A road trip in Andalusia
Naming 4 of the most beautiful cities in Andalusia, Spain is actually a daunting task as Andalusia is full of beauty! Travelling Andalusia is especially magical in October when tourism is gone and temperatures are still reaching a summery level. When the white villages and the endless empty turquoise sandy beaches reveal its natural beauty and sparkle. Making a road trip is probably the best thing you can do: Going with the flow, day by day to beachside towns or mountain hamlets, whereever it takes you. Relaxing, hanging, soaking up the warm autumn sun and pampering us with delicious tapas! The journey started in Sevilla, took us to Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, Vejer de la Frontera, Tarifa, Jimena de la Frontera, Ronda and back to Sevilla. The perfect round trip and here’s my summery and list of 4 of the most beautiful cities in Andalusia.
We started our road trip in Sevilla, where we stayed the first night at Hotel Amadeus. Our room was not the most beautiful [ small and on the ground floor ] but this was more than made up with the hotel’s amazing roof top terrace where we enjoyed spectacular sunset views over Sevilla, a late night whirlpool session and breakfast in the morning. Wonderful and just the perfect start to this laid back, sunny and romantic week! The next day we visited Real Alcázar and patiently queuing up was totally worth it! Real Alcázar is considered to be one of the most representative monuments of Spanish-Christian culture and Moorish architecture in the world. The magnificent gardens are as fascinating and invite to a romantic stroll.
Other than that we enjoyed the time in Sevilla strolling through its small narrow streets dotted with shops, cafes and restaurants. Our two absolute favourite restaurants from the whole trip are located in Sevilla – the first one is called El Pintón. Go there if you are searching for a place with tapas and mediterranean cuisine. We adored the food just as much as its atmosphere with an open patio on the inside and a wall made of typical Spanish tiles. Beautiful!
Our other favourite is called Torres y Garcia, specialised in tapas and mediterranean cuisines as well. Modern rustic interior and delicious food, don’t miss it!
Sevilla is a relaxed, but vivid, historical and charming city, an absolute must see when in Andalusia. There’s a lot to discover, nice restaurants – from traditional tapas bars to new true design places, just like El Pintón or Torres de Garcia.
For From Sevilla we drove to Jerez de la Frontera where we spent the afternoon, strolling through the village and having tasty tapas at La Cruz Blanca. Jerez is nice, but small and therefore perfect to spend one afternoon on the way to Cádiz. Cádiz is … let’s say different. Somehow magical, somehow it is kind of difficult to describe what actually makes it worth visiting. I guess it’s the simple and relaxed local vibe, the characterful tapas bars paired with its white and charming look. Vivid turquoise water dotted with romantic fishing boats next to the gorgeous Caleta Beach – or very contrasty: A harbour flooded with enormous yachts. We made it up to the Tavira Tower to admire Cádiz‘ beauty in the morning sun: White buildings as far as the eye can see, narrow streets running from one side of the peninsula to the other. Although the morning sun was nice, we figured out it was not the ideal time to take pictures of the city, because photographing the beautiful part of Cádiz with the Cathedral meant photographing directly into the bright morning sun.
Vejer de la Frontera
From Cádiz our journey talk us to Vejer de la Frontera, which stole our hearts from the very beginning. This white village is built up on a hill, making it one of the most impressive of these beautiful villages to see from a distance. Winding narrow lanes with high palm trees, plant pots and views on the nearby sea and the mountains in the distance. It is near the coast but with its views it feels like you could be somewhere in the mountains. Our hotel was called Chic Sleep a well-diserved name. We stayed two nights and discovered the area from here. We walked these narrow alleys up and down, admiring its calm and tourist-free beauty. If you happen to be in Vejer you should definitely have lunch or dinner in El Jardin del Califa which is considered to be the best restaurant in and around Vejer [ not only by me ], with stone vaulted dining rooms and a colourful palm-filled garden. Food and atmosphere are inspired by the Moorish rule. The most beautiful beaches we have been to in this week are located close to Vejer driving down to cost: Playa de Zahara de los Atunes and Playa de los Alemanes right the next to it.
Reaching out into the sea, Tarifa is the most southern point in Europe and the closest point to Africa. At the horizon we could even see the moroccan mountains, that was amazing. Tarifa is just another beautiful white town and for sure the perfect place for wind or kite surfers. It comes as no surprise it was super windy and therefore also a little colder. Discovering the city we bumped into a very cool local store called Utopia – we could not help but shop! I bought a hippy-like summer dress, and Flurin a winter jacket hahahaha! In the morning we had a nice sunrise run along the beach before continuing our journey.
On the way back to Sevilla
Next stop was Jimena de la Frontera where I saw big avocado trees for the first time in my life [ yay highlight ]! On the way back to Sevilla we stopped in Ronda to see the Puente Nuevo, a stone bridge separating the old and new town, and offering stunning views across the valley. What I remember best from this town though is our involuntarily free lunch hahaha! Compared to the other cities we have been to, Ronda was quite crowded and it was difficult to find a nice restaurant. The good ones were full and the other ones empty, but branded with such a bad google rating we didn’t dare to enter. Finally we found an Italian place, looking quite ugly, but at least rated with 3.7 [ which in Ronda seemed to be good!! ]. We ordered penne all’arrabbiata and a caprese salad, something that can’t go wrong, as we thought. NOOOPE! Never in my life I managed to overcook pasta as much as they did!! It was basically a plate of smashed penne with the most boring arrabbiata sauce. Consistency and taste were both so ugly. The caprese salad was meant to be with fresh basil and mozzarella di bufala. Instead it was normal mozzarella [ which is not a problem ] but: They casualy replaced the fresh basil with some expired black olives. Well done ragazzi!! An Italian restaurant serving something like that to their only two guests [ okay, this should maybe have been an indicator! ]?!? No comprehension at all! When I ordered the bill 5 minutes after receiving the food, telling them exactly what I am writing here, the waiter said – and I was soo surprised about this reaction I couldn’t even!! He said: „Okay, don’t worry about the bill, we don’t make you pay for bad things.“ Wuuuuat?! I didn’t expect this reaction!! Speechless! I was not sure if I should pay half of it, just give a tip or nothing… Well we ended up paying nothing as they disappeared in their wired restaurant… At least they prevent me from writing a bad rating. Jimena and Ronda [ despite the culinary fail ] were nice stops along the way back to Sevilla. The highlights definitely are Sevilla, Cádiz, Vejer de la Frontera and Tarifa. If we would have had more time I would have loved to expand the journey to Granada and Córdoba.
Have you been in Andalusia? Which are your favourite cities, villages, restaurant or beaches?