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Views of the best medieval towns of Andalucía ABC
National Geographic lists Andalucía's prettiest medieval towns
Tourism

National Geographic lists Andalucía's prettiest medieval towns

The provinces of Cadiz, Cardoba, Granada and Huelva are home to these four unmissable destinations

Luis Ybarra

Friday, 12 April 2024, 13:09

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National Geographic has selected the most interesting villages and towns in Spain for their Middle Ages heritage, a list of 40 municipalities that includes four towns in Andalucía. A perfect option for rural tourism before or just after the summer heat.

The cobbled streets and distinctive castles of Almodóvar del Río , in Cordoba; Castellar de la Frontera , in Cadiz; Niebla , in Huelva; and Montefrío , in Granada deserve a stop according to this US publication.

"Small gems in Spain that are worth visiting, above all, for their medieval heritage, although many of them also boast a gastronomy rich in flavours, an exceptional Jewish quarter or a great bastion that encases it all", thus inviting us to explore them. The landscape is dotted with doorways, arches and façades, narrow lanes with quirky lean-tos, replete with old tales of kings and more, and worn, centuries-old, cobbled streets oozing with history.

Almodóvar del Río (Cordoba)

Here you will find an impressive castle that overlooks all the other key monuments in this town. "The most imposing of its nine towers is that of the Homenaje [homage], where the king would be honoured by his subjects, (there's a lively re-enactment of this); from the rooftop there is a magnificent view of this village of white houses and the countryside that takes you to the distant horizon, watered by the Guadalquivir river". The castle dates from the 7th century, but reconstruction work after damage suffered during the Reconquest of Spain has defined its present-day appearance. Perhaps you have seen it on television, as it was one of the settings for the series Game of Thrones .

Almodóvar del Río
Almodóvar del Río ABC

Almodóvar del Río, with a population of 7,964 inhabitants, is located in a valley, at the foot of a mountain where its fortifications rise up. Other places of interest from the past to explore in this beautiful town in Cordoba are the church of the Immaculate Conception, built in the 15th century , the chapels of El Rosario and San Sebastián and the town's public, archaeological museum.

Castellar de la Frontera (Cadiz)

Historically a kingdom border town and witness to the War of Granada (1482-1492) in which it played a strategic role, this small town boasts within its walls a village that preserves its Nasrid legacy. The whitewashed walls of the houses, all linked by winding alleys, and the slits cut into the fortified stone walls that afford the visitor a glimpse of the vastness that lies beyond these walls.

Castellar de la Frontera.
Castellar de la Frontera. ABC

The town appears tiny, clustered atop the mountain that protects it with the reservoir below, and the castle sits on high, stretching out its arms as a mother would to her young. Strolling through the castle grounds is a sheer delight for those who seek tranquillity amid traces of the Middle Ages.

Niebla (Huelva)

Another trip worth proposing would be to the gates of this old town, where the Roman bridge straddles the riverbank. It is one of the most unique parts of this town. Under its arches, zinc, copper and other minerals from the surrounding area have stained everything with a reddish hue - the colour as much of giving life as giving in to death. The road that used to pass through here connected the mouth of the Guadiana river with the Roman town of Itálica, and you can sense the centuries of history pressing down on you as you travel along the current road.

Guzmanes Castle
Guzmanes Castle ABC

The bridge has also become the obligatory starting point for a walk through Niebla's long history. The route takes you through a castle that has been destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions, although most of it dates back to 1330 when under Muslim rule. It is called the castle of the Guzmanes , the flagship home of this family of nobles from Huelva.

Montefrío (Granada)

Finally, the fourth Andalusian town mentioned in National Geographic is Montefrío, in Sierra de Parapanda. In2015 , themagazineincludeditinitslistofthetentownswiththebestviewsintheworld, which is why the town's most well-known viewpoint was renamed National Geographic Viewpoint.

Montefrío, in Granada
Montefrío, in Granada ABC

"A stronghold of the kingdom of Granada, an impregnable fortress, Montefrío grew up around a great castle that fell to the Catholic Monarchs in 1486. A stroll through its streets uncovers traces of this history through its monuments and squares, such as the castle that presides over the town". In 1982 it was declared a National Historic-Artistic Site .

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