Our Andalusian trip took place on 9-15th of October 2016. It started in Berlin where we had the plane to Malaga, Spain. We travelled by AirBerlin. This trip differed a bit from what we have experienced during holidays spent together by far, as we decided to rent a car in advance but no appartments. We wanted to visit several famous andalusian cities but didn’t have a strict plan. Booking appartments during each day of holidays depending on where we’d like to spend the night seemed the best thing to do and looking back I can highly recommend it.
Andalusian trip part 1: Malaga, Granada, Cordoba
During a six days trip we visited 7 marvellous places according to the route shown below: Malaga -> Granada -> Cordoba -> Sevilla -> Ronda -> Gibraltar -> Marbella. I splitted our travel memories into two blog posts to make the reading more convenient. In the first one I am going to describe time spent in Malaga, Granada and Cordoba.
Malaga, Andalusia, Spain
The trip started on Sunday, 9th October at 6 o’clock at Tegel Airport, Berlin. Direct flight to Malaga took less than 3 hours. Right on the airport we went to the Record Go car rental, where we received the keys to the previously reserved car. We decided for higher insurance level and paid 207 euro for a rental including 48 euro for fuel (it was returned on our account later, as we returned the car with full tank). We were driving a lot refueling a couple of times. At the end of the day total cost of car rental with fuel was about 250 euro.
Churros – most typical spanish breakfast
Right from the airport we drived to the city centre of Malaga for our first spanish breakfast. We were nicely surprised landing in Casa Aranda – the atmosphere, typical spanish buzz, taste of food and smell of coffee differed a lot from what we experience on a daily basis – it was like moving to another dimension. For our first breakfast we had churros – a fried-dough pastry served with chocolate and delicious coffee poured into plain glasses and filled with milk from old-looking kettle right at your table. Nice experience for starting your holidays!
Sightseeing in Malaga – Playa de Malaqueta, Castillo de Gibralfaro, Alcazaba
Full and happy we decided for a short exploration of the Malaga city. Starting from a beach with Malaqueta sign we walked along the port and then moved to Gibralfaro castle.
Walking to the top of Gibralfaro mountain took as 20-30 minutes after which we could admire the remains of the castle rising from pine and eucalyptus woods and panorama of Malaga with it’s marvellous port.
Close to the Gibralfaro Castle you will find Alcazaba of Malaga – ruins of fortification built in 11th century, one of the best-preserved buildings of that type. A bit tired as we woke up at 3:30 in the morning we skipped it and had a dinner instead ;) We ate it in El Gastronauta located at one of charming streets of Malaga.
The food was tasty but the dinner proved that fast customer service doesn’t exist in Spain, which we experienced many times more during our stay ;) After the dinner we continued our journey to Granada.
Granada, Andalusia, Spain
Granada located about 130 km from Malaga was a first place we wanted to spend a night in. We reached it in the late Sunday evening. First impression of the city? Lots of really narrow streets making turning your car quite a challenge and no places to park it for free. Some hotels offer parkings at nearby streets for 12-20 euro but it’s only available until the hour of check-out (12:00 in most cases). We decided for public parking that costs about 0,03 euro per minute, and payed 15 euro in total the next day.
Because we only had 1 days in most of places visited, it was our strategy to book hotels in the strict city centre so we didn’t waste time for commuting, searching for parkings etc. As we didn’t want to spend fortune we were choosing simple rooms – cleanness, private bathroom, good opinions on Booking.com were just enough for us. Prices for one night during whole holidays differed from 28 – 54 euro which was really good for perfect location in every city we stationed.
In Granada we stayed in Hostal Atenas, the cheapest one during the holidays (28 euro for 1 night). The price, location in the city centre (10 minutes from Alhambra), balcony and excellent view was great option considering that we booked it about 2 hours before the check-in. I highly recommend that one once you’re in Granada.
Sightseeing in Granada – Alcaceria, Alhambra, Mirador de San Nicolas
We started sightseeing from a big breakfast. Olympia Cafeteria-Pasteleria where we ate is a bit old-looking but serves very tasty food and delicious, freshly squeezed juice from Spanish oranges. The juice accompanied us at every breakfast to the very end of the trip.
After breakfast we visited Alcaiceria – charming neighbourhood originally built in 15th century, then destroyed by the fire in 19th and rebuilt again. Alcaiceria consists of several streets with plenty of Arabic shops and products like silks, spices and much more.
We continued the walk in the city centre admiring the streets, views and typical slippery pavement.
Alhambra is the best known attraction in Granada. Arabic palace and fortress originally constructed in 9th century are the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Important notice: only 100 people a day can visit Alhambra. Book the tickets in advance if you want to enter the fortress. We missed the moment and had to settle for visiting it’s neighbourhood with scenic gardens only.
Mirador de San Nicolas , Granada
To sweeten the bitterness of not being able to explore Alhambra more deeply, we went to the Mirador de San Nicolas which seems to be the best viewpoint in the whole city. The hill offers a spectacular view of Alhambra:
Satisfied with the marvellous landscape we moved to Cordoba.
Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain
Cordoba is the most famous for it’s Mosque-Cathedral. We rented a room in Hostal el Triunfo located about 20 metres from it and payed 38 euro for a night.
We left our luggage and decided to have a look at the city before the sun goes down. We were enchanted by the view of Roman Bridge at sunset as well as the atmosphere of narrow streets.
We also had the best dinner during all holidays that deserve seperate section ;)
La Tata, Cordoba, Andalusia
La Tata is small, humble tapas bar located at the main streets of Old Town. We visited it encouraged by great opinions on TripAdvisor. Opinions were not exaggererated as for a really decent price we had about 5 tapas and 5 glasses of wine. We orderd halves of portions (3 euro each) as we wanted to taste as much as we can but they were really BIG. We especially recommend spicy Spanish sausage in red wine and delicious vegetable ratatouille.
Sightseeing in Cordoba – Mosque-Cathedral and Jardines del Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba
On the Tuesday morning we visited the mosque-cathedral of Cordoba and it’s very nice orange trees’ garden located in the courtyard. Even though we’re not a fans of such an entertainment, the building was really impressive. Originally the Catholic church, then divided between the Muslims and Christians, changed into the grand Mosque of Cordoba was then converted to a Roman church again. First version of the monument was built in 7th (!) century, it’s one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Jardines del Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos
Jardines del Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, meaning Alcázar Gardens of Christian Kings are located close to the Roman Bridge. The terrain consists of beautiful gardens, courtyards and fontains. It’s a perfect place if you want to rest in the shadow of trees during a warm day. Visiting the Jardines I had a small Styling DIY flowers crown photosession <- click to check it.
This was the first 3 days of our spanish holidays in summary. The next days we visited: Sevilla, Ronda, Gibraltar and Marbella – check Andalusian trip part 2 for the details!
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