THE HIDDEN GEMS TO DISCOVER (8 days/7 nights)
Day 1 – ARRIVAL AT MALAGA AIRPORT – MONTES DE MALAGA
Arrive in Malaga airport and pick up the car at the rental office. Drive to Montes de Malaga Natural Park. Remainder of the day at leisure to refresh up and relax. Overnight.
Day 2 – MONTES DE MALAGA – CITY OF MALAGA – FRIGILIANA – MONTES DE MALAGA
Drive to Malaga. The most relevant monuments are: The Cathedral, the Bishop’s palace, the Alcazaba or fortress, the Roman Amphitheatre, the remains of the Moorish walls, the Archaeological Museum, the century Castle of Gibralfaro and the Picasso Museum.
For people that enjoys flower and ornamental plants, we suggest to visit Concepcion Gardens that have about 4000 plants of 300 different species.
Drive to Frigiliana; it offers some of the most spectacular views on the Costa del Sol. The layout and appearance of the historic quarter is the result of urban design from the Arab period. Its narrow, winding and often stepped streets are interconnected by covered passages. A tour of the historic quarter reveals interesting glazed ceramic mosaics which tell the story of the events occurred between Moors and Christians on the Frigiliana Rock.
Return to the hotel. Overnight.
Day 3 – MONTES DE MALAGA – ANTEQUERA – LUCENA
Depart towards Antequera where you see the dolmens of Menga, Viera and Romeral. In Antequera you can admire the Collegiate church of Santa Maria and some other churches like those of Juan Bautista, San Sebastian, San Pedro and Santa Maria de la Esperanza. Civil buildings like the Municipal Building, the pavilion in Papabellotas Castle and the City Hall.
Continue to El Torcal de Antequera that was declared a Natural Place thanks to its flora, fauna, geomorphology and landscape. Return to Antequera.
Leave to Fuente de Piedra (Stone Fountain). The full proper name of this place is Salted Lagoon of Fuente de Piedra; it is a Natural Reservoir where you can see, since February until August, hundreds of Rosé Flamingos (Phoenicopteus rubber ruseos).
Then driving along local roads bordered by thousands of olive trees, you will arrive to Lucena. Overnight.
Day 4 – LUCENA – CABRA
Lucena offers several attractions with its history and monuments and is also known as the Pearl of Sefarad – Sefarad is the Jewish name for Spain – because here was founded the first Hebrew University in Spain. In this town, there are several artisans that work copper, bronze and iron.
Its main monuments are the Church of San Mateo, the Church of Santiago, the Castle of Moral that is the former palace of the Medinaceli family and the House of the Dukes of Saint Anne and the house of Rico de Rueda. Also, within town limits you find areas of great interest, such as several Lagoons. Depart towards the town of Cabra; This town is surrounded by olive orchards and organic-produced orchards. The name of Cabra becomes from an old Greek word; its maximum splendour was during the Roman times. But the most interesting monuments of this town are Santo Domingo Parish Church, Agustinas Monastery Church and Saint John Baptist Church.
Return to Lucena. Overnight.
DAY 5 – LUCENA – PRIEGO DE CORDOBA – ALCALA LA REAL – JAEN
Depart driving along a scenic road towards Priego de Cordoba, among its monumental heritage, the traveller can enjoy civil and religious buildings.
This town’s historic quarter is in the highest part of the town. This is where the Castle was built. The tour of Priego’s Baroque art can begin at the Mayor de la Asuncion parish church then the church of La Aurora; another two churches, those of San Francisco and San Pedro complete this cultural tour.
Among the civil monuments, we must to remark the Carnicerias Reales; at the end of Rio Street one can find the outstanding Fountains of La Salud and El Rey (Health and the King).
Leave Priego towards Alcala la Real. The name of this town it’s a derivate of the Arabian word “Qalat” that means fortified town.
Nowadays in the upper part of Alcala you find the Fortress of La Mota, the churches of Santo Domingo and Santa Maria la Mayor. The Town Hall is in the Arcipestre de Hita Square.
A few miles’ drive will take us to Jaen, one the oldest Spanish cities.
King Fernando III changed to Christian cult the Aljama mosque, ordered to build a new Christian Alcazar (nowadays called Santa Catalina Castle).
The oldest part of Jaen is dominated by the Arab fortress that stands on Santa Catalina hill. The Castle of Santa Catalina currently houses the Parador de Turismo. At its feet, unfold, spread around the churches of La Magdalena, San Juan and San Ildefonso. But the core of this historic quarter is Santa Iglesia Cathedral. Looking at Jaen’s civil architecture you find gems like the Villadompardo Palace and some Arab baths.
Overnight in Jaen.
Day 6 – JAEN – BAEZA – UBEDA – JAEN
Depart towards Ubeda located near the valley of Alto Guadalquivir River. Its old town, declared a Historic-Artistic site by the UNESCO, houses a splendid legacy of monuments made up of churches, palaces and aristocratic houses.
The Plaza Vazquez de Molina is located middle of Ubeda’s. Presiding over this area you see The Sacred Chapel of El Salvador. Next to it is the Palace of Constable Davalos, nowadays converted into a Parador de Turismo. The adjoining Palace of Las Cadenas is the site of the City Hall; opposite its broad exchange building, on one of the sides of the square, is the Church of Santa Maria de los Reales Alcazares, the Palace of the Marquis of Mancera, completes this extremely beautiful environment.
Besides you can devote some time to admire the Main Square, the Church of San Pablo, the Old City Hall, and, very nearby, the Oratory of San Juan de la Cruz.
On the way, back you will stop in Baeza. Despite that this city was declared by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, now, is not a crowed town.
Hispano-Muslim Bayyasa was very important during the Middle Ages because of their strategic position. We suggest to admire the Cathedral, the Jabalquinto Palace and the Seminary of San Felipe Neri. A visit not to be missed is to the Antonio Machado Site of the Old International University of Andalusia, housed in the former university.
Among many aristocratic houses and small palaces are the Plaza del Populo and the Plaza de Candido Elorza. Return to Jaen. Overnight.
Day 7 – JAEN – LANJARON – ORGIVA – LAS ALPUJARRAS – COSTA DEL SOL
Depart south to go around the city of Granada towards the Alpujarras Mountains of Granada; the gate of the access is the town of Lanjaron, plenty of water springs. Orgiva is considered the capital of the Alpujarra’s County and it is in the centre of a plain.
It is a commercial town that has supplied the entire region traditionally. Its few monuments are the House-Palace of the Sastago Counts, construction with Muslim influence, the Ermitage of San Sebastian and the church of Our Lady of the Expectation.
This is one of the suitable places to breathe a non-polluted air of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Then you will continue to Costa del Sol. Lodging.
Day 8 – COSTA DEL SOL – MALAGA AIRPORT
Depart towards Malaga airport; drop off the car at rental office and then do the check-in at the airline counter and proceed to security and passport control, depart to your next destination.