An Andalusian Road Trip

This route is also known as the Route of Al-Andalus. Linking Granada with Cordoba, two historic cities in Southern Spain. This route stretches into Jaen Province too.

One of the busiest thoroughfares for traders and travellers on the Iberian Peninsula. A key part in the strategy of the Catholic Kings, this route witnessed many battles me.

Ruta del Califato

Tracing the entire route on the map, it runs through:

Aguilar de la Frontera, Alcalá la Real, Alcaudete, Alfacar, Baena, Cabra, Carcabuey, Castillo de Locubín, Castro del Río, Cogollos Vega, Colomera, Córdoba, Espejo, Fernán Núñez, Granada, Güevéjar, Lucena, Luque, Moclín, Montemayor, Montilla, Pinos Puente, Priego de Córdoba, Víznar and Zuheros.

Spanish Castles

Dotted with white villages, impressive fortresses and stunning landscapes. You will see fortifications built looming over towns and villages. Allowing to see in the distance to prepare for possible attacks. The land around this region is mainly agricultural and covered in olive
groves grapevines and almond trees.

Highlights of the Caliphate Route

Rather than stopping off at each place it’s better to choose certain points of interest on the route.

Four highlights are recommended for their wealth of monuments, historic significance and also to select an easy driving route. It is possible from Granada to Córdoba or vice versa.

From 929 to 1492 this area made up part of Cordoba Caliphate. The two most important Spanish cities were once Granada and Cordoba. Which now explains why both locations have such a rich architecture and legacy from those years gone by.


The Alhambra Palace is still the jewel in Andalusia’s crown. A fine example of Muslim architecture with such intricate detail. You will need a morning or an afternoon to visit the monument.

The quaint streets of the Albayzin in Granada are a must see part of the city. You can also relax in one of the Hammam baths in Granada recreating the rituals of the medieval period.

Discover all about the food scene with a tour showcasing local Granada food with A taste of Granada tour. 

Or finish your day at one of the tea shops in the lower Albaicin recreating the exotic colours and flavours of Al Andalus.

Alcala la Real

La Fortaleza de la Mota can be seen on the approach into Alcala la Real. Dating from the 13th century. Over the centuries it had modifications and elements added to the fortress. This fortress marked the boundary between Castilla and the Kingdom of Granada. This town is actually in the province of Jaen, the countryside is covered with Olive groves as far as the eye can see.

Also worth visiting is the impressive Church Iglesia Mayor Abacial in the town itself.

You can book ahead a guided tour with Tu Historia to get a better insight into the Fortress when you visit.

Priego de Cordoba

This quaint town has a beautiful viewpoint across the surrounding countryside from El Balcón de Adarve. This place feels totally Andalusian and unspoilt. Dotted with coloured plant pots, iron crosses and decorations along the whitewashed streets.

Be sure to see the Barrio de la Vila. A typical area lined with geraniums and little corners. In May the town has a Patio Festival too. Easter is also popular here.

Typical food includes Flamenquin Cordobes, Salmorejo and Aubergines in honey.


Cordoba was the largest city in Medieval Europe and one of the most advanced too. The Cathedral Mezquita is a must see place in Cordoba. Other interesting places to see are the Alcazaba de los Reyes Cristianos with its stunning towers and gardens.

Just outside the city the Medina Azahara is an impressive archaeological site with beautiful ruins of a palatial city. Garden enthusiasts will love Palacio de la Vila a home in typical Andalusi style. With 12 patios to see, the house is impeccably restored.


Route guide:
From Granada towards Alcalá la Real 53 kms / 33 miles
Stop to visit the Castillo de la Mota
From Alcalá la Real drive to Priego de Córdoba. 30 kms / 19 miles
Visit Priego de Córdoba
From Priego de Córdoba drive onto Córdoba. 105 kms / 66 miles

by Molly Sears-Piccavey from Spain Blog

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