Seville is a delightful city – a vibrant haven of street festivities, food and art. It even plays host to the birth of flamenco, the archetypal music of Spain. However, if you’re fortunate enough to afford the time, Seville is just one of many exceptional regions in the south that demand your attention. It is very well connected, with the Santa Justa central train station providing regular and high-speed links all over Andalucía, making it an ideal location to take a day trip from. Read on to discover some of the best places to swing by during your visit.
Arguably Europe’s grandest paean to Moorish culture, Granada’s Alhambra palace complex is a breathtaking feat of 13th- and 14th-century Islamic architecture. Framed against the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, this UNESCO World Heritage site is brazenly opulent, with the Palacios Nazaríes widely regarded as its crown jewel. Due to popularity, you’ll need to book in advance.
For maximum efficiency, a twice-daily train from Santa Justa will arrive in Granada station in 2.5hr, where you’ll find plenty of taxis to take you on the final stretch.
With a fascinating and rare history of religious tolerance, Córdoba was a place where Christians, Muslims and Jews coexisted peacefully for centuries. This cultural legacy is reflected in the city’s extraordinary architecture; the La Mezquita mosque is a must-see.
By high-speed AVE train, the journey to Córdoba from Seville takes a mere 45 minutes, or by heading northeast on the A-4, 90 minutes by car.
The ancient port city of Cádiz is both modern and cosmopolitan, and incredibly scenic. Intimate, cobbled alleyways open out onto capacious, palm-lined promenades, and you’ll find plenty of picturesque places to dine along its bustling seafront.
With seven direct trains a day, Cádiz is within easy reach of Seville (departing from Santa Justa), and you should easily arrive in just over 1.5hr.
Primarily known for its world-renowned 18th-century bullring, this relatively small town is the historical epicentre of this quintessentially Spanish sport. It sits either side of a vertiginous gorge, with three connecting bridges providing unparalleled views of the surrounding region.
With its manageable size making for a perfect day trip, ideally, you want to travel by car (around 90 minutes), although longer bus routes are available from Santa Justa.
A historically significant destination, Itálica was the first Roman city in Spain, and its structures and mosaics have been meticulously preserved in a site within the contemporary town of Santiponce. While Game of Thrones fans may recognise the 20,000-seat amphitheatre, this is a destination often overlooked by visitors.
Located only 9km (6mi) northwest of Seville, Itálica is comfortably reachable by foot, although regular buses run from Seville’s Plaza de Armas station.
Technically owned by the UK (you will need a passport), the island of Gibraltar is teeming with wild macaque monkeys, and a ride in its famous cable car offers a bird’s-eye view of the entire landmass. Alternatively, head beneath the waves to explore a Royal Navy shipwreck, or simply ease back by wandering one of its many encircling beaches.
This day trip is probably only worth it if renting a car, as the journey takes around three scenic hours along the N-4.