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One Week Andalucia Itinerary From Malaga With a Rental Car

Malaga Airport is the fourth busiest in Spain. It even has inter-continental flights, making it the best gateway to southern Spain and, in particular, the region of Andalucia. While Seville also has an airport, it’s smaller, and flights are more limited. Hence why starting your Andalucia road trip here makes sense. When it comes to booking a Malaga airport car rental, it’s usually best to skip the broker and reserve direct to secure the best price – and with Malaga Airport being larger than Seville, there are generally more choices and deals to be found here. Of course, if you’re planning to just enjoy a city break in Malaga or a weekend in Seville, then hiring a car is perhaps not needed. You might also think a car isn’t required because Spain has Europe’s most extensive high-speed network. But for this itinerary which includes some of Spain’s hidden gems across the Malaga province, a car will not only help you make the most of your time but also allow you to reach small villages and more remote beaches rarely serviced by buses, let alone have a train station. Tip: Download the Telpark app to find and pay for parking spaces in the major cities. Nerja is a beautiful mountain-backed city with beaches Nerja is a beautiful mountain-backed city with beaches One week Andalucia itinerary starting and ending in Malaga After landing at Malaga Airport and collecting your rental car, it’s time to hit the road – I propose finishing your visit in Malaga instead, so there’s no last-minute rush – and heading straight to the beach to wash off the flight in those alluring warm waters. Day one: Malaga to Nerja Driving time: Around one hour Tracking the coast east, you’ll find a bevvy of beautiful bays and beaches to relax on as you head to spend the night in Nerja, a coastal resort city backed by verdant mountains. There are some great (but sometimes busy) beaches in the city itself, so I’d propose stopping at one or two of the attractions and beaches en route, such as Playa las Dunas. Just be aware that the beaches on this stretch of coast are slightly greyer in colour than those in west Andalucia. The Alhambra of Granada is well worth the provincial detour The Alhambra of Granada is well worth the provincial detour Day two: White Villages (or Serra Nevada) and Granada Driving time: Around 90-120 minutes depending on detours After breakfast in Nerja overlooking the ocean, it’s time to continue your one week Andalucia road trip inland to the grand city of Granada. But first, pick your detour. You could either visit the Serra Nevada, an impressive mountain range with tiny villages and winter skiing options just outside Granada or stop at one of the Pueblos Blancos instead. These small, whitewashed villages characterise the region, and there are a couple nearby, such as Frigiliana. After enjoying lunch in the mountains or a small village, continue to Granada, one of the best cities to visit in Spain for food. Here, park up the car and enjoy a drink-laden dinner, as in most bars, you’ll be served delicious free tapas with every beverage. Honestly, while living here, I often didn’t even buy dinner but filled up on these. Have an evening walk around the city in the cooler air, but plan for an early start to tour the Alhambra. Day three: Granada Driving time: Around 75 minutes If there is one thing you must do during an Andalucia road trip, it’s visit the vast palaces and gardens of the Alhambra complex. Be sure to book your tickets in advance (either with a guide or read up on the history of the Alhambra before your visit) as they often sell out, and aim for one of the first timed entrances of the day. These Islamic palaces are ornate, intricate and unforgettable. Afterwards, take a stroll around the Albaicín neighbourhood, where the Muslim influence remains on show, before enjoying a typical lunch. You could then either spend another night in Granada before setting off early to the Caminito del Rey or drive to the small, laid-back and charming town of Antequera for a night to see a slightly slower-paced part of Malaga province. One Week Andalucia Road Trip Itinerary From Malaga Play Video Day four: Caminito del Rey, Setenil de las Bodegas and Ronda Driving time: Around two hours Another attraction you’ll need to book in advance, the Caminito del Rey, is certainly not for those with a fear of heights. This impressive gorge is hugged by a walking trail which clings to the edge of the gorge, with bridges crossing the sparkling waters below. The nearly 8-kilometre route could be rushed in a couple of hours, but allow a bit longer to really make the most of the dizzying views.