The South of Spain is the ultimate playground for any beach lover and nature enthusiast. While the country is far too vast to tackle in one trip, all the cities in Southern Spain are easily accessible for your next vacation! So when planning your Southern Spain itinerary, make sure to include these stunning cities in your travel plans!
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While this might be an obvious first choice, it’s also very apparent why so many people love this city. As the unofficial hub of Southern Spain Seville is full of culture, monuments, and great food! Its deep-rooted Moorish influence can be seen in architecture from the cathedral to the old Jewish quarter.
Also, walking through the street almost feels like you’re strolling through a perfectly preserved museum. Everything is beautiful, from the lush nature to the massive squares filled with people. Seville is truly the perfect city to get into the swing of Spanish culture!
This small town on Costa Del Sol is often overlooked by people when planning their Southern Spain itinerary. Most travelers instead choose to stay closer to popular cities like Malaga, and miss all the more local spots. Make no mistake though, this small city in Southern Spain is well worth the visit! Nerja plays host to the famous Balcon de Europa, and a gorgeous 9th century castle.
These days the balcony overlooking the sea and mountains is the main focus of the town. With a handful of beautiful long beaches and small coves making up its coastline, Nerja is perfect for a Southern Spain vacation!
If you’re up for an adventure you can also visit the Nerja Caves outside of town. Just beware, this is the kind of town that people fall in love with, and never end up leaving!
→ 15 Best Things to do in Nerja Spain: Beaches, Tapas, & More
While technically Gibraltar isn’t part of Southern Spain, we chose to add it due to its surprising location right in the middle of the Spanish coastline! This British colony is well worth a visit, and is extremely easy to get to for a day trip from the cities of Southern Spain. When crossing over the airport tarmac (literally) by foot, car, or bicycle, you’ll be transported straight from Spain to Great Britain.
It’s time to change those Euros to Pounds and enjoy a nice helping of fish and chips! The Rock of Gibraltar sits high above the city, and has some incredible views from the top. You can even see across to Africa on a clear day. Be careful of the wild monkeys roaming the glorious viewing point!
→ 17 Awesome Facts about Gibraltar
Malaga is a beautiful city full of life and history. Get lost in Gibralfaro Castle’s stunning architecture with something to see around every corner. You can also take a stroll down to the harbor to admire the boats and large ships coming into port.
Honestly, you really shouldn’t travel to Southern Spain without a visit to Malaga. Every day we spent in this coastal paradise felt like a celebration! If you’re lucky enough to visit during Christmas time you’ll witness to one of the largest light displays in all of Southern Spain.
Often referred to as the City in the Sky, this medieval metropolis is sure to captivate any traveler! It’s main attraction is the 18th century Puente Nuevo bridge which connects the new city with old town. For the best views, be prepared to hike down into the El Tajo Gorge and view the bridge from below.
Here you can truly appreciate its massive size and beauty. Full of stunning views, amazing Arab baths, and one of the oldest bull rings in all of Spain, don’t leave Ronda off your Southern Spain itinerary.
There is a good reason why this is the top day trip in the country, and something you definitely need to add to your Southern Spain itinerary.
→ Ronda Spain: Fun Guide to Spain’s Medieval City in the Sky
Want to know where Spain’s elite go to socialize? The coastal city of Marbella is the perfect destination for anyone wanting to experience a little luxury on their Southern Spain vacation. Have a meal in Plaza de Oranges where you will be surrounded by dozens of orange trees.
You can also head to the Marina where clubs and restaurants fill the fancy boatyard. Whatever you’re into there’s so much to experience in Marbella! Take a walk or hop on a bike, where you can travel on the coastal path for a scenic 27 kilometers.
As one of the most highly underrated cities in Southern Spain, Cadiz is a great spot to get a true feeling of the Spanish lifestyle. The old town is surrounded by a walled fortress, and two unique castles protect the harbor! After seeing a few pictures does it look familiar?
Cadiz was featured in several blockbuster movies including the James Bond series! Make sure to take one of several self-guided walking tours that snake their way through the city on your visit. Also, head towards the water where dozens of beach bars pop up in the warm summer months.
→ Free Walking Tour Cadiz: Stroll through History in Spain’s Oldest City
At first glance, La Herradura might appear a little more neglected than some of the other touristic towns you’ll encounter on your Southern Spain travel. Yet don’t let that fool you! Amazing bars and restaurants line the stunning beaches of the coast.
Massive mountains are the backdrop for this small beach town, and the light blue ocean is the highlight. Head over to the popular Marina del Este to hop on a boat trip, or even go scuba diving from La Herradura.
Standing on a mid-century Moorish castle, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful palm trees mixed with lush gardens. In the distance, you can see the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Have you ever had palm trees and snow in the same view? I didn’t think so! That’s the kind of surreal beauty you can expect from Granada.
This city continues to dazzle travelers, from its incredibly tasty tapa deals to its deep Arabic history. Whether you’re getting lost in Albayzín or watching the sunset overlooking Alhambra, this city will not disappoint on your Southern Spain itinerary!
→ 15 Amazing Things to do in Granada Spain on Your First Visit
Don’t worry, we saved one of the best for last! This small city set in the hills of beautiful Costa del Sol will take your breath away. The white washed buildings are layered into the hillside, and the cobble stone streets are out of this world.
Many people miss this hidden gem as they travel to Southern Spain between the larger cities. Yet if you’re looking for a beautiful spot to sip some local wines and get lost in the beauty of a Southern Spain vacation, then Frigiliana is the place for you!
→ Frigiliana Spain: A Day in Andalusia’s Most Beautiful Mountain Town
These are just a handful of the countless beautiful cities to add to your Southern Spain vacation! Is there a place that you love to visit when you travel to Southern Spain? Leave a comment below, and let us know what your favorite is!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Best of Spain: 40 Foods & Drinks – Visiting in Winter – 13 Best Drinks – Plate of the Day – Vueling Airlines Tips – Rupit
Granada: Best Tapas – Alhambra de Granada
Nerja: Best Tapas – Playa Burriana – Nerja Caves
Gran Canaria: 13 Food & Drinks – Agaete Natural Pools – Route of the Tapas – Volcano Hike
Fuerteventura: Travel Guide – 12 Best Beaches – Renting a Car – Aguas Verdes Natural Pool – Krabbenfelsen Natural Pool – Popcorn Beach
Tenerife: 7 Best Beaches – Playa Amarilla – Mount Teide Volcano Drive – Boat Tour
Spain Travel Planning
Flights: We always find the best flights using Skyscanner. Sometimes it’s cheaper to fly between cities in Spain than driving or taking the train!
Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget.
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to explore when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic Spain road trip!
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for thousands of activities around Spain. You can book a tour of the Madrid Royal Palace, skip the line and explore the Alhambra de Granada, or even jump on a Tenerife Dolphin cruise!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials!
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Spain is the right place to stay and travel among tour enthusiasts. It is one of the top travel destination in the world and i love the way you are explaining the beauty in a bold way. Subscribed your blog for regular updates.
You’re totally right Spain is one of our favorite countries in the world! Thanks for following along (:
Been there to most locations, and , no lie ,well worth the trip. The people respond well to smiles and an effort to speak Spanish. TheTapas are a small tasty sample of food with wine or beer. Gib is a very nice surprise. A half steak and a pint for lunch at any pub completes your day after the view and apes.
Yeah we love Southern Spain! Glad you enjoyed it