SOUTHERN SPAIN & PORTUGAL

A GUIDE TO SOUTHERN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

A long time ago, the cities of southern Spain were Islamic until the Catholic Church prevailed over them. This is the reason why you’ll be seeing that in many of my pictures, the Islamic style predominates.

From Madrid, we traveled all the way to Lisbon, Portugal by car and in our way there, we stopped in different places!

Our first stop…

CONSUEGRA

A very small town who’s main attractions are the Consuegra Windmills. Cervantes was inspired by these windmills, and wrote Don Quixote.

We had lunch at the only open restaurant of the main square. If you travel to southern Spain, you should know that people take “Siestas” (naps) and they are very serious about them. Everything closes from 2pm until 5pm. This is very common in small towns such as Consuegra. But the good news is that everywhere in Spain you’ll eat properly.

We were in Consuegra for 4 hours tops because we had a long ride to…

CORDOBA

The city of Córdoba, was a Roman settlement, later conquered by the Muslim armies and re conquered by the spanish monarchs. A city filled with history, worth while visiting.

Córdoba’s main attractions are:

Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba.

La Puerta del Puente.

Calleja de las Flores.

Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos.

Sinagoga de Córdoba.

GRANADA

Also, a city covered in History. It used to be under the Muslim empire, until the Spanish Monarchs re conquered it. If you are interested in Architecture, Granada is the place for you to visit. It is filled with Islamic Architecture, which I find extremely fascinating and captivating. The styles they create are exquisite and full of details. LOVE.

Main attractions:

Alhambra.

Palacio de la Madraza.

Capilla Real de Granada.

Catedral Santa María de la Encarnación.

Mirador de San Nicolás. (lookout point)

I strongly recommend walking the streets of Granada to get another insight!

We later continued our way to Seville but before arriving there, we visited different towns. The drive to Seville took two days, meaning we had to spend the night at the middle of the journey. We spent the night at Estepona.

The towns we visited before arriving to Seville were:

MÁLAGA

In Málaga we stopped at a town called MIJAS.

Mijas is a “Pueblo Blanco” or White Town. All of their houses and buildings are white. We didn’t spend any nights there, but we did stopped for lunch and a quick visit. The southern rout of Spain is full of “Pueblos Blancos”, they are all practically the same, white. We heard about this one, so we decided to stop there.

MARBELLA

As we arrived to Marbella, there was a festival going on. We got to see little girls dancing Flamenco and walked along the beach to find a Bungy Trampolin!!!

PUERTO BANÚS

It’s a marina, and a very luxurious one. We were the for only a few hours but the few streets we walked, looked very fancy and fun! They say it is a great place to stay and have a night out!

(Sorry I didn’t take any pictures here)

ESTEPONA

We arrived late to Estepona, got a room in a hotel, went out for dinner, slept, and left early in the morning. So… we didn’t have much time to know the city. But, for what we saw, it had an INCREDIBLE night life, it looked super fun.

CÁDIZ

We were in Cádiz for a few hours, it was terribly hot so we decided to visit the Cathedral which had an amazing viewing point at the top and leave.

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA

The famous Jerez (alcohol) is originally made here. We arrived during the “Siesta” time, so everything was closed. Therefore, we continued our way to…

ARCOS DE LA FRONTERA 

Arcos de la Frontera, is also a “Pueblo Blanco” just like Mijas. It is on top of a mountain, and from the: “Balcón de la Peña”, we could see magnificent landscapes.

After two days of driving, we finally arrived to Seville.

SEVILLA

Seville, just like Córdoba and Granada, the Islamic Architecture, prevails. I was blown away by this city, specially by these specific main attractions:

The Real Alcázar.

It is not as huge as the Alhambra, but it is beautiful, I wish I had all day to stay in there and take pictures.

Plaza de España.

The same day I was there, one of my favorite bloggers, Jessie Bush from We The People Style, was there too. I saw her and thought: I know her. Since I didn’t have any signal on my phone, I couldn’t check if it was her or not. As soon as I got Wi-Fi, I confirmed via Instagram stories that I had in fact seen Jessie Bush taking pictures at the Plaza de España. I was very excited about it but at the same time sad because I didn’t speak to her, but well, I hope someday I’ll meet her!

Plaza de Toros de Sevilla. 

The Plaza de Toros de Sevilla is the arena where the Official Spanish Bullfights take place. It was very interesting to visit, but I am glad I didn’t see any bullfight cause I am against them.

La Giralda.

It is one of the best lookout points I have ever been too. Once you are up there, you can see the whole city!

Here I leave you the link to the city guide that Jessie Bush created specifically about Seville! Click here!

Our Spain visit ended here…One last reminder, everywhere in Spain you’ll eat very well, specially at the typical restaurants the locals go to. You should ask people on the street, or at your hotel, or at a store, to which places the people that work there usually go to eat?

So, from Seville, we drove all the way to Portugal.

ALGARVE COAST

Our first stop in Portugal, was the beach. We stayed for five days relaxing at the Vilalara Thalassa Resort. During our stay there we did nothing but eat, sleep and get a good tan. Oh, and we took a boat trip to the caves where we got to see magnificent sites, such as a beach inside a cave.

After our five days were over, we headed all the way to Lisbon.

LISBON

Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal. Its main attractions are:

Elevador de Santa Justa

The Santa Justa Lift takes you to a high point where you’ll see spectacular view of Lisbon!

Monasterio de los Jerónimos

I strongly suggest taking the Hop On-Off Tour Bus. They have different circuits. The city is very big, and taking the bus will give you a glance. What we usually do, is take the whole tour without getting off the bus, but in the mean time, we draw on our map the spots we would like to re visit and go there on the following day!

SINTRA 

Sintra is a district of Lisbon, who’s main attraction is the:

PALACIO DA PENA.

This palace was designed by Wilhelm Ludwing von Eschwege, a german architect. This palace, has bright colors and it is situated on top of the mountain. It’s as if it were taken out from a fairytale.

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