My family of 6 spent a week in Andalusia this summer. The itinerary below is from this trip and includes a lot of religious sites, culture, and history (natural since I planned the trip) but plenty of time to wander around, eat tapas, and enjoy each other’s company. Don’t feel obligated to follow my plan but it was awesome for us!
Note about my itinerary budgets: I estimate in USD and foreign currency every time we travel and then input everything in the foreign currency as we spend money then update the USD with the current exchange rate. In this post I’m going to put my totals in USD to make it easier but at the bottom is a link to my whole budget (conversions and all) for those of you who are interested.
Day 1: Arrival
So we got a little (a lot) delayed by our flight over the Atlantic but it’s totally ok because I built-in extra time (a must when you are coordinating 6 people meeting at one city). My parents, Will and I arrived in Seville around noon and picked up our rental car to drive to Cordoba. We were meeting with my sister and her boyfriend from Germany around 3 pm.
After we settled into our adorable AirBnb and went grocery shopping (a must if you want to save money as a large group!) and we walked around the picturesque historic center (a UNESCO Site). That evening the only thing on our schedule was an hour and half dip in the Arab Baths. This has become a little tradition since my family spent Christmas in Germany and did the Thermal Baths in Aachen the day after we arrived. Honestly, it really helps everyones’ weary bones and achy muscles to relax in the hot water.
Total Cost: $4,370 (this includes ALL of our flights, AirBnb for 2 nights, total cost for rental car, groceries & 6 people to the Hammam Arab Spa so don’t blow a lid!)
Day 2: Cordoba
Most people only do the historic center of Cordoba as a day trip but I totally think it’s worth a little more time than that, not too much more time because everything is really close. We started off visiting the Alcazar (fortress/palace) and then the beautiful courtyards at the Palacio de Viana before spending the afternoon at the Mezquita (mosque/Cathedral) and a stroll around the historic center.
Total Cost: $474
Day 3: Cordoba to Granada
It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Cordoba to Granada so we left early to make the most of our time in Granada. While waiting to check in to our AirBnb we hit up a few churches (my favorite pastime!): St. Jerome Monastery & San Juan de Dios. The second church was certainly the most elaborate church I have ever seen in my life and that is saying something because I’ve been to many churches in the past 27 years. Afterwards, we popped into the free Hospital Real to look around and then checked into our AirBnb.
That evening we spent some time walking around the historic center and made our way up the mountain to the Roma (gypsy) neighborhood of Sacromonte for some gorgeous views of the city and the Alhambra. It was our second wedding anniversary so we went out to dinner for some paella and cava (Spanish champagne).
Total Cost: $534
Read more: Travel Style: Andalusia, Spain
Day 4: Granada
We had a full day today so we got an early start by picking up our Alhambra tickets at the Corral de Carbon (a medieval caravanserai) and strolling through a very touristy but cool Alcaiceria. After that we visited the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel (no photos “allowed” inside, I use quotes because they said you can’t take photos, so we didn’t, but that didn’t seem to stop anyone else…). Although the two buildings are attached you have to go through two separate entrances and purchase separate tickets. No combos. Stupid.
After lunch was the big event for the day: the Alhambra! We had a 3 o’clock appointment to enter the Nasrid Palace then spent the long, sunny afternoon strolling the rest of the Alhambra and the gardens of the Generalife. This was a site I had been dying to see ever since my first Art History course!
Although we didn’t make it up to the famed San Nicolas Plaza for the sunset views, we strolled the Abayzin (the old Muslim medina) and enjoyed the food and evening atmosphere. The Alhambra, Generalife & Abayzin are included in Granada’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Total Cost: $412
Read more: Travel Tips: Buying Alhambra Tickets
Day 5: Granada to Seville
This morning was spent driving to Seville (about 3 hours), returning our rental car at the airport and checking into our luxurious AirBnb. Once that was finished, we still had plenty of sunlight for some sightseeing so we all went to Casa de Pilatos. Then my mom and I split off to see the Hospital de la Caridad (a huge waste of time personally but it was in ALL the travel guides) while the rest of my family went to the Casa de Ciencia (Hours of Science) which was much more worth it.
We cooked dinner that evening from our grocery shopping; I needed more veggies than we were getting eating out and my sister’s boyfriend is vegetarian so it worked out perfectly. And we ate late, like 11:00 pm late. lol
Total Cost: $774
Read more: Eating in Andalusia, Spain
Day 6: Seville
We split up during the morning: my parents, Will & I went to the Alcazar (part of Seville’s UNESCO Site) while my sister and her boyfriend walked to a botanical garden that ended up being abandoned (FYI it’s actually a great idea to take some alone time when traveling as a family, even when traveling as a couple).
That afternoon we met back up at the Cathedral (Fun fact! Christopher Columbus is buried inside!) then walked over to the Flamenco Museum just in time to make the 5 o’clock show. The museum took about an hour after the show and at 9 pm there was still some light to stroll around.
Total Cost: $471
Day 7: Seville
This was our last day in Spain so it was an opportunity to finish up anything we still hadn’t seen. The first stop was Seville’s famous bullring for a tour then we took a long, hot walk through Maria Luisa Park to the Plaza de España. There are a few museums adjacent to the park and we chose the Museum of Popular Arts and Tradition.
At that point in the afternoon, we were all wiped and needed a siesta. We went pack to our AirBnb to lay down a little before the World Cup Portugal vs. Spain soccer game.
Total Cost: $249
Read more: Medieval Al-Andalus
Day 8: Seville to Home
Our flight was at 1pm but it takes about an hour total to get to the airport (walk to the bus stop & about 35 minutes on the bus) so Will and I ate breakfast at a cafe downstairs and left for our flight. While Will and I went home because he had a summer program at UF, the rest of my family went on to Lisbon, Portugal for 4 days. Their flight wasn’t until 3 pm so they got to sleep in a little.
Total Cost: $57
P.S. I was able to do the whole week-long trip for 6 people for around $1,220 per person (everything included). Not bad if you ask me!
P.P.S. My entire 2018 Summer Spain budget is available for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to message me with questions.