Fall In Love With Enchanting Mosques And Palaces
Once the star of Al-Andalus and the seat of the Spanish Inquisition, the historic city of Cordoba and the spectacular great Mezquita /Cathedral is the magnet that attracts people to Cordoba province.
Remnants of the acclaimed Caliphate of Cordoba hold a tremendous historical and architectural importance, but it is the city and its inhabitants that bring Cordoba to life.
Away from the cobblestoned streets and the winding lanes, the province of Cordoba is less trodden by visitors allowing you to enjoy it without the crowds.
To the north, you have the Sierra Morena mountains, a range of rolling hills littered with ruined castles, civil war battlegrounds, and the legend of a boy raised by wolves. To the south, you have miles of olive trees, vineyards, and villages with restaurants serving up homestyle local dishes.
Visit Andalusia like a Local!
Most Famous Attractions in Cordoba
You could spend an entire week in Cordoba and not run out of things to see and do. The Mezquita is a must-see attraction, as is the city’s old Jewish quarter.
Away from the city, Cordoba offers visitors the chance to sample the real Andalucia in places where tourists have never set foot.
- Cordoba City – Cordoba City and its marvelous Mezquita are reason enough to visit this buzzing contemporary Spanish city. – Check tours here
- Parque Natural Sierras Subbéticas – The Parque Natural Sierras Subbéticas is a picturesque hill-country region of Cordoba with lush valleys and hidden caves and trails with sweeping views.
- Priego de Cordoba – Often referred to as “the lock and key to the Kingdom of Granada,” the town of Priego de Cordoba is home to many beautiful Baroque-style buildings and the most excellent olive oil.
- Los Pedroches – Located in Andalucia’s northernmost reaches, the village of Los Pedroches is a Star Light reserve full of castles and pastures where black pigs feed solely on acorns.
- Montilla wines – Hovering below the radar, the sweet fortified wines of Montilla are sherry’s secret cousin. Best sampled in one of the local wineries, Montilla-Moriles wines can trace their history back to the Romans.
- Zuheros – This whitewashed hamlet of around 700 people has managed to maintain the charm of another era. Near the town is the Cueva de los Murciélagos, an archaeological site of great importance.
Best Accommodation in Cordoba
Being on the tourist trail and only 1 hour and 49 minutes from Madrid by high-speed AVE train, Cordoba has a vast array of accommodations to suit all budgets.
Backpackers and single travelers can find an inexpensive roof over their heads at one of the many hostels, while those used to the more beautiful things in life can pamper themselves with 5-star luxury.
Because Cordoba is so popular with tourists, the city has plenty of hostels all competing for your business.
Described as a 5-star hostal with fantastic staff, the Option Be is located close to all the attractions on one of the city’s main thoroughfares.
The good news for people visiting Cordoba is that accommodation is much less expensive than either Madrid or Barcelona.
Tucked away down Cordoba’s narrow streets, you will find plenty of mid-range hotels close to all the major attractions. One hotel, we particularly like, is the boutique Hospedería Del Atalia in the Old Town, just a two-minute walk to the Mezquita.
Set back away from the main road by a gated patio, this mid-range hotel features a beautiful rooftop bar with city views. Prices at the Hospedería Del Atalia start at 49€ per night. – Check hotels here
When traveling as a family, it can be challenging to find resort-style accommodation within a city.
For this reason, we recommend renting an apartment or villa through Airbnb.
If you visit Cordoba during June, July, or August, try and find a place with a swimming pool where you can hang out as a family and cool off from the scorching heat. – Check hotels here
When it comes to 5-star opulence, Cordoba has several options from which to choose. Rather than go with one of the well-known international chains, we prefer the 10-room Balcón de Córdoba in the Old Town, a stone’s throw from the Mezquita.
How to get to Cordoba
While Cordoba does have an airport for general aviation, it does not have any regularly scheduled flights. The closest airport to Cordoba that is practical for travelers is Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport.
Seville and Granada are both nearer, but Malaga is more useful due to its airport rail link. – Check flights here
With Cordoba being on Spain’s high-speed rail network, it is easy to get to from Seville (45min), Malaga (1 hr), and Madrid (2 hrs). – Get tickets here
Traveling by bus in Spain is simple, with nearly every town and village having some service. With Cordoba being a city, there are regular buses to Seville, Granada, Malaga, and Madrid. – Get tickets here
Thanks to Spain’s impressive motorway network, driving to Cordoba is essential and straightforward if you want to explore some out-of-the-way places. Once in the city, however, a car becomes a burden due to a lack of parking.
If visiting the city of Cordoba by car, leave it between the Roman Bridge and the San Rafael bridge on the south side of the river and walk. – Check car rentals here
Cordoba Travel Guide: Booking Resources
In order to make travel planning as easy as possible, we gathered below a selection of our favorite companies. We love them for being reliable and offering the best deals in Southern Spain. All of the recommended companies have top-notch customer service and have been tested by us first-hand.
- Skycanner – Find the best flight deals to Southern Spain
- Omio – THE company to book train or bus tickets online. It’s also a great way to check schedules and stay flexible.
- Discover Cars – Has the best-discounted rates on car rentals in Andalucia
- GetYourGuide – Find the best tours in Southern Spain. They offer great value and we found their prices to be some of the most competitive ones in the market.
- Booking.com – To book the perfect hotel for your Southern Spain trip. We particularly love their review section.
- Homeaway – From stunning beach-front villas or gorgeous city apartments, Homeaway has the best offers when it comes to vacation rentals.
- Airbnb– Explore Andalucia like a local and stay with local homeowners. It’s a great way to connect.
- Hostelworld – If you travel to Spain on a budget, Hostelworld has the largest selection of hostels in Andalucia.
- Adrenaline Hunter – If you are an adventurous kind of traveler, Adrenaline Hunter will be your favorite resource ever. From kitesurfing to kayaking, it’s basically heaven for outdoor lovers.
- SafetyWing – Never travel without travel insurance. A stupid accident can quickly turn into a financial nightmare. With SafetyWing you can travel worry-free.
- Transferwise – Withdraw money without hidden fees and avoid exchange charges + get a free Mastercard debit card to spend money abroad
When to go to Cordoba
With Cordoba having so much to see and do, there never is a wrong time to visit.
In the spring and fall, the temperatures are a little cooler, and the crowds have gone. If you visit during the height of summer, prepare for the heat and more tourists.
What to eat in Cordoba
With its roots firmly entrenched in Andalusian history, the food in Cordoba has elements of spice and sweets introduced by the Moors.
Eating seasonally and only using the freshest of ingredients foodies will be in their element while traveling around the province of Cordoba. Below we have compiled a list of foods you must try while in Cordoba.
- Salmorejo – Like gazpacho, Salmorejo is a cold tomato-based soup topped off with Jamon or a hard-boiled egg.
- Rabo de toro – Famous throughout Andalucia Rabo de toro is a tender braised bulls tail cooked in a rich red wine sauce.
- Flamenquín – Imported from the neighboring province of Jaen, flamenquín is rolled up serrano ham, and pork loin dipped in egg, breadcrumbed, and deep-fried.
- Berenjenas con miel – Berenjenas con miel is crispy fried eggplant drizzled with miel de caña, a syrupy type of molasses.
- Cogollos al ajillo – Cogollos al ajillo is a dish of romaine lettuce hearts fried with garlic. It’s unique to Cordoba and is something you should try.
- Montilla-Moriles wine – Similar somewhat to sherry but made using Pedro Ximenez grape’s Montilla-Moriles wine has its own distinct taste and is unique to Cordoba province.
What to do in Cordoba for Outdoor lovers?
As we mentioned in the introduction, once you leave the capital, you have the province all to yourself.
Hikers will love the Sierra Morena mountains, the unspoiled countryside, and the Guadalquivir river’s permanent presence.
- Cueva de los Murciélagos – Located four kilometers from Zuheros, the Cueva de los Murciélagos (Cave of the Bats), is an extensive underground cavern system and one of the most famous Neolithic sites in Andalusia.
- White water Kayaking in Benameji – If you have experienced white water rafting, why not take the next step and shoot the Genil River rapids in a kayak. Benamejí is located an hour south of Cordoba just off the A-45.
- Sierra de Subbetica Natural Park – With plenty of well-signposted routes to select from, the Sierra de Subbetica Natural Park is a great place to discover nature as you cycle or hike through the countryside. It is also home to Spain’s largest colony of griffon vultures.
- Los Pedroches – The Parque Natural Sierra de Cardeña y Montoro is a mass of rolling hills and woodland full of interesting hikes near the village of Cardeña. It is also home to the elusive Iberian lynx and endangered species that are difficult to photograph.
- Horseback riding – In Cordoba, many tours offer horseback riding for all levels of riders. Whether it along the Guadalquivir River or through the rolling hills seeing Cordoba on horseback is an excellent experience.
What to do in the surroundings of Cordoba?
With Cordoba being on Spain’s high-speed AVE rail network, you can explore many of Andalucia’s attractions all within a day trip.
Home to one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals and the breathtaking Moorish Alcazar, Seville offers plenty of things to see and do for the intrepid tourist.
You have seen the Mezquita, so why not now go to Granada and visit the Alhambra palace and the winding streets of the Albaicin Moorish quarter. – Check tours here
In recent years Malaga has seen somewhat of a makeover making this coastal city a hip trendy place to be. In Malaga, you will discover a historical legacy dating back to the Phonecians that includes an intimidating castle, a Moorish palace, and a Roman amphitheater. – Check tours here
Home to some of the world’s greatest museums and Picasso’s Guernica, a day trip to Madrid and a stroll through Retiro Park should be on everyone’s list. It’s well connected via high-speed train.
Ubeda and Baeza
Declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their impressive Renaissance buildings, Ubeda and Baeza, are a testament to Spain’s wealth during this period of its history. – Check tours here