Seville is one of the most romantic, beautiful cities in all of Spain (if not the world) From the 1st moment I went to Seville I felt the magic of the city. I have been back 100’s of times and it has never lost its charm. I have seen my favourite streets and “barrios” over and over and still love them, but we often find new corners that I have never been to before. There is just so much to take in.
Yet, if you are visiting Seville there are a few places within an hour of it that also need to be on your bucket list. Some of the best beaches in Spain, Roman ruins and villages that boast of a historic presence even before Sevilla was a fledgeling town.
Here are my top 5 recommendations for day trips near Seville:
Niebla- a small town with a big historical punch
Niebla on the surface seems like a small, seemingly unimportant town. However, it is like walking through the pages of a history book.
Speaking of walking, the best way to see Niebla is on foot. As it is a small walled city, you can easy explore it in a short period of time.
Niebla reached its height in the 13th and 14th centuries. 7 cultures left their stamp on this little town. As it is strategically sitting on the banks of the Rio Tinto river and had silver and other minerals and easy access to the Atlantic ocean it was coveted among the cultures and each one that passed through left it’s mark.
What to see in Niebla:
This is actually the “new” version of this palace. Don Enrique Guzman replaced the original in 1402. This impressive palace actually preserved the most luxurious parts of the original—such as the Muslim Tower of Homage that is compared to the Giralda tower of Seville)
The tour of the castle includes a trip to the dungeons and some history and displays on torture methods—some visitors have commented that this section of the tour is not for the faint-hearted.
You can visit this palace every day between 10:00 a.m. and 3 p.m.
4.50€ for adults
Children 5 and under are free
The city walls:
You can either walk around the 2 kilometres of city walls or at certain points you can have access to walk on top of the walls and get a birds-eye-view of the town and surrounding area.
The Roman bridge straddles that the Rio Tinto is close to 2000-years-old and is still in use today. Makes you wonder what is being built in our time that will last 2000 years.
Phoenician port ruins:
If you are a history buff, you should try to find the Phoenician port that is along the Rio Tinto just outside the city walls of Niebla. You will probably have to ask someone at the tourist office to direct you as the port isn’t obvious at 1st glance.
For more information on Niebla see my article: If you love history, don't miss your chance to see Niebla
Carmona-a timeline of Andalucian civilizations
Just 30 minutes from Sevilla is the city of Carmona. Here you will find 5000 years of cultures and history—from Roman ruins, to the Jewish section, from the large stamp left by the Moors to the slightly more recent Christian culture.
What to do:
You might want to start with the amazing views overlooking the valley below. As most cities of its time period, Carmano is perched on top of the only high point for kilometres. The views are breathtaking.
Parador is a luxury hotel that was originally a palace constructed in the 14th century. Take time to really enjoy this amazing piece of architecture by having a coffee in the serene patio.
Take a stroll through the Jewish quarter and get the feel of the narrow cobblestoned streets that are closed in by whitewashed houses. The charm of these streets have changed very little throughout the passage of time.
In what was once the Dominican’s covenant now houses the farmer’s market of Carmona. Even if you didn’t go to check out the local products—which include Andalucia’s liquid gold, olive oil, and local wines —you will want to go just to appreciate the covenant itself.
On the outskirts of the city, you can take in one of the best preserved Necropolis’ in all of Andalucia. This important burial place has more than 300 tombs. You can also see vaulted funerary rooms, niches and a surprising Tomb of the Elephant which has three dining rooms and a kitchen.
City History Museum:
This will give you a detailed look at all the cultures that passed through Carmona.
The museum is on Calle San Ildefonso and is just 3€ per person entry.
Open Tue-Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Monday 11:00 - 2 p.m.
Getting to Carmona:
Bus: From the Prado de San Sebastian bus station take bus number M-124.
Ticket price: 3.50€
Time: 40 minutes from Seville to Carmona
For more information on what to do in Carmona: Carmona— another Andalucian history lesson
The unpretentious town of Moguer actually is of great importance in the history of Spain. This is where Christopher Columbus made arrangements for his expeditions.
Once Columbus had the royal backing (and finances) this is where he planned his trip.
Monastery de la Rabida:
Just walking within the Monastery gives you an amazing feeling of the presence of Christopher Columbus. You will get to see where he worked and planned his voyage and even see some documents written and signed by him.
Visiting and tour information:
Tuesday - Saturday mornings open from 10:00 —1:00 p.m.
Sunday mornings from 10:45 — 1:00 p.m.
Afternoons: from April 31- October 4:00 p.m —7 p.m.
Afternoons from November 1st - March 31st 4:00 p.m. —6:30 p.m.
Closed Mondays and December 25,26 and 31 and January 1, 5, and 6
3,50€ per person
2,00€ per person for groups of 20 or more people
Palos de la Frontera:
Visit the Ships of Christopher Columbus
If you are looking for an authentic history experience, especially one that is educational and yet fun for children this is a must for you.
You can not only see but actually walk through and experience ships that are the exact replicas of what Columbus sailed across the Atlantic in.
The floors creak, the sails sway in the breeze and the water laps at the sides of the ships. You will be amazed at how small these ships are. How they ever survived a voyage across the Atlantic seems to be more than the skill of Columbus and his men—a lot of luck must have gone along with them. (technically speaking only one of the ships made it to the “new world” and back again, the other two were destroyed along the way)
Adults 3.55 €
Children 1.50 €
Children under 5 years old are free
Summer schedule: June 16 - September 15
Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Rest of the year: September 16 - June 15
Tuesday — Sunday: 9:30 a.m. —7:30 p.m.
Beaches of Huelva
Last, but by no means the least, go to the pristine beaches along Huelva’s coast. Here you will find some of the least crowded and yet most amazing beaches in all of Spain.
Only an hour from Seville you have your choice of beaches to go to. Close to the Portuguese border you have Islantilla, which is a golf resort town that has an elegant, but newer style.
Or you can head to a couple of the traditional Spanish coastal villages where very few tourists every go—Matalascanas and Mazagon. These both have beaches that go on for kilometres and unless you go in the middle of August, you very well may have the beach to yourself.
For more information on the beaches have a read here: Where to find the best beaches in Spain
Have you been to a place near Seville that should be on this list?
Thanks to Erica and the gang at Meeting Point for inviting us to write this post for them!