An #EpicSpain Road Trip: Seville & Granada
Venturing south to the land of Andalusia is an ideal way to truly experience the spirit of Spain. While major urban sprawls of Madrid and Barcelona have their own draws, the charm of southern Spain moves a little slower, is a little more authentic and a lot more welcoming to curious guests. The south is where you’ll find some cosy tapas bars to while away the hours over endless small plates, or a secret flamenco show with just red wine and a wooden floor.
It’s also the ideal place to begin a road trip through Spain, starting in middle of Seville and making your way east toward the Costa del Sol and up the sunny coastline.
As the biggest city in Andalucía, Seville is a hub of activity and a great introduction to the region. While large, there’s an intimate feel among the various neighbourhoods and culture spilling out into the steamy streets. Most people will gravitate toward the old part of the city to gaze upon the biggest gothic cathedral in the world, flanked by the Alcazar palace behind ancient walls. Behind the cathedral is the Barrio Santa Cruz where you can get lost for hours among the boutique stores, small cafes and cultural centres. Only a short stroll away is the famous Plaza de Espana, with horseshoe shaped pavilion built for the World’s Fair in the early 1900s.
Away from the busy old city, across the river, is the neighbourhood of Triana. There you’ll find some wonderful bars and restaurants with authentic dishes overlooking the scenic waterfront. At night there’s a lively club scene and theatre spots for live music, dance and some Spanish guitar. Part of the charm on either side of the river is to wander into the old churches, museums and monuments to admire the Sevillano design that has been protected for centuries.
About a two-and-half-hour drive from the centre of Seville is Granada, which can feel like traveling to a whole new world. Seville holds true to traditional Spanish habits when it comes to architecture and style, but Granada also blend in a distinct Moorish influence.
Buy tickets ahead of time to see the gem of Granada – the Alhambra Palace, perched on a hill overlooking the city and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
From there, wander back into the hart of Granada to cobblestone streets full of tea houses, colourful storefronts and sultry eateries. One fun aspect of dining out in Granada is the tapas. However, instead of ordering food first, you can order a beer, sangria or cocktail, which comes with a free small tapa. Every beverage you get next is accompanied by a bigger snack. It’s a fun way to nosh and socialize on a night out for a wallet-friendly experience.
Whether you’re into capital cities with lots of history or foodie scenes influences by many cultures, both Seville and Granada are the best places to kick-off an unforgettable road trip.