If you’re not sure what to expect on day trips from Granada, Spain, then you’ve come to the right place. This post will cover everything from tours, where to go, how to get there, and so forth.
Granada is a captivating city known for its dramatic architecture and artistic monuments. Think medieval buildings, serene patios, and royal palaces complemented by lush gardens and a mountainous backdrop. You’ll find plenty of exciting, and even free activities in Granada that are sure to provide some memorable travel moments. But it doesn’t have to end there.
Beyond the city lies more adventure, sights to behold, and places to explore. You’ll have a handful of options in the greater regions of Granada. How about an excursion to the towering Sierra Nevada mountains or a relaxing day at a quaint beach town? Or you can drive out to nearby cities for some sightseeing and foodie adventures.
Must-Visit Cities Near Granada, Spain
It’s easy to find a city near Granada that can offer you many things to do and places to see. The must-visit cities below are the perfect destinations for a memorable day trip from Granada.
Seville is the home of flamenco dancing, the mecca of oranges, and the perfect blend of Moorish and Gothic architecture. The large southern city is said to have been elaborately designed by Hercules himself. With so much elegance and rich cultural history, it’s no surprise that many flock to this city.
But Sevilla is more than just a pretty face — you can do sightseeing and visit some of its top attractions. So, to make the most out of a day trip to Sevilla, we present you with a few options:
Visit the Seville Cathedral
Sitting in the heart of the historic center is the largest Gothic-style cathedral in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Seville Cathedral. The site has many other historical attractions surrounding it for more exploration, including the majestic Giralda bell tower. This Roman Catholic cathedral is a must-see attraction of the city.
The famous Cathedral opens its doors to the public every weekday from 10:45 am to 5 pm. However, Sundays are the exception, with opening hours falling between 2:30 and 6:30 pm. An entry ticket costs about $10 (€9.79) but only covers access to the cathedral grounds.
If you’re keen to see more, this fantastic tour allows you to explore the interior of the Seville Cathedral.
Explore the Royal Alcazar
The Royal Alcazar of Seville, historically known as “al-Qasr al-Muriq,” is Europe’s oldest palace still in use. Its captivating design and rich historical background make it a well-known tourist attraction and another UNESCO World Heritage Site to tick off your list.
The Royal Palace owes its existence to the Castilian Christians who had built it on the grounds of an Abbasid Muslim alcazar (an Islamic castle or palace). You can admire the beautiful Moorish structures and arches of the palace or stroll through the gorgeous gardens. The Royal Alcazar truly makes for an unforgettable experience that you can see for yourself with this excellent tour.
For an independent excursion, you can visit the Royal Alcazar every day of the week from 9:30 am to 5 pm. The general entrance ticket will cost you around $13.79 (€13.50).
Where To Eat in Seville
The following restaurants offer some of the best food in Seville:
- Bodeguita Romero – This restaurant is an excellent introduction to the Sevilla tapas and wine Their famous montaditos de pringá (a meat stew sandwich) is to die for, so definitely give them a go.
- Bodeguita Antonio Romero Origen – A budget-friendly restaurant that offers guests a classic Andalusian sit-down dinner. To top this unmissable dining experience, you should try their smoked salmon with white asparagus served with caviar.
- Cañabota – A highly rated Michelin-star restaurant that specializes in high-end seafood. You can expect quality, decadence, and probably the best fine-dining experience in Seville.
If you don’t have the time for a sit-down dinner or you’re not looking to splurge on food, then you’ll have plenty of fantastic cafes and street food options around the city. Pair this with some free things to do in Seville and you’ll save even more.
How to travel to Sevilla from Granada
You can travel to Sevilla by train, bus, flight, or car. If you decide to rent a car, you’ll have to take the A-92 highway for about three hours — the drive is scenic! Traveling by bus may be your cheapest option at only $27.59 (€27), which takes roughly three hours.
Tip: You might also like our post on planning a Sevilla to Granada Day Trip.
Another prominent city near Granada that is worth a visit is Málaga. This is the type of place where you can lounge on beaches, stroll through markets and botanical gardens, and dance the night away. You might want to spend the night due to the impressive high-rise hotels and the ecstatic nightlife in Málaga.
However, you can find many things to do in Málaga for an unforgettable day trip.
Bath and Relax at the Hammam
How about 90 minutes of pure relaxation? Submerge your body into an ancient Andalusian Arab bathtub to rejuvenate. Visitors can hop between varying bathtub temperatures or sweat it out in the steam room. If you’re into this type of relaxation, go ahead and look at this entry ticket.
Visit an Ancient Roman Theatre
Málaga has an extensive history as one of the oldest cities in the world that involves many cultures, conflicts, and colonization. If you adore ancient history, you’ll love a stroll through the ruins of a Roman theater and the palatial Alcazaba.
The Alcazaba is a Moorish fortification and the most well-preserved of its kind in Spain, so it’s worth a glance. This guided tour is an excellent option if you’re keen on getting a closer look at these historical monuments.
Where to Eat in Málaga
Málaga is not only known for its music and monuments, but the food here will drive any foodie to the table. Here are some delectable choices for you:
- El Tintero – This is an affordable beach restaurant that operates opposite to fine dining. Expect cohesive chaos, mouthwatering dishes, and very loud servers. Servers walk around with various dishes in hand, shouting out what’s on the dishes and guests choose what they like. Then, they’re charged per amount of plates on the table – fun, right?
- Casa Lola – To experience a traditional Spanish tavern, we suggest you give this place a try. You’ll have a drink and a bite amongst the locals topped with delicious traditional tapas. Try their croquettes and patatas bravas (spicy potatoes) and thank us later.
Tip: You can discover the best tapas and bars in Málaga to get a taste of the exciting nightlife.
How to Travel to Málaga from Granada
Traveling to Málaga is a much shorter journey than Sevilla, which you can complete in half the time. It takes an hour and 40 minutes by car on the scenic A-92. Other transport options are by bus, train, or taxi. The cheapest way to travel is via bus at only $7.50 (€7.35).The quickest route will be via train, which will only take up an hour and 10 minutes of your time.
Activities Near Granada Mountain
You can venture to Granada’s natural scenery and the Sierra Nevada mountains to escape the city.
Explore the Las Alpujarras Region
Las Alpujarras, or just Alpujarras, is a mountainous district of Andalusia. The district houses several quaint villages that represent the simplicities of life, unlike the big cities mentioned before. So if you’re into picturesque villages decorated with fruit trees, vineyards, and rolling hills, this would be the perfect break from Granada city.
You can choose to explore up to fifty-odd whitewashed villages. We recommend visiting Pampaneira or Bubion, both bustling with cafes, restaurants, and craft boutiques. For an authentic Alpujarra experience, you won’t want to miss Capileira village. This village is the biggest of the three, with about 600 citizens, and offers the best bars and accommodation in the region.
How to Travel to Las Alpujarras From Granada
You can take a three-hour drive to Alpujarras via the N-323 through Armilla, Padul, and other towns. It will take you more than five hours to get there by bus or train, so renting a car would be the best time-saver. Alternatively, going on a full-day tour to Las Alpujarras from Granada is likely the most convenient way to explore the region.
See the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Get your hiking shoes ready and take on the impressive Granada Mountains – the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is considered the highest mountain in Spain and sits an hour away from Granada, offering the perfect break from modern civilization. Dotted with stunning whitewashed villages and complete with exciting trekking routes and skiing slopes, this would guarantee an adventurous day trip.
If you’re comfortable enough to traverse the mountain independently, then kudos. But this Sierra Nevada tour might be the better option for those who are not as confident in their navigation skills.
Getting to the Sierra Nevada Mountains From Granada City
You can travel to the Sierra Nevada Mountains by taxi, car, or bus via the A395. But brace yourself for one of the highest roads in Europe, with seemingly endless winds around the mountain. Your adventurous trip will take around 40 minutes.
Visit A Granada Beach in Spain
Take the day to explore an exotic Granada, Spain beach town on the Andalusian coast. The Granada coast has about 26 beaches that stretch for 73 km and are home to 17 towns. With crystal clear waters and pleasant temperatures all year round, visiting a beach would make for a fantastic day trip. Here are beach towns to consider for amazing vacations in Granada:
Almuñécar sits about 80 km out of Granada, nestled between mountains and a lush valley. This town’s well-known beaches are San Cristobal, Del Mar, and Velilla. You can sunbathe on one of the beaches, walk along the promenade, then explore the old town.
The old town has the cutest white buildings with small terraces that look out on the narrow cobblestone streets. You can pop in by the many tapas bars and shops. Or visit the Old Roman, an archaeological museum filled with Roman pottery and Egyptian artifacts. It takes about an hour to travel to Almuñécar by car on the A-44 road.
Motril is the second largest town in the Granada province. This beautiful town has many accommodations along its Mediterranean coast, attracting thousands of visitors annually. Enjoy the picturesque white villages, restaurants, beach, and historical museums for the day.
The town offers many green spaces, such as Pueblos de América Park (the park of the peoples of America), which is excellent for recreation and birdwatching. If you’re craving action, visit the town’s selection of restaurants and tapas that serve traditional local cuisine.
If you have the time, you can check out the many bars and the exciting nightlife of Motril. The drive to Motril takes about 50 minutes to complete via the A-44 road.
On Granada’s southwestern coast, you’ll find a stunning seaside resort, La Herradura. This Costa Tropical town invites you to lounge on its beach and explore its villages. Its adorable white villages tower above rocky terrain and peer onto an aquamarine coastline.
This town offers many outdoor and water activities such as kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, and mountain biking. Some top sights in La Herradura include La Ermita, the San Jose Church, and the Shipwrecked Sailors. So, even a tiny coastal town like this will keep you busy for an entire day.
Where to Stay in Granada, Spain
Since you’re traveling from Granada, you’ll probably need a place to stay while you’re there. Fortunately, Granada offers visitors a myriad of good choices. We think you might like the following accommodations in the city center.
- The Saray Hotel is an elegant Andalusian-style accommodation with an outdoor pool, garden terraces, fountains, and beautiful archways.
- The Ibis Granada sits a convenient 5-minute drive from the historic center and 15 minutes from the Alhambra Palace. The rooms are modern, cozy, and accompanied by restaurants, a pool, bar, and buffet breakfast.
- Hotel Inglaterra is a beautifully decorated and stylish property located in central Granada. You can enjoy breathtaking city views from your room or relax in the traditional Andalusian courtyard.
Tip: Here are some Granada Airbnb options that you can look at if you prefer these over hotels.
Start Planning Your Trip
Now that you know where to go and what to do, you’re ready for Granada and the south of Spain. But before you go, we think you might appreciate or benefit from a few tips and tricks we’ve picked up from traversing these parts.
Best Time to Visit Granada
The best time to visit Granada and its surrounding areas is during the shoulder season in May, June, September, and October. Try traveling to Andalucia in October if you’re on a tight budget, as this is considered the low season, with July being the high season for tourism.
Summer: June to September
Winter: November to March
Book Your Flight on a Budget
We highly suggest that you try to book your flight three weeks ahead of departure to better your chances of securing a below-average ticket. You can use Skyscanner to discover cheaper flights for your tour to Granada.
Know Before You Go
Apart from your everyday essentials, there are things you should know or have with you for your vacation in Granada. We recommend having the following items:
- Keep a map of Granada and the surrounding areas on you or downloaded on your phone at all times.
- Bring a pair of good walking shoes. You can easily get around Granada on foot as the city is small. Also, most activities require a lot of mobility.
- Wear sunglasses and sunscreen for warmer months as Granada’s summer is hot and dry.
- Granada may be colder than other parts of Spain in winter because of its proximity to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. So If you are visiting Granada in the winter, make sure to have clothing that will shield you from cold temperatures and possible snow.
- If your day trip from Granada requires you to do a bit of traveling, then you’re better off arranging everything in advance. Try to book your sightseeing or activity tours before you leave Granada so that you don’t miss out.
- You can use the Moovit website or app to see all the available bus and metro agencies in Granada, including departure times.
Final Thoughts on Day Trips From Granada
There are many fantastic cities, towns, and regions to explore near Granada. If you think you’ll enjoy this trip, you might also like a Ronda day trip. So there you have it! You are now ready for a day trip from Granada.