Spain Guide

 

Córdoba Accommodation

Córdoba has many historic buildings which have been sympathetically converted into charming hotels where you can enjoy modern facilities in an atmosphere of elegant antiquity. You'll find them in the old Jewish Quarter and the mountains and countryside of the wider province of Córdoba. The city provides a good range of accommodation to suit the different needs of international tourists who flock here to visit the ancient mosque (La Mezquita) which is one of Spain's top attractions. There are luxurious, modern hotels and cheap, family run hostals where you can be sure of a clean and comfortable room and a warm welcome.

If you're planning to visit during the city's popular Santa Semana celebrations (the week before Easter) be sure to secure a room well in advance because the most popular hotels are booked months ahead of the festivities.

One of the most stylish hotels in town is the Amistad, converted from two 18th century mansions in Plaza de Maimonides at the heart of the historic old quarter. The building is an architectural jewel with a neoclassical façade, ornate woodwork ceilings and a beautiful interior Moorish courtyard. The hotel provides four star facilities (including a swimming pool) within a few metres of the mosque, the bullfighting museum, the synagogue and some of the city's finest restaurants.

 

Córdoba has several other quality hotels in the four star category including a big, modern Tryp on the Jardines De La Victoria. It can't match the Amistad for beauty but it has a good range of quality facilities geared to business and leisure travellers.

There's a government owned Parador in the hills three kilometres outside the city at the foot of the Córdoba mountain range. The Arruzafa Parador has been built on the site of a summer palace used 12 centuries ago by the Arab Caliph Abd al Rahman who transformed Córdoba into the dazzling capital of the western Islamic empire. It was here that the ruler planted the first palm trees in Europe (Arruzafa means "garden of the palms" in Arabic). This is an ideal place to stay during the searing heat of the summer as the temperature is 4C lower here than in the centre of the city. The hotel's elegant rooms combine Andalucian and Arabic influences and the restaurant specialises in regional cuisine including "rabo de toro a la cordobesa", which literally translates as "Cordoban bull's tail". Fortunately it tastes infinitely better than it sounds!

You'll find plenty of cheaper two and three star hotels in and around the city along with a good choice of cheap and cheerful hostals which proliferate in the Jewish Quarter. Facilities are fairly basic but most have en suite bathrooms these days.

Students and low budget travellers head for the Albergue Córdoba youth hostel in the centre of the old quarter, near the mosque and Alcazar fortress. Built against the walls of an old convent, the hostel can accommodate 167 visitors in rooms with between two and five beds. The inevitable open air courtyard at its centre makes a popular relaxation and meeting point. The city also has its own campsite in Avenida del Brillante, just 1.5 kilometres from the mosque. The first grade site is well equipped with a large, outdoor pool, its own restaurant and supermarket and a children's play park. The site also accepts caravans.

If you prefer to stay in the countryside within easy reach of Córdoba, there are some lovely Andalucian cortijos (traditional farmhouses) available as holiday accommodation in the mountains and nature reserves surrounding the city. Some are self catering whilst others are small but select "turismo rural" (rural tourism) hotels. The Villa Turistica in Priego de Cordoba is a three star hotel complex in the beautiful Sierra Subbeticas national park. It consists of 52 individual houses laid out in the style of a traditional Andalucian village with narrow streets, fountains and whitewashed walls.

To the south west of the city, at Palma del Rio, is the elegant Hospederia San Francisco an elegant hotel which started life as a monastery in 1492. The monks' cells have been turned into comfortable guest rooms at this riverside hotel which is famed throughout Andalucia for the excellence of its cuisine.

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