in Málaga

Bienvenido! Welcome to Spain! This country comprises 187 autonomous regions, each with its own culture, cuisine, and, often, language. This adventure begins in Andalusia, the southernmost region of Spain, which is famous for its Moorish/Christian history, incredible coast, and stellar cuisine. You'll arrive in Málaga, a city which, besides its medieval landmarks, is famous for being the birthplace of Picasso. Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will take you to your hotel, where you'll have time to relax and unwind after the flight.

When the sun goes down, you'll meet a local guide and embark on a food tour to enjoy Spain's most famous culinary staple: tapas. Translating to "tops," these small plates originated in Andalusia and are served in bars, bodegas, and tabernas (taverns) throughout the country, often paired with local beer and wine. Málaga has become a prime foodie destination in recent years because the tapas scene here is as strong as elsewhere in the region.

This 3.5-hour tour starts in a tavern dating to 1840, where you'll sample some regional sweet wines, fruity reds, white wines, and vermouth. Next, head to a small family-run grocery store to taste specialty Iberian ham and cheeses. Your guide will then lead you to some local-approved bars and restaurants. You'll enjoy more tapas while learning how the city's gastronomy is influenced by its ancient culture and recent economic boom. And don't worry about leaving hungry: the cumulative result of all the dishes you'll eat tonight adds up to a hearty dinner.

Day 2: Segway Tour of Málaga, Sunset Cruise

One of Málaga's lively squares
Zip around Málaga's lively squares on a Segway

Strap on a helmet because, in the morning, you're off to see the highlights of Málaga on a two-hour Segway tour that begins at the Plaza de la Merced. First, take a short ride to the Plaza de Toros, the iconic 19th-century bullring. Afterward, make your way to the Alcazaba, a fortress built by the Moors in the 11th century. As you tour the Alcazaba, you'll learn about its history, including its use as a military base by the Spanish Civil Guard.

Next, head to the recently-restored Roman Theatre, which dates to the 1st century CE. Here, you can explore its amphitheater and its galleries. Then ride up to the Mirador de Gibralfaro lookout point and admire breathtaking views of the harbor and the La Malagueta waterfront district. Finally, you'll return to the Plaza de la Merced and finish the tour with a visit to the birthhouse of Pablo Picasso, Málaga's most famous resident.

Later in the afternoon, head to the marina for a maritime adventure. Here, you'll hop aboard a catamaran and enjoy a scenic 1.5-hour ride along the golden Andalusia coast. Feel the fresh sea breeze and watch the sun dip behind the mountains, igniting the sky in fiery shades of red and orange. Toast the scene with a glass of champagne before returning to port.

Day 3: Maro Cliffs Hike, Day Trip to Nerja & Frigiliana

Maro Cliffs
Hit the trail along the Maro Cliffs and spend time on the beach

After breakfast, head out on a half-day trip to the Maro Cliffs. Located 45 minutes east of Málaga, this scenic area features a 7.5-mile (12 km) hiking path that runs parallel to the coast along dramatic cliffs. Besides the incredible sea views, many exotic plant species are endemic to this particular region in Spain.

The excursion begins with your arrival at a nature park in the Axarquía region. Then, your guide will lead you on a hiking trail running along fruit plantations that grow avocados, bananas, custard apples, sugar cane, and papayas. Eventually, you'll reach a 16th-century watchtower, from which you'll enjoy stunning views over the Maro Cliffs to the Mediterranean. After some time for photos, you'll head down the cliffs to a hidden cove, where you can go snorkeling.

Later, you'll take a trip to visit a couple of Andalusia's famous Pueblos Blancos, or "White Villages." There are dozens of these postcard towns throughout Andalusia, each denoted by whitewashed buildings dating to the Moorish occupation. You'll visit two villages, Nerja and Frigiliana, just an hour from Málaga. In Nerja, for example, you can walk along its coastal cliffs and beautiful beaches, while in Frigiliana, you can wander around the narrow streets of the Old Quarter. You can also walk up to various viewpoints offering panoramic views of the village and the Mediterranean beyond.

Day 4: Olive-Oil Tasting, Evening Flamenco Show

An antique olive oil press
Taste refined olive oils and see an antique olive oil press

In the morning, you'll drive outside Málaga toward the mountainous countryside. This is where you'll witness the production of Spain's world-famous olive oil on an exclusive tour of a historic Andalusian olive oil estate. Visit the modern oil mill to learn all the steps of the production process, from the time the olives enter the mill to when they are bottled. Then, travel back to the 18th century with a visit to a traditional stone mill—a former wine press with one of the few beam and quintal presses in the province.

To cap off the experience, you'll taste the delicious Molino del Hortelano oils. During the experience, your hosts will teach you to discern the aromas of these high-quality extra virgin olive oils as well as savor their rich flavors. Amid all this breathtaking mountain scenery and rich history, there's no better way to discover the art of olive oil production in Andalusia.

Plan your trip to Spain
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
After returning to Málaga, you'll enjoy an evening flamenco performance. This musical style enjoys a rich heritage that dates back to the ninth century when the music and dances of immigrants in Andalusia mixed with the cultures of local Moors and Jews. The show takes place in one of Málaga's famous tablaos (flamenco venues). So sit back, grab a sangria, and let the passionate dancing and accompanying guitar transport you to the Spain of yesteryear.

Day 5: Drive to Marbella, Sunset Cruise

Drive along the Costa del Sol to get to the golden beaches of Marbella

After breakfast, you'll pick up a rental car and hit the road for the drive south down the coast to the city of Marbella. This popular resort area is a firm fixture on the Costa del Sol, Spain's famous sun-kissed coastal route that stretches for over 90 miles (150 km) along the south of the country. 

Even though the drive takes less than an hour, you'll want to stop and enjoy all the scenery for which this region is deservedly famous. One highlight is the coastal city of Benalmádena, a popular destination known for its beaches, marina, family-friendly activities, and lively atmosphere. Plan at least an hour or so to relax here, enjoy the coastal views, and perhaps grab a bite to eat.

When ready, continue down the highway another 40 minutes or so to Marbella, where you'll check into your hotel. Spend the afternoon relaxing before you head to the port and board a two-hour cruise along the Costa del Sol. With a glass of sparkling cava in hand, enjoy the golden sunset as the light dips behind the horizon and tinges the coastline with hues of red and orange.

Day 6: Marbella Self-Guided Tour & Beaches

Take a stroll down the historic streets of Marbella's Old Town

You'll have free time today to explore Marbella's historic center and relax on its famous beaches. Begin this self-guided tour in Old Town (also known as Casco Antiguo), where you can stroll narrow cobbled streets lined with cafés, art galleries, and historic buildings dating back to the 15th century. Many of these were built in a traditional architectural style that mixes Moorish and Spanish designs. When you need a rest, stop for a break in the charming Orange Square lined with cafés and orange trees.

Next, head to the waterfront and walk around the glamorous Puerto Banús Marina, an upscale port where you can browse high-end boutiques and try to guess which oligarch owns which superyacht parked out front. Then spend the afternoon relaxing on the beaches of La Rada and Playa del Cristo. Before dinner, don't miss the 19th-century Faro de Punta Doncella Lighthouse, which dates to 1861 and is a significant landmark in the region. It offers stunning views and a lively atmosphere at night.

Day 7: Ferry to Tangier (Morocco), Guided Tour

Let a private guide show you Tangier's historical landmarks (and stop to sip mint tea)

Wake early and hit the road for the two-hour drive to Tarifa, the southernmost point in Europe. Here, you'll leave your rental car for the night and board a ferry for the hourlong ride across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco. You'll arrive in Tangier, a dynamic coastal city that's at once bohemian and modern. Check into your hotel, and then meet your private guide for a tour of the city.

During this three-hour excursion on foot, you'll visit historic city districts like the Kasbah (fortress) and Medina (walled old town). You'll also see highlights like the 17th-century Sultan's Palace, now a museum featuring many antiquities throughout Moroccan history. Continue strolling through the narrow lanes leading to Bab Bhar (Gate to the Sea), which offers fantastic views of the Strait of Gibraltar, the Iberian Peninsula, the port of Tangier, and the Ville Nouvelle (New Town).

Throughout the tour, your guide will lead you to hidden corners of the city filled with tiny restaurants, textile studios, communal ovens, and other cultural gems far off the tourist trail. By the end of the experience, you'll begin to understand the city like a local.

Day 8: Ferry to Tarifa (Spain), Drive to Cádiz, Explore

Drive through more of Andaulsia's stunning scenery to get to the Cádiz 

After a Moroccan breakfast at your hotel, you'll return to the port in Tangier and board a ferry for the ride back to Tarifa. Once there, you'll pick up your rental car and drive to Cádiz, one of the most historic cities in southern Spain. It's the site of the creation of the nation's first constitution, which was Passed in 1812 and established national sovereignty from France. After checking into your hotel, you'll have the rest of the day to enjoy a self-guided tour of Cádiz. You can start in Old Town and Plaza de San Antonio, a historic square where the constitutional charter was once read aloud.

If you're a foodie, make a beeline to the Mercado Central de Abastos. Dating to 1838, this is Spain's oldest indoor municipal market, featuring more than 150 stalls selling everything from tapas to fresh produce and seafood. Near the market is the Paseo Campo del Sur. On this waterfront promenade, you can enjoy views of the majestic twin bell towers comprising the 17th-century Catedral de Cádiz, which dominates the skyline.

In the evening, explore Cádiz's famous seafood dining scene. Take your pick between waterfront restaurants once frequented by sailors and sample fresh fish and shellfish, like dorada (gilt-head bream), sea bass, oysters, and crayfish. Also, keep an eye out for Cádiz's famous shrimp fritters.

Day 9: Cádiz Free Day

Discover the beaches along the Costa del Luz
Discover the ruggedly beautiful beaches along the coast in and around Cádiz

Today is yours to spend however you like. Should you choose to make it a beach day, there are many fine options both in the city and up the coast. This relatively small region has some of the country's best beaches. They're a bit wilder than those on the Mediterranean coast, but the trade-off is that most beaches are uncrowded and perfect for various activities, including swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.

Or, take a scenic drive into the neighboring Huelva province, where you'll find wild beauty, incredible sea views, peaceful solitude, crashing waves, and long sandy beaches. Notable stops in this area range from the white sands of Playa de Bolonia in Cádiz to the clear waters at Punta Umbria in Huelva.

Day 10: Drive to Seville, Depart

Arenal Square of Jerez de la Frontera
 Stop off in Jerez de la Frontera and see highlights like Arenal Square

Alas, it's time to head home. In the morning, get back in the car and head north to Seville, the city from which you'll depart. The drive takes about two hours, but if your schedule allows it, you can make a couple of stops on the way.

One potential detour is the historic city of Jerez la Frontera, known for two things: a rich equestrian heritage and fine sherries. Stroll the Old Town and visit the Alcázar de Jerez, an 11th-century Moorish fortress. You also might want to see the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art, a historic riding school with shows, stables, and a museum. You can also enjoy a sherry tasting at a family-owned bodega like the Luis Pérez Winery, just outside the city.

At the appointed time, finish the drive to Seville's airport, where you'll drop off your rental car and catch your flight home. Adiós!

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