Andalucia is one of the most interesting regions of Spain. It’s not only huge but it offers great variety from mountains to amazing beaches. However, if it’s your first time visiting you might be wondering just how many days to spend in Andalucia.
It’s actually a hard question. One thing is clear: you can’t see the whole place in a week. Probably not even in two. There are just way too many things to do and things to see in Andalucia. Planning to see everything in one trip will take three to four weeks. However, you can always come back for more so why do it in one trip?
Yes, we actually recommend that you simply break up your trip into multiple parts. First of all, there aren’t many of us who can afford a 3-week vacation. That’s a lot of time off from work and many employers simply won’t allow it.
Then if you do it as one big sightseeing tour, you might actually ‘fill up’ with the sights. You’ve got some amazing cities and rich history, but it is still one region. So everything is kind of similar, for this reason, it is possible you’d want to skip attractions on your last week that captured your imagination on the first few days.
So, if not one trip, then what are your options? Let’s see!
Why is it hard to see all of Andalucia in one trip?
Andalucia is big. Like really-really big. It’s the most populous place in Spain and the second-largest region. But let’s look a bit further than Spain only. Andalucia is roughly 87k square km (33k square miles). This is:
- Andalucia is between the US States: Maine and Indiana when it comes to size
- Slovenia is about 4 times smaller than Andalucia
- Almost the same size as the mainland territory of Portugal!
- Larger than Austria
- Larger than Ireland
Now that we’ve put it into context we can see that Andalucia is massive. This is why it’s so hard to say how many days to spend in Andalucia. Sure we can say you need to spend 21 days in Andalucia and you should be able to see it all but it’s quite far-fetched to expect our readers to spend 3 weeks for a single vacation.
Instead, we’ll give you some nice options that you can do on multiple trips.
The variety is crazy
Andalucia is one of these amazing places that seem to have everything. Considering it’s bigger than some European countries this should not be that much of a surprise but it’s still great to think about just how many things you can do in Andalucia.
First of all there is the beach. The whole shoreline is full of great beaches and even greater beach towns. We could easily spend the week just soaking in the summer sun and enjoying the beaches of Andalucia with some light sightseeing.
Then there are the towns. You’ve got some major seaside towns like Malaga, Almeria, Tarifa, and Marbella. There’s even Gibraltar for you which is technically not Andalusia but it makes sense to visit from there.
Then you’ve got the major inland towns like Seville and Granada both of which we recommend at least 2 but preferably 3 days to spend in. And we’ve not even mentioned the smaller places like Ronda, Ardales, or Setenil de las Bodegas.
After all this, there’s a third category: natural wonders. You’ve got a lot of options like the exciting hike of Caminito del Rey or Europe’s only desert. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are hikes, walks, treks, and guided tours to take and enjoy.
As you can see this region offers countless activities so let’s just see how best you can spend your time in Andalucia.
7 days in Andalucia
If you are planning to spend one week in Andalucia we’ve got some great ideas for you on how to spend it the best.
Granada – Malaga
7 days are perfect for a Malaga and Granada joint trip. We recommend starting with 2 days in Granada, doing the Alhambra, and enjoying this historical town.
Then head to the coast and explore Malaga and the local beaches. You don’t even need to stay in Malaga as there is a great train that runs from Malaga to Fuengirola. So you can choose any of the seaside towns between these two and still have access to Malaga.
If you rent a car you may even spend one day in Gibraltar and another for Caminito del Rey or Ronda + Setentil.
This is our number one recommendation. These two places are great and it’s a good way to get a feeling of the atmosphere that Andalucia has to offer. It’s one of the best ways to visit for first-timers in Andalucia.
Your final itinerary will be very dependent on the weather. If you visit during summer you’ll want to spend more time on the beach and less time sightseeing but if you visit during the off-season then you’ll have plenty of time to explore nearby attractions.
Seville + Cádiz
This one week in Andalucia will see you exploring one of the most exciting towns in the region: Seville. We recommend 3 days in Seville to fully experience this place and then we recommend heading to Cádiz or another nearby beach town.
Cádiz is great for its special location and history. There are also a number of beaches here to enjoy so it’s perfect for a summer visit.
Once again you’ve got more options to explore: Gibraltar is practically next door. Huelva and Jerez de la Frontera are also within reach and you’ll find a number of national parks and treks to enjoy.
We think this itinerary is great, first-timers will enjoy it, but we especially recommend this as your second trip to Southern Spain.
Even Almería is in Andalucia. It’s an excellent place for spending a week as you can explore the town, explore the beaches and especially explore Cabo de Gata Nature Park. This natural park is the only actual desert in Europe. As such it offers an incredibly unique experience and one more reason to visit Andalucia.
It’s definitely worth spending one week for just this part of Andalusia. You should visit when the weather is good so you get a chance to swim and truly experience the desert heat.
Also, if you are feeling adventurous there are plenty of small towns nearby but even Granada is just 1h 50 mins of driving so you can definitely do two days in Granada and the rest in Almería.
Almería is great, it’s quite different from the rest of Andalusia so it’s good for first-timers and return visitors as well.
Two weeks in Andalusia – Ultimate Roadtrip
If you have two weeks to spend in Andalusia then you can really enjoy this region and you’ll come home full of amazing experiences. Of course, even in two weeks, we would recommend NOT exploring the whole region. It’s just too much and your schedule would be too busy.
Seville + Granada + Malaga
We especially recommend Seville + Granada + Malaga in two weeks. They form a nice triangle on the map and in this triangle, you will find: history, nature, and beaches. It’s really everything you would need from a Spanish holiday.
Definitely plan a day to Gibraltar in there and half a day for Caminito del Rey and another half for Ronda as well and you are pretty much set for a great time. Don’t get too much into the ‘must see it all’ mentality though.
You got to remember that you are on Costa del Sol or the ‘Coast of the Sun’. This is the place to recharge, swim, and just enjoy a great day on the beach.
Optional: Almería, Cadiz, Cordoba
Of course, you can mix this up and exchange one or two towns for Cadiz or Cordoba. Or ditch Seville and do an Almería + Granada + Malaga triangle instead. With two weeks to spend in Andalucia, you’ve got plenty of choices to make an itinerary that’s perfect for you.
3+ weeks to spend in Andalucia
If you are a serial traveler and you love long trips then 3+ weeks will be amazing. You can see it all. Visit every town and every interesting corner of this beautiful region.
Of course, this requires serious planning a lot of driving, and commitment. However, you’ll surely have an amazing time if your job allows a 3 weeks vacation.
What’s the optimal number of days to spend in Andalucia?
For most people, 7 to 10 days will be a very good number of days to spend in Andalucia. This will allow you to do one of our ‘one-week’ itineraries and explore certain areas of the region.
Overall you won’t be able to see everything in one week, but you don’t even need to. You will however enjoy the atmosphere, the cuisine, the amazing history, and the beautiful nature of Andalucia during these days and that’s what’s important.
And you can come back for more. That’s the great thing about Andalucia that it keeps on giving. You can always come back for more and explore a different part of it. It’s an amazing place.