Getting to Andalucia
Posted on: April 21st, 2016 by Michelle Holden
Andalucia, the southern-most region of Spain, is rich with history and a beautiful coastal landscape. The region is very geographically diverse; it is home to the Guadalquivir River valley, volcanic landscapes like the Tabernas desert, as well as the mountainous region of the Sierra Navada. In nearly 40km, one can experience the mountains and then pass to the tropical coast of the Mediterranean. The position of the region and its warm climate also makes Andalucia an ideal region for visiting (and cycling!) year-round.
In this post we’ll tell you how to get to four of Andalucia’s beautiful cities, great entry and exit points for your next trip.
At the foot of the Sierra Nevada is the city of Granada. Like most of Andalucia, Granada is rich in cultural history, with a mix of Spanish, Roman and Arabic architecture. Our tour, Andalucia Jewels: From Granada to Ronda, starts in Granada and passes through the towns of Alhama, Axarquia, Antequera, Ardales and Ronda. The first hotel on this tour is 16km from the airport, 1.5km from the train station, and 2km from the bus station. A taxi from the airport costs approximately €15.
Our second tour in Andalucia, Córdoba to Granada: Historic and Sunny Andalucia, finishes in Granada.
The Granada airport (Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaen) is situated approximately 15km west of the city. There are many national flights from Barcelona and Madrid as well as international flights from London. It is serviced by the low-budget airline Transavia. The city of Granada can be reached regularly by public bus (approximately €3) or taxi (approximately €25) from the airport. As the bus station is located slightly outside the city centre, it is advisable to research the location of your destination in advance. Busses from the airport are generally timed with the arrival of flights.
Granada’s train station is another main entry point to the city and is located approximately 2km from the city centre. The station is can be accessed from towns like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Málaga and Seville. Long distance services to Granada are provided by Altaria, Arco and Tren Hotel. Medium-distance trains travel across Andalucia from Granada. Tickets can be purchased online via Renfe and RailEurope.
Granada’s bus station is located on the outskirts of the town centre however the centre is accessible via public transit (busses SN1 an SN2) or taxi; the trip takes approximately 15 minutes.
If you’re traveling by car you can reach Granada from the direction of Seville via A-92. From the centre of Spain, Madrid, the E-5 and E-902 will take you to Granada.
Ronda, which means ‘surrounded’ is quite literally surrounded by mountains, making it a stunning place to stop and visit. Ronda is one of Spain’s oldest towns and in the 19th century Ronda was a major attraction for artists and writers like Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles.
Our tour, Andalucia Jewels: From Granada to Ronda, ends in Ronda where you can take some time to visit Spain’s oldest bull ring or simply marvel at the vast El Tajo gorge. When you’re ready to go home, the last hotel on our Andalucia Jewels tour is located 1km from the train station.
Ronda is served by the airport in Málaga which services many domestic and international flights. If you arrive in Málaga, the easiest is to take the train or bus to Ronda (see below for more on Málaga).
Ronda’s train station has trains which run to Málaga, Córdoba, Madrid, and Granada via Antequera. The town centre is just a short walk or taxi (approximately €5). The journey from Málaga to Ronda costs approximately €12.
The bus station in Ronda is located at Plaza Concepción García Redondo 2. Los Amarillos buses from Málaga cost around €9 and take about two hours to get to Ronda.
The southern coastal town of Málaga is a lot more than just a Mediterranean port. The town is well known for the Gibralfaro Castle, its Renaissance church, the Cathedral of Málaga as well as having some of the most renowned tapas bars in all of Andalucia.
The Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport, located 8km southwest of Málaga, is the main international airport in the region of Andalucia and the fourth busiest airport in Spain. The airport has flight connections to over 60 countries worldwide. This airport has bus transfers to Málaga city but also to other cities like Granada. To get to Granada from the Málaga airport, take the Alsa Bus line to Granada bus station. The bus to Granada runs seven times daily, costs approximately €13 and takes about two and a half hours. However, if you wish to sightsee in Málaga, you can take the bus run by EMT Málaga Transport Company; bus A will take you to the city centre.
The train station in Málaga (María Zambrano) is located at Explanada de la Estación. It is next to the bus station, approximately 2 km from the Malaga port, and 9 km from Malaga airport. High-speed trains (AVE) run from Madrid and Barcelona and regional trains from cities like Sevilla, Granada and Ronda (A3). Train tickets can be purchased online via Renfe and RailEurope. There are also local train services to the Málaga airport.
Málaga’s bus station is known as Paseo de los Tilos. The station is walking distance from the train station and 2km from the Malaga Port. If you arrive in Málaga by bus or train and need to transfer to Granada, the ride will take approximately two hours and costs €13.
In the centre of Andalucia, the city of Córdoba is also a mix of cultures due to its political history. In Córdoba, one can see the Alcazar, or Fortress, which was built by the Christians in 1328, the Calahorra Fort, originally built by the Arabs, and an ancient Jewish Synagogue which now serves as a museum. The old town in Córdoba is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our tour, Córdoba to Granada: Historic and Sunny Andalucia, allows you to visit this beautiful city and then make your way across Andalucia to take in the towns of Baena, Zuheros, Iznajar, Alhama de Granada and Granada. The first hotel on this tour is located 4km from both the train and bus stations. A taxi will cost approximately €7.
While Córdoba does have an airport, it is very small and not many commercial flights use it. The best option is to fly into the closest major airports (Seville, Málaga or Madrid) and then take the train to Córdoba.
High-speed trains (AVE) from Granada, Seville, Málaga and Madrid serve the city using Córdoba’s central station. While AVE trains will get you there fast, they can be slightly more expensive than the regional train services (Renfe). Trains from Madrid cost approximately €60 and from Seville approximately €15. Train tickets can be purchased online via Renfe and RailEurope.
Córdoba Central is located approximately 15-20 minutes walking distance from the city centre and across from the city bus station. Alternatively, the number 3 and 13 city busses will take you to the town centre.
Córdoba’s bus station is located across the street from the central train station. Busses are available from all major cities in Andalucia as well as from Madrid. Socibus services the Córdoba bus station. Busses from Madrid cost approximately €20 and can take about five hours. From the station you may choose to walk or take the number 3 and 13 city busses to the town centre.
By car, Cordoba is accessible via the E-5 East from Seville, and South from Madrid.
Seville is the capital of Andalucia and another beautiful town to visit while in the region. When in Seville, be sure to visit the old city, with the Cathedral and the Giralda tower. You can climb the steps of the tower for an amazing view.
The San Pablo Airport in Seville is located 10km north east of the city centre. The airport is serviced by national and international airlines as well as low budget airlines like RyanAir, Easy Jet and Transavia. Busses from the airport to the city centre (Plaza de Armas) cost approximately €4 and takes about 35 minutes. A taxi from the airport can take around 20 minutes and cost approximately €20-25.
The Santa Justa train station is located in the eastern part of Seville’s city center and provides service to Córdoba, Málaga and Madrid via the AVE and Renfe trains. From Granada, trains will cost €20-30 euros and can take about three hours. From Ronda the trip requires at least one change but shouldn’t take more than three hours. The ticket will also cost approximately €18.
The station Prado de San Sebastian has buses from other locations in Andalucia as well as longer distance buses from Barcelona. This station is located conveniently close to Plaza de España, the Alcazar and the Cathedral. A bus from Granada costs approximately €20. From Rhonda there are about six buses daily to Seville, costing approximately €18. The trip from Ronda takes approximately three hours by bus.
You can reach Seville by car; however, it is advisable to park at your hotel upon arrival and use public transit while in Seville. Driving in or around the old city can be very difficult and parking can be hard to find. Seville can be reached via the E-5 from Córdoba, the A-45 then A-92 from Málaga, and the A-92 from Granada. There are also several routes from Madrid to Seville; the trip generally takes about five hours by car.
For more information on planning your cycling trip in the Andalucia region, check out Cyclomundo’s self-guided cycling tours!
Sociobus: http://socibus.es/wp/ (Córdoba)
Los Amerillos: https://taqui.autobusing.com/venta?locale=en (from Málaga to Ronda and Seville)
Avanza: http://www.avanzabus.com/web/horarios/horarios-autobus-ronda-sevilla.html (buses from Ronda to Seville)