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