Hidden Gems of Andalucia, Spain: Vejer de la Frontera, Carmona, and Antequera

Andalucia, Spain, is unlike any other region in southern Europe. Imagine sun-drenched days in an epic landscape that includes pristine beaches and impressive mountain ranges. Charming white-walled towns speckle the region and the dining is unparalleled. Cultural influences range from Moorish to Mediterranean, and Flamenco is a way of life. This is Andalucia.
Prepared By:

Patricia Roos

Welcome to Andalucia, Spain, a region known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. While cities like Seville and Granada often steal the spotlight, there are other hidden gems waiting to be discovered. On this three-day itinerary, journey through the picturesque towns of Vejer de la Frontera, Carmona, and Antequera and immerse yourself in the charm of these off-the-beaten-path destinations.

This story was created in partnership with Vive Andalucia.

White Towns of Andalucia Spain

Day 1: Vejer de la Frontera

Start your Andalucian adventure by heading to Vejer de la Frontera, a captivating hilltop town nestled in the province of Cadiz. Whitewashed houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and breathtaking views make it a perfect place to unwind and soak in the local atmosphere.

Morning: Check into your accommodation at Hostal El Mirador, a cozy guesthouse located in the heart of the old town. With comfortable rooms and a warm atmosphere, it provides an authentic experience without breaking the bank. After settling in, begin your exploration by wandering through the enchanting old town. Lose yourself in its labyrinthine streets, discover hidden plazas, and admire the stunning architecture, including the iconic Church of the Divine Savior.

Lunch: For a delightful lunch, head to El Jardin del Califa, a charming restaurant located within Hotel La Casa del Califa. Indulge in traditional Andalusian cuisine, such as salmorejo (a chilled tomato soup), seafood paella, or mouthwatering tapas. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of local sherry or a refreshing tinto de Verano (a mix of red wine and lemon soda).

Afternoon: After lunch, make your way to the Vejer Castle, perched on a hill overlooking the town. Explore the medieval fortress and revel in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the Atlantic Ocean. For art enthusiasts, a visit to the Fundación NMAC contemporary art space is a must. It showcases innovative installations amidst a serene natural setting.

Dinner: As the sun sets, head to Restaurante Casa Varo, a welcoming restaurant that specializes in quintessential Andalusian dishes. With a menu featuring favorites like gazpacho, paella, and grilled meats, it offers a taste of the region’s flavors at reasonable prices. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a satisfying dinner in a magnificent setting.

Carmona Andalucia Spain

Day 2: Carmona

On the second day, embark on a journey to Carmona, a quaint town located in the province of Seville. Known for its rich history and archaeological heritage, Carmona boasts ancient Roman ruins, stunning churches, and picturesque streets.

Morning: Check into your accommodation at Hotel Alcázar De La Reina, housed in a historic building in the heart of Carmona. With comfortable rooms and classic Andalusian decor, it provides a delightful stay while immersing you in the town’s ambiance. Once settled, set out to explore Carmona’s main attractions. Start with a visit to the impressive Roman Necropolis, a burial site featuring remarkable tombs and stunning mosaics.

Lunch: For a delectable lunch experience, head to Cerveceria San Fernando. This inviting restaurant offers inspired Andalusian cuisine, with dishes like gazpacho, grilled fish, and succulent meats. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the warm hospitality and flavors of Carmona.

Afternoon: After lunch, take advantage of the walkable streets of Carmona and soak in the charm at eye level. Explore the Alcazar de la Puerta de Sevilla, a 14th-century fortress with beautiful gardens and panoramic views. Don’t miss the Santa Maria de la Asuncion Church, a stunning example of Mudéjar architecture. For history enthusiasts, a visit to the Carmona Museum is highly recommended, showcasing the town’s rich heritage.

Dinner: In the evening, experience authentic Andalusian dining at Restaurante Almazara de Carmona. Located in a charming old olive oil mill, this restaurant offers a unique and cozy alluring atmosphere. Indulge in traditional dishes like gazpacho, salmorejo, and local specialties such as rabo de toro (oxtail stew) or carrillada (braised pork cheeks). With its high-quality ingredients, Restaurante Almazara de Carmona is a culinary gem in the heart of Carmona.

The white village of Antequera in Andalucia

Day 3: Antequera

On the final day of your journey, visit Antequera, a historic town situated in the center of Andalucia, Spain. Aptly known as the “Heart of Andalucia,” Antequera offers a fascinating blend of ancient history and natural beauty.

Morning: Check into your accommodation at Hotel Convento La Magdalena, a former 16th-century convent- turned-luxurious-hotel surrounded by stunning landscapes. Once settled, venture out to explore Antequera’s main attractions. Start with a visit to the Alcazaba, a medieval fortress that offers sweeping views of the town and surrounding countryside.

Lunch: Indulge in a traditional Andalusian lunch at Restaurante Arte de Cozina. This cozy eatery is renowned for regional dishes prepared using locally-sourced ingredients. Try specialties like porra antequerana (a cold tomato soup), oxtail stew, or grilled game meats. Finish your meal with a delicious dessert like borrachuelos (biscuits are soaked in wine and anisette) or bienmesabe (dessert prepared with honey, egg yolk, and ground almonds).

Afternoon: After lunch, head to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Dolmen Sites. These prehistoric burial mounds date back thousands of years and offer a glimpse into ancient civilizations. Explore the Menga Dolmen, Viera Dolmen, and El Romeral Dolmen to marvel at their impressive structures and learn about their historical significance.

Dinner: End your three-day itinerary in Andalucia, Spain, with a satisfying dinner at Restaurante Mar de Gloria, located in the heart of Antequera. Indulge in a variety of Andalusian dishes, including fresh seafood, grilled meats, and flavorful vegetarian options. The restaurant’s warm ambiance and friendly service create the perfect setting for a memorable meal.

Vejer de la Frontera, Carmona, and Antequera may not be as famous as some of Andalucia’s larger cities, but they offer a unique charm and a chance to discover hidden treasures. From the whitewashed streets of Vejer de la Frontera to the ancient ruins of Carmona and the natural wonders of Antequera, this three-day itinerary in Andalucia, Spain, will give you a taste of the region’s rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering cuisine. So, pack your bags, embrace the off-the-beaten-path, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Andalucia’s hidden gems.

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