10-day Southern Spain Itinerary Options – Classic, Foodie + Outdoor

- This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

From the sun-soaked beaches of Cádiz to the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, Southern Spain offers so much unique culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning natural beauty, that it’s nearly impossible to capture it all on one trip. Visions of endless sunshine enter the mind when people mention Seville. The city stands prominently as the gateway to Andalusia’s wonders, introducing visitors to the sound of flamenco music in every square, and mouth-watering traditional dishes on every corner. Once acquainted with the laid-back way of life in Andalusia, it’s time to relax in the golden sands in Cádiz and discover one of Europe’s oldest towns before venturing to the cliffs of Ronda, high up in the mountains.

The Costa del Sol entices visitors back to the sea. Marbella’s famed resorts and fine dining beg for attention, while Nerja’s pristine beaches and waterfalls remind visitors how precious nature can be. From the coastline up into the highest mountains in Spain, Granada waits in anticipation of your arrival, for the city has many stories to tell the cultures from centuries ago. While gazing upon the Alhambra at sunset you can imagine the magnificence of Malaga’s port in the distance, and the last days of your trip enjoying the beauty of Andalusia. There is so much to discover in the region, now it’s time to plan out your itinerary. So let’s take a closer look at what you can’t miss in Southern Spain on your next trip.

Southern Spain Itineraries

Getting To Southern Spain (Andalusia)

With several major airports located in the area, flying to Andalusia is a breeze.

During the peak season, the airlines boost the number of flights and connections for summer travellers, however, in the off-season prices are discounted.

The airports listed below are excellent entry points for discovering the wonders of Andalusia and are conveniently located close to city centres (most less than 10 km).

Seville Airport (SVQ) is the main international gateway to Andalusia and a great starting point for your journey.


It’s located just northeast of the city and provides quick and easy access to the region’s capital.

Malaga Airport (AGP) is the largest and busiest airport in Andalusia and serves as a major hub for international flights.

It’s located close to the city centre, and frequent travellers to the Costa del Sol typically choose this airport because of its quick connection to the coastal cities to the south.

Jerez Airport (XRY), situated northeast of Jerez de la Frontera, offers a quick connection to the city of Cádiz to the south (35 minutes by car, 1 hour by train).

Despite being smaller than Seville and Malaga, Granada Airport (GRX) offers domestic flights to cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, and seasonal international flights to some European destinations.

Iberia, Vueling, Ryanair, and easyJet are the main airline operators for the airports listed above, however in Malaga, you can also find Norwegian, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Air France flights.

Getting Around

Andalusia and the Costa del Sol are known for having a well-developed, modern transportation infrastructure.

Whether you choose to rent a car or public transportation, getting around southern Spain is fairly easy despite the distance.

Rent a car

Most people opt for renting a car to explore Andalusia since it allows them to access remote areas and picturesque villages at their own pace.

The car rental companies are located in the airports, near the train stations, and around the city centres and ports.

It’s best to book ahead to reduce waiting time when picking up your car and you can compare prices of cars available from various car rental firms online at Discover Cars.

Andalusia’s scenic routes and well-maintained highways make navigating between cities and tourist attractions easy and enjoyable.

Remember that parking in city centres in Spain can be limited and usually requires payment.

Parking in Granada can be extremely difficult, as much of the old part of the city prohibits anyone other than residents from driving on the steep and narrow roads.

Plan to park outside of the city centre and take the bus to your accommodations and other tourist attractions.

Take a train or bus

Spain’s national rail network, Renfe, operates train services connecting the larger cities in Andalusia, including Seville, Malaga, Granada, and Cádiz.

The AVE high-speed train links Seville and Malaga to Madrid and other major Spanish cities on both coasts.

Regional and local bus services provide extensive coverage throughout Andalusia, connecting the larger cities with the smaller towns and villages.

Getting around is fairly simple using buses and they run frequently throughout the day, with most routes ending around midnight.

When you first arrive, it helps to purchase a bus travel card from one of the various points of sale (tobacconists, kiosks, and bookshops).

The card costs only €1.50 and can be topped up in €5 increments.

The trips are affordable (usually less than €1), and the cost is calculated on how many zones you plan on travelling through.

ALSA and Avanza are two major private bus companies operating in the region, offering affordable and direct routes to popular destinations, especially on the coast.

Tickets can be purchased online with your mobile phone or from ticket sales windows or ticket machines at the bus station.

In Seville and Malaga, modern metro and tram systems offer another rapid option for exploring the city.

Tickets are sold from ticket machines at each train stop.

Call a taxi

Taxis are readily available in most urban areas and can be hailed on the street or booked in advance online with ridesharing apps.

Uber, Bolt, and Cabify are quite common in most of Andalusia’s cities, providing alternative transportation options at a reduced fare.

Download the necessary apps before taking your trip for convenience when you arrive.

Walking and biking

The best way to explore the streets of Seville and Granada is on foot.

Around each corner, you will discover something new, a quaint cafe, boutique store, historic plaza, or another marvel of Andalusian architecture.

If you are less interested in wandering, the guided walking tours provide an in-depth way to learn about Andalusia’s amazing history and culture while visiting the famous landmarks.

The diverse landscapes, coastal routes, mountain trails, and scenic countryside, make for great cycling adventures.

Many cities offer bike rental services, or you can join a cycling tour and have some fun pedalling your way to the historic sites.

Where To Stay

One advantage to visiting Andalusia is the diversity of accommodations available in the area.

Whether you want to be tucked away in a historic building or overlooking the sea from a penthouse suite, all options are on the table, including many accommodations tailored to travellers on a budget.

Hotels range from luxurious seaside resorts to classic rooms in boutique hotels.

You can find grand hotels in Seville, Malaga, and Granada, which offer impressive amenities such as rooftop pools with panoramic views, spa facilities, and fine dining restaurants.

Rural houses in Andalusia feature the unique opportunity to be fully immersed in the Spanish countryside.

From guesthouses to bed and breakfasts, and country cottages, these rentals often offer tranquil settings, breathtaking views, and easy access to plenty of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

With the rise of platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo, holiday rentals have become increasingly popular among visitors to Spain, providing flexibility and a comfortable home-away-from-home experience.

Nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts can also find plenty of camping and glamping options in Andalusia.

From beachside campgrounds in the Costa del Sol to mountain escapes in the Sierra Nevada, camping allows you to surround yourself with nature and enjoy stargazing, barbecues, and trail hiking while you are there.

Budget-conscious travellers and backpackers can find affordable room options in local hostels.

With common spaces for socialising and meeting fellow travellers, they feature dormitory-style rooms and private rooms at excellent prices.

Staying in a hostel also helps you connect with like-minded people from around the world.

Paying And Tipping

Paying at restaurants in Spain is generally straightforward. Here’s the breakdown of the different ways to pay for your meal or drinks, and how to tip.

Cash is widely accepted in restaurants across Spain.

You can pay your bill directly and it’s always good to have a few extra euros on hand, especially in smaller cafes or bars in rural villages.

Credit and debit card payments are possible at most restaurants in larger cities and tourist areas.

When you’re finished dining, present your card to the server, and they will bring the card machine to your table for payment or enter your PIN if necessary.

Most restaurants also accept contactless payments (NFC) as well.

Mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are equally as popular in Spain.

If you have a compatible device and the restaurant allows these payment methods, you can simply hold your phone near the card reader to complete the transaction.

Traditionally groups often decide to divide the bill evenly in Spain rather than requesting separate checks.

Be sure to ask the server to split the bill before it comes time to pay.

Tipping is not mandatory in Spain as the service charge is typically included in the bill.

If you are impressed with the service, leaving a small tip (usually between 5-10%) is greatly appreciated.

You can always check with the restaurant beforehand if you have any questions about payment or tipping policies, especially if you are in a small restaurant or village where payment options may be limited to cash only.

10-Day Classic Itinerary in Spain

Day 1: Seville

Metropol Parasol Seville, Spain
Seville is a stunning city to explore on a Southern Spain itinerary 7 days.

Arrive in Seville, check into your accommodation and then spend the afternoon exploring the historic centre, including the Cathedral, Giralda Tower, and incredible Alcazar Palace.

At night, enjoy dinner at a traditional tapas bar in the Barrio de Santa Cruz (neighbourhood).

Afterwards, take a stroll through the lively Plaza de los Venerables, where locals and visitors mingle into the late hours of the night.

Day 2: Seville

Seville At Dusk Spain
Seville is a must-do on when planning a Southern Spain and Portugal itinerary.

Start your day with a visit to the famous Plaza de España and wander through the lush gardens inside Maria Luisa Park.

Later, spend time exploring the Barrio de Triana (neighbourhood), known for its painted ceramics, flamenco shows, and vibrant atmosphere.

Visit the 5-story high Metropol Parasol (Las Setas de Seville) for wonderful panoramic views of the city from the top of an architectural masterpiece.

In the evening, attend a flamenco show for an authentic Andalusian experience.

Suggested tours:

Day 3: Cádiz

Cadiz Panoramic View
Cadiz is another interesting city to spend time during your Southern Spain itinerary 10 days.

Head to Cádiz (1.5 hours by car), check into your accommodation and spend the afternoon soaking up the sun on one of the city’s beautiful beaches.

When it starts to cool off, stroll around the old village, marvel at the unique architecture, and learn more about the maritime heritage of Cádiz.

Explore the Cathedral in the El Pópulo Barrio, one of Europe’s oldest neighbourhoods.

Later on, climb the Torre Tavira, and then walk out to the Castle of San Sebastian for amazing city skyline views.

In the evening, enjoy fresh seafood at a waterfront restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean while watching the sunset.

Stay overnight in Cádiz or the nearby city of Jerez de la Frontera.

Suggested tours:

Day 4: Ronda

The Ancient City Of Ronda, Andalusia
Ronda is a scenic spot to discover while on a Spain itinerary.

Travel the scenic roads to Ronda (2 hours by car), a picturesque town perched atop a dramatic gorge with spectacular views of the Sierra de Grazalema Mountain Range, find your accommodation and check-in.

Explore the historic centre, walk through the Alameda Del Tajo Park and then along the cliff edge before crossing the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge).

Visit the Plaza de Toros, and admire the oldest bullring in Spain, home to the birthplace of this famous Spanish sport.

Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside from the Mirador de Aldehuela as the sun goes down.

Stay overnight in Ronda, and visit the enormous stone bridge at night when it’s fully illuminated.

Recommended tours:

Day 5: Marbella

Colorful Villas In Marbella View
Marbella is a popular place to add to a Southern Spain road trip itinerary.

Travel to Marbella (1 hour by car), and explore the glamorous resort town on the Costa del Sol, home to many celebrities, and a large crowd of expats.

Relax on one of the great beaches in Marbella in the afternoon after checking into your hotel and then wander the maze of narrow streets in the Casco Antiguo (Old Town) later in the day.

Head back to the coast in the evening and admire the luxury yachts in the upscale marina of Puerto Banus.

On the promenade, choose from one of the many beachfront restaurants for a fine dining experience overlooking the sea.

Stay overnight in Marbella.

Recommended tours:

Day 6: Nerja

Town Of Nerja White Colorful Street View
Nerja is another cool place to see on your Southern Spain Morocco itinerary

Travel to Nerja (1.5 hours by car), a coastal town in the northern part of Costa del Sol known for its pristine beaches and expansive network of caves.

After checking in, visit the Nerja Caves in the morning, a series of underground caverns with impressive rock formations. Remember to book in advance and arrive at least 30 minutes before your entry time.

Relax on one of the stunning local beaches in Nerja such as Burriana Beach or Calahonda Beach.

Explore the historic centre see the spectacular sea views from the Balcón de Europa, and enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants on Calle Almirante Ferrandiz.

Stay overnight in Nerja.

Recommended tours:

Day 7: Granada

Panorama Of Granada At Sunset
Granada needs a few days to exploring during a Southern Spain itinerary 14 days would be a good amount of time to travel around.

Travel to Granada (1 hour by car), home to the iconic Alhambra Palace, and an eclectic mix of Andalusian, Moorish, and Jewish cultures that have made the city incredibly unique.

Find your accommodation and then head out for the day.

Explore the Alhambra complex, including the Nasrid Palaces, Generalife Gardens, and Alcazaba Fortress. Be sure to set aside at least 4-5 hours to see it all.

Visit the historic Albaicin neighbourhood, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with narrow streets and a bohemian vibe.

If you have time, hike up to the Sacromonte caves, carved into the stone cliffs.

Enjoy dinner in a traditional restaurant in the old village and sample local specialities like tapas and the dessert, piononos.

Stay overnight in Granada.

Recommended tours:

Day 8: Granada

Spend the morning exploring Granada’s historic sites, such as the Cathedral and Royal Chapel, and then walk up the La Carrera del Darro along the river.

Visit the historic El Bañeulo (Arab baths) to see elaborate Moorish architecture from the 11th century.

In the evening, watch the sunset from the Mirador de San Nicolas, with breathtaking views of the Alhambra as the sun goes down to the west.

Enjoy the music of local musicians in the square next to the chapel.

Stay overnight in Granada.

Day 9: Malaga

Panorama Over The Malaga City
Malaga – 7 day Southern Spain itinerary.

Travel to Malaga (1.5 hours by car), the capital of the Costa del Sol, check into your hotel and walk along the historic port lined with cruise ships and enormous luxury yachts.

Hike up to Alcazaba Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle for fantastic panoramic views of the city, port, and coastline to the south.

Wander through the historic centre, and visit the Cathedral, Picasso Museum, and Roman Theater.

Relax on the beaches of Malaga during the afternoon, such as La Malagueta or Playa de la Caleta.

Enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants on the long beachfront promenade and dig into some Andalusian cuisine, featuring pescaito (fried fish) or espetos (skewered fish).

Stay overnight in Malaga.

Recommended tours:

Day 10: Departure

Depending on your departure time, you may have some free time to explore Malaga or do some last-minute shopping on Calle Larios, the famous shopping street in the city centre.

Depart from Malaga Airport just outside of the city.

Love Spain? Read these posts:

7-Day Foodie Itinerary

In Andalusia, meal times correspond with the relaxed lifestyle of the region. Food lovers need to plan for lunch between 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and dinner between 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Outside of these hours, it may be difficult to reserve a seat.

Day 1: Seville

Start your foodie adventure in Seville, the culinary capital of Andalusia. Begin your day with a traditional Spanish breakfast with churros con chocolate at a local café.

For lunch, sample the best foods in the city on a tapas crawl through the historic city centre. Be sure to have a bit of jamón ibérico (Iberian cured ham), salmorejo (cold tomato soup), and some fried fish.

In the evening, dine at a lively traditional taberna or gastro bar to explore the wide range of Andalusian cuisine paired with wines made in the region.

Day 2: Seville

Start your day with a guided food tour of the Barrio de Triana (neighbourhood), wander through the local food markets, and traditional taverns, and try some authentic regional dishes.

For lunch, find a local restaurant specialising in Andalusian classics like carrillada (pork cheeks) and espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas).

In the evening, catch an exciting flamenco dinner show, which features live music and dance, while you enjoy your meal.

Recommended tour: Seville: 3.5-Hour Spanish Cooking Class & Triana Market Tour

Day 3: Cádiz

Spanish Tortilla Omelet Traditional Tapas Food
Spanish tortilla omelettes are something to order while travelling around on a Southern Spain travel itinerary.

Travel to Cádiz, the coastal city known for its fresh local seafood and various food markets.

Start your day by walking along the waterfront on a seafood-tasting tour.

Sample the fried fish, mouth-watering seafood paella, and of course, Spanish olives.

For lunch, head to a beachfront restaurant for a seafood feast featuring grilled fish on the barbeque, gambas (shrimp), and pulpo (octopus).

In the evening, explore Cádiz’s lively tapas bars and taverns for a taste of the local nightlife.

Recommended tour:

Day 4: Marbella

Typical Old Town Street In Marbella, Costa Del Sol
Marbella is a charming resort town to hangout during a Portugal and Southern Spain itinerary.

Discover the fine dining scene in Marbella, the famous resort town on the Costa del Sol.

Start your day with a relaxed breakfast at a beachfront café, where you can enjoy views of the glimmering sea during midday while savouring Spanish pastries and coffee.

For lunch, dine at a beach club or seafood restaurant, and try fresh seafood dishes like grilled sardines (espetos), paella, and seafood salad.

In the evening, wander up to Marbella’s old town to discover another thriving culinary scene, with everything from traditional tapas bars to upscale restaurants.

Day 5: Granada

Head to Granada, home to the iconic Alhambra Palace and a unique culinary heritage influenced by Moorish, Spanish, and Jewish traditions.

Start your day with a visit to the Alhambra followed by a casual lunch at a restaurant offering rabo de toro (oxtail stew), grilled meats, and Moorish pastries.

In the evening, wander the old village streets that wind up and down through the historic village where you can try local dishes paired with regional wines.

Day 6: Malaga

Fried Sardine Dish
Try fried sardines on your Spain and Morocco itinerary.

Explore Malaga, the bustling capital of Costa del Sol known for its historic port and landmarks, a myriad of cultural attractions, and diverse culinary scene tucked away in the city centre.

Start your day with a visit to the Mercado Central de Atarazanas to shop for fresh produce and locally-made meals.

For lunch, dine at a beachfront chiringuito on the long promenade north of the port.

Enjoy a delicious seafood plate featuring grilled fish over an open fire, fried seafood, and refreshing gazpacho (a cold vegetable soup that originated in Andalucia).

In the evening, explore Malaga’s hip and trendy inner streets to discover a wide range of restaurants, with options ranging from traditional tapas bars to modern gastronomic restaurants, including a few owned by Antonio Banderas!

Day 7: Depart Malaga

Before leaving Malaga, enjoy one last meal at a local café or bakery near the waterfront and enjoy traditional Andalucian pastries and coffee while looking out over the port.

7-Day Outdoor Adventures Itinerary

Day 1: Malaga

Arrive in Malaga, the gateway to Andalusia’s natural wonders.

Walk through the Parque de Malaga and take a trip to the Jardin Botánico-Histórico La Concepción.

In the evening, enjoy dinner at a seafood restaurant near the Plaza de Constitutión at the end of Calle Larios.

Recommended tour: From Marbella: Canyoning Tour in Guadalmina

Day 2: Nerja

Take a trip to Nerja for kayaking on the pristine coastline of Costa del Sol.

Paddle to hidden coves and caves while gliding through crystal-clear waters of the Meditterean Sea.

Nerja offers a variety of guided tours and rental options for all skill levels.

Expect to encounter an abundance of marine life along the journey, including colourful fish, dolphins, and sea turtles.

Discover the 15-metre Maro Waterfall, where fresh water from the caves meets the sea. It’s truly inspiring.

Day 3: Sierra Nevada National Park

Sierra Nevada National Park
Sierra Nevada National Park is one of the best spots on a Southern Spain itinerary for nature lovers.

Head to the Sierra Nevada National Park, where you can explore Spain’s highest peaks and stunning alpine landscapes while hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding along the park’s trails.

Backed by panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, wander through the deep valleys to discover hidden lakes and old villages tucked away in the hillsides.

Stay overnight in the mountain village of Capileira or Pampaneira.

Recommended tour: From Granada: Sierra Nevada Snowshoe Hike

Day 4: El Torcal de Antequera

El Torcal De Antequera S Rock Formations
Explore El Torcal De Antequera on a Southern Spain itinerary.

Travel to El Torcal de Antequera (natural park) and discover the impressive limestone rock formations near Antequera.

Spend the day hiking on various trails in the park while marvelling at the surreal rock spires and cliffs.

Beyond the amazing views of the surrounding countryside, there are many hidden nooks to discover.

Stay overnight in a hotel in Antequera or another nearby village.

Day 5: Caminito del Rey

People In The Caminito Del Rey Gorge
Caminito Del Rey Gorge is an incredible sight to see on an itinerary for Southern Spain.

Experience one of the most thrilling hikes in Spain on the Caminito del Rey (King’s Pathway).

The narrow trail leads hikers on suspended walkways along the steep walls of the Gaitanes Gorge.

As you cross suspension bridges and cling to the cliffside, enjoy breathtaking views of the gorge below and picturesque landscapes.

Hopefully, the scenery will help calm the nerves.

Be sure to book your guided tour before you go.

Stay overnight in the nearby town of Ardales.

Recommended tour: From Costa del Sol & Malaga: Caminito del Rey Guided Tour

Day 6: Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park

Travel to Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve known for its rugged limestone mountains ridges, deep gorges, spectacular lakes, and green lush forests.

Spend the day hiking along the trails, and visit villages like Grazalema and Zahara de la Sierra.

Keep your eye out for Griffon vultures flying overhead and the elusive Spanish ibex.

Stay overnight in Grazalema or Zahara de la Sierra.

Recommended tour: From Malaga: Guided Hike in El Torcal de Antequera

Day 7: Return to Malaga

Return to Malaga for your last day.

Depending on your departure flight, you may have some extra time to for exploring the city, and historic port.

If you’re still energised, hike up to the Alcazaba Fortress and Gibralfaro Castle before heading to the airport.

Looking for more itineraries? Try these:

Plan Your Trip

best car rental

Rent A Car – Find the best car rental rates at Discover Cars. They compare car hire companies to provide you with the best deal right now.

Find A Hotel – If you’re curious about this article and are looking for somewhere to stay, take a look at these amazing hotels.

Previous article20 Things To Do In Marrakech At Night
Next article10-day Northern Spain Itinerary – Classic, Foodie + Active
Grant Doremus
Grant Doremus is a freelance writer from the United States, eager to share his travel experiences and knowledge about some of the best destinations in the world. He grew up in a small town in New Hampshire, and after a successful career in finance, he decided to chase his dreams of becoming a digital nomad. As an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast he went on a road trip across the U.S. visiting 26 states, exploring most of the country's national parks, and climbing some of the highest peaks in the country. After a year on the road, he headed to Europe where he backpacked through 10 countries before finally settling in Spain. Grant loves to write about Spanish culture, its rich history, and traditions. His favourite destination so far is Mallorca, but he hasn’t finished his travels just yet!