What to see in the provinces of Andalusia
This is a land of culture, history, nature areas and excellent food. You’ll be able to visit everything from outstanding monuments to a wide variety of different natural landscapes… and you’ll have the chance to take part in several unique popular events and sample a range of delicious gastronomic products.
One way to discover the culture of Andalusia is by exploring the sites which have been awarded the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
In Granada, you’ll see the Alhambra Palaces, the Generalife gardens and the medieval Albaicín neighborhood; in Cordoba, its historic center with the great Mosque; in Seville, the cathedral, the Royal Alcazar and the Indies Archive; and in Jaén, the monumental sites of Úbeda and Baeza. You’ll also be able to experience festivals such as Easter Week, the Carnival in Cadiz, the Rocío pilgrimage in Huelva and the April Fair in Seville.
You’ll find a variety of natural landscapes which range from the beaches of the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz and Almería to the extensive olive groves of Jaén.
You can visit the Doñana National Park –also declared a World Heritage Site–, or go skiing in the Sierra Nevada ski resort.
Finally, remember that Andalusia has a thousand different flavors waiting to be tried. From the sherries of Jerez (Cadiz) and Montilla – Moriles (Cordoba), to the classic platters of fresh fried fish known as “pescaíto Frito” from Cadiz and Malaga, cured ham from Huelva and Cordoba, olive oil, and other such typical dishes as gazpacho and “salmorejo”.
The Route of the Caliphate
Hillside castles and fortified towns invite you to travel back in time to Al-Ándalus.
In the Middle Ages, Muslims followed a route that took them from Granada to Cordoba, which has now been classed as a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. This is known as the Route of the Caliphate and you can follow it to explore the history of Andalusia.
Various battles between Muslims and Christians took place in this area of Spain, the site of ancient cultures and current traditions that date back 10 centuries. Over 200 kilometers long, it is one of the best locations to visit in Andalusia and a destination that is suitable for all ages.
These are some of the places and historical facts that can be discovered along this journey through Andalusia:
- Heritage buildings in the province of Granada you will find the Arab bridge in Pinos Puente and the Nasrid castle of Moclín.
- Córdoba is home to the Luque fortress, the Lucena and Priego castles in Córdoba, and the Muslim street pattern of Baena’s old town centre.
- In Jaen, you will discover La Mota Castle in Alcalá la Real.
The Route of the Caliphate can be completed with a hiking excursion. So if taking this route through Andalusia, it’s a good idea to bring sturdy footwear and walk through the Sierras Subbéticas. And as you do so, you will be following in the footsteps of history.
Arab influenced cuisine
Some local recipes originate from Muslim culture. Albóndigas (meatballs), migas (fried breadcrumbs) and arroz con leche (rice pudding) are all dishes that can be enjoyed now just as they were by the caliphs 1000 years ago.
Artisanal clay modeling is still practiced in several of the towns along the Route of the Caliphate, a legacy of Arab culture. Many Spanish words, such as oil and escabeche (pickle) were inherited from this civilization.