beauty of the moorish city cordoba in andalucia

People go to Spain often for the sun, beaches, great food and sightseeing and all bar the beach were the reasons we did Cordoba, another amazing Moorish city. After the bleak English winter there is nothing better than blue skies and warm rays on the skin when exploring the historic treasures, stopping for drinks and amazing fresh food – and since we are outside the tourist beaches the hotels here also add to the experience when you pick historic houses and old refurbished palaces. For me, a holiday can’t get much better than that!

Streets of Cordoba

Our first stop in Andalucia was Seville and that city stole my heart and I though I wouldn’t find anything like it, but Cordoba is very close to that experience – except it’s much more intimate and smaller, and really feels like stepping back in time when walking along the cobbled streets with windowsills and walls filled with flowers and the fresh scent of orange flowers everywhere in the air. I really hearted Cordoba too!

Great cathedral and mosque of Cordoba

As Cordoba is a Moorish city, the things you come here to see are also a mix of jewish, moorish (muslim) and christian styles and the most famous place to visit of course is the Great Cathedral and Mezquita (Mosque, pictured above) -a gigantic open-plan space like mosques are, but later modified to have a Christian altar and small altars on the site. And even before the mosque there was a Visigothic church and also remains of a Roman temple were used to built the mosque – a unique combination of different religions in same building!

Alcazar Cordoba

And of course this city also has its Alcazar – not quite as impressive as the one in Seville, but definitely still worth a visit. The gardens are also smaller yet very pretty – and an oasis on a hot day!  As cordoba doesn’t have many tall buildings the tower of Alcazar gives great views over the town, the river and the Roman Bridge.

Gardens of Cordoba Alcazar

Views of the Alcazar gardens. Like Seville, Cordoba town itself is part of the attraction – walk in the narrow streets of old Jewish quarters, visit of the few remaining synagogues in Spain, old courtyards and patios filled with flowers, enjoy some flamenco or a stroll by the river. As in Spain in general, there are also several other churches worth visiting.

View from Calahorra tower over Cordoba

The views from the Torre de la Calahorra (Calahorra Tower) stretch over the river, the Roman Bridge, Alcazar and the Cathedral as all key sights are close to each other. The tower itself is also an interactive museum that tells the history of Andalucia and pretty interesting (and I am not a huge museum person in general) as it explains the relationships of the Jews, Muslims and Christians and their contributions to the architecture and everyday life in general.

Hospes Hotel Cordoba

When planning my trip I came across this small luxury chain in Spain called Hospes Hotels: we tried one of their historic properties in Seville and loved it, and the five-star Hospes Palacio del Bailio was an ever better experience with a lovely pool at a lush orange and tangerine-filled courtyard and underground Roman baths. As the palacio is an old building it is actually well hidden away behind a gated tunnel leading to a courtyard. The decor has been beautifully restored and modern decor is tastefully mixed with the old Moorish style. When the dark falls, lanterns and spotlights add to the atmosphere and make the place feel even more special.

Hospes Hotel Cordoba

What I loved about all the hotels we stayed in Andalucia was that they all have lots of cozy and intimate common spaces, such as this lovely lounge with contemporary decor mixed with amazing moorish wall-carvings and that colourful mosaic-style ceiling.

Hospes Hotel Cordoba

A city holiday is perfect when you can go sightseeing and enjoy a meal out, then take a break, a dip in the refreshing pool, maybe even a little siesta in a lovely canopy before going out again. This hotel also has an underground Roman spa which was a very enjoyable experience: three pools/spas: cool, warm and hot in candlelight before the dinner does miracles both for the body and mind.


And last but not least – more about food. If for no other reason, go for food to Spain. Look for places full of locals and that’s how you find the good food. In general Spain in very cheap and even the places on the upper tend to be well-priced from European, Chinese, Californian (the list goes on) point of view. So enjoy the fresh food. If you are wondering what this thing above is I can reveal they are churros – the traditional (sunday) breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or chocolate sauce. You have to try them at least once for breakfast. Way better than donuts or crepes!

Local specialty at El Aqua Cero

We looked into TripAdvisor for a good place to eat and that is how we found El Aguazero (Cloudburst)– and that was food tasty for sure. Tapas-like dishes and they mixed their own version of the Sangria. Yummy! Above is one of their specialties that I would definitely recommend, truffled potatoes with egg and mushroom (parmentier de patata trufada con boletus  huevo) as well as another local food, sort of like a thicker gazpacho called ‘Salmorejo Cordobes’.

Our trip to Andalucia still has one more stop to cover in Malaga – and hopefully more in the years to come as there is so much more to see…until then I say hasta luego!

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