- Spend a day at the beaches in and near Málaga
- Walk around the scenic town of Ronda and visit white villages
- Enjoy tasting local wine varietals in Cádiz
- Explore the Old Town of Seville and watch a flamenco performance
|Day 1||Arrive in Málaga, Self-Guided Beach Day||Málaga|
|Day 2||City Treasure Hunt, Taste of Málaga Tapas Walk||Málaga|
|Day 3||Drive to Ronda||Ronda|
|Day 4||Private Walk in Ronda, Self-Guided Visit to Ardales||Ronda|
|Day 5||Drive to Cádiz, History, Local Culture & Wine Tasting||Cádiz|
|Day 6||Drive to Seville, Cathedral & Alcázar, Tapas & Flamenco Experience||Seville|
|Day 7||Depart Seville|
Day 1: Arrive in Málaga, Self-Guided Beach Day
Welcome to Spain! Your starting point is the lively and vibrant coastal city of Málaga. As a major port city with a coastline stretching along the Mediterranean Sea, a beach day is one of the best things to do in the area. You'll find a few options for municipal beaches right in the city's center, but Málaga is on the famed Costa del Sol, so a quick jaunt out of town takes you to some truly idyllic stretches of sand.
You can easily walk to the beaches in Málaga's city center, including the popular Playa de la Malagueta. But since you'll have your rental car, you might consider driving to some of the best beaches along the Costa del Sol. You'll receive complete details about your options, but for a bit of inspiration, consider the idyllic stretches of sand in places like Nerja, Mijas, Marbella, and Estepona.
Day 2: City Treasure Hunt, Taste of Málaga Tapas Walk
Discover the city in a unique and fun way with a treasure hunt through Málaga. Your host will equip you with a GPS device, an adventure kit, and plenty of clues to help you move around Málaga, leading you to sites like the Cathedral, Teatro Romano, Plaza de la Merced, Picasso's birthplace, Mercado Central, and more. You'll look for hidden clues and solve puzzles at each location, while a helpful book provides interesting facts and cultural information. In the end, you'll be able to open the secret treasure box!
Then, later in the day, you'll embrace Málaga's food scene with a proper tapear (tapas walk). You'll start by learning a bit about the local gastronomy and culinary traditions by visiting the city's famed Atarazanas Market, one of the best in the world. Enjoy your bites with quick conversations with the producers, then head to a family-owned specialty shop. The owners will teach you how to distinguish the region's three types of jamón (ham), including Málaga's world-famous variety known as Iberian Bellota (acorn-fed pigs).
Now it's time for your tapear! At each new eatery, you'll taste traditional tapas that reflect the local gastronomy, plus those that take on modern and creative twists. One of the city's favorites is the Pil-Pil Prawns Wrap made by Willy at Uvedoble Taberna. Your guide will also tell you about some of the iconic historical sites, monuments, and buildings you'll pass. Though the city is modern, the Old Town is incredibly charming and the perfect setting for a Spanish tapear!
Day 3: Drive to Ronda
Today you'll start your road trip by driving to the historical city of Ronda, which sits dramatically atop El Tajo Gorge. This journey typically takes 1.5 hours, but you might want to make a few stops along the scenic coastal route. You'll follow the beautiful Costa del Sol and can stop in one of the beach towns, such as glitzy and food-centric Marbella or charming, colonial Fuengirola.
You'll pass through the Sierra de las Nieves Natural Park regardless of your route. This mountainous nature reserve is a great place to stop for a hike, such as the Caminito del Rey gorge hike. But if you choose the coastal drive, the stretch between Marbella and Ronda cuts right through the park and offers incredible views. Stop in the village of Pujerra for photos, a coffee, or several hiking options. Learn more about making the most out of a road trip between Málaga and Ronda here.
Day 4: Private Walk in Ronda, Self-Guided Visit to Ardales
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Start your day with a walk through the Ronda with a local guide, beginning in one of the city's oldest and most traditional neighborhoods, where narrow streets, monuments, and viewpoints await. Listen to your guide share the history of the Arabic center that once stood here, and you'll visit the preserved 13th- and 14th-century Arab Baths. And, of course, you'll traverse the city's famous bridges that crisscross El Tajo Gorge, including Puente Nuevo, the city's most famous site.
After exploring Ronda, it's time to visit another white village, Ardales. Though small, it's one of the most popular, as it's the gateway to the Caminito del Rey hiking trail. Plus, it's a town that pairs nicely with other white villages, including Zahara de la Sierra, Grazalema, and Sentil de las Bodegas, to name a few.
Visitors flock to Ardales to enjoy its cultural aspects and natural environment. The historic Old Town sits just below two dramatic buildings atop the hill above, the church and Ardales Castle. At the very top, you'll find the hermitage Ermita del Calvario. Surrounding the town are several lakes, reservoirs, river gorges, and mountains, so the area is perfect for an active adventure.
Day 5: Drive to Cádiz, History, Local Culture & Wine Tasting
Today will take you from the hills of Ronda to Cádiz. The journey takes about two hours, but you might want to make a few stops. This area has many historical influences, including Roman, Visigoth, and Berber, resulting in unique elements such as cavelike homes and rock paintings. Arcos de la Frontera is the most accessible stopping point, as it's right along the route to Cádiz. But if you didn't see them yesterday, you'll likely want to check out the Zahara de la Sierra, Olvera, and/or Setenil de las Bodegas villages. Read more about a road trip from Ronda to Cádiz here.
After settling into your accommodation, enjoy a culture and history walk in Cádiz. This city is the world's oldest still-inhabited city, and your guide will share all the historical details and colorful architecture that tell its unique story. Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, and Arabs all settled in this region, primarily thanks to its proximity to the sea. Stop to admire the city's parks, markets, monuments, and more, then end your stroll at a local tavern to taste a few wine varietals.
Day 6: Drive to Seville, Cathedral & Alcázar, Tapas & Flamenco Experience
Today, you'll journey from Cádiz to your accommodation in Seville, which takes about 1.5 hours. Break up the trip and stop in the Moorish town of Jerez de la Frontera, famous for its sherry wine production. It's also home to the Royal Equestrian Academy, one of the premier riding schools in the country. The horse-racing culture in this region runs deep and dates back to the earliest days of Muslim rule in Spain. Read more about where to stop on a road trip from Cádiz to Seville here.
After settling into your accommodation, join a private guide and visit Seville's most important monuments: Seville Cathedral and the Royal Alcázar. Skip the long lines and enjoy a personalized experience starting with the cathedral (the world's largest Gothic cathedral and a UNESCO World Heritage Site). For incredible city views, climb the bell tower, La Giralda. Then visit the Alcázar, a royal palace replacing the original Moorish fortress with one of the country's best examples of Mudejar architecture.
Day 7: Depart Seville
It's time to say goodbye to Spain! You'll drive to the Seville Airport, which typically takes around 30 minutes, and return your rental car, then be on your way. Safe travels and adiós!