travel guide

Andalusia Travel Tips

Pack Light

Andalusia is getting incredibly, I mean INSANELY hot (up to 45 Celsius degrees!) during summer months, which means whatever you wear will get sweaty after a few minutes of walking. Pack all your lightest, breathable tanks, shorts and don’t forget good walking shoes and a sun protection.

Carry Cash

I recommend carrying coins and change with you to pay for buses or parking as many of them don’t take cash. However, if you are only planning to use taxis or uber, cash is not really needed.

Don’t underestimate the Siesta

The Siesta is one of the Spanish cultural traditions most of the people know of before arriving. But it’s hard to imagine how siesta works until you experience it first hand. This is not just a short, post-lunch nap, most of the shops and restaurants are closed during afternoon, from around 2pm till 7pm. You will struggle to find a place to eat during that time so be prepared!

travel guide

What to See and Do

First things first-visit Alhambra (but don’t forget to walk around it)

If you only see one place in Spain, it should be Alhambra-the most exciting, sensual and romantic of all European monuments and the most beautiful royal headquarters I’ve ever seen.

Walk Albaicin

Many visitors, after seeing the Alhambra are too jaded or can’t be fussed to take city other sights. If you are in Granada for more than  one day, Albaicin, the former Moorish town, is a fascinating quarters, full of narrow alleyways and small squares, with a spectacular Alhambra views all around. For the  best views in the city, head over to famous St Nicolas mirador or (if you are up for some walking) even better – San Miguel Alto in Sacramonte ( the most iconic Granada’s sunset spot).

Get in the water

Yes, the Andalusia has a sea coast but the real star and must-go are waterfalls. Wild-swimming in waterfalls is increasingly popular in Spain and it’s something we did during every single hike. In short-wild swimming is the practise of swimming in natural lakes, rivers and streams. Considering how hot it gets in Andalusia, waters are pretty chilli, but it makes you feel so alive! Some popular wild swimming spots:

  • Rio Cebollon
  • Poza Romance
  • Baños de Urquizar
  • Rio Santo
  • Capileira

My personal favourite spot was Poza Romance which can be found here and it looks like something straight from a fairy tale.

 Take a scenic drive

If your legs are tired or you just want to explore on four wheels, then there are some incredible scenic driving routes you can take through Sierra Nevada Mountains. Visiting mountains was, in fact, almost the whole purpose of our trip!

Known for its white villages called ‘The Alpujarras’, the mountains are home to stunning scenery, olive groves, shepherds and huge flocks of sheep and all in all a wonderfully rural and simple way of life. And virtually no phone service! Basically, the Sierra Nevada are mountains with a National Park, and tiny little towns in the hills surrounding the park. It’s a deceptively long drive to all the towns (we only saw a section) and the scenery changes dramatically between the different valleys.

One of my favourite (and scariest!) routes to see some of the best of the region is: Grenada>Lanjaron>Orgiva> Pampaneira>Bubion>Capileira.

 

Go hiking

If there’s one thing to do in Andalusia it is go hiking (for me.. local don’t seems to be to bothered about it).
It is perhaps one of best known hiking regions in Spain and home to their highest mountain.

There are numerous trails across different national parks & forests from flat lakeside loops through to challenging mountainy climbs. I am currently working on a comprehensive & in-depth hiking guide for the region, but if you can’t wait until then – here are some of the most beautiful routes you need to try. Monachil Los Cahorros.

  • Alhambra Circular (around Alhambra, to be more specific)

  • Rio Cebellon

  • Poza Romance

  • Alpuharras (Pampaneira-Bubion- Capileira circular)

  • Rio Verde (Poza de Otviar)

  • Vereda de la Estrella

  • Lavedoros de la Reina

And of course, Mulhacén – the highest mountain in Spain! Use  AllTrails for maps. Please follow Piratas Exploradores. for the best adventure tours in Andalusia. They know the region and its most beautiful, hidden spots inside out!

Stargazing

Sierra Nevada is one of the few “dark spots” left in the Spain where you get incredible views of the night sky with little to no light pollution.  Park up (or camp), get out and look towards the heavens. You will most likely be able to see the Milky Way with your bare eyes!

Get an Adrenaline Rush

Craving adventure? Then check out the Caminito del Rey (El Chorro) via ferrata. A via ferrata is a climbing route that you take on while attached to a harness, it typically employs steel cables, rungs, ladders and more.  No climbing experience is needed and it is a great way to take in beautiful views while challenging your body and mind!

Canyoning is descending down one of these streams through abseiling, sliding and jumping. It is incredibly good fun and can be tailored to all abilities, with routes for adrenaline junkies and those who are a little more cautious – I recommend Piratas Exploradores.

 

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