Why Nature is More Vibrant in Andalusia, Spain

Corinne Schnadelbach is a student at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. She is an ISA Featured Photo Blogger, and is currently studying abroad with ISA in Sevilla, Spain.

The Parque de Maria Luisa

Never having traveled to Europe before, or anywhere outside of the United States for that matter, I didn’t really know what to expect of Spain. Probably some ancient buildings cramped together and the aroma of Spanish cuisine always lingering in the air, but to find pockets of nature I could get lost in for hours? The best find of all.

Now that I have been settled in the city of Sevilla for almost a full month, the wonders of nature still snatch my breath away. Here are a few of my favorite urban gardens and weekend getaways for you to visit the next time your host mom packs you a bocadillo for lunch.

A pathway in the Parque de Maria Luisa
Architecture in the Parque
Fountains in the Parque

Parque de Maria Luisa is THE park to go to in Sevilla. From relaxing ponds for reading to endless trails designed for voluntarily getting lost, this park is the perfect remedy for any bad day. Plus, Star Wars and Games of Thrones were filmed here!

The Plaza de España

If you have 3 or 4€ to spend and a free day, I would recommend the Alcazar gardens as another nature pocket to explore. Along with ancient history literally written on the walls in tiles you cannot touch, the Alcazar palace boasts a beautiful water fountain, numerous species of flowers, and a maze specifically built for the groom to search for his bride on their wedding night. As a bonus, grab a group of friends and covet some lemons to make fresh lemonade from any of the numerous lemon trees growing in the garden.

Will you get lost in the mazes in the Alcazar gardens?
A flower in the Alcazar gardens
Overlooking the Alcazar gardens

If you’re looking for day trips or even weekend trips involving nature, this post is also for you. I definitely recommend going on the ISA Gibraltar excursion for mind blowing views of Africa and Europe.

The view of Africa and Europe together

You could pair the Gibraltar day trip with a weekend in Málaga if you’re in need of a little sunshine and the beach.

Sunset on the beach in Málaga
View of the Ocean in Málaga

The beach can get boring for those who like high adventure activities. One of my personal goals on this trip is to make it to the Caminito del Rey, a 7.7 km trail along the Gaitanes Gorge. You can see it from afar when travelling by train between Malaga and Sevilla. Although you have to pay to climb the Caminito, there are several other free and beautiful trails winding through the Spanish countryside which I explored during the regional holiday of Día de Andalusía on February 28. The days in Andalusia are mostly sunny, but during this day hike there was a constant cloud of mist surrounding the mountain tops. Thankfully I secretly love hiking through the rain as it makes for stunning scenery.

Gaitanes Gorge in Sevilla

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Author: Corinne Schnadelbach

I'm a sophomore at the University of Tennessee Knoxville majoring in Social Work and minoring in Leadership Studies, but honestly it was the Smoky Mountains that drew me to East Tennessee. I love all types of outdoor adventures including hiking and white water rafting and I hope to spend a lot of my time in Europe trying to replicate nature's beauty through photography. I chose to come to Sevilla, Spain to challenge myself to learn the Spanish language as well as to deepen my Catholic faith in a predominantly Catholic culture. This is my first time traveling abroad so why not go all out? After my semester in Sevilla, I will hopefully be interning with a local non-profit in Valencia, Spain doing conflict and peace resolution. I can't wait to share my experiences with you guys through blogging!

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