09 Apr A guide to seeing Andalucia. Part 2
Now that Seville is done and so is the first part of this guide, today, I will speak to you about an old place, a beautiful place, a place easily reached from Seville that can make a great day trip or half day trip if you want to squeeze another town in.
That place is…
Now before telling you what I saw and enjoyed in Cadiz you must know that this place is old. This place is regarded by many people as the oldest continuously inhabited city in Western Europe, a city founded by the Phoenicians more than 3000 years ago.
The hand of time is present in Cadiz so the streets are guarded by old houses, their colors faded under thousands of years of sun and rain.
It is not as colorful as Seville but this is a beautiful place. It is a stretch of land that you can walk on, explore the maze of streets, eat a good meal, head towards the beach and see the ocean.
Life moves at a different pace here in Cadiz. Time is a bit lazier and the people are even more relaxed.
As usual I bought my train tickets from Loco2 and I travel for 1:46 hours for a price of 16.05 euro.
Now you have to be careful in selecting the end destination because you want to reach Cadiz not Cadiz Estadio. So pick a train that gets you to Cadiz and from there you can reach the old town in under 10 minutes by foot.
If i would have to chose only two things to see in Cadiz I would chose….
Cadiz has many towers but this one is the most famous.
For only 6 euro you can climb its top and get a magnificent view of the city. Since it is a tower with an open top you can see in all four directions and enjoy the maze of old streets from above, planning for your next steps or just enjoy the view of the ocean.
The tower always opens at 10:00 so when choosing your train from Seville you could take this into account and plan the rest of your trip accordingly.
I was there at 10:00 in the morning and got to climb into the tower first and I got more than 5 minutes all alone, all to myself to try and find the best places for taking pictures and just enjoy the view from above.
When you are done admiring the town or gazing into the infinite blue descend from the tower and walk for about 500 meters until your next stop…
6 euro well spent for the entrance and you can visit the Cathedral, the Crypt and most important you can visit the Torre del Reloj.
The Cathedral is beautiful and I took my time walking in it and admiring but what stole my heart was the tower.
As you exit the Cathedral you go right and start climbing up the stairs until you reach the Tower’s top.
I know that the Tavira Tower view is lovely but the view from the Reloj Tower is even more beautiful.
I think that yes, they are right when they sa that this place has the best panoramic views from Cadiz and I must tell you I was delighted that I climbed up and enjoyed it.
So these are my two top spots when visiting Cadiz but as with Seville I truly think that the beauty of these places lies in the streets.
Walking among buildings so old, on little alleys, watching people go about their day, eating in a small tavern, all these things really add up and give an unique feeling to each place.
So my advice would be to see these two places then just wander thru the town. It is not big and you will surely enjoy the experience.
If you don’t want to spend an entire day in Cadiz you can always go to the train station and go to…
36 minutes by train from Cadiz and 6 euro for the ticket, Jerez can be the final destination for your day trip from Seville.
Now regardless of what you heard before don’t just go there for the sherry or brandy.
I will tell you bellow of a place that deserves a visit in this small white town so well renowed for its sherry, flamenco and horses.
A beautiful, small place overseeing the city. The price for it is 5 euro and it is not a big investment considering here I took one of my favorite pictures from my trip(see bellow)
As like in Seville the complex is split having baths, a mezquita, el patio del armas, the gardens, etc and you can easily walk thru all these places in 30 minutes.
It is not as large as the Alcazar from Seville is but it is worth your time if you decide to visit this little town and don’t just stop for a glass of brandy and some tapas from one of the city’s many restaurants and bodegas.
From Jerez you can catch a train back to Sevilla Santa Justa for about 11 euro and the trip takes 1:10 hours.
Since I finished exploring Seville I moved on towards a new city, one of my favorites from Andalucia, a city that you can spend a night in or just use as a day trip from Seville.
That city is…
While Cordoba is best known for the famous Mezquita I will try to cover as much as possible from this place that I really enjoyed.
I already covered the food here so now I will focus mainly on what to see in Cordoba.
This place can be seen on a day trip from Seville or you can opt to spend the night in like I did so it is really up to you how you want to fit Cordoba in your schedule.
I paid 25.55 euro for the train ride from Loco2 and I reached Cordoba early in the morning after 43 minutes of train ride.
From the station to the Hotel I took a cab because I didn’t want to spend time on buses or walking since I had big plans for that day.
It has been a real challenge writing this part about Cordoba because I took so many beautiful photos and it was very hard for me to choose from them.
Yes, there are more places to see in Cordoba but I will focus on what I consider to be a must see.
So the things you must see, from my point of view, in Cordoba are…
- The Mezquita
Yes, of course. We will start with this place since it is really famous and not just that.
At this time tickets can only be bought on site but here you can find some info about them.
The tickets cost 10 euro and they are truly worth it. The cathedral is an amazing piece of art and its size is really impressive.
Rows after rows after rows of columns that will leave you in awe considering how old the construction is.
When buying your ticket you will have the option to add the Bell Tower option for 2 more euros and I think it is really worth it since Cordoba is flat and from that tower you can see for a long way.
I felt really sorry I couldn’t make it to the Soul of Cordoba, the night visit, because I am sure it is a special event but if you decide to spend the night in Cordoba you can check more information and buy the tickets online from here.
From the Mezquita I moved towards the …
Or the Alcazar. Smaller than the Alcazar in Seville but larger than the one in Jerez this is a beautiful place that should not miss from your visiting schedule.
As with the Mezquita, the Alcazar can be seen during day time and during the night.
If you choose to stay in Cordoba the show „ Magical night at the Alcazar” will provide great entertainment and I can assure you that the ticket price(6.50 euro) is really worth it.
The only inconvenient is the fact that after purchasing online you must print your ticket and bring it with you at the Alcazar.
However, I strongly suggest you spend the evening here at the night show. It is not that long but the spectacle of light, sound, text, the whole story will bring smiles to your face.
- The Roman Bridge
Another beautiful sight that you can visit during the day and during the night. I was a bit upset that the tower at the end of one part of the bridge was open to the public but it was closing too early for a beautiful sunset picture.
- The flower patios
I highly recommend this area in Cordoba. The patios of Cordoba mean small, beautifully arranged vases of flowers, beautifully colored gardens that even go on a yearly competition for the most beautiful patio in Cordoba.
I discovered 2 tours for the patios of Cordoba. Now, when I say tour, don’t think a guide or something. A tour here is just a route where you can visit certain houses.
Each of the tours gave access to some houses(think 1 or 2 were common and the rest were different) and for 5 euro/ticket I dare to say it is a small price for seeing a place so nice.
When it comes to Ronda, things are simple.
If you don’t plan to spend the night there, you could easily see Ronda in a few hours. I chose to stay there so that it would be easier for me to reach Setenil de las Bodegas from there.
So, if you’re in a hurry the thing to see is the Bridge. Now, there are two bridges in Ronda. One new and one old bridge but trust me. Only one is world famous and you can’t miss it.
And take your time. See it from all angles, get down in the gorge and see it from there too, it is worth it.
This place is one of the places you will always remember visiting so there’s no real need to hurry.
The other thing to visit is the Bullring. Yes, I know, I said it. Maybe for you the idea is barbaric and I don’t know if I would enjoy such a show but the bullring in Ronda is open to the public and you can actually walk inside.
You can get inside, admire the stands and imagine how it was when they were filled with people all screaming, clapping for the action in the arena.
These two places are a must if you visit Ronda.
If you have more time you could stroll through the old town, you could visit La Casa del Rey Moro or even the Arab Baths.
Ronda is a charming old town and the food, as you know, is just amazing. And I tried a few places there.
Setenil is close to Ronda. So close that when I forgot to set the alarm on that morning and jumped out of bed at 9:30 I grabbed a cab, paid about 28-30 euros and reached Setenil in about 35 minutes tops.
So if you visit Ronda by car, or if you sleep there I really think Setenil is a must.
There are no major sights to cross off your list but the whole place is amazing due to how it looks.
A small town under huge rocks? Sounds great no?
And it is great and I urge you to visit this place and why not, rest at a table and enjoy a glass of beer while the big stones loom over your head.
It would be great if you rented a car because in Setenil you won’t spend more than 2-3 hours and the bus schedule is a little tricky. But you could always share a cab like I did when I returned to Ronda and it was perfect.
And that is it for the second part of my guide.
Join me the next time for more beautiful places in Andalucia.
P.S: As always, all pictures are taken by me. I have edited them in different batches and was lazy to remove the @C from the old files.