Last month I made a post about day trips you can take from Sevilla, which you can find here. Since it’s been a while, I’ve been a few more places in the southern Spain so I figured I’d share my experiences with you.
Ronda – about two hours from Sevilla
Ronda is a great place to go if you’re looking to visit a pretty, smaller town in Spain. Ronda is up in the mountains so the drive there was beautiful when we got closer to it. It was raining when we went, but I think that made it even prettier. The town had a cool atmosphere. There were plenty of places to pause and look around at how pretty nature is.
We started out visiting the plaza de toros. It was cool to see and the museum there had a lot of interesting things inside. They had what bullfighters would wear, old paintings and pictures.
After that we began our walk around the city. The coolest thing we got to see was the bridge, Puente Nuevo, from the Gardens of the Alameda, and the valley and river below it. It was cool to see nature like this when you’ve been stuck in a big city for so long. Oh how I miss California. We also visited the main church, the house of Rey Moro, and City hall. After our tour, we visited a little restaurant and had tapas and tea. Overall, it was a nice day trip. The city is really pretty to walk through and it’s not as touristy as central Sevilla is.
This city has a lot of cool history, so I would recommend a tour so you can really get more out of you visit. Fun fact: Ernest Hemmingway spent summers in Ronda and the city inspired some of his writing.
Pokémon Go: I caught a Slowpoke and a Mr. Mime here.
Carmona – about 40 minutes from Sevilla
Carmona is an even smaller town than Ronda, but is also up in the mountains. Even if it is smaller, it still has a ton of history. We started off the day here visiting by visiting the Roman Necropolis, or tombs. We even got to go down inside of one, which was small, but still awesome. This was really cool to visit, but I would suggest a tour here too so you can really learn the history of the place.
After that, we went around the city. Similar to Ronda, the city is more of an authentic view of Spanish life outside the city. It’s beautiful. We got to go inside the Moorish alcazar and climb all the way up to the top to look over the city. It was a pretty view, very similar to other Spanish cities as it’s a sea of white buildings. I loved it though. We continued walking around the city, eventually leaving through the Puerta de Cordoba. At that time our tour guide told us that we had entered on the other side of town through the Puerta de Sevilla.
Madrid – about five hours away from Sevilla
As the capital of Spain, and being so far away, I would not recommend Madrid for a day trip. We spent a weekend there and didn’t even get to see everything we were planning to.
We explored two museums while we were there; the Prado and the Thyssen Bornemisza. The Prado was free with our student cards, while the Thyseen was a little pricy. Both had an amazing selection of work displayed; we spent a few hours in each. Goya’s black paintings in the Prado are a must see.
However, if art museums aren’t your thing, there’s plenty else to do. We walked around the parquet de el retiro, which is huge! There’s also a ton of things to see inside of it: palacio de cristal, the rose garden, monument Alfonso XII (must see!), etc. Right outside the north of the park is the Puerta de Alcala, which is beautiful.
The next day we took a tour, which lasted for three hours or so. While it was nice to hear the history of the city, we were short on time. Some of the things we saw on the tour we wished we could have spent more time at rather than listening to someone talk a lot. We saw the opera building, plaza mayor (which is a touristy area, don’t eat here as it’s overpriced!), the palace and cathedral of Santa Maria, and more.
Plan to spend at least a weekend in Mardid, they is way too much to see in a day. We stayed at Way Hostel, which was near the center of the city, and we liked it a lot.
Faro, Portugal – about 2 hours from Sevilla
I know this isn’t in Spain, but there was no way I could miss out on visiting Portugal at least once while I’m here. While most people go to Logos or Lisbon, I decided to go to Faro to get more of the small city view of Portugal rather than the touristy towns.
I loved this city. It’s small and there wasn’t a ton to do, but it was so pretty. And let me tell you, the people in Portugal are so friendly. I don’t speak any Portuguese, but surprisingly I ended up speaking English more than Spanish with the locals. I ended up visiting the museum of archeology in the city and I really enjoyed the exhibits they had. Faro is also right next to the ocean, which is beautiful. For most of the day I’d walk around, pausing in a pretty area to sit and write.
While I was there, I ended up taking a bus up to the mountains about thirty minutes away. It was so pretty. I explored a local town while I was up there, which was so wroth it. I didn’t have a tour guide to tell me the history, but I enjoyed how peaceful it was to walk around and just see things. It makes me miss northern California a little.