For those seeking sun, sand, sea, and a dash of swank, this South West Spain road trip is a no-brainer. But Andalusia is more than that. Spain’s southerly region is also making a name for itself as a culinary destination to rival the likes of gastronomic superstars, the Basque Country and Catalonia.
With its white-stone villages and sun-bleached beaches, the sound of flamenco, and the scent of orange trees, Andalusia already has a lot going for it. But for foodies eager to sample delicious, distinct, and culture-crossing cuisine, this region has extra allure.
On this Andalusia itinerary that takes in the region’s most enticing and exciting culinary hotspots, you’ll have the chance to savour flavours just as unforgettable as the setting in which you enjoy them.
First stop on your culinary South West Spain road trip is a city with its finger firmly on the gastronomic pulse. Málaga, once a bit down on its luck, is reinventing itself as a true foodie getaway with gastropubs and hip cafes popping up all over.
With its hilltop citadels and contemporary art, Picasso’s birthplace is a vibrant and dynamic city where you can enjoy delicious seafood and, when night falls, a bar scene that just refuses to go to bed.
Refuel on boquerones fritos — or fried anchovies. These are so popular in Andalusia that the word now also refers to the locals themselves. Pay a visit to the cathedral before enjoying lunch at Atarazanas market.
Head to an ultramarino to stock up on Iberian jamón and cheese to enjoy back at the campervan campsite. Savour the sunset on one of the many rooftop terraces.
For dinner, speciality must-tries include ajoblanco, a garlic soup, followed by a coffee with some tarta Malagueña. For beachside dinner, try espetos, fish skewers roasted over a sizzling fire.
Iconic Arabic citadel
Best beach for fresh fish
Showcasing work by the legendary artist
Antigua Casa de Guardia
Oldest tavern in Málaga
Gourmet tapas and Spanish wine
Iconic venue with terrace and flamenco nights
Estación María Zambrano
Covered parking by train station
Málaga Monte Parc
30-min drive from Málaga, fully facilitated
Well-rested and well-fed, head on to the next destination on your South West Spain road trip: the flashy, sassy queen of the Costa del Sol, Marbella.
The city isn’t all swanky clubs, supercars, and private yachts. All that cash to splash also entails some pretty spectacular restaurants. An abundance of local produce is transformed by the best in the business into mouth-watering dishes, and, in Marbella, eating well is basically inevitable.
First up should be gambas al pil pil: prawns fried with garlic and chilli, served with enough bread to feed a village. Or, if you’re hoping to slip into something tight later on, opt for the ensalada Malagueña.
Then explore the fancy and oh-so-fabulous Puerto Banús, or venture out to the surrounding vineyards for some eno-tourism, or wine tasting.
After sunset, engage in some tapeo— hopping from bar to bar for drinks and tapas. This is how the locals while away a leisurely evening — and they probably know best.
Escape the heat in this peaceful refuge
Avenida del Mar
Collection of Dali sculptures
Two Michelin-starred restaurant
Farm-fresh food in old town
International cuisine on the Golden Mile
Public Car Park Benabola
Pricey but close to the center
Family-run campsite 15 min from Marbella
One of Andalusia’s best-known pueblos blancos teeters above a 150-metre gorge. Ronda is the emblematic white-stone town and a truly gorgeous stop on your South West Spain road trip.
There’s plenty to satisfy cultural needs here, such as the bullfighting arena of Plaza de Toros. But even more to fulfil gastronomic requirements, from traditional tapas to Argentinian steaks. Plus the rugged Serranía de Ronda produces delicious red wines just waiting to be sampled.
Work up an appetite with a hike down into the gorge and back again. Reward yourself at the Ronda Sweet Bakery, which also runs baking workshops. Enjoy the dizzying views from El Balcon del Coño or learn about Ronda’s riotous history of rebels and outlaws at the Museum of Bandits.
If the gory tales don’t put you off, take afternoon tea at the Victorian Hotel, whose gardens inspired German poet Rilke. And before you leave, make sure to try some serranitos and stock up on yemas de Ronda.
Plaza de Toros
18th-century bullfighting ring
Historic bridge over 120-metre gorge
Among best preserved in Spain
Known as the Smurf town
No menu, creative and cosy
De Locos Tapas
Quirky and full of character
Meson El Sacristan
Estación de Tren Ronda
Parking by train station
Surrounded by mountains, pine forests, vast skies, and boundless beaches, Cádiz feels more far-flung, more exotic, and more untamed than the other Andalusian cities.
With its Arabic forts, palaces, and crumbling sea walls where Atlantic waves crash, it’s certainly romantic. Incidentally, it’s also a paradise for foodies.
Cádiz is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe and we suspect it was those chicharrones de Cádiz that did it. Wander the old town to discover hidden corners crammed with history. Marvel at the golden dome of the cathedral.
Refuel on tortillitas de camarones. Or, for something more substantial to power your South West Spain road trip, try pollo a la canilla — chicken marinated in sherry. Cádiz is, after all, an important point on the Sherry Triangle.
Stroll by the sea, and, when night falls, head to a neon-lit, napkin-strewn freideria for mounds of delicious salty fish, and, before heading to bed, catch some flamenco in a local peña.
18th-century lookout tower
Beach with views of castle
Elegant fish restaurant
Flamenco and bullfighting paraphernalia
Sophisticated and minimalist
Estación de Tren Cádiz
Within walking distance of center
Camping Playa Las Dunas
Beachside campsite, 30 min from Cádiz
Jerez: tapas, flamenco, and sherry. Oh, and horses. Jerez is where some of the finest horses in the world are trained and bred. So if you fancy some equestrian ballet, you’re in the right place.
You’re also in the right place for exceptional gastronomy. You can enjoy some of the best of Andalusian cuisine in Jerez, also the birthplace of sherry. So read up on this most underrated tipple and continue on to the next destination of this Andalusia itinerary
Your stay in Jerez is going to be heavy on the drinking, that’s for certain (don't drink and drive!). And no better place to start than a traditional tabanco — of which the best-known is Tabanco el Pasaje.
Alongside, enjoy traditional fare of stew, meatballs, tortilla, and clams. Then wander streets of palms and orange trees, soft pink buildings and Baroque churches. Relax in the stately Plaza del Arenal.
If you time your South West Spain road trip right, you might catch the Feria de Caballo, a centuries-old celebration with the city’s famous horses as a centrepiece.
Alcázar de Jerez
Moorish fortress from the 11th century
Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art
Spectacular horse-riding show
Bodegas Díez Mérito
Family-run winery for sherry tours and tastings
Tabanco San Pablo
Traditional old-school tapas
Upmarket regional fare
Creative concoctions using local produce
Motorhome parking, Avenida Tío Pepe
(Overnight) parking 4 km from city center
Camping Medina Sidonia
Quiet camping 30 min from Jerez
Seville — with its palaces, churches, flamenco clubs, and 14,000 orange trees — is immediately seductive. Intense and fiery, it’s an ideal finale to your culinary South West Spain road trip.
Seville does nothing by halves and the passion that flows into its flamenco songs and dances is met with equal fervour in the kitchens of its acclaimed restaurants. So continue to your itinerary’s last foodie haven: a Moorish capital that is totally—excuse us—moreish.
First, head to the magnificent cathedral. The Metropol Parasol or the Alcázar are also worth your time. Escape the sun in the Palacio de las Dueñas or consider a cooking class at the Mercado de la Triana.
For lunch, there’s carrillada de cerdo or a serranito de Lomo — the city’s signature sandwich. Climb the Giralda for spectacular views.
As night falls, bar-crawl along La Macarena’s Calle Feria and be sure to try the solomillo al whiskey. How did whiskey get involved? We’re not sure, but it’s delicious.
Tranquil courtyards, beautiful garden
Mercado Lonja del Barranco
19th-century market hall
Museum of Flamenco
Costumes and a performance at 7pm
Imaginative takes on Andalusian cuisine
Milonga’s Restaurante Argentino
Lively and popular, Argentinian cuisine
Purportedly best tapas in Seville
Area de Autocaravanas de Seville
(Overnight) parking, short bus ride from city center
Camping Dehesa Nueva
Green campsite at 40 min from Seville