Located just a 90-minute drive north of Málaga and on the banks of the Guadalquivir River lies the awe-inspiring city of Córdoba: widely-regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. At no time is this more apparent than during the first two weeks of May when the Festival of Patios is celebrated…
The Festival of Patios – also called the Courtyards Festival – refers to the decoration of the inner courtyards of some of the houses in the historic city centre, which are brought alive by vibrantly-coloured flowers in a multitude of arrangements and which are open to the public during this period.
Districts like Alcázar Viejo, Santa Marina and the Jewish Quarter typically house the most remarkable examples of this courtyard decoration, with arguably the most impressive to be found in the grounds of Viana Palace. Local homeowners and groups of neighbours adorn their patios in the hope of winning an award presented by the City Hall at the end of the festivities, with each patio being judged on its architectonic value, originality and floral decoration.
Even if you can’t make it to the Festival of Patios, there is a lot to see and marvel at in Córdoba… Once the capital of the entire Iberian Peninsula after being conquered by the Moors in 711 AD, it was a centre of culture, learning and trade during the Islamic Golden Age, and dates back to its founding as a Roman colony in 152 BC.
Architecture and buildings from several ancient civilisations remain to this day; hence why Córdoba represents an astonishing melting pot of different cultures and influences and its historic centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Well worth a day trip from the beautiful Costa del Sol!