If you’ve decided to escape to Cordoba for a few days, congratulations! It’s one of our favorite time to visit the city. The temperature is more pleasant, the rain is rare, the lower influx of tourists will allow you a quieter trip and you will get a much more real vision of the city of the Mosque. Read on to discover the best plans to make in Cordoba in autumn.
Of course, this must not be missed on your visit to Cordoba in autumn. No trip to Cordoba is complete without visiting the Mosque-Cathedral, but autumn is the ideal time. In Cordoba it is very hot in summer and, although you think the opposite, very cold in winter. In spring the city is full of tourists looking for milder temperatures; however, autumn is the best time of the year to visit the city with good weather and few people. In the Cathedral, a former mosque, you can spend as much time as you like discovering for yourself its columns, capitals, chapels, the brilliant beauty of the mihrab and the majesty of the choir. However, to fully understand what is undoubtedly one of the most incredible and unique monuments in the world, it is always better to opt for a guided tour.
A few kilometres from Cordoba is the palatine city of Medina Azahara, built by the Caliph Abderraman III as a sign of Cordoba’s power during the era of Umayyad splendour in the 10th century. The complex is recently the fourth Cordovan inscription on the World Heritage list, placing Cordoba as the Spanish city with the most properties declared World Heritage by UNESCO. As we have said before, although a visit is always recommended, the temperatures of autumn in Cordoba make the experience of those who enter The Shining City at this time much more pleasant than those who decide to do so in the summer sun.
For some years now, the City Council of Cordoba has been trying to make the vast Sephardic heritage of the city (sometimes eclipsed by the enormous Arab past) better known through what they have called “The Sephardic Autumn”: a wide range of exhibitions, talks, workshops, visits, gastronomy and concerts that take place during several weeks in September. The date is chosen with criteria, since the first Sunday of September is the European Day of Jewish Culture and around September 21st the Jewish calendar places the great celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the end of the Jewish year.
There is no doubt that the Festival of the Courtyards, which takes place every year for two weeks in May, is a spectacle of colours and smells. An opportunity to get into the most deeply rooted Cordovan DNA and have a first hand experience, visiting family homes that the Cordovians open to the public during those days. So special is this Cordovan custom of caring for and living in the courtyards, that it was named Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2012. And although during the Festival you can visit all the courtyards registered in the competition, the high temperatures of May in Cordoba, together with the large number of visitors on those days, sometimes you have to be patient to make the visit. However, in autumn it is possible to visit without queuing, without waiting and without the heat, several of the most significant courtyards of Cordoba in the neighbourhood of the courtyards par excellence: San Basilio. It is the owners of the houses who welcome us and answer all kinds of questions about the care of the many flowers and pots that decorate the patios.
One of the best things to do in Cordoba in autumn is also free. The best thing about cities is to discover them around every corner and let yourself be surprised. We recommend that you walk aimlessly through the Jewish Quarter, through its narrow streets (the Calle de la Flores, the Calle del Pañuelo, the Calle de la Hoguera…), that you discover why the Puerta de la Luna was such a well-defended entrance, the beauty of Calle Cairuán and the Puerta de Almodóvar, that you enter the Synagogue and the Zoco… And then take a walk through the most traditional quarters of Cordoba to see the church of Santa Marina, San Lorenzo or Santiago. The weather is good and, when you get tired, there is nothing better than stopping to rest on a terrace with a salmorejo (a kind of spicy fish). What, is it or isn’t it a great plan?