The capital of the autonomous region of Andalusia in Spain, Seville is sunny, passionate, and flamboyant. The city’s historical treasures are fascinating to explore and one cannot help but be seduced by the rhythm of the flamenco. Being the capital of the region, it is also efficiently connected to many modes of transportation, making it an ideal base from which to discover the awaiting charms of southern Spain. From Seville, most people go on to Granada. However, the surrounding towns closer to Seville offer so much more than what most people know. Go slightly off the beaten international tourist track; here are 6 lovely day trips you can do from Seville:
The ancient port city of Cádiz is built on a narrow strip of land and is almost entirely surrounded by water. Thought to be the oldest inhabited city of Europe, stepping into Cádiz is like stepping into the medieval era; not much has changed since then. It is perfect for a day trip because most of the attractions are within the city centre and within walking distance of each other. Founded in around 1100 BC by the Phoenicians, Cádiz (or Gadir as it was once called) is a dreamy tangle of narrow streets, mouthwatering seafood delicacies, golden sands, and palm-fringed waterfront promenades.
Built from colonial riches, Cádiz Cathedral stands majestically on the seafront, with its dome glittering gold in the late afternoon sun. However, not all that glitters is gold; the dome is not made from gold, but rather, from glazed yellow tiles. The cathedral houses a museum and the tomb of one of the greatest Spanish composers from the 20th century, Manuel de Falla. Climb up the winding ramp to the bell tower and you will be rewarded with sweeping views of the city and coastline. Visit the Oratory de la Santa Cueva, an underground neoclassical church, and descend into the subterranean chapel or admire the three paintings by the great Spanish painter Goya in the lavish upper chamber.
The warm Mediterranean climate and sparkling waters of Cádiz make it a lovely seaside destination. Flanked by two castles and situated near the La Viña neighbourhood, La Playa de la Caleta is the smallest but perhaps most picturesque beach in Cádiz. Awarded with the Blue Flag that certifies it has met stringent standards for water quality, safety, and environmental information, Caleta Beach was also featured in the James Bond movie, Die Another Day. La Playa de la Victoria is regarded as one of the most popular beaches with its gleaming white sands and thriving nightlife. Its wide and open beach also means that you won’t find yourself elbow to elbow with other beach-goers.
Last but most definitely not least, do yourself a favour and fill up on seafood in Cádiz. Visit Cádiz Central Market for the freshest catch of the day or to get your sushi fix. Some of the best tuna comes from Cádiz! Try tortillitas de camarones, crispy shrimp fritters, or slurp up some plump freshly-shucked oysters. You’ll find yourself hopelessly enamoured by Cádiz.
Address: Plaza de la Catedral, s/n, 11005 Cádiz, Spain
Price: 5 EUR (5.50 USD)
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 10 am - 9 pm; Sun 2 pm - 9 pm (Museum opens from 10 am - 4 pm daily)
Contact: +34 956 28 61 54
Website: Cádiz Cathedral
Oratorio de la Santa Cueva
Address: Calle Rosario, nº 10, 11004 Cádiz, Spain
Price: 5 EUR (5.50 USD), free on Sundays
Opening Hours: Tues to Fri 10.30 am - 2 pm, 5.30 pm - 8.30 pm; Sat 10.30 am - 2 pm; Sun 10.30 am - 1 pm. Closed on Mondays and bank holidays
Contact: +34 956 222 262
Website: Oratorio de la Santa Cueva
Cádiz Central Market
Address: Plaza Libertad, S/N, 11002 Cádiz, Spain
Opening Hours: 9 am - 3.30 pm, 6 pm - 11 pm. Closed on Sundays. Not open on Monday evenings
Contact: +34 956 22 08 60
Website: Cádiz Central Market
City Sightseeing Cádiz Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Price: From 18.99 USD
Opening Hours: First tour at 10 am, last tour at 9 pm
2. Jerez de la Fontera (From 21 EUR (23.30 USD) for the horse show, 4.50 EUR (5 USD) for a museum visit. (Check the website for other ticket categories.))
One corner of the Sherry Triangle (the three towns in Andalusia famed for sherry wine production), Jerez is also famed for its flamenco and horses. Yes, horses. The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art is situated in Jerez and known for its “How the Andalusian Horses Dance” show, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, which showcases the Spanish-Andalusian horses’ grace and the fabulous horsemanship of their riders. It is recommended that you book your tickets in advance for the show. In May, join the festive celebrations at the annual horse fair of Feria del Caballo.
Definitely, include a visit to one or two of Jerez’s sherry bodegas (cellars/wineries) where you can learn what goes into producing sherry and have a taste of it. Gonzalez Byass is one of Spain’s most famous sherry bodegas and the maker of the Tio Pepe Fino style sherry. The dry and clear Fino is most commonly drunk locally, while Cream Sherry, a sweetened sherry wine, is a favourite among non-Spanish drinkers.
If history is your thing, enter the grounds of the Alcazar, an 11th-century Islamic fortress with much of it preserved. Walk the beautiful gardens, gaze upon the Arab baths and the old mosque, and enjoy the views of the city from the Camera Obscura at the top of the Palacio de Villavicencio.
Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art
Address: Av. Duque de Abrantes, s/n, 11407 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz
Price: From 21 EUR (23.30 USD) for the horse show, 4.50 EUR (5 USD) for a museum visit. (Check the website for other ticket categories.)
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 10 am - 2 pm
Gonzalez Byass Bodega
Address: Manuel María González, 12, 1140 Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz
Price of tours: From 13.50 EUR (15 USD)
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat English Tour: 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, 5.15 pm; Sun English Tour 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm
Duration: Around 1.5 hours
Contact: +34 956 357 016
Website: Gonzalez Byass Bodega
Address: Calle Alameda Vieja s/n, 11403 Jerez de la Frontera, Cadiz, Andalusia
Price: 5 EUR (5.50 USD)
Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 5.30 pm
Contact: +34 956149955
Jerez and Cádiz Day Trip from Seville
Departure Point: Centrally-located hotel pickup
Price: from 117.48 USD
Departure time: 9 am
Duration: Around 10 hours
With an old town and newer parts dramatically divided in two by El Tajo Gorge, Ronda is one of the third-most visited towns in Andalusia and one of the pueblos blancos (white-washed villages). Nestled high up in the mountains, Ronda offers breathtaking views of the landscape. Most visitors make a beeline for the emblematic Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), which connects the old Moorish town (La Ciudad) and new town (El Mercadillo). Cross the bridge and feel your heart skip a beat when you look down the 98-metre-deep (321.5-foot-deep) ravine. For the adventurous souls, you can climb down the rocks or take the footpath down to the bottom. It is beautiful in spring when all the flowers dotting the valley are in full bloom. Hold on tight to your cameras, it’s a long way down!
Built entirely from stone, the Plaza de Toros (bullring) of Ronda is one of the oldest in Spain and boasts the largest rueda (round circle of sand in the centre) in the world. Bullfighting events are seldom held in this bullring save for during the Feria Goyesca, an annual event created by Ronda’s famous bullfighting maestro Antonio Ordoñez, and held in the first week of September. There is also a museum within the bullring where you can see some historic bull-fighting memorabilia.
Other notable attractions include the well-preserved Arabic Baths, Palacio de Mondragón (Mondragon Palace), and the lovely square of Plaza de la Duquesa de Parcent.
Plaza de Toros Ronda
Address: Calle Virgen de la Paz, 15, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
Price: 7 EUR (7.80 USD)
Opening Hours: April to September 10 am - 8 pm (Except during the Feria)
Contact: +34 952 87 41 32
Website: Plaza de Toros
Arab Baths Ronda
Address: Calle Molino de Alarcón, 11, 29400 Ronda, Malaga
Price: 3 EUR (3.30 USD)
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 10 am -6 pm (7 pm in spring and summer)
Contact: +34 656950937
Website: Arab Baths
Address: Plaza Mondragón, s/n, 29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
Price: 3 EUR (3.30 USD)
Opening Hours: Mon to Fri 9 am - 7 pm, Sat to Sun 10 am - 3 pm
Contact: +34 952 87 08 18
Website: Mondragón Palace
Ronda Day Trip from Seville: Wine Tasting, Bullfighting Ring and Optional Pueblos Blancos Tour
Departure Point: Central Seville / hotel pickup
Price: From 121.84 USD
Departure Time: 8 am
Duration: 11 hours approximately
An important Roman city, the capital of Islamic Spain in the middle ages, and the birthplace of the well-known philosopher, Seneca, Córdoba was once a powerful and dazzling place. Now its power has somewhat dimmed, but its treasure trove of historical and architectural gems shines brighter than ever. The world-famous Mezquita (The Great Mosque) of Córdoba, the symbol of the city, is a true work of art and draws swarms of visitors to its grounds every year. Built during the Moorish occupation, the lustrous interior and forest of columns and giant horseshoe arches are a delight for the eyes. In spring, the gentle scent of orange blossoms perfumes the air as you enter the Patio de los Naranjos (Courtyard of the Oranges). If there is one place you have to visit in Córdoba, it is the Mezquita.
Apart from the mosque, take time to discover the other cultural jewels of Córdoba. Wander through the atmospheric streets of the old Jewish Quarter, the Juderia, where history awaits around every corner you turn. Cross the 16-arch Roman Bridge (which was featured in the Game of Thrones TV series) at sunset and watch the golden light play off the stones. Roam the peaceful gardens of the Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos and admire the Moorish architecture. Having the second-largest old town in Europe, Córdoba is rich in colour, diversity, and cultural heritage.
The Great Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba
Address: Calle del Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba, Spain
Price: 8 EUR (8.90 USD)
Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 10 am - 7 pm; Sun 8.30 am -11.30 am and 3 pm - 7 pm (Mar - Oct)
Website: Mosque of Córdoba
Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos
Address: Plaza Campo Santo de los Mártires, s/n, 14004 Córdoba, Spain
Price: 4.50 EUR (5 USD), Free for children under 14
Opening Hours: Summer (16 Jun to 15 Sep) Tue to Sat 8.30 am - 3 pm, Sun 8.30 am - 2.30 pm
Contact: +34 957 42 01 51
Website: Alcazar de Los Reyes Cristianos
Cordoba Day Trip from Seville
Departure Point: Selected hotels / central locations in Seville
Price: From 106.29 USD
Departure Time: 9 am
Duration: Around 9 hours
Just half an hour by bus from Seville, Carmona is a popular place for day-trippers and is an ideal getaway from the frenzied crowds that tend to besiege Seville’s main attractions. One of the pueblos blancos, Carmona is a peaceful small town and awash with authentic Andalusian charm. It is an easy and short journey there; buses to Carmona leave hourly from the Prado de San Sebastian bus station in Seville.
You might feel a sense of déjà vu when you spot the 15th-century tower that was built in imitation of Seville’s Giralda. Walk under the towering fortified gates of the Puerta de Sevilla that mark the entrance to the historic old town, and stop by the tourist office located there to get a map or ask for information. Wander within the walls of the old town, visit the market, or enter the Alcazar de la Puerta de Sevilla and climb the steps to the top for stunning views of the city and the green plains beyond.
Another interesting place of note is the Roman Necropolis outside the old city walls, which dates back to 1st century BC and offers a glimpse of Roman burial traditions. You are free to explore the site yourself and can even descend down into some of the tombs via ladders that have been placed there.
Sightseeing really does cook up an appetite. The best itinerary combines sightseeing with sampling all the culinary delights a city has to offer. Look out for the blue and white flags of the famous Tapas Route in Carmona. Be sure to try out local specialities like chicken soup (sopa de picadillo), tagarnina (a mixture of thistles and scrambled eggs), and salmorejo or gazpacho (cold tomato-based soups). Top it off with a slice of torta inglesa (English cake) and a glass of Anise Los Hermano (a liquor that is distilled and packaged in Carmona).
Address: Avenida de Jorge Bonsor, 9, 41410 Carmona, Seville, Andalusia
Price: 1.50 EUR (1.70 USD), free for EU Citizens
Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 3.30 pm daily. Closed on Mondays. (Jun 16 to Sep 15)
Contact: +34 600143632
Website: Roman Necropolis
Alcazar de la Puerta de Sevilla
Address: Calle Puerta de Sevilla, 5D, 41410 Carmona, Sevilla, Spain
Price: 2 EUR (2.20 USD) (Free on Mondays)
Opening Hours: 10 am - 6 pm daily (open till 3 pm on Sundays)
Contact: +34 954190955
Website: Alcazar de la Puerta de Sevilla
Carmona and Necropolis: Guided Day Tour from Seville
Departure Point: Centrally-located Seville hotel
Price: From 40.28 USD
Departure Time: 9.30 am
Duration: Around 5 hours
6. Outside Andalusia - Gibraltar (Single Trip 10.75 GBP (14 USD), Return 12.75 GBP (16.60 USD), Student 11.25 GBP (14.70 USD))
As a British Overseas Territory situated on the southern tip of Spain, Gibraltar is an alluring fusion of different cultures. English is the official language, but most Gibraltarians speak Spanish and / or Portuguese. Other languages such as Berber, Arabic, and Hindi are spoken by the ethnic communities living there as well. You might hear snatches of a conversation with different elements of the different languages mixed up in a sentence; this is Llanito, a kind of dialect unique to Gibraltar.
The most famous sight is the Rock of Gibraltar, one of the two fabled ‘Pillars of Hercules’, which looms imposingly as you enter. Home to Europe’s only wild population of monkeys and dramatically overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar, it is well worth a trip up. The view is simply breathtaking as you gaze upon the African coastline, the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, and Spain’s Costa del Sol. If you are confident of navigating the steep winding roads, you can drive up. Alternatively, walk up if you’re fit or take the cable car from Top Station and enjoy the uninterrupted views all around. Don’t monkey around with the monkeys though, as they have been known to steal food or pickpocket visitors. Purchase a ticket to the Upper Rock Nature Reserve that includes entry into St Michael’s Cave (a stunning natural grotto) and The Great Siege Tunnels (a defensive system that cut through the rock), among other sites.
Remember to bring your passport along when visiting Gibraltar as there are passport controls at the border. Also note that the official currency is the pound sterling.
Address: Grand Parade, Gibraltar
Price: Single Trip 10.75 GBP (14 USD), Return 12.75 GBP (16.60 USD), Student 11.25 GBP (14.70 USD)
Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 7.15 pm daily (Apr to Oct); 9.30 am - 5.15 pm (Nov - Mar)
Duration: 6 minutes’ ride
Contact: (+350) 200 12760
Website: Cable Car
Upper Rock Nature Reserve
Price: 10 GBP (13 USD)
Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 7.15 pm
Website: Visit Gibraltar
Gibraltar Day Trip from Seville
Departure Point: Central Seville / hotel pickup
Price: From 121.84 USD
Departure Time: 8 - 8.30 am
Duration: Around 11 hours
The quintessential Spanish experience
There’s no better region than Andalusia for you to experience the authentic beauty of Spain. From the warm Spanish sunshine, the passionate flamenco, and the fascinating Moorish-influenced architecture, to the best tapas you will ever have, Andalusia has it all. Make use of the ideal location of Seville to immerse yourself deeper in Spanish culture and discover what southern Spain has to offer.
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