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Through the heartland of Al-Andalus

 
 

History, nature and way of living!
A journey through the history of a region shaped by 800 years of the Moors. Between Córdoba, the ancient capital of the Caliphate, and Granada, the last refuge of the Nazarí kings, we find a hill territory with many castles and towers. Many stories and legends tell about the long period of battles and conquests in the heartland of the Spanish-Moorish era.

 

Highlights

- Córdoba
- Priego de C.
- Alcalá la Real
- Subbéticas
- Granada

      Itinerary

 

Essentials

Itinerary

Description
The Caliphate Route combines the most important cities of the Moorish era in Spain, Córdoba und Granada with the valley of the Guadalquivir river and the fertile Vega.

 

The itinerary runs through the Sierras Subbéticas Natural Park with its tiny settlements, and also touches on some smaller mountainous regions as the Sierra de Moclín, the Sierra Elvira, the Granadian Vega and finally the Sierra de Huétor Natural Park.

 

This region is worth seeing because of its landscape, its monuments,the local gastronomy and the traditional handicraft.
The Caliphate route can be easily combined with an excursion to the Sierra Nevada mountains or to the villages of the Alpujarras.

 

Itinerary
There are two main itineraries from Córdoba. The southern route passes Águilar de la Frontera and Priego de Córdoba, the northern route takes us through Espejo and Baena to Alcalá la Real. Then you can take either the direct way (N 432) to Granada or visit the villages of the Granadian Vega.

 

Time needed
2-3 days, depending on the activities even longer.

 

Distance 
northern route: approx. 112 miles
southern route: approx. 121 miles
passing the Vega region: approx. 130-140 miles

 

Best travel season
Spring/early Summer (March until June) and early Autumn (September until October).

 

Landscape and protected areas
The route between the Guadalquivir valley and Granada passes through various types of landscape. There are olive groves, vineyards and grain fields The itinerary runs over a few lower mountain passes (around 3300 yards high) and ends on the feet of the alpine Sierra Nevada mountains.

Parque Natural Sierra Subbéticas
This area of 78,005 acres consists mainly of medium high limestone mountains covered with a Mediterranean vegetation. 8 villages lie in this territory (Visitor’s centre in Cabra).

Parque Natural Sierra de Huétor

12.428 ha umfasst dieses Surface of 30,710 acres of limestone mountain ranges with an abundant vegetation located in the northwest of Granada. 7 villages lie in this territory (Visitor’s centre in Viznar).

Tourist infrastructure


Tourist information

Aguilar de la Frontera
Cuesta de Jesús 2
Alcalá la Real
Paseo de los Álamos
Baena
Plaza de España 9
Cabra
Santa Rosalia 2
Córdoba
Torrijos 10
Plaza de Judá Leví
Granada
Corral del Carbón
Plaza Mariana Pineda 10
Lucena
Plaza Nueva 1
Montilla
San Luis 8
Priego de Córdoba
Rio 3

 

Accommodation

Various hotels and hostels along the route. Also some campsites and country houses (rustic apartments).

 

Activities

Cabra
Hiking
Cogollos de Vega
Hiking, Paragliding
Córdoba
Horseriding, Flying, Hunting,
Zoo visit
Granada
Horseriding, Flying, Skiing,
Hiking
Luque
Hiking
Priego de Córdoba
Hiking, Horseriding
Zuheros
Hiking

 

Feasts/Festivals

Patron Saint Feasts / Ferias

almost each town celebrates its own patron saint, a procession and/or its "feria" (fair).


Pilgrimages - "Romerías"

Aguilar de la Frontera
Virgen de los Remedios (10 days after Corpus Christi)
Baena
Virgen Blanca de la Alegría (end of June)
Cabra
Nacional de Gitanos (June)
Virgen de la Sierra (Sept. 4-8)
Castro del Río
Virgen de la Salud (June)
Lucena
Virgen de Araceli (May)
Luque
San Isidro (May 5)
Moclín
Cristo del Paño (Oct. 10)

 

Others

Baena
Carnival
Córdoba
Patio flower contest (May)
Feria (May)
Montilla
Wine feast (beginning of September)

 

Córdoba (Miles 0; 328,041 Inhabitants)
capital of the province and the ancient seat of the Caliphate. The most famous building is the Mezquita (Mosque).

the southern route:

Fernán Núñez
(Miles 22; 9,801 Inhabitants)
founded in the 14th century. Surrounded by fertile farm land. Santa Marina church, Palace of the Duke

Montemayor (Miles 24; 4,001 Inhabitants)
Fortified village. Well preserved castle in Mudéjar style; Church
Nuestra Señora de la Asunción; 3 small museums

Montilla (Miles 30; 23,622 Inhabitants)
Centre of wine production. Churches: Santiago, San Francisco; many noble houses; Santa Clara Monastery; Museum Histórico-Local

Aguilar de la Frontera (Miles 36;
13,631 Inhabitants)
settled by the Romans. Nuestra
Señora del Soterraño Church; Plaza de San José (octagonal shape)

Lucena (Miles 47; 42,748 Inhabitants)
worth seeing: church San Mateo; medieval castle del Moral;
4 miles away: Pilgrims church Virgen de Araceli; a recommended half-day trip to Rute and Iznájar (21 miles)

Cabra (Miles 53; 21,001 Inhabitants)
located in the Natural Park Sierras Subbéticas (archaeological museum). Remains of a castle; Church de la Asunción y Ángeles
3 miles away: Pilgrim's church Virgen de la Sierra

Carcabuey (Miles 58; 2,632 Inhabitants)
Church Nuestra Señora de la Asunción; San Marcos Church;
medieval castle (centuries XII-XIV)

Priego de Córdoba (Miles 68 km;
23,112 Inhabitants)
important Moorish and later on Christian regional centre.
Remains of a castle; Churches: de la Asunción with a chapel, de la Aurora and San Francisco; Quarter Barrio de la Villa; Fuente del Rey (well)

the northern route:

Espejo (Miles 21; 3,474 Inhabitants)
located amidst olive groves on a hill. Fortress (private property); Church San Bartolomé

Castro del Río (Miles 25; 8,052 Inhabitants)
already settled by the Romans.
Castle; Church de la Asunción; Casa de Medinaceli

Baena (Miles 37; 20,207 Inhabitants)
Centre of olive oil production.
Old part of the village in Arabic style; Churches Santa María la Mayor, Guadalupe; Remains of a fortress.

Zuheros (Miles 44; 696 Inhabitants)
picturesque fortification located on the top of the hill and surrounded with olive groves; Church Virgen de los Remedios; Plaza de la Paz;
2.5 miles away: Cueva de los Murciélagos (stalactite cave; drawings)

Luque (Miles 47; 3,178 Inhabitants)
Remains of the Moorish fort; Church de la Asunción; Plaza de Espa
ña

Alcaudete (Miles 60; 10,896 Inhabitants)
Situated between olive groves and wine yards. Ruins of a fortification; Church Santa María

Castillo de Locubín (Miles 71; 4,381 Inhabitants)
Viewpoint: river and water reservoir; Moorish castle

the last part of the route starts in:

Alcalá la Real
(Miles 78;
22,324 Inhabitants)
frontier village during the long battle between the Moors and the Christians.
Fortificacion Fortaleza de la Mota; Churches: Santo Domingo; Santa María la Mayor, Nuestra Señora de las Angustias; Puente del Pilar (well)

Pinos Puente (Miles 100:
12,808 Inhabitants)
settlement amidst farm land. Bridge from the 7th century.

Granada (Miles 112; 237,540 Inhabitants)
Capital of the last Moorish kingdom and final stronghold: Al-Andalus. Fantastic view of the Alhambra with the snow covered Sierra Nevada mountains in its back.

 



Alternative route through the northern Vega: approx. 13 miles south of Alcalá la Real turn towards:

Moclín
(Miles 92; 4,059 Inhabitants)
Fortress; Church del Pa
ño;
outside the village: watch towers

Colomera
(Miles 102; 1,431 Inhabitants)
Church de la Encarnacíon; Remains of a castle

Güejevár (Miles 114; 2,558 Inhabitants)
Plaza de la Constitución with a Baroque church; good sausages

Cogollos Vega (Miles 117;
2,043 Inhabitants)
Good outlook point. Arab baths

Alfacar (Miles 122; 5,490 Inhabitants)
former summer residence of the Nasrid kings. The location lies 2,950 feet high.
outside: Federico García Lorca Park

Víznar (Miles 126; 991 Inhabitants)
close to the Sierra de Huétor mountains. Palace of the archbishop del Cuzco; Church del Pilar

Granada (Miles 130)

 

Note: the population dates are from 2014

To combine with...

 

What may be visited after or before these plans:

- Seville and Campiña
- Sierra Nevada and Alpujarras
- Jaén and Cazorla
- Costa Tropical near Motril
- Route of Al-Isidri
- Málaga and Costa del Sol
- Guadix and Almería

 


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