From your base in Cartajima you can visit most of the romantic cities of Andalucia on a day trip, either by train (Granada and Cordoba) or by road (Cadiz, Jerez, Malaga, Sevilla). We have guides and information so when you are here, just ask and we will give you everything you need to enjoy your trip.
Distance from your Cartajima base
Sevilla – 120 km
Cadiz – 120 km
Sevilla – the capital city
Distance from Cartajima: 120 km
Sevilla is the most quintissential of the romantic cities of Andalucia. Orange blossom, beautiful women, amazing history. Most famous icon is the Giralda, the Moorish minaret which now forms part of the Catholic cathedral, one of the three biggest in the world. Contains a grandiose memorial to Columbus whose bones may or may not be there. It’s a mystery! Sevilla is famous for its sombre Easter celebrations, closely followed by its exuberant Feria just two weeks later. Plethora of interesting historical bits – the Jewish Quarter, the Torre del Oro, a dodecagonal military watchtower which has been many things over the centuries and is now a fascinating maritime museum. Sevilla is famed for its tapas and a tapa crawl is better than a restaurant for lunch. Sevilla is an expensive destination so, if you get an early start from Cartajima, you will have plenty of time to see the sights and get back home in time for dinner.
Cadiz – the oldest Spanish city
Distance from Cartajima: 120 km
The oldest continuously occupied city in Spain (some say in Europe), founded by the Phoenicians, occupied by Romans, Moors, Visigoths and the place where Drake singed the King of Spain’s beard. Wonderful archaeological museum, the best fish restaurant I have ever eaten at – El Faro (enter at the bar side rather than the restaurant – much more fun), a maze of beautiful plazas and narrow streets. Globally infamous Carnaval – don’t go without a costume! One of my favourite cities as it is not touristy – everybody heads for nearby Sevilla.
Jerez – home of sherry
Distance from Cartajima: 100 km
A fun city with a well-evolved cafe culture. The usual Andalucian historic monuments dating from Roman, Moorish, and post-conquist times. Any town that is called something “de la frontera” means that it was for a period of time on the battlefront between the Arabs and the Christians. Many bodegas to visit where you can learn about, and sample the results of, the solera method for producing the sherry wines. If you are into horses, you must see the dancing horses show. Visit this link for the royal equestrain school for full details of shows and dress rehearsals. Read all about the black bulls of Spain here.
Malaga – founded by the Phoenicians
Distance from Cartajima: 90 km
A much overlooked city. Even we who live here, dismiss it as a bureaucratic centre and an airport. But it is more than that and has much to offer the discerning traveller. Wikipedia sums it up: “The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabic and Christian eras make the historic center of the city an “open museum”, displaying its rich history of more than 3,000 years.” Quite right. Smart, modern Malaga centres on Calle Larios off which spider alleys with amazing tapa bars – another excellent reason to linger a while. Picasso was born here and now there is a museum to him in a beautiful old building. I’m not into necrotourism, but, the English Cemetary with some famous old bones was built in the 19th century as protestant bodies were not allowed to be buried in consecrated ground but had to buried on the beach at night during low time, upright, and looking at the sea. Apparently.
Cordoba – ornament of the world
Distance from Cartajima: 160 km. 9 am train from Ronda and 5 pm train back home. Or a magnificent cross-country drive. Great day out!
When it comes to analysing the romantic cities of Andalucia, Cordoba is the brightest star in the Andalucian firmament. The magnificent mosque (some insist that it is a cathedral now), started by the resident Arabs in the year 784, is a must-visit. Cordoba is a poignant reminder that there, for a short while, the three main religions of the book lived in harmony. The Casa de Sefarad, the Jewish museum, tells the other side of the story. The famous flower-filled patios. The Roman bridge (photo above) and massive Moorish waterwheels that the Queen said gave her a headache and had them stopped. She had just conquered Spain for the Christians so perhaps it was understandable. Wonderful city. But very hot in summer as my friend, Penny, can attest so time your visit carefully. Advance purchase of entrance tickets not necessary.
Granada – the Alhambra
Distance from Cartajima: 170 km. Ask me about the train service from Ronda which is in a state of flux at the moment but, when it works it gives you time to see the sights and get back home for dinner.
Granada is synonymous with the Alhambra. Not just a palace but magnificent gardens, incredible plasterwork, an amazing statement, and the last stronghold of the Moors in Spain. Don’t miss the beautiful stroll down the Paseo de los Chinos to the Moorish quarter, the Albaicin. And don’t forget that reservations are necessary – can be made online via the official site
If there are no tickets available, it might be possible for an small extra fee to join a guided group – which has its advantages as well. You will get more information about this amazing World Heritage site than if you do it alone. A company we have used for several guests so far without complaint is Get Your Guide