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Five Dramatic & Beautiful Road Trips in Southern Spain

Moorish Castle with Mountain Backdrop in Andalucia, Spain

As a region full of mountain ranges, Andalucia has some truly spectacular roads, winding around steep hills, through thick forests, down into green valleys carpeted with flowers, and to the sea. Here are five of the best southern Spain road trips...

White Towns

Andalucia is famous for its pueblos blancos, mountain villages of white houses, often dating from Moorish times. One of the most famous of these is Arcos de la Frontera, dramatically positioned high above the river. From here take the A372 east to Grazalema, the wettest town in Spain, in the beautiful lush hills of the Sierra de Grazalema. Drive down the mountain (carefully!) on the narrow, hair-raising CA9104 to spectacularly-located Zahara de la Sierra, perched on an outcrop overlooking the lake; Al Lago ( serves creative Mediterranean food on a pretty outdoor terrace. Then follow the edge of the lake, on the A2300, until the road joins the A374 to reach the hill town of Ronda, with its deep gorge and Arab baths.

Costa de la Luz

To the west of Gibraltar, this Cadiz coast has a string of fabulous, undeveloped beaches - leave the N48/E5 Cadiz motorway at km19 and take the CA3207 coast road going south, with fabulous sea views - Conil de la Frontera has endless seaside spots, from secret little coves to vast expanses of fine white sand. From here the A2233 follows the coastline to El Palmar, a long narrow beach lined with palm trees and countless restaurants; at surfers' favourite Caños de la Meca you can walk to Cabo de Trafalgar, scene of Nelson's famous victory. The road climbs up through a pine forest before heading back down to the tuna-fishing town of Barbate (El Campero is one of Spain's top fish restaurants;, then the A2231 crosses marshland to Zahara de los Atunes, full of cool cafes and glorious beaches.

The Area around Antequera

Antequera is known as the centre of Andalucia, being within easy driving distance of Malaga, Granada, Cordoba, Cadiz and Seville. It has some spectacular roads to experience - take the A92 Seville road and turn off at km132 to Laguna de la Fuente de Piedra, a saltwater lake where flamingos come to breed. Rejoin the main A365/357 and you'll see the huge Guadalhorce reservoir. Turn off on the tiny MA5403 to historic Bobastro, offering fantastic views back over the lake, then you'll reach La Garganta del Chorro, a spectacular tall, narrow ravine. Carry on along the MA4401, rejoin the main A343, then turn off on the MA4402 to reach El Torcal, a mountain range with strange limestone columns.

Sierra Morena

This little-known area of Andalucia, in the north-west corner of Huelva province close to the Portuguese border, has beautiful mountain scenery - explore around the main hilltown of Aracena. Take the local HV3105/A470 west from Aracena, and drive through thick cork-oak and chestnut forests to Alajar, a tiny village with some excellent restaurants (Meson El Corcho serves hearth local fare); this area is famous for its jamon serrano, goat's cheese and wild mushrooms in autumn. Carry on along the A470, which crosses the main N435, to Almonaster La Real, with an old mosque and castle. The road carries on to La Cortegana, where the Moorish fortress offers great views.


When the Moors were expelled from Spain in the 16th century, they hid in these mountains, which straddle Granada and Almeria provinces. Leave the A44/E902 at km164 and take the A348 to Lanjaron, known for its spa waters, then drive along one of Andalucia's most spectacular mountain roads. You'll see vineyards, and fields of orange, apple and avocado trees in the fertile valleys. Continue along the road, with its breathtaking views, to lively market town Orgiva, and further on take the A4130 and climb up to Trevelez in the Sierra Nevada. Thought to be the highest village in Spain (1476m above sea level), it's famous for its ham made from white pigs.

Planning a southern Spain road trip? Get in touch to find out how much your rental car will cost.

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