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View of the Alhambra in Granada

Routes of the Al-Andalus Legacy

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The splendour of al-Andalus

Our suggested route explores the heritage, history and culture of al-Andalus, the Islamic Andalusia of the 8th to 15th centuries. Follow these routes to marvel at unique sites like the Alhambra in Granada and the Great Mosque of Cordoba, and visit charming villages far from the usual tourist circuits. Below, we present four of the routes that make up the Routes of the Al-Andalus Legacy, which are recognised as certified Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe.

The Route of the Caliphate

This route is an adventure of the spirit: from Cordoba to Granada, two turning points in history, two unrepeatable moments, two golden centuries.

Distance:180km

Cordoba, the zenith, the dazzling light that made the other cities of the West pale in comparison. Granada, the decadent refinement of a whole civilisation on the brink of destruction. And in between, the castles, the cities that began as staging posts or milestones of a turbulent rugged exchange, and then camps and bases to besiege Granada. This route passes through 24 municipalities and is more than just a history lesson. It is also a pleasure for the senses.

The Alhambra in Granada and the interior of the Great Mosque of Cordoba

Route of the Nasrids

This route takes you deep into the history of the ancient kingdom of Granada which was ruled by the Nasrid dynasty from the 13th to the 15th centuries.

Distance:165km

The remains of fortifications and castles located along the route recall the territorial struggles between Muslims and Christians that took place in the area. It starts in the town of Navas de Tolosa, passes through cities such as Úbeda, Baeza and Jaén, and ends in Granada. The route passes through 27 towns, as well as beautiful natural areas such as Sierra Morena, Sierra Magina and the Sierra de Cazorla y Segura.

Mudejar House in Úbeda

The Washington Irving Route

This route follows the 1829 journey of the American Romantic writer Washington Irving, who was fascinated by the richness and exoticism of the Hispanic-Muslim civilisation.

Distance:250km

The route runs between Seville and Granada, the two obligatory stops on the Romantic journey that popularised the image of Andalusia in Europe, attracting a multitude of artists, writers, sightseers and all kinds of travellers. The route runs along the main trading route between the southern Christian territories and the Nasrid kingdom of Granada. It unites the capitals of the two traditional regions of Lower and Upper Andalusia; two plains, the Campiña and the Vega, and 23 municipalities with an extraordinary wealth of landscapes and heritage, places, towns and cities rich in historical, legendary and literary allusion.

Route of the Almoravids and Almohads

From the 11th to the 13th century, the Almoravids and Almohads ruled over the territory of Al-Andalus.

Distance:400km

Through this route you will discover its architectural heritage, mainly castles and defensive elements. It spans 400 kilometres from the city of Tarifa and, along two branches, reaching Granada, passing through various towns inland and along the coast of Malaga and Cadiz. Jerez de la Frontera and Ronda are just two of the 29 towns you will visit during the journey.

Moorish coffered ceiling in Alcazargenil, Granada

Tips and recommendations

The easiest way to follow them is by car. You can also use public transport as there are bus lines that link the different locations along the route. 

When to go on the route

The mild climate of Andalusia means that you can enjoy the trip at any time of year. Spring is, perhaps, the most recommendable time, although each season offers its specific advantages for this experience.

What to do

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