Explore one of the great cities of Spain with a day trip to Cordoba
If you’ve got a day to spare, perhaps you’ve ticked off nearly everything on your list of things to do in Ronda and want to squeeze in another trip, a day trip to Cordoba is your answer! Take on one of Andalusia’s most historical cities and get a little more insight into the diversity of Spanish culture.
Travel and a guided tour
From Ronda, Spain, it’s a few hours on a minibus (the perfect chance to play a few rounds of ‘veo veo’) or you can also catch a direct train from Ronda to Cordoba. To get the lay of the land, we recommend you start with a guided visit of the historical part of the city. As we maintain with our Ronda tours, it’s best to get a local guide as they can let you in on the secrets of Cordoba and share some anecdotes. It always adds to an experience to learn the story behind monuments for example.
In Cordoba, the statue in the square at the city’s entrance commemorates the archangel Rafael. According to the legend, this archangel saved the city from the Black Death. During your day trip to Cordoba, you can find at least 16 statues of him spread throughout the city (they are usually impressively large monuments). Lots of parents also call their children Rafael or Rafaela in his honour. On the 24th October, the tradition is that the people of Cordoba get together with their families for a big dinner, and those with the name Rafael have to foot the bill!
You definitely can’t take a day trip to Cordoba and not see the mosque, although it’s worth paying some attention to the surrounding area too with balconies adorned with flowers and the cobbled roads. The once Arabic community in Cordoba carefully placed each stone by hand, following geometric patterns according to their size and colour. Their initial objective was to make sure that the ground wasn’t too muddy. The Arabic architecture is really something with the internal courtyards and fountains which emanate tranquillity.
The mosque, or ‘mezquita’ is the most famous attraction in the city, perfectly representing the mix of all types of culture that existed in Córdoba. With its various extensions, all more or less richly decorated, the mosque reveals a lot about the different khalifs that assumed the power in Andalusia and their ways of governing.
The most recent extension is that of the regent Almanzor, and is the biggest despite being built with the poorest materials (unfortunately his government was not at all economically prosperous and he wasn’t knowledgeable in political strategy). However, the most impressive is perhaps the Christian cathedral that is hidden in its centre; a distinctive feature that merits its place on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
A five-minute walk from the mosque and you’ll find yourself in the Jewish neighbourhood. Here you’ll encounter the statue of the doctor, philosopher, rabbi and theologian Maimonides. Many give his slippers a rub in the hope that some of his past wisdom might be transferred – there’s no harm in trying!
A little food to keep you going
Sorry to make you hungry, but we can’t talk about a day trip to Cordoba without mentioning the food! Since Cordoba is such a big city to visit, and bustling with different cultures, there’s plenty of options food-wise. Of course, a tapas bar is the go-to option as a slice of Spanish Tortilla and a portion of Salmorejo (an Andalusian Speciality, which resembles gazpacho but is a little thicker in consistency, made of bread, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, eggs and serrano ham) are sure to fill a hole. But there’s also marketplaces boasting a whole host of food varieties, and there’s plenty of variety too as you walk around the city given the cultural diversity that makes Cordoba so unique.
A local delicacy to look out for is flamenquin, which is serrano ham rolled up with pork loin, covered in breadcrumbs and deep fried – worth a try! When it comes to the food in Cordoba, really do take advantage of the diversity and push those boundaries!
After a day trip to Cordoba you’ll be guaranteed to travel home contented with a better cultural understanding, some gorgeous snap shots and a full belly!
- Written by @SlowRonda team