Cordoba is an explosion of colors, of its multicultural tradition and a desire for life that will conquer you. Known for its unique style cathedral: la Mezquita, but also because of its Patios full of vases, flowers and little fountains well kept inside the courtyards of the historical private homes.
Built on a peninsula that extends along the Atlantic coast, battered by the waves that make it perfect for those who love water sports, surfing, windsurfing and kite. A quiet and relaxing place in the year to enjoy soaking in the history of sailors and conquerors. More active and vibrant in the summer.
The city stretches for several kilometers along the Avenida de Andalucia where are located the majority of modern hotels with all amenities at a 5-minute walk from the beach.
This part ends at the gates of the old town at the round tip of the peninsula, charcterized by its bastion, the beautiful and impressive cathedral and the countless restaurants and tapas bar around which people gather in the warm evenings ventilated from the Atlantic wind.
Its urban beach The Caletta is famous for being the setting of one of the James Bond film “Die Another Day” with Ale Berry.
Don’t miss the tapas restaurant Casa Manteca at the corner of Calle Calle del Patrocinio and Corralon de los Carrros a must when visiting Cadiz, founded by a famous bullfighter. Try the tapas and cold cuts of meat shrimps and fresh oysters accompanied by a cold beer or a good white wine and finally enjoy one cherry.
Where to eat
Taberna Casa Manteca
Calle del Corralon de los Carros
One of the oldest and most spectacular Andalusian city, on the top of a plateau divided by a 100m deep gorge called El Tajo. It is located in an area away from the coast once famous for its trade and for attracting in the 19th century many famous people, such as Dumas and Hemingway who have found their inspiration from the its landscape and folklore.
Start to visit from the south, the new town, going to the old part, the Ciudad crossing the spectacular Ponte Nuevo which offers a breathtaking view of El Tajo, surrounded by a row of white houses built over the cliff.
For the braves, the Casa del Rey Moro, in the vicinity of the Ponte Nuevo, has a stair of 300 steps leading down to the bottom of the gorge. Be very careful, the stairs is largely in the dark and very slippery being carved into the rock. Once was used as an escape, or as a way to source the water to the city as well as point to attack the city.
To the north of the new bridge you will find the Plaza de Espana in the neighborhood of Mercadillo, famous for one of the novels written by Hemingway on the Spanish fascist period.
Continue north to the real attraction of Ronda and whole Andalusia, for the nostalgic but also for the curious of bullfighting and its history. The Arena of Plaza deToros still used after 200 years, is characterized by the intense yellow of its sand and hand-painted wooden balustrades that surround the 5000 seats. inside the Arena is the museum Taurino, a dip in the history of bullfighting. There you can learn more about the legend of bullfighting: Pedro Romero. His clothes are still stained with blood, a little macabre but rich in folklore. The fear and tension of this environment was also the subject of an ‘other work of Hemingway “Death at noon.”
Leaving the Plaza de Toros and still continuing to the north, relax and enjoy the wonderful scenery and the tranquility of Alameda del Tajo.
But what is the most interesting thing of Ronda? certainly its inhabitants, mainly gitanos who will welcome you with great familiarity and drag you in pleasant chats about their private lives, marriages, children, grandchildren, festivities, perhaps in front of a cool glass of tinto de verano. You will be enchanted by this fantastic and almost mythological place.
Setenil de las Bodegas
A country dug in the rocky walls of a plateau crossed by the river Rio Trejo
Cave houses complemented by beautiful white facades on the narrow streets. Terraces and natural shelters built into the rock and tunnel whose walls are the white walls of houses and the roof made of a overhanging rock.
Differenently from the other white villages, Setenil is built in Caves. On the border between the province of Cadiz and the province of Malaga, it is reachable from Ronda driving approx. 100km northward. it is s part of the characteric white villages ranging from Setenil to Arcos de la Frontera. In the past is served much to defend the Christian inhabitants of these areas by the Moorish in 1400 and now become attraction for tourists, many of those homes are now restaurants and bars in which you should keep an eye to understand what it was like to live in caves hundreds of years ago. Setenil is a beautiful place to discover on foot through its narrow streets, stopping to savor the great offering of its tapas bars, grilled meat, patatas bravas, followed by ice cold beer to drink in the shade of a cool shelter carved directly in the rock.
The colors of Seville dazzle through a game of reflexes that from the shimmering water of the river Guadalquivir go through the narrow streets surrounded by the white painted houses below the blue sky of Andalusia. Walking in this city is a real sensorial experience where scents, images and sounds characterize the discovery of the city, making it a journey through time and life of extraordinary vital people always open and hospitable to foreigners. Seville is a multifaceted beautiful city to be experiences around the clock.
Do you want to experience the real atmosphere of Sevilla? then the best way to know the city is to walk and get lost in its streets and squares in the Barrio de Santa Cruz, whose name comes from the iron cross placed in the middle of the characteristic square of Santa Cruz. Between Tapas bar at the corners of whitewash houses and windows surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers, orange trees and typical churches which alternate with the typical houses of Flamenco that now populate the entire city offering shows around the clock.
Flamenco, the man suffering and passion transformed into powerful and exotic music and dance at the same time, powerful expression of what the strong but also tragic Andalusian feeling, from the intimacy of suffering to the happiness of life but also from violence to death.
Goethe wrote about Flamenco: “a physical force that everyone can hear but that no Philosophy can ever understand”.
The shows can be seen in many theaters and Flamenco schools such as the Casa del Flamenco (Ximenes de Engraved 28, Barrio Santa Cruz) but performances are also held in typical bars and concert venues as “La Carboneria” (c. 18 Levies, free entry) a former charcoal factory transformed into a concert hall with a bar attached and a beautiful entrance with a carved fireplace and a piano which possibly someone is already playing while others entertain themselves drinking Tinto de Verano, the Summer Wine ( red wine soda, ice and lemon slices)
From the Barrio de Santa Cruz, after a stop in one of the many authentic tapas place, you can easily reach the Cathedral Square, built in the 13th century with the intent, common for that time, to be a building so large that future generations would have considered their builders crazy.
Located right near the Alcazar, together with this one creates a mixture of Moorish and Gothic Christian style.
Entering the Cathedral you feel bewildered by its size and the beauty of the works of art such those preserved in the Sagrestia de los Calices as the painting of Santas Yusta and Rufin of Goya and various works of Murillo.
Inside the Cathedral is the grave of Christopher Columbus, whose remains were transferred from Havana to Seville in honor of the city from which Columbus departed to the continent that would have been America.
The monumental tomb consists of a coffin supported by four knights whose costumes representing the four great kingdoms of Spain. In reality is not yet known if the real remains are in Seville or Santo Domingo.
A little further away from the city center, in south direction, is the Plaza de Espana, built on the occasion of the Spanish-American exposition in the ‘20s.This is the place where the Sevillian love walking on the weekends between the balusters covered of azuleios and old trees and palm trees that hide the houses of ancient noble families around the Parque de Maria Luisa.
Just outside the park along the river Guadalquivir, is the Tower of Gold, formerly used as a watchtower and as a warehouse for the wares coming from the new colonies of Mexico and Peru. It is said that in times of wealth of the city, the dome of the tower was covered with golden tiles. Down the road heading north on Paseo de Cristobal Colon you reach the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza real where is one of the most important bullfighting arenas in Spain, as in Ronda also here was introduced bullfight without horses and is a symbol of almost religious importance for lovers of these events.
During Spring, the Semana Santa and Feria de Abril drastically change the atmosphere of the city passing from the sad but typical Holy Week atmosphere to the festive and colorful experience of the feria de Abril.
Just a little curiosity: the old ancient ruins and magnificence of Seville will be the setting of the new series of Game of Thrones.
Tapeando is the verb the Spaniards use to indicate the action to go and eat tapas, small portions of food served as an accompaniment to a beer on a nice glass of wine. Originally consumed as an aperitif and introduction to dinner, it has become in Andalusia the real alternative to dinner, giving a chance to try different flavors and aromas hobnobbing with friends over a glass of Estrella beer.
Order tapas can though be a hard challenge, especially in the most popular bars, where you must make room jostling in the crows to make your order.
Never lose an eye on your toothpicks with which tapas are served, at the time to leave they will be counted to calculate the bill.
Among the specialties of Seville try:
Torta de aceite: focaccia with olives
Huevos a la flamenco: made with morcilla sausage, garlic, onions, tomatoes and a cover of egg
Churros: the deep fried dough that are the best way to end the Sevillian nights out.