Priego de Cordoba

Priego de Cordoba is a Spanish town that has recently been making a name for itself on the tourist map. Found approximately 55 miles southeast of Cordoba and within the boundaries of the Cordoba Province, it offers plenty of Andalucian appeal. That's not all, however. Interesting annual events, world-renowned olive oil, and some delightful churches are other things that Priego de Cordoba is known for, and it's hard to deny the charm of its historic Barrio de la Villa neighborhood.

A traveler's list of things to do in Priego de Cordoba can include a variety of things. Touring the Barrio de la Villa is one of the most popular pursuits. Bordered by a high cliff that serves as a natural defense of sorts, this neighborhood features narrow lanes that are reminiscent of those that can be found in Cordoba's renowned Juderia district. The layout is very Moorish in style and gives testament to the fact that the Moors once ruled the land. Residents of the Barrio de la Villa neighborhood display flower pots, only adding to the charm of the district, and it's also common to see religious icons being displayed.

In Priego de Cordoba, there are a number of beautiful churches that visitors won't want to miss. Among them are the Church of the Virgen del Carmen and the Church of Las Mercedes. These two churches exhibit ornate designs both inside and out, and due to their historical and cultural values, they have been declared national monuments. Complementing the town's numerous churches are a variety of other interesting structures that were built long ago. Among them are an imposing castle that was originally an Arabic fortress and a slaughterhouse that dates back to the 1500s.

Much like other Spanish cities and towns, Priego de Cordoba boasts lovely plazas that can be ideal places to relax for a while. There are also wonderful fountains to admire. The most renowned fountain is the Fuente del Rey, or Fountain of the King. Finally completed in 1803, this beloved Priego de Cordoba landmark was actually rebuilt a few times after its original implementation in the sixteenth century. A Baroque masterpiece, its main feature is the sculpture of Neptune and his wife Amphitrite. They are riding in a chariot with horses out front.

Priego de Cordoba has a bullring that can accommodate approximately 7,000 people, so going to a bullfight is something that visitors might look to add to the agenda. There is also a local history museum that can be fun to tour, and for culinary enthusiasts, a visit to a local olive oil operation is encouraged. The olive oil from the immediate Priego de Cordoba area has its own denomination label, much like the very best Spanish wines, and it has been winning significant awards on the international front in recent years.

Priego de Cordoba is found in a mountainous region, so there are plenty of splendid views to savor while visiting the whitewashed town. There are also good hiking and biking trails in the general region, and during the winter season, skiing at an area resort can be a possibility. The Sierra Nevada Mountains above Granada are the best place to hit the slopes in the southern part of Spain.

As for where to stay while visiting town, the Priego de Cordoba hotels aren't exactly abundant in number, though they can satisfy a good range of tastes and budgets. The Huerta de las Palomas is the most expensive hotel in the immediate area. It sits just outside of town in a very natural area and features comfortable rooms, a collection of eateries, and a pool. On the more budget-friendly side of things are hotels like the Hotel Rio Piscina, and there are a couple cheap hostals to consider for those who really want to save on lodging.

The Priego de Cordoba hotels are well-priced on the whole, and there are vacation rental properties in the area for those who prefer going that route. Regardless of where you stay while in town, side trips to other area destinations, such as Jaen and Cordoba can be relatively easy to arrange. Regional buses and trains provide transportation options for those who are without a car.

Image: Masjota (flickr)
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