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Epic Southern Spain Itinerary: 10 Days in Andalusia by Train

The South of Spain, or Andalusia, is one of the most beautiful and diverse parts of Spain. With this Southern Spain itinerary of 10 days, you’ll be able to experience the best of this stunning region.

On my first visit to Andalusia, I fell in love with the region’s relaxed atmosphere, vibrant culture, and stunning scenery. From the bustling cities to the tranquil countryside, there’s something for everyone in Southern Spain.

In this post I’ll share the highlights, everyone should visit the famous Alhambra Palace for example. I’ll also provide various options based on your travel style and interests, such as choosing between adrenaline hikes and relaxing beach time.

Southern Spain Itinerary 10 Days Overview

In our journey through Andalusia, we’ll be basing ourselves in three main cities where you’ll spend your nights, but don’t be worried, our adventures aren’t limited to just these cities.

We’ll be exploring more destinations on exhilarating day trips to soak in even more of the region’s charm. Trust me, it’s so much more relaxed if you don’t have to pack up and move every day! And that’s even though I travel as a minimalist with just one small backpack.

This itinerary is set up to be done by public transportation but you can easily customize it into a Southern Spain road trip itinerary.

If you take the high-speed trains, I recommend buying your train tickets in advance as they can sell out.

Overnight Stay inExploreTransportation
Day 1MálagaMálaga
Day 2MálagaChoose: Art, Hiking, or Beach
Day 3GranadaGranada – AlhambraMálaga-Granada: ~1.5 h by bus or train
Day 4GranadaGranada
Day 5GranadaChoose: Granada or Sierra Nevada
Day 6SevilleSevilleGranada-Seville: 3 h by bus (or train with 1 change)
Day 7SevilleSeville
Day 8SevilleCórdobaDay Trip: 45 min one-way
Day 9SevilleChoose: Ronda or CádizDay Trip: ~2 h one way by bus or tour
Day10Back to MālagaSeville-Málaga: 2 h by train

1. Stop: Málaga

The easiest accessible city in Andalusia is Málaga, especially when you come from the United States. It’s the gateway to the South and has an international airport, making it a convenient starting point for your Southern Spain itinerary.

Spend at least one day exploring this vibrant city. On the second day, you can decide between a hike in a canyon, a relaxing day at the beach, or a visit to some of the best art museums in Málaga.

Panoramic view of a coastal city in Southern Spain, showcasing the bustling port, dense urban landscape with a mix of modern and historical architecture, and lush greenery, under a hazy sky. Ideal for a 'Southern Spain itinerary 10 days' travel guide.
Mirador de la Coracha is the perfect place in Málaga for scenic views

Day 1: Malaga City

Start your first day with a visit to Málaga’s most famous attraction, the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress in the middle of Málaga’s old town. Then take a stroll to Gibralfaro Castle for more panoramic views.

Afterward, explore the charming marina and go for a walk in the Parque de Málaga.

End your day with a traditional tapas dinner in one of the many local restaurants. My favorite vegan restaurant in Málaga is Meet Vegano, they serve some unique creations and it’s a very relaxed atmosphere.

🤩 I love this small group Málaga walking tour for the local guide!

Day 2: Choose Your Adventure

Option A: Caminito del Rey Hike

A narrow path right next to a big cliff with a bridge in between a canyon; one of the best day trips from Seville Spain
The best day trip if you’re looking for adventure

For an adrenaline-filled experience, head to the nearby town of Ardales and hike the infamous Caminito del Rey, which used to be known as one of the world’s most dangerous hikes. Don’t worry, it’s been renovated and is safe now!

The best way to do the hike is with a guided tour then you don’t need to worry about transportation (the starting and end points of the hike are not the same).

Don’t forget to get your tickets early enough, they sell out fast in peak time as the number of visitors is restricted for safety reasons.

🤩 I love this Caminito del Rey Tour from Malaga. It’s great value for money!

Option B: Beach Day in Nerja

If you prefer a more relaxing day, head to the coastal town of Nerja and spend the day at one of its beautiful beaches in the Costa del Sol.

You can take a dip in the crystal-clear water if you visit during the warmer months.

Don’t forget to bring a book for some relaxing beach time. My ebook reader is one of my trusted minimalist travel essentials.

Option C: Art Museums in Malaga

Colourful Cube, part of the Centre Pompidou in Malaga
Centre Pompidou in Málaga, a great place for modern art lovers

If art and culture are more your thing, then spend the day visiting some of Málaga’s best museums.

The Picasso Museum is a must-visit for any art lover, as it showcases works from the famous painter who was born in Málaga.

Other notable museums include the Centre Pompidou, a modern art museum at the waterfront, and the Carmen Thyssen Museum, which houses a collection of 19th-century Spanish art.

2. Stop: Granada

From Málaga, take a bus or train to the next stop on our Southern Spain itinerary – the city of Granada. Many people only do a day trip from Málaga to Granada, but in my opinion, Granada is one of the best cities in Spain and deserves more time. I recommend 3 days in Granada.

Day 3: Explore the Alhambra Palace

Building and palm tree reflecting in water; 10 Visiting Alhambra tips
Alhambra Palace, one of the best things in Granada

The highlight of any trip to Andalusia and a must-see in Southern Spain is undoubtedly the Alhambra Palace. This Moorish palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited attractions in Spain.

Make sure to book your tickets well in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly. You have to get a time-slot ticket for the Nasrid Palace, but you can explore the rest of the complex all day with your ticket.

🤩 Get your Skip the Line Tickets for Alhambra now!

In the evening treat yourself to a massage and some spa time at one of the many Arab baths in Granada. It’s a great way to relax after a day of exploring. I tried out three different baths and my favorite one is Hammam Al Ándalus.

Day 4: Discover Albaicín and Sacromonte

A flamenco show in a cave house, a woman is dancing, behind her you can see guitar players and there are people sitting at the corner of the room
A flamenco show in one of the cave houses in Granada

The next day, stroll past the cathedral on your way to the charming old neighborhood of Albaicín. This area is full of narrow streets, beautiful architecture, and stunning views of the Alhambra. You’ll find a bazaar-style market street and multiple little tea houses.

🤩 I love this Granada walking tour for visiting hidden treasures in Albaycín!

Afterward, head to Sacromonte, known for its cave houses and flamenco shows. I recommend visiting the Cave House Museum to learn about the history of these unique cave houses in Granada.

In the evening, watch a flamenco show in one of the cave houses. I watched one at Zambra María La Canastera. It was a truly unforgettable experience.

🤩 Learn more about the fascinating cave houses on a guided walking tour!

Day 5: Granada or Day Trip to Sierra Nevada

On your last day in Granada, you can choose to either explore more of the city or take a day trip to Sierra Nevada. This breathtaking mountain range is just an hour’s drive away from Granada and offers stunning views and hiking opportunities.

Option A: Granada City

Historic building with intricate towers
Royal chapel of Granada

If you decide to stay in the city, you explore the city center further by visiting the Cathedral of Granada and the Royal Chapel of Granada from the inside.

You can visit the beautiful Carmen de los Catalanes garden in case you didn’t get enough park time at the Generalife Garden at Alhambra.

Or you can simply have a shopping day, look for Spanish souvenirs, drink tea in a tea house, get some henna, or whatever your heart desires. Don’t miss out on the Alcaicería market near the cathedral.

🤩 I love this guided tour to the cathedral and the Royal Chapel for the included entrance tickets!

Option B: Sierra Nevada

Charming narrow alley in a traditional white village in the Sierra Nevada, with whitewashed walls adorned with colorful textiles, flowers on balconies, and cobblestone pavement, reflecting the authentic cultural experience for a '10 days in Southern Spain' trip.
One of the small towns in the Sierra Nevada

For a day surrounded by nature, take a trip to Sierra Nevada and enjoy a scenic drive through the mountains. The best way to see the Sierra Nevada is by a small guided tour.

The tour guide will bring you to some of the most picturesque white villages in Spain. You might also have the opportunity to hike around depending on the tour you choose.

If you’d rather hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains at your own pace, just rent a car for the day in Granada. Stop at the village of Capileira and hike in the nearby Poqueira Gorge for some amazing views.

🤩 I love this Sierra Nevada Tour for its small group sizes!

3. Stop: Sevilla

From Granada, take a bus or train to our final stop on the South of Spain itinerary – the largest city in Andalusia, Sevilla. Known for its stunning architecture, rich culture, and delicious food, you’ll want to spend at least 3 days in Seville.

That way you can explore the city of Seville in 2 days and you get to do at least one day trip as well.

🤩 Get a great first overview of the city on this Tuk Tuk tour!

Tina leaning on a colourful railing in front of historic looking buildings at Plaza de España in Seville
The most beautiful square in Seville

Day 6: Stroll Through the Old Town

Start your day by strolling through the charming old town of Sevilla. Make sure to visit the iconic Plaza de España, stroll through the big María Luisa Park, and take a walk along the beautiful Guadalquivir River.

You can also take a kayak tour on the river for a unique view of the city. A tour guide will tell you interesting anecdotes about the sights of Seville while you go past them, like the Torre del Oro.

In the evening head up to Metropol Parasol, or Las Setas, a modern structure that offers panoramic views of the city. Every day after sunset, they have a light show projected onto the structure, which is a must-see.

A big wooden structure over a big square in Seville
The Metropol Parasol, you have a great view from the viewing platform on top

Day 7: Visit the Cathedral and Alcázar de Sevilla

Spend the day in Seville visiting the two most famous landmarks of the city – the Seville Cathedral and Alcázar de Sevilla. Those two attractions make Seville a must-visit stop on any Spain itinerary.

🤩 Get skip-the-line tickets for the best attractions in Seville!

Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the fourth-largest church in the world.

La Giralda, the bell tower of the cathedral, used to be a Minaret of the mosque which used to be on the site of the cathedral. You can climb up the tower for stunning views of the city.

A big cathedral from the outside in Seville
Seville Cathedral and La Giralda

Next, visit the Alcázar de Sevilla, a royal palace that showcases stunning Moorish and Christian architecture. You’ll also recognize it as one of the settings for the popular TV show Game of Thrones.

In the evening, treat yourself to some delicious tapas in one of Seville’s many tapas bars.

🤩 Don’t forget to get your entrance tickets before they sell out!

Day 8: Day Trip to Córdoba

Columns and arches inside the cathedral in Cordoba
Inside the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba

On your last day in Southern Spain, take a day trip to the beautiful city of Córdoba. It’s just an hour away by train.

The main attraction in Córdoba is the Mezquita, a grand mosque-cathedral that perfectly blends Islamic and Christian architecture.

Stroll through the charming streets of old town Córdoba, and take your time exploring the Mezquita, the fifth largest church in the world.

Other attractions in Córdoba include the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a fortress-turned-palace with beautiful gardens, and the Roman Bridge, which offers stunning views of the city.

🤩 I love this walking tour in Cordoba for the included entrance tickets!

Day 9: Day Trip to Ronda or Cádiz

On the ninth day, you get to decide which of these day trips from Seville you want to take. The many great day trips are one of the reasons to answer the question “How many days do you need in Seville?” with more than you might think.

Option A: Ronda

A massive bridge spanning a canyon in Ronda, which you can visit on a day trip from Seville to Ronda
New Bridge: The true symbol of the city

A day trip to Ronda from Seville is a great option for the second to last day of a 10 day Andalusia itinerary. This small town is known for its dramatic cliffside location and beautiful views.

You can walk across the famous Puente Nuevo bridge spanning over the El Tajo gorge, walk on the city walls, and explore the charming old town.

The best way to see Ronda from Seville is by guided tour. That way you don’t just get to see Ronda you also get to stop at some picturesque white villages like Zahara de la Sierra.

🤩 I love this Ronda and the White Villages Private Tour for the Customazability!

Option B: Cádiz

If you’d rather spend your last day on the beach, take a day trip to Cádiz. Located on the Atlantic coast, this port city is known for its beautiful beaches and historical landmarks.

Take a stroll along the promenade, visit the Cathedral of Cádiz, explore the charming old town, and most importantly relax on the beach.

Day 10: Back to Málaga

It’s time to say goodbye to Southern Spain and head back to Málaga for your flight home. Take the train or bus back to Málaga and spend your last day strolling through the city, enjoying delicious tapas, and reflecting on all the amazing experiences you had during your trip.

Is Malaga worth visiting? Tina leaning on a handrail and overlooking the harbour of Malaga
Get ready to say goodbye to Spain in Málaga after exploring Andalusia in 10 days

When Should You Visit Southern Spain?

Southern Spain is a great destination to visit year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences.

In general, I would recommend the shoulder seasons, April to May and September to November.

I visited twice in October and I think it was the perfect time. The weather was still very warm and sunny, but there were fewer crowds compared to the summer months.

The summer months can get very hot, with temperatures reaching over 100°F (38°C), so make sure you stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade if you visit during peak season.

In winter, the temperatures can drop and it may even snow in some areas, but it’s still a beautiful time to visit, especially during the Christmas season when cities are decorated with lights and festive markets.

View from Ermita de San Miguel Alto; worth visiting if your in Granada
View of Alhambra from Ermita de San Miguel Alto

Final Thoughts: Itinerary for Southern Spain

From the famous Alhambra Palace in Granada to the stunning Mezquita in Córdoba, and from the charming streets of Sevilla to the beautiful beaches of Cádiz, Southern Spain has something for every type of traveler.

With this 10-day Southern Spain itinerary, you have enough time to see the best places of Andalusia, and you get to choose between different options to make the trip your own.

So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey through Southern Spain. I’m sure you’ll fall in love with this beautiful region just like I did.

Read more about Andalusia:

Pin this Southern Spain vacation itinerary for later:
Promotional collage for an 'Epic 10-day Andalusia itinerary,' featuring top to bottom: the ornate architecture of Plaza de España in Seville, the iconic Puente Nuevo in Ronda, the historic Alhambra overlooking the city of Granada, and the serene coastline of Costa del Sol.
How to Spend 10 Days in Southern Spain

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