Especially if you’re spending winter in Andalucia, Granada is an epic destination for culture, history, and nature lovers. While many travelers only spend one day in Granada before moving on to continue their Andalucia itinerary, Granada is actually a great place to base yourself for going on day trips.
From exploring enchanting white villages in Andalucia to some of the most underrated cities in the country, there are enough day trips from Granada you can take to keep you busy for weeks!
If you’re new to the area and not sure where to go on a day trip, you’re in the right place, because I’m about to reveal some of the absolute best day trips from Granada Spain in this post.
Get ready for some of Andalucia’s best hidden secrets combined with popular tourist destinations in this read.
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Table of Contents
Day trips from Granada
One of the most epic day trips from Granada is to the city of Guadix. Famed for the cave dwellings and extraordinary viewpoints of both olive groves and magnificent barren landscapes, there are a whole lot of things to do in Guadix.
Guadix is one of those places you don’t hear about, but when you find out about it you understand you have to head there straight away.
Visit the 16th-century baroque cathedral which is built in the same place as a former mosque and visit the Cave Museum. Barrio de las Cuevas is amazing with the whitewashed chimnies popping up from the grass-covered ground and only the front wall of the houses appearing on the front of the rock wall.
People have lived in these caves since pre-historic times and the cave dwellings hold temperatures perfectly comfortable in summer and winter.
Other than all the viewpoints of the cave dwellings and the historical city center, make sure you walk the fortified walls of the 11th-century Alcazaba and witness the views from the tower.
There is no doubt Guadix is one of the prettiest cities in Andalucia and should definitely be on your bucket list.
A day in Cordoba gives you just enough time to see the main sites in the historic center. Among the most unique attractions are the spectacular mosque-cathedral, the Alcázar, and the dreamy Jardin de Los Naranjos.
These are some of the most epic Moorish remains in the country and if you don’t have time to see much more of Cordoba, at least you’ve seen the most important sites for a day trip from Granada.
Close by, you can walk across the 1st century Roman Bridge, which was included in Game of Thrones, to the Calahorra Tower, a Moorish fortification dating back to the early 13th century.
Stroll around the historic center and take in the vibrant cobblestoned streets and whitewashed houses. If you go during the first two weeks in May, you can experience the vibrant patio festival of Cordoba.
But even the rest of the year you can get a glimpse of the fragrant patios that Cordoba is so famous for too! I have rounded up some of the best patios you can see all year round here.
For commodity, you can book a full-day tour of Cordoba taking you from Granada and back. I can warmly recommend this tour which includes transportation, tickets to the mosque-cathedral, and a local guide. Check availability here.
Check out some of the best tours in Cordoba:
Head to Jaen for one of the most epic day trips from Granada. Being one of the most underrated cities in Andalucia, there is a wealth of things to do in Jaen, and one day might not be enough, but you can still see the most important sites.
Walk to the hilltop castle of Santa Catalina for sweeping views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Take a peek inside the breathtaking Jaen Cathedral, and grab a coffee at one of the nearby cafés.
Visit the impressive 11th-century Arab baths inside the Villardompardo Palace and search for the many unique churches that hide throughout the city. You might also find it interesting to visit the underground shelters that were built during the Civil War.
If you’re looking for Granada day trips out of the ordinary, this one is for you! One of Andalucia’s most surprising white villages is the tiny settlement of Soportujar.
Locally famed for its witch-themed trail and quirky statues, this is really one of the coolest day trips Granada has in store.
No matter if you travel with kids or not, I’m positive you’ll have a blast in Soportujar. Make sure you don’t miss out on the house on two dragon legs, the dragon peeking out of a well, the witches stirring their massive pot, and if you don’t have a phobia for these creatures, search for the giant spider and the giant snake!
Besides being an exciting theme park village, Soportujar is perfectly situated on the hillside of the Alpujarras which makes sure you’ll be treated to spectacular views throughout the village.
One of the Granada day trips that will not disappoint is to the vibrant coastal city of Malaga. Jam-packed with historical sites like the Alcazaba and Gibralfaro, both boasting epic views of the city and the coastline you might find one day in Malaga short.
But there are many things to do in Malaga besides these two sites. The Roman theater sits right below the Alcazaba and you can easily get lunch at any of the restaurants in front of the ancient site.
Any art lover will enjoy a day trip from Granada to Malaga. There is a whole world of cool museums in Malaga that alone could take you days to discover.
Visit the Picasso Museum plus the house where Picasso was born, the Carmen Thyssen Museum, or the Centre Pompidou on the Muelle 1, which also happens to be the best spot for dinner at sunset before returning to Granada.
There is no doubt that a day trip from Granada to Malaga will leave you energized!
TOP TOURS IN MALAGA
Jam-packed with churches, historical sites, and natural sites, Antequera is one of the most underrated day trips from Granada that you usually won’t see listed among the top places to visit in Andalucia.
However, it should be there with large letters. There are endless things to do in Antequera and you can argue that a day might not even be enough.
Yet, you can fit in quite a lot of adventure on a day trip from Granada to Antequera. Head to the Alcazaba to explore the Moorish fortress, see the Parroquia San Sebastián, hang out at Plaza Coso Viejo, and check out the Museo de la Ciudad de Antequera in Palacio de Nájera.
Visit the Real Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor where you’ll also get a picture-perfect view of the iconic “Lover’s Rock” known by Andalusians as ” El Indio de Antequera” as you can see the shape of the Indian head perfectly while driving past on the motorway in the intersections between the major cities of Malaga, Sevill, Granada, and Cordoba.
You can also see the rock from other viewpoints like Mirador de las Almenillas.
Not far from the city itself, you find the UNESCO site Dolmenes de Antequera which is a 5000 year old incredibly well preserved Megalithic site. There are a total of three dolmens, the Menga Dolmen, the Viera Dolmen, and the Romeral Dolmen.
You can also go hiking among the most unique karst landscape in Europe at El Torcal de Antequera where you find easy routes from 45 minutes to 2 hours with a large chance of spotting wild mountain goats.
It’s good to either start your day trip from Granada with this to secure parking before the weekend crowds come, or end it to catch the sunset from the mountain. In the weekdays, it’s usually easier to find parking.
Priego de Cordoba
Not far from Cordoba city, you find one of the most beautiful towns in the province. Priego de Cordoba boasts impressive fountains, historical remains, and one of the prettiest old towns in Andalucia, Barrio de la Villa, with its whitewashed walls decorated with colorful potplants.
Take a stroll in the Paseo de Colombia park to admire all the incredible statues and walk to Mirador del Adarve to take in the breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside.
Make sure you make it to the King’s Fountain, a majestic site that could just as well been places somewhere in Italy. Not far from there you find the old washing place, which is no arguing among the most charming ones in Andalucia.
Head to the city’s old Castle, walk through the lush Recreo de Castilla gardens where you can fill up your water bottle – like at most street corners of the “city of water.”
Carnicerias Reales are the old slaughter house and market place, which now is open to the public and one of the best things to see in Priego de Cordoba.
Another epic site is the Ermita del Calvario with its massive square dotted with large crosses overlooking the town.
Another underrated destination for a day trip from Granada is the little whitewashed hilltop village of Iznajar in the province of Cordoba.
Featuring some of the most spectacular patios in the province, particularly Patio de las Comedias, you can take in sweeping views of the town from Iznajar Castle or any of the many epic viewpoints.
Iznajar is set as a tiny peninsula in Iznajar Lake, which is the largest lake in Andalucia. built by Franco in the 1960s, there are still houses, streets, and bridges at the bottom of the lake after families in Iznajar had to flee their homes.
Today, the lake is a beautiful diversion in the landscape and makes for bewildering views, but there’s also a beach, Valdearenas beach, where you can dip in the water, sunbathe, and rent a kayak or paddleboard to cruise on the water.
This is a wonderful little day trip which is best done by car from Granada.
No list of day trips from Granada is complete without adding some of Granada’s best coastal towns. Salobreña is without a doubt my favorite town in Costa Tropical.
Among the things you can do in Salobreña is to walk the steep streets to the top of the whitewashed hillside village. Weaving their way through charming houses covered in colorful flowers and potplants reaching the hilltop castle.
From there, you can also enjoy the sweeping views of some of the best beaches in Andalucia on one side and the never-ending mountains on the other.
Especially in the summer, Salobreña is a vibrant destination with beach bars, restaurants, and clear water where you can snorkel around the rock or cliff jump with the locals.
Another one of Granada’s best day trips is the enchanting coastal city of Almuñecar. Also situated on Granada’s Costa Tropical, there are plenty of things to do in Almuñecar, including exploring some of the best beaches in Granada.
Discover the Castle of San Miguel, the old Roman fortress dominating the city, and climb the steps up to the cross at Peñón del Santo viewpoint which is believed to once have been connected to the castle. From there, you can enjoy epic views of the coastline.
Step into the city’s churches, particularly beautiful is the Church of the Incarnation. It’s also worth visiting the Archaeological Museum that you’ll find in an ancient 1st century BC Roman temple consisting of seven caves.
Also the 7-kilometer-long 1st-century BC aqueduct is worth seeing. It’s incredible to think that it was first discovered in the late 1990s. It’s declared a Monument of Cultural Interest and close to it, there are remains of hot springs from the same period.
Continuing the Roman heritage, Almuñecar is also home to an old Roman fish salting factory that you can see inside the botanical garden.
With one day in Almuñecar you’ll have a blast with so much to see and do. But don’t forget to get lost in the streets and eat and drink at the many bars and restaurants in the city.
If you’re there in the warmer months you might also want to go for a swim at the beach, so make sure you bring your swimsuit.
Reflections on Granada day trips
There’s no doubt there are many impressive day trips from Granada you can take during your stay in what is one of my favorite cities in Spain.
I hope you found a good fit for your travel style in the above suggestions. Of course, there are many more places you could visit on a day trip from Granada, but I believe I’ve touched the highlights in this post.
One of the best reasons to use Granada as a base for day trips is that you get to walk the old town at night and enjoy the vibrant city, drink Tinto de Verano, and stare at the lit up Alhambra before heading to bed at night.