Andalusia is many places to discover and activities to do, contrasting landscapes will pass through the window of our car or camper, countless possibilities for overnight stays, free areas or camping.
Wide gastronomy and variety of tapas bars, many typical restaurants,
they will make cooking in your camper difficult!
In "Happy Andalusia" we think that the best way to explore this beautiful coast is, without a doubt, to rent a car or van, or caravan, from Malaga and start your adventure along the coast.
In this guide we propose alternative routes, passing through some of the most beautiful and authentic places in this land, covering a large part of southern Spain!
We will start from Malaga, why here ?!
Malaga Airport covers flights across Europe, non-stop!
And here we have all the contacts and the best offers to rent our vehicle.
(We have to cosiderete that we can rent our camper or our car, for example starting from Malaga and return it at the end of our holiday, in another city; for example Seville. We can take full advantage to customize our itineraries!)
In this proposal to visit all of Andalusia, we will divide the territory into 4 itineraries!
We will visit the maritime and port city of Malaga, passing through the monumental and majestic Granada, the Sierra de la Nieve National Park, the Ciudad Burra de Mijas and the blue city of Júzcar, the picturesque and contemporary seaside resort of Marbella, until we reach the most beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol, Cadiz, Zahara de los Atunes, Tarifa, the paradisiacal sand dunes and the infinite horizons full of wind turbines of the Costa Luz, (it takes this name because in the Far East, in the summer the sun sets at 11.00 pm) .. then arriving in Seville, and of course visit it!
Here we are, let's get started!
Malaga, Nerja, Granada, Antequera and Cordoba.
Coming from Malaga airport, there are two route options we can choose: head southwest to enjoy the coastal beaches of Malaga, Fuengirola and Marbella, or head southeast (as we recommend) through Nerja and its beaches , then continue inland to visit Granada, Antequera and Cordoba.
This is a city with places and activities for all tastes, as a couple, as a family, as a single !!
Beach, culture, history and museums ...
WHERE TO STAY IN A CAMPER IN MALAGA?
It is a city with a lot of tourism and is quite busy all year round. That's why we want to recommend the camper areas closest to the city center.
1. Malaga camper area:
It is located here (36.684207, -4.460198) next to the Martin Carpena Stadium, and has filling and emptying services.
15 minutes by bus from the city center, excellent RV parking near the beach, all services, including washing machines.
Small grocery store and restaurant. You can borrow bicycles for free and reach the city center via the cycle path.
Electricity included in the price.
Front row seat on the sea € 15 / 24h.
2. Cala del Moral camper area:
The closest and best positioned area at the moment to get to know the capital of Malaga is Málaga Beach Area (36.713640, -4.316570). It is located 8 kilometers from the city center. In particular in Cala del Moral (Rincón de la Victoria)
This area has numerous services: Wi-Fi (1 euro / 4 hours), water points, toilets and showers, bakery, camper emptying and filling, water, electricity, bars and shops.
Convenient public transport to reach the center, at the reception they inform you about timetables and lines.
It is a very large area, with many places available even in high season.
Pitches on the front line, with a direct view of the sea, cost 15 euros.
You can also book through their website, here we leave you the link 😉
If you plan to stay overnight in this area, you can't miss the chance to visit the Cantal Tunnels, built for the railway line in 1908 and currently used by people to stroll and enjoy the views, cliffs and promenade. In this area there is also the Torre del Cantal, perfect for a few photos.
The Paseo Marítimo del Cantal is also wonderful. It is a walk with several walkways that offer spectacular views.
Another attraction not to be missed is the Cueva del Tesoro.
(formerly Cueva del Higuerón) is one of only three known underwater caves in the world and the only one in Europe.
It is carved out of a limestone promontory that forms a cliff by the sea. Its formation is believed to have occurred around the Jurassic era.
Admission costs just over 4 euros and includes the audio guide. It is worth it and the visit can easily be done in 30 minutes. You will love, especially the pool area, nature in its purest state fascinates young and old!
Have a drink in the bay:
Although you will find many bars and restaurants, we recommend one right next to the Cueva del Tesoro. Ideal for a drink, we recommend La Caliza. An ideal place to enjoy the splendid sea view while sipping a cold drink on the large terrace.
TOURISM IN THE CENTER OF MALAGA
In recent years, Malaga has experienced a true cultural revolution.
The birthplace of Pablo Picasso hosts new and interesting museums, transgressive urban areas, such as the Arts District.
If we add to this the possibility of staying on the beach and swimming, visiting monuments with centuries of history and tasting typical dishes in an open-air place, the result is an extraordinary experience!
We start from Calle Larios, it is the street that leads to its most beautiful square, Plaza de la Constitución.
It is the most famous street in the city center, a busy street full of shops and tapas bars!
I take this opportunity to recommend one of my favorite streets, the tapas-bar area: Calle Fresca.
Recommended bars: KGB and Wendy Gamba.
HISTORIC CENTER AND SURROUNDINGS:
In the historic center you can find many corners, museums and attractions to visit. Don't forget to visit these: the Cathedral, the Thyssen Museum, the Plaza de la Merced, La Alcazaba, the Roman Theater, the Noria and the Cervantes Theater.
In addition to long walks facing the sea, however, in the Paseo Marítimo Antonio Banderas we can practice countless sports, as there are areas dedicated to it.
A wide cycle path, sand football fields, beach volleyball courts, gyms, ping-pong and chess tables, etc.
It is a place for the use and enjoyment of the people of Malaga.
There are also many chiringuito and restaurants on the beach, where you can eat fresh fish and enjoy the view, you will have the possibility to rent umbrellas, hammocks or sunbeds.
The most famous beaches La Misericordia, La Malagueta, Sacaba Beach and Pedregalejo.
The fairs in Malaga usually fall in the third week of August and are beautiful, the city is dressed in festive lights and colors, you can attend concerts under the stars for free while sipping your favorite drink!
You must take this into account before planning your motorhome trip!
A 40-minute drive east of Malaga, Nerja is a fishing and farming town.
It is located in the easternmost part of the Costa del Sol and bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, bordering the province of Granada.
Its subtropical climate and 320 days of sunshine a year make Nerja the ideal place for relaxation and fun tourism!
WERE YOU WILL STAY WITH YOUR CAMPER IN NERJA:
There are several possibilities to stay overnight in this city, even if it is becoming more and more complicated and they are limiting it, here we recommend some of them:
1. Large car park (36.749959, -3.879039), where you will find dozens of campers and vans.
It is free and has no services. It is about 800 meters from the Balcón de Europa (center)
Therefore, if you need to fill and empty, we recommend a place near this car park. It is a service station (36.762083, -3.887845) which has gray water emptying, black water emptying and filling services.
2. Another option is this car park (36.747505, -3.874237), it is paid (about 12 euros per day) but has the advantage of being guarded and more central than the previous one, about 600 meters from the Balcón de Europa.
WHAT TO SEE IN NERJA?
1. CROTS OF NERJA
Important: it is possible to park the camper directly in the parking lot adjacent to the caves.
The Nerja Caves (discovered in 1959) are the most developed topographically in Andalusia and the tourist galleries correspond to about one third of the total cave.
Admission to the Caves and the Museum costs 12 euros per person. Open every day of the week.
2. BALCONY OF EUROPE
It is located in the center of the town and is the tourist attraction par excellence of the municipality. It is a lookout with impressive views of the sea.
The name was proposed by King Alfonso XII, who visited the area in 1885 after a devastating earthquake, and who was fascinated by the views.
In the same Plaza del Balcón is the Iglesia del Salvador, very famous in the city. Therefore, if you stop (even for a short time) you cannot leave without visiting this area.
3. GRANADA and province:
Granada has a Mediterranean continental climate, dry and not very rainy.
A pearl city with mountains all around. They exude beauty in every corner.
Its gardens are one of the most romantic places in the city; its colors, the aroma of the flowers and the sound of the water make the environment intoxicating.
Also wonderful is the ancient Arab quarter of El Albaicín, formed by a network of white streets on a hill, with its Baroque churches and Arab cisterns.
The monastery of La Cartuja, the Cathedral, the Arab Baths or the Parque de las Ciencias are part of the infinite treasures of the city.
And it is a must to come at least one evening to attend a Zambra (traditional flamenco dance show) in the original gypsy caves in the Sacromonte district.
In addition to its World Heritage monuments such as the Alhambra and the Albaicín district, Granada is one of those university cities that never sleeps and its streets invite you to experience a fascinating and magical nightlife.
You will live an idyllic place in a magical city, a unique experience.
WHAT NOT TO MISS:
1.Alhambra of Granada.
The ensemble of palaces, gardens and fortresses will leave you speechless. This wonderful place has only one "but", the long waiting list for ticket purchases.
The Alhambra is one of the most visited monuments in Europe, with nearly 3 million visitors a year.
So if you have organized your visit in advance, no problem, it is better to buy tickets online.
And if you have organized your visit from one day to the next, don't worry because the alternative plans we are going to tell you about are also incredible.
2. The bathing establishments
We continue the route towards the Alhama de Granada. Alhama means "the baths" and that's exactly what we can enjoy in this city!
We can bathe in the paid hot springs of the Hotel Balneario Aguas Termales de Alhama or walk left before entering the hotel and enjoy the free hot springs in the middle of the forest.
3. The market
One of the places that we absolutely must visit if we pass through Granada is the Coal Fence Gate, in a moment you will feel like you are teleported to one of the incredible souks of Morocco, this place is called La Alcaicería.
Here you can visit many Arabic style shops located in many alleys that form a labyrinth in the purest Arabic style.
4. the Palacio de la Madranza
Also, nearby, it is currently part of the University of Granada and is the home of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes.
Even if the facade of the building does not invite you to enter, because inside it may seem that nothing interesting is hidden, we invite you to buy the ticket for the 15-minute express guided tour for € 2, they will tell you the interesting story of all the uses that this house has had. We don't want to reveal the stories that happened within its 4 walls!
To visit the monuments of the city of Granada, it is better to study tickets that combine several visits. For example, the ticket for the Andalusian Monuments which includes the Corral del Carbón, the Arab baths of Los Buñuelos, the Casa Horno de Oro and the Palacio de Dar al-Horra costs € 5.
5. Flamenco show, El Tablao
a large space with its own identity: elegance, artistic discipline, art, sensations, passion ... You will feel the beauty of expressing and capturing flamenco in a welcoming, intimate and affable environment.
Its director, a dancer with more than twenty years of experience in the world of flamenco, has been able to combine everything that he has experienced in theaters and tablaos around the world to offer the best flamenco show in the city.
WHERE TO EAT
1. La Cueva
Tapas Bars absolutely to visit, their restaurants are characterized by a varied offer, of excellent quality, where Iberian cured meats and aged cheeses are the protagonists. Also stands out the philosophy based on beer-tapa, and the traditional cuisine, simple but very well prepared. Wide choice of grilled meats, exquisite homemade croquettes, original salads!
You will like it'!
2. Alacena de Las Monjas
In the historic center of the city, right next to the town hall.
It was a convent of nuns, you can have lunch outside (on the large terrace) although I would recommend the inside to admire the curious details left by the previous use, the main nave of the church, a cellar transformed into small rooms with no more than 6 -7 tables sufficiently separated from each other with warm lights and soft music.
The menu is constantly renewed, even if starred dishes are kept that are definitely worth trying.
(Bluefin tuna tataki, Almadraba with soy and ginger - highly recommended!)
The wine list is also excellent, wide and defined.
You will love it!
3. Hanalei cocktail bar
It is a space designed to envelop you with its magic!
His style could be defined as a fusion of Tiki and tropical cocktails with elements of Brazilian culture.
Perfect for an aperitif or after dinner!
Few places can boast a historical and cultural heritage like that of Antequera. Nestled in the heart of Andalusia, this city brings together more than fifty monuments and archaeological sites of extraordinary importance.
Walking through Antequera means plunging into its past. A glorious history that has bequeathed palaces, churches and convents of the most varied styles, a Muslim fortress and a prehistoric complex declared a World Heritage Site. The municipality also has one of the most amazing natural landscapes in the province of Malaga, El Torcal.
Furthermore, in Antequera we also find the Archaeological Complex of the Dolmens of Antequera (dating back to the 4th millennium BC), a place of great historical interest that can be visited for free with a guide.
The Royal Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor is the most representative building of the religious architecture of Antequera. It was built in the 16th century and is considered the first Renaissance building in Andalusia.
The Collegiate Church of San Sebastián, with its unique mix of styles, the churches of San Juan, Santa María de Jesús and del Carmen, as well as the Royal Monastery of San Zoilo date from the same period. The latter contains valuable works of art inside.
Antequera also has numerous convents founded between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Strolling around the city, you can also see a dozen stately homes from the 16th to the 18th centuries. During this period, the Hospital of San Juan de Dios and the Pósito were built. These are two of the most notable civil buildings in Antequera, next to the Plaza de Toros, inaugurated in 1848, and the Palacio Consistorial, installed in an old convent.
Of noble architecture, the palace of the Marquises de la Peña de los Enamorados and that of the Marquise de las Escalonias stand out. In the Nájera Palace you can visit the City Museum. His main work is the Efebo de Antequera, an emblematic Roman sculpture.
Antequera also has three monumental gates (those of Granada, Estepa and Málaga), several archaeological sites, a dozen museum spaces and five exhibition halls. Among the most interesting are the City Museum, the Bullfighting Museum and the Santa Eufemia Museum.
A separate chapter deserves the Archaeological Ensemble of the Dolmens of Antequera, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its spectacular nature and its magnificent state of conservation. An exceptional example of megalithic constructions, the Menga dolmen is six thousand years old. It is a huge gallery tomb with a corridor bordered by large slabs that leads into a burial chamber. The Viera and El Romeral dolmens complete the prehistoric complex.
NOT TO BE MISSED:
1. Plaza de Toro restaurant
The only restaurant in Spain inside an arena built in 1848.
Large interior space, most famous dish: Rabo de Toro, or bull's tail.
Open for over 30 years, it is a reference point of national gastronomy, receiving the distinctive Michelin star for the fifth year.
4. CORDOBA and province:
Córdoba and Vía Verde de la Subbética by camper, a beautiful route to do at any time of the year. Ideal to enjoy the great cultural heritage of Andalusia and a privileged environment in the middle of nature, carrying out activities as a couple and as a family.
Winding alleys of an intense white color adorned with flowers of all colors, which emanate scents.
A thousand corners of immortal beauty. You can breathe art in every direction of the city and its people.
Cordoba is one of the jewels of Spain!
Cordoba is currently the city that hosts the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, including the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, the Fiesta de los Patios Cordobeses, the palatine city Medina Azahara or its beautiful historic center. The latter is the second largest in Europe, with 246.73 hectares and is where most of the monuments to see in Cordoba are located, all dating back to Roman times.
As you can see, there are many things to see and do in Cordoba that you cannot miss and here we will tell you about it but you will need at least 2 days!
WHERE TO STAY:
Here we give you several references to park and sleep in Cordoba.
Free parking (37.868867, -4.786940). It is an area close to the center, a few minutes walk from the Mosque. It is a safe area, without services, free and close to the hospital and the Córdoba zoo (which we will talk about later). It is a large flat and unpaved parking lot. We recommend arriving early or late as this is the parking lot used by zoo visitors, which makes it more difficult to maneuver and find a good spot for the RV or van.
Camper area (37.874237, -4.787238). It is close to the previous one and enjoys a good location as it is very close to the center of Córdoba. It has a price of 18 euros approximately 24 hours, separate services. It's the best option if you want to sleep in a private area with multiple RVs.
Parking (37.874921, -4.766231). These are located near the Recinto Ferial and the El Arcángel stadium. It is a large area, paved and flat. It's a bit further from the center, but it's another option to consider.
ESSENTIAL TOURS TO DO IN CORDOBA:
1.Guided tour of the Mosque of Cordoba
2. Complete tour of Cordoba with tickets
3. Guided tour of the Medina Azahara
BEST PLACES TO SEE:
1. Corredera Square
The first thing we visited was Plaza de la Corredera, a rectangular square which is the main square of the city.
Throughout its history this square has had various uses, as a stage for public executions, as a prison, as an arena and as a market.
Today it is a very pleasant square, full of bars and restaurants, very lively at night.
2. Roman temple
Very close to the Plaza de la Corredera is the Roman Temple, discovered in 1950 during the extension works of the town hall.
The temple dates back to the 1st century AD. and it is believed it was part of the provincial forum.
The building is surrounded by a glass fence, but you can see it perfectly from the street.
3. Calleja del Pañuelo, the narrowest street to see in Cordoba
We continue walking through the streets of Córdoba until we enter one of its most famous alleys: the Calleja del Pañuelo.
Its name derives from the fact that the width of this street is as large as a gentleman's handkerchief when stretched diagonally. However, another of the legends claims that its name is due to the fact that a famous silk merchant lived on this street, whose fabrics were so expensive that most people could only afford to buy a handkerchief. Which one will you keep?
At the end of this alley there is a small square, considered by many to be the smallest square in the world, with a fountain and an orange. Without a doubt, it is one of the most picturesque corners of Cordoba.
4. Calleja de las Flores, a "must" to see in Cordoba
The houses that once existed have given way to tourist-focused souvenir shops. At the end of the street there is a small square where even the facades of their houses are decorated with potted plants and in the center a fountain, perfect to sit and rest for a while admiring the view of the bell tower of the Mosque-Cathedral.
This street is normally packed with tourists, especially if you visit it in spring when it shines in all its glory. So we recommend that you visit it early in the morning to enjoy it on your own. We, traveling to the time of the coronavirus, did not find anyone there and were able to take a thousand and one photos from all perspectives.
5. Roman bridge
Leaving the Calleja de las Flores we walk towards the Guadalquivir river and find the Roman Bridge.
This bridge was built in the 1st century BC and was the first stone bridge to cross the Guadalquivir. It is believed that it was part of the Via Augusta which led from Rome to Cadiz.
The Roman bridge is 331 meters long and is supported by 16 arches, of which only 4 originals remain. At its ends you will find the Torre de la Calahorra and the Puerta del Puente.
6. Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs
We walk parallel to the river and arrive at the back of the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos. We skirted it to access it, but it was closed so we were left with the desire to enter. I was lucky enough to visit it many years ago when I went to Cordoba for an end of year school trip.
The fortress was built at the end of the 14th century on an ancient fortress from the time of the Caliphs. Inside you can visit several royal rooms, among which the Hall of Mosaics and the Moorish patio stand out.
Throughout its history it has been used as a military barracks, royal residence, prison ...
But, without a doubt, the best part of a visit to the fortress is its 30,000 m2 of gardens, full of palm and fruit trees.
The visiting hours of the Alcázar are from Tuesday to Friday from 8:30 to 20:15; Saturdays from 8:30 to 16:30; Sundays and holidays from 8:30 to 14:30 The ticket price is € 4.50.
7. Royal stables
Next to the Alcázar are the Royal Stables, built to breed the purebred Spanish horse.
They currently house a museum with 19th-century carriages and also serve as a stage for equestrian shows.
The royal stables are open on Mondays from 10:00 to 13:00; Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 16:30 to 19:30; Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 13:30 Admission is free.
8. The patios of Cordoba, the most typical thing to see in Cordoba
Few corners are more picturesque in this world than a Cordovan patio. And the tradition already comes from afar. Due to Cordoba's dry climate and hot summers, the Romans decided to build the houses around a courtyard with a fountain and a well in the center.
The Muslims also decided to enter the house from the street and to fill the patios with plants to increase the feeling of freshness and humidity.
Most of these private patios are located in the San Basilio neighborhood, although some are also located near the mosque.
Since 1921, the city council of Córdoba has organized a courtyard contest in which the owners of the houses decorate them with exquisite taste and allow visitors to enter completely for free. This competition takes place in the first fortnight of May, although it is possible to find some open patios in Cordoba all year round.
Our next visit would have been the synagogue in the Jewish quarter, but the truth is we had a lot of fun walking around San Basilio and time was running out. If you have time do not hesitate to visit it, I remember it from when I was little and it was beautiful.
The synagogue was built in the 14th century. At first it was a place of worship and education for the Jews, but after their expulsion by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492 it became a hospital, hermitage and school.
The synagogue is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 21:00; Sundays and holidays from 9:00 to 15:00 For citizens of the European Union admission is free, the rest costs € 0.30.
10. Palacio de Viana, an essential thing to see in Cordoba
After a delicious breakfast in our hotel, we went to visit the Palacio de Viana. They had just opened and we were alone the whole time.
The Viana Palace, built more than 500 years ago, is one of the most visited monuments in Cordoba. It has a size of 6500 sq m, including patios and rooms.
Inside the Palace it is possible to visit the reception halls for guests, the stables, the bedrooms, the library and other areas.
But what is truly suggestive is to visit the 12 patios of Palazzo Viana in the open air: patio of the columns, patio of the Madama, patio of cats, patio of orange trees, patio of the gate, patio of bars, reception courtyard, courtyard of the archive, courtyard of the chapel, courtyard of the gardeners, courtyard of the well.
All are filled with aromatic plants, fruit trees and flowers of all colors. Many of them have beautiful fountains that cool the atmosphere.
The truth is that this visit fascinated us and more than made up for it by the desire to see the patios of Cordoba. In fact, we spent two hours on the clock there, taking pictures in every corner of it.
The entrance to the building costs 6 euros and the patios 6 euros, but if you want it combined it costs 10 euros. Palazzo Viana is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00 and on Sundays and holidays from 10:00 to 15:00; July and August from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 15:00. Free visits on Wednesdays from 2pm to 5pm
11. Mosque-Cathedral, the most famous thing to see in Cordoba
After almost two hours of visiting the Viana Palace, we headed to the Mosque of Córdoba, the main visit of the city.
We entered the famous Patio de los Naranjos, the interior courtyard of the Mosque-Cathedral, which is freely accessible, and right there we bought our tickets from the vending machines. When traveling in the days of the coronavirus there was no queue, but from what we have been told and what I remember from when I went there 20 years ago it is usually crowded; Our advice is to go early in the morning.
The mosque-cathedral is the most visited monument in Cordoba. Walking among its more than 1,300 columns in the prayer hall is a luxury, especially if you can enjoy it almost on your own.
This imposing building began to be built in the year 786, on the remains of an ancient Visigothic basilica. At first the Muslims set up a fence so that Christians could go and pray, but when things between the two religions began to get tense, they left it for the exclusive use of Muslims.
During the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries the mosque was expanded to become the largest in the world at the time. At the beginning of the 13th century, with the reconquest of the city, the mosque became a Christian cathedral and altars, chapels were added ... This is why the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba is the result of a wide fusion of styles.
The mosque-cathedral is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00; Sundays and holidays from 8:30 to 11:30 and from 15:00 to 18:00 The ticket price is 11 euros.
12. Hill of Baili
Before leaving Cordoba for our next destination, Iznájar, we approach the Cuesta del Bailío located a few meters from our hotel.
Without a doubt, it is one of the most charming corners of Cordoba. Entering from Calle Alfaros you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view with the Casa del Bailío in the background and the bell tower of the Capuchin convent church, preceded by a staircase of 31 steps adorned with a bougainvillea.
In ancient times it crossed the Roman walls which, starting from the Middle Ages, divided Córdoba in two: the upper city (Medina) and the lower city (Axerquía).
At the top of the hill, on the right, there is an alley that will take you to the Plaza de los Capuchinos where the Cristo de los Faroles stands.
Map of tourist places to see in Cordoba
Here we leave you a map with the main tourist places to visit in the capital of Cordoba, so that you can orient yourself a little better.
WHERE TO EAT
Cordoba has great places for tapas and eating!
1. Bodegas Mezquita Corregidor, highly recommended!
The highlight is the Pedro Ximénez aubergines and the salmorejo!
2. Santos house.
The most famous potato omelette in Cordoba (it is gigantic and has 20 eggs and about 5 kilos of potatoes) and is eaten on the east side of the Mezquita. The best way to taste it is to order a beer and a piece of tortilla and sit on the walls of the Cathedral.
Now yes, let's go for the second part of the route.
GREEN WAY OF SUBBETICA:
The green way of subbetica is less than an hour from Cordoba. It is a great place!
has more than 120 kilometers along the route of the old Oil Train (railway line between Jaén and Puente Genil) which crosses the Guadajoz River as it crosses Luque. That is, it passes through two provinces: Jaén and Córdoba.
The Natural Park of the Sierras Subbéticas, declared a natural park in 1988, is located in the southern part of the province of Córdoba and in the heart of Andalusia, forming part of the Betic mountain ranges. Its surface covers 31,568 hectares of land distributed among the municipalities of Cabra, Carcabuey, Doña Mencía, Iznájar, Luque, Priego de Córdoba, Rute and Zuheros.
It was declared a “Site of Natural Interest” in 1927 by the Central Board of National Parks after the field visit made by geologists gathered in Madrid at the XIV International Congress of Geology (1926), which began the promotion of its study and protection.
Along the way you can find castles, bridges and some caves.
And ... what better way to experience in a camper, caravan or van?
So let's get to the point ...
WHERE TO PARK AND STAY:
Doña Mencia area
It is an area of the municipality of Doña Mencía. It is exclusive to motorhomes, vans and caravans. This is your location (37.546583, -4.352425)
The town is in continuous redevelopment of the territory and already has numerous services: filling and emptying, toilets and showers, sinks and electricity.
It also has around 50 demarcated pitches, which means we can open awnings and pull out tables and chairs to enjoy a sunny day, what a pleasure! Of course, waking up in an area like this is a luxury. A quiet area surrounded by nature.
Oh, don't forget you need to book in the area! We leave you the link to the form: Book a place in the Doña Mencía area
ACTIVITY ON WHEELS:
Of course, we need to talk to you about something very funny. This is the «Subbética Cycle Tourism Center». An establishment which is located in the same area and which is ideal for the rental of bicycles, pedal boats, etc. They also offer guides and cultural visits, as well as activities for groups. This is your website. https://centrocicloturistasubbetica.com/
Antonio and Francisco Javier are very kind and helpful people.
In this center, in addition to bike rental and more, you will also find tourist information and assistance for the services of the camper area.
WHERE TO EAT IN DOÑA MENCIA?
1.Mesón la Cantina
where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has a fireplace and good meats.
2.Restaurant at the Hotel Mencía Subbética
right in front of the CAMPER area, It has a terrace with a nice view (you can even see your camper or caravan in the distance. It has a varied menu and some very rich dishes. Excellent value for money. The octopus is delicious!
THE CITY OF DOÑA MENCIA:
The area allows you to visit Doña Mencía on foot, so make the most of it. This municipality is distinguished by its Castle (with a beautiful viewpoint), Pilar de Abajo, the Archaeological Museum, the Hermitage of Calvary and its viewpoint, Calle Llana and the Old Church.
Oh, and its Wine Museum! Don't leave without visiting Miguel, a wine-loving cooper who will explain in detail everything that Bodegas Mencianas hides. Their wines and vinegars are wonderful.
In addition, the town has a cycle path to be able to visit it by pedaling through its streets.
Even here in the city craft beer is produced: Andros. What is done with love and is amazing.
THE CITY OF ZUEROS
Very close to Doña Mencía is Zuheros (considered one of the most beautiful cities in Spain) just 15 minutes by car.
You can also visit it by bike from the Doña Mencía area along the Vía Verde. It doesn't take long (3 kilometers), that is ... when you arrive in the village you will find a considerable slope 😅 but it is worth going up to its Castle and its Belvedere.
In this locality the “Cueva de los Bats” is famous, a highly recommended activity for the whole family.
The green way is full of places to visit such as the 12 old stations, the 13 viaducts, the 3 tunnels and the 6 footbridges. Another area for motorhomes that hosts the Vía Verde is Cabra. This is your location (37.466215, -4.423771) in case it helps.
Continuing if you go to the left side of the camper area you will reach Cabra and if you go to the other you will meet Zuheros (and along the way you will find goats and sheep that will amaze the little ones).
MEDINA AZAHARA - ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMPLEX
This complex is located just 10 kilometers from Cordoba. Perfectly visited by campers. You will arrive at the Medinat al-Zahra Visitor Center and there you will be able to park the AC or the van, in the authorized parking spaces and free of charge.
This interpretation center includes audiovisual projections and a museum with archaeological samples. There is also a bar and shop. It is in this center that you have to buy (free of charge) tickets for the archaeological area, which can be reached by taking the bus, which takes 5 minutes to get on and from this same building leaves every 15 minutes (costs about 2 euros, one way and return )
We advise you not to take the last bus of the afternoon (in September the last one is at 17:00) as there is a difference of half an hour between this and the closing time, so there would be no time to see all with serenity.
Now let's summarize the history of Medina Azahara. This begins with Abderraman III and his decision to build a city on the outskirts of Córdoba, between the years 936 and 976. A city that as a whole will combine the administrative and residential tasks of the caliphate.
It is a complex rich in history and can be visited on foot, entering the ruins of an ancient Caliphal city. 100% recommended.
ALMODÓVAR DEL RIO CASTLE
Almodóvar del Ríu, a town that is 30 minutes from Cordoba and which we recommend you visit to see its castle, the scene of the famous Game of Thrones series.
The ticket costs around 9 euros per person. To get on you have to leave the AC in the parking lot of the Castle (free) and go up on foot or by bus (which goes up and down continuously). It is one of the most preserved and restored castles in Europe.
Almodóvar Castle is the authentic origin and history of one of the most beautiful fortresses in Spain of Arab origin built around the year 740.
This has witnessed many events throughout its history. Its walls served as a prison, guarding the treasures of Castile, and its dungeons witnessed the agony of illustrious prisoners.
At the end of the 19th century, the Count of Torralva visited the Almodóvar fortress together with the architect Adolfo Fernández Casanova. Impressed by the decay and the state of ruin that presents this fortress, they decide to undertake its restoration. The works began in 1901. Unfortunately neither of them would have completed their project, a fully restored authentic castle, as it is known today and which was the setting for Game of Thrones.
To spend the night in Almodóvar del Río you can do it in the parking lot of the castle, which although at night turns on the chain, the same managers let you spend the night with your air conditioner or van without any problem. So don't hesitate, it's a spectacular site.
By the way, if you plan to have lunch or dinner in the city, we recommend "La Viuda" which is located a few minutes walk from the Castillo car park. Great service and food. Highly recommended.
Up to here Cordoba and the Vía Verde de la Subbética by camper or van. I hope you enjoyed it and we hope to know your experience if you decide to take this holiday.
The first part of our "Andalusia in South-East Camper" itinerary ends here!
From our last stop, the Subbetica green way of Cordoba, we go south to return to the province of Malaga and continue with the second part of our itinerary:
"Andalucia in Camper Second western part"
go back to the airport, drop off our vehicle and see you on your next adventure!
This guide gives you the information you need for your trip on caravan or car!
Therefore, we recommend that you plan your travel itinerary in detail and book parking spaces in advance where necessary and the museums that require it.
I'll be excited to organize everything for you!