I'd look at Cadiz (traditional Spanish city by the sea, around 1.5 hours drive) and Italica (Roman remains, about 20 minutes) as my choices for day trips from Seville. Jerez has sherry tasting and horses if either of those are of particular interest. Ronda seems to be everyone's "must see" on here, but I really didn't get it - one spectacular gorge, but otherwise crowds of tourists and lots of cheap souvenir shops.
Ecija and Carmona are pretty little towns but only if you happen to be passing that way.
However, I'd only plan for one day trip, as 3 days is about right to see Seville - there is a lot to do and see there.
If one is NOT renting a car.......how do you get to Italica????????
US, Canadians and citizens of countries outside the European Union need an international driving permit to drive in Spain. One can get this permit at AAA. Rent a car with a GPS to make driving easy.
There is no free parking in cities and hotels charge 15-20 euros a day for parking.
For Alhambra Tickets (Book early- at least 3 months in advance):
If you are too late in buying tickets for the date you want, you can try calling your hotel and ask them to buy tickets for you, since the Alhambra allocates tickets to hotels for their clients. If this fails, you can buy the Granada Card for 40 euros, which includes a ticket for the Alhambra.
Downtown Granada is Calle Reyes Catolicos. Use Booking.com to screen hotels and apartments in the Granada City Center. A good hotel downtown with parking is the Vincci Albayzin. Shopping streets are Calle Reyes Catolicos, Calle Zacatin, and Calle Recogidas. There is a large El Corte Ingles Department Store at Carrera de la Virgen, 20. The Alcaiceria is beside the Cathedral and has many shops.
Good restaurant: Restaurante Chikito (Plaza del Campillo, 9; Tel: 958-223-364) - A gastronomic restaurant that has won many prizes for its food. Reservations are a must.
Seville is one of the cities in Spain with the most charm. A very good hotel in Seville is the Hotel Becquer (which has a garage), walkable to most sights. Use Booking.com to look at other hotels.
Must see places in Seville:
1. Church of El Salvador - One of the most beautiful Baroque churches. The ticket from this church allows one to also see the Cathedral and one can skip the queue there. Tickets available at 11 am.
2. Cathedral/Giralda Tower - The Cathedral is the third biggest church in Europe.
3. Alcazar - The palace rivals the Alhambra. See the King’s apartments.
4. Plaza de España - The most beautiful plaza in Spain.
5. Palacio de las Dueñas - This palace is beautiful and has just opened up for the public. This is the residence of the Duke of Alba. A wonderful place to see.
6. Casa de Pilatos - Beautiful palace with wonderful gardens. See the upstairs apartment.
7. Museo de Bellas Artes - One of the most important art museums in Spain.
8. Museum-Palace of the Countess of Lebrija - Has some of the best Roman mosaics in Spain. See the upstairs apartment.
A good flamenco place is Los Gallos (Plaza de Santa Cruz, 11). The main shopping streets are Calle Tetuan and Calle Sierpes. There is a large El Corte Ingles Department store at Plaza del Duque de la Victoria.
1. Cuna 2 (Calle Cuna, 2;Tel 954-211-107) - A large, elegant restaurant with traditional Andalusian decoration and with beautiful ceramic tiles lining the walls of the dining rooms. There is a beautiful bar at the top of the building.
2. Casa Robles (Calle Alvarez Quintero, 58; Tel: 954-213-150) - An elegant restaurant near the Cathedral.
3. For tapas, go to Mercado Lonja del Baranco (Calle Arjona, 24; Tel. 917-582-420).
Use Booking.com to look for hotels and apartments in The Real Heart of Cordoba. For those making a day trip to Cordoba, the train station does not have luggage lockers but the bus station beside it has luggage lockers. A taxi to the Mezquita will cost only about 6 euros because the distance from the train station is only 1.8 km.
The best sights in Cordoba:
1. Mezquita/Cathedral - The most important architectural feature of the Mezquita are the double horseshoe arches, made of jasper, onyx, marble, and granite. There are 856 columns in the church and they seem to be a sea of arches and columns to the visitor.
2. Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos - Has beautiful gardens.
3. Palacio de Viana - The palace has important artwork and there are 12 different patios, all beautiful.
Good restaurants near the Mezquita:
1. Casa Pepe de la Juderia (Calle Romero, 3; Tel: 957-200-744).
2. El Caballo Rojo (Calle del Cardenal Herrero, 28; Tel: 957-475-375).
Shopping streets are the area around the Mezquita, Calle Jose Cruz Conde, Ronda de los Tejares, Conde de Gondomar and Avenida de Gran Capitan.
Dress code for churches: Shorts or bare shoulders are not allowed for either women or men. The Mezquita is a Catholic church.
Hemingway said that Ronda was the most romantic town in Spain. Orson Welles loved Ronda so much that he asked to be buried there. The views in this town are unforgettable. This is the most important and most beautiful white town in Andalusia.
Things to See:
1. New Bridge
2. Mondragon Palace
3. Church of Santa Maria La Mayor
4. Alameda del Tajo Park - Has great views of the countryside.
5. Carrera Espinel shopping street (also called Calle La Bola).
The Parador is a very good hotel beside the New Bridge and has marvelous views and a large parking garage. A good restaurant is Restaurante Doña Pepa at Plaza del Socorro, 10.
Nearby white towns that can be explored if one has a car are Olvera, Setenil de las Bodegas and Ubrique.