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Wonderful trip to Andalusia Spain

We just finished our second trip to Andalusia, a fascinating area full of historic and cultural sites, natural beauty, great hiking, beautiful villages, and charming restaurants and hotels. The highlight of our visit was a 5 night stay at Casa Olea, a beautiful small inn in the countryside near Priego de Cordoba. Right from the inn we were able to hike to Moorish watchtowers and a local village, and with our rental car take day or half day trips to historical sites in the area as well as easy access to hiking in Subbetica National Park. Breakfast and dinners were delicious, and served on the terrace listening to the birds and looking out over olive groves. The hosts could not have been more helpful in providing driving and parking directions as well as suggestions for activities and restaurants in the area. Our days included the following 1) Alhambra 2) Subbetica National Park walk followed by lunch in the white village of Zuheros 3) lunch and a stroll through the charming white village of Priego de Cordoba, with alleyways decorated with flowers that exceeded the beauty of the annual patio festival in Cordoba (which was also lovely and a tour of the Mezquita is a must) 4) a visit to Fortaleza la Mota with lunch in Alcala la Real. Most days we combined a local hike from the inn with a trip as described. Alhambra was a full day venture. Our full trip itinerary was: 1 night in Madrid, AVE train Madrid to Cordoba, 2 nights in Cordoba, 5 nights at Casa Olea, AVE train back to Madrid and 1 night there prior to flight back. This itinerary worked well for a trip of 9 nights in Spain.

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Ooohh. That looks really lovely. Now you have my wheels spinning for our tentative April trip to Spain next year. May I ask a few questions? How was the weather? Was it already relatively warm or hot? Are meals included in the price of the stay and how were the evening meals (I can’t seem to discern much about the food from their website). Finally, did you pick up your rental car in Cordoba?

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I neglected to add a thank you for considering my questions and for posting your trip report!

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Thank you for your report. You have put Priego de Córdoba and the surrounding area on my wish list for future travel consideration. I enjoy exploring small towns like this that are not swarmed with tourists.

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Indyhiker, we were in Spain from May 7-May 16 and the weather was lovely. Days were generally in the 80s, with one 90 degree day. Evenings were cooler.

The rates at Casa Olea include breakfast, which was wonderful: cheeses and ham, fresh fruits, homemade jam, yogurt, cereals, toast, fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee and tea. The dinners were fabulous, with two choices each night and include a starter and entree, with an optional dessert. Prices were about 23 euros for two courses, and a few more for dessert. The menu is posted each morning and you decide whether you'd like to have dinner there that night and choose your starter and entree. They were wonderful about accommodating the various dietary needs of our group. The food is focused on fresh and locally sourced, and it is superb. Local wines and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available. And weather permitting, you'll dine on a terrace overlooking the olive groves, with the most beautiful view you could imagine.

We did pick up and return our rental car in Cordoba. Another itinerary, which we did a few years ago, was 2 nights in Seville instead of Cordoba, picking up the rental car in Seville and then stopping in Cordoba to visit the Mezquita and tour the old quarter, on the way to Priego de Cordoba. That was terrific as well.

Pat, I agree, I really enjoy areas that are less crowded. This is the perfect spot for that.

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Thank you for the additional info. I’m mulling over whether this appeals to us more than another itinerary I had planned. We’ve visited Sevilla, Córdoba and Granada in the past and loved them all. We’re avid hikers so some time at Casa Olea is appealing.

Right now, we intended to visit Toledo, Valencia and Madrid around Easter of next year,, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to make those dates work. Going a bit earlier in early or mid-March and spending time in Andalusia and Madrid is another option. It does look lovely.

Thank you again for your report. I love getting inspired by other people’s trips!

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It's so nice to read about your trip. We stayed at Casa Olea in November for 6 nights and also loved it. One of the nicest places we have every stayed. The views were gorgeous, and the food was to die for. The most unique thing about Casa Olea is that they make it so easy to pick fun things to do. They have so many suggested hikes with directions you can take with you showing you each step of the way. Tim and Claire will do everything they can to make your trip a success. A really wonderful place!

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Reservation at Casa Olea for next March are made!!! Five nights plus four each in Malaga and Madrid.

Thanks again for the inspiration. We’re so happy to be traveling again.