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The Golden Andalusian Triangle

The Golden Andalusian Triangle

By car, 420 km, 6 days

Cordoba, Seville and Granada inevitably conjure up images of whitewashed alleys, picturesque flower-filled patios, romantic plots, but also the soft murmur of garden fountains, the fragrance of orange blossom... Three cities where memories of Al-Andalus remain intact.

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Cordoba is the start of this trip to Andalusia. If you arrive in the morning and want to see the city then plan to spend at least one and a half days.

Mezquita   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

C/ de Torrijos 14004 Córdoba
Religious buildings

The architecture of this monument, the only one of its kind in the world, tells a fascinating story. It is living testimony to the Muslim and Christian faiths. The mosque was built from the 8C to the 10C on the site of the Visigothic Church of St Vincent. After the Reconquista, it was dedicated to the Catholic religion, and, in the 16C, the Christians built a Gothic cathedral inside, right in the middle of its arches, and by enclosing one in the other they created one of the most original buildings in the world.


Córdoba Jewish quarter   Worth a detour Worth a detour

C/ Buen Pastor 14003 Córdoba
Architecture, castles and historic districts

With its whitewashed alleyways, flower-decked patios, ornamental wrought-iron work and typical bars, it is impossible to resist the charms of the Judería. Step away from the Mezquita and its hordes of tourists to explore one of Spain's most beautiful medieval districts. Highlights include the Almodóvar gate, the Calle Judíos, the district's most famous street, an Andalucian house (at n°12), and the Casa de Sefarad, a cultural centre dedicated to the memory of Sephardic Jews.


Palacio de Viana   Worth a detour Worth a detour

pl. de Don Gome 2 14001 Córdoba
Architecture, castles and historic districts

This palace was extended on several occasions between the 14C and the 19C, which gives you an idea of the changes in civil architecture in Córdoba during this period. This unique and surprising complex of buildings covers an area of about 6 500m2, mostly taken up twelve magnificent patios and a garden. Admire the palace's beautiful interior, in particular the Salón de los Sentidos, decorate in mother-of-pearl, and a collection of embossed Cordoban leather (15C-19C).

Among the other remarkable places, the most notable are the Archaeological Museum, la place des Capucins et son Christ aux lanternes, the churches of San Pablo, San Lorenzo and San Miguel, and, of course, Medina Azahara, the 10th century city palace just a few kilometres from Cordoba.

Sevilla (Spain)

Spend two full days here to take full advantage of the city.

Cathedral   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Av. de la Constitución 41004 Sevilla
Religious buildings

"Let us build a church so grand that those who see it will think we are mad": that is what the cathedral chapter decided in 1401 when the mosque had to be knocked down. It is one of the last Spanish Gothic cathedrals and the third largest in size in the Christian world. You will find a Pardoner's door, the peaceful Patio de los Naranjos (courtyard of orange trees), the Capilla Mayor and its huge Flemish retable, the tomb of Christopher Columbus, the impressive Capilla Real, paintings by renowned artists and many other treasures.


La Giralda   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Av. de la Constitución 41004 Sevilla
Religious buildings

Emblem of Seville; a masterpiece of Almohad art, the minaret (96 m) of the old mosque was built in the12C. In the 16C the Cordovan architect Hernán Ruiz gave it its current appearance of a belfry by adding the bell chamber and four upper rooms and by adding the balconies. The whole is topped by a statue symbolising Faith and acting as a weathervane (giralda). The panoramic view over Seville is worth the effort of climbing it.


Alcázar : palatial buildings   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Pl. del Triunfo 41004 Sevilla
Architecture, castles and historic districts

Modified and added to over the centuries, these stunning palatial buildings, first built in the 10C, are notable for their architectural diversity. Highlights here include Charles V's room, originally built in the 13C by Alfonso X the Wise; superb 18C tapestries; the palace of Peter the Cruel, a masterpiece of Mudéjar art started in 1362; the spectacular Ambassadors' hall; and the delightful gardens, where water plays an all-important role.


Santa Cruz district   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Pl. Santa Cruz 41004 Sevilla
Architecture, castles and historic districts

This is the heart of Seville: it is impossible not to fall under the spell of this neighbourhood that extends up to the church of Santa María la Blanca, with its winding little roads, picturesque whitewashed houses, secret flower-decked patios and tiny squares. Everything is of a manageable size here. As the Jewish district during the Middle Ages, it enjoyed the protection of the Crown after the Reconquista, but in the late 14C it was taken over by the Christians, who transformed all the synagogues into churches. Today, coming here feels like stepping back in time... even if, in high season, it isn't uncommon to get caught up in a tangle of tourists. Nonetheless, in the daytime, its charm under the Andalusian sun is undeniable and, come evening, there's nothing like a stroll by the light of the street lamps when the bars and restaurants open and the streets come to life.

The attractions of Seville are endless, though the unique Maison de Pilate, the magnificent Museum of Fine Arts, the panoramic view from Triana nor, of course, tasting tapas in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood or one the grande Salvador Plaza, are all not to be missed.

Granada (Spain)

You must go to Granada, if only for Alhambra (allow 1/2 a day for the visit). But Albaicín and the chance to explore the Christian town and cathedral district also justify the trip.

Alhambra   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

C/ Real de la Alhambra 18009 Granada
Architecture, castles and historic districts

With its fascinating architecture, sumptuous gardens and delightful water features, the Alhambra is the embodiment of refinement, where words fail to do justice to this paradise created by the Nasrid princes as the ultimate expression of a civilisation in decline. Both a fortress and a royal city, this architectural masterpiece is considered one of the most beautiful and best-preserved Arab palaces ever built in the world.

Nazari Palaces, the Alcazaba, the Renaissance palace of Charles V, the museums, the Generalife, the stunning views over Albaicin and the city ... an unforgettable visit.

Albaicín   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Pl. de San Nicolás 18010 Granada
Architecture, castles and historic districts

This district, which is quite typical of the town, bears the name of the hill on which it is situated and is a preferred viewpoint over the Alhambra. There the first Arab fortress in Granada was built. Today only the walls remain. Narrow streets interspersed with small pretty squares climb the hill lined with wealthy villas the carmens. Make this visit on foot to grasp all the charm of this Arab origin district.

It’s from the vantage point of San Nicolas that we enjoy the best view of Alhambra. The beauty of Alhambra and red ochre stains on the green hills, with a backdrop of the snowcapped Sierra Nevada, is a simply incomparable show.

chapel Royale   Worth a detour Worth a detour

c/ Oficios 3 18001 Granada
Religious buildings

A masterpiece of Isabeline Gothic both for the unity of style as well as the richness of its ornamentation, the chapel is by Enrique Egas. Inside, of particular interest is the spectacular Bartolome of Jaén railing which closes off the transept in which can be found the mausoleums of the Catholic Monarchs and their daughter Juana the Mad and her husband. Note also the magnificent Plateresque retable of the high altar. The museum has objects of exceptional historical worth and an extraordinary collection of works by Spanish, Flemish and Italian masters.

Just next door is the renaissance style cathedral opposite the Madraza (Old Town Hall), which was the Koranic university. A little farther away is Alcaicería, which housed a silk market during the 'Muslim period, as well as Plaza Bib-Rambla.

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