|Andalucia is very backpacker friendly!|
A suggested Itinerary for the backpacker without a hire car is outlined by Lee Gutcher who also who offers advice on the cities for backpackers gained from his recent trip.
Obviously any itinerary will depend on time constraints, budget and what you want to see and do. Most of the large cities in Andalucia can be covered in a rough loop. With Malaga being the busiest airport, this would be an obvious starting point and an obvious itinerary would be:
Malaga Ronda Cadiz Jerez Seville Cordoba Granada Malaga
Of course this route could just as easily be completed travelling in the opposite direction. Two weeks would be sufficient to complete this loop and see the major sights, although more time would be needed to leisurely soak up the atmosphere of the bigger cities. With less than two weeks it would be necessary to remove some destinations from the itinerary; the most obvious contenders being Cadiz, Jerez and Malaga. If time is short the must visit cities are Seville, Granada and Cordoba.
Whilst this itinerary is based only on the larger more interesting cities in the region there are a multitude of other locations to visit. Tarifa and the coast of the Costa de Luz have miles of fabulous white, sandy deserted beaches. Tarifa itself is a Mecca for windsurfers and kite surfing. The Renaissance towns of Ubeda and Baeza in Jaen province, the roman city of Italica near Seville and even the heavily developed beach resorts of the Costa del Sol may be of interest.
Seville and Jerez also have airports and are possible starting points. Alternatively you could fly into Gibraltar and then start the loop at Cadiz. Similarly flying into Madrid and then joining the loop by taking the AVE (high velocity train) to Cordoba is a possibility.
There are no 'airport hotels' near the airport at Malaga. The two budget options are Malaga City centre or Torremolinos both about 6km away and connected by direct train service. (see Malaga airport page) If you arrive late at night you will need to take a taxi costing about 1.500 pts.
Although Andalucia has much to offer in it's own right there are other intriguing places to visit within touching distance of the region. Madrid, the capital city is well worth considering and is only 1.45mins from Cordoba by high velocity train. And when in Madrid the fascinating city of Barcelona is only a 6 hour night coach ride away.
Another possibility would be a detour to Morocco. Algericas is easily reachable from Cadiz or Malaga and is the main ferry port to Tangiers. Crossings are regular and take two hours.