Here I am (a little bit nostalgic) with the second part of our drive tour in Spain.
I loved this part of our travel because it was mainly about discovering Andalusia, with an itinerary that put together cities, small villages and several beaches. I highly recommend to visit this part of Spain and to do this with your own car, because it’s the best way to reach and discover new places. I’m sure I will come back in some places here to spend few days more, as they are now in my toplist of places to be visited-and revisited again!
ESPANABARK | THE ITINERARY | PART TWO
4. VEJER DE LA FRONTERA + COSTA DA LUZ (3 days – 2 nights)
OK this was absolutely my favourite part of our journey. Unfortunately it lasted too short, so my advice is to take a couple of days more to spend in this area. Here you will find long sandy beaches which are not crowded, surrounded by natural landscapes. Here you will also find several pueblos blancos, the beautiful Andalucia white villages you see in Andalusia postcards ♥ And most of the places are more frequented by locals than by foreign tourists.
Things you can’t miss once you are in this area:
- the historical centre of Vejer de la Frontera: a true gem, a total white village built on an hill and just 10 km far from the coast. We stayed at Hotel V…, a boutique hotel in an historical building of the centre. With an amazing terrace where you can see the village from above, plus the surrounding countryside ♥
- the beaches of Costa da Luz: we stayed in the beaches of Los Canos de la Meca, Zahara de los Atunes (highly recommended!!), Bolonia (very windy). Do not miss the sunset in one of these beaches. The landscape before getting to the beaches is also beautiful, with low hills, windmills and bulls everywhere
- a walk in the small historical center of Tarifa
- places we did not visit because there was no time: Cadiz + Gibilterra
The last day we travelled towards Frigiliana (see nr 5) by driving in the inland and discovering some pueblos blancos.
From Vejer de la Frontera we headed Arcos de la Frontera, then to Grazalema, to stop and visit Ronda (with its amazing bridge). Driving in this area is really beautiful because you will cross the Parque Natural Sierra de Grazalema, with scenic routes at a height. Half an hour from Ronda you will also find a very original place, Juzcar, which is called the pueblo pitufo because it is completely blue!
5. FRIGILIANA + COSTA TROPICAL (2 days – 2 nights)
We spent a couple of days sleeping near the beautiful whitewashed village of Frigiliana, province of Malaga. Is is located up on the hills, just ten kilometers from Nerya dn the beaches.
This area is called Costa Tropical and it is very different from Costa da Luz: beaches are small and with gravels, and they are located in small creeks to be reached by foot. The good thing here is that the water is much warmer since it is Mediterranean sea, but I found them quite crowded with tourists (even not as much as Costa del Sol, the hyper-crowded area we decided to leave out from our tour). Another good thing of this area is that if you drive eastward after Nerja the coastal area is a preserved natural park. I recommend for example the small Caleta de Maro and the close Playa de Maro.
6. GRANADA (1 day – 2 nights)
Things you can’t miss once you are in Granada:
- a walk in the old arab quarter of the Albaicin and a stop in the Mirador San Nicolas to take a pic of the Alhambra from below
- a walk in the old gypsy quarter of the Sacromonte with its cave houses and restaurants
- sleeping in a cave house. We rented one in AirBnb and it was really an unique experience!
- a walk in the Alcaiceria, that in arab days was Granada’s Great Bazaar, now for souvenir shops :/
- a walk in the Carrera del Daro, just below the Alhambra and the Albaicin, that is one of the most romantic wals of the Country
- a tapas tour! Granada is known because here there is still the habit to give you free tapas with your drink. I found this list that was really helpful!
- of course, visiting the Alhambra: this is really one of the things you must see once in your life. It is a village, a castle, a garden, a district on itself. Built back in the XII century it preseres the original Moresque athmospere. Do not miss the visit to Palacios Nazaries!!
TIP : I highly recommend to book in advance your visit to Alhambra to avoid long queues and also because there is a fixed number of visitors for each day. I bought the tickets Alhambra General in the official website here (there are lots of websites selling also guided tour but we wanted to do an indipendent visit) and to avoid the queue we got our tickets in one cash dispenser of Caixa bank in the city center (you need to insert the credit card you used to buy your tickjets online)
our Casa Cueva in Granada
7. CARBONERAS + COSTA DE ALMERIA (1 day – 1 night)
Travelling straight from Granada back to Valencia was too long so we decided to stop one night in the small coastal city of Carboneras. I discovered another beautiful area that must be visited again!
This village is the very first after the Cabo de Gata natural park so it’s very close to some beautiful beaches of the Costa de Almeria. Here the landscape is different again from previous beaches, it is almost a desert area so beaches are really uncontaminated. We had the chance to visit Playa de los Muertos, which last year was rated as the most beautiful Spanish beach ♥
I really enjoyed also the drive from Granada to Carboneras. We stopped to visit Guadix, a very ancient village where a thousand people still live in hypogeum houses. We also crossed Tabernas Desert, the only desert of Spain that was the set for some famous old western films by Sergio Leone!
8. VALENCIA (1 day – 2 nights)
See my Spain itinerary part one here for the things you can’t miss while in Valencia!
Jump here for my two weeks in Spain itinerary | part one
All images ©Elisabetta Rizzato |italianbark