Travel to Jaén province of Andalusia, Spain (Podcast)

Learn about traveling to the Spanish province of Jaén, Andalusia as you talk to Amateur Traveler Andalusia resident Molly Sears-Piccavey.

Molly said, “Jaén is a province in Western Andalusia that is little known or has nothing to do with tourism. If we take Southern Spain, Granada, Cordoba, Jaén and Almería, the western part of Andalusia, may not be as touristy as the part of Andalusia with Malaga and Seville. Cordoba and Granada are very well visited because of their Muslim architecture such as the mosque or the Alhambra Palace, but Jaén is inland and a little further away. And many people fail to discover Jaén and I think Jaén has a lot to offer the visitor.”

“The thing that stuck in my mind the most is olive trees. It’s the most densely populated of olive trees in Europe, and they obviously produce a lot of olive oil. When you travel to Jaén, wherever you look, you only see olive trees and even as many olive trees as you can see on the Jaén road. It is also a place with many castles and forts. They claim to be the place with the most castles in Europe. Located in Baños de la Encina, Burgalimar is Europe’s oldest castle and well worth a visit.

“They call Jaén the land of wars and castles, but I think they’re missing out on olive oil, so it must be wars and castles and olive oil.”

For over 200 years, Jaén was the border between Catholic Spain and Moorish Spain, hence the number of castles and walled hill towns.

Molly begins us in the capital of the state of Jaén, the city of Jaén. We start with the beautiful cathedral of Jaén, which may sound familiar as it was used as a model for many cathedrals in the New World. Due to this importance, it is recommended as a UNESCO site.

Then we climb the hill to see Santa Catalina Castle and Jaén Parador (the national hotel chain) sitting side by side with views of the city and 65 million olive trees.

Another stop you should make in Jaén is the Arab Baths, the largest of the old baths from the Moorish period. They sit below a former Peruvian Governor’s palace, which houses an art museum and a history museum.

From Jaén we pass along the valley to the twin towns of Úbeda and Baeza, a joint UNESCO site for their buildings built in the Spanish Renaissance style. Úbeda has a number of old buildings around a large square (Vázquez de Molina Square), including an old palace that is now the Parador. There is also an ornate funeral chapel for one of Úbeda’s more distinguished families and the Basílica de Santa María de los Reales Alcázares church.

Baeza is an old university town. The old university is now a high school, but one of the old palaces has been converted into a new international university. Baeza has the feel of a quieter whitewashed Andalusian town with its small streets and flower boxes.

Molly also recommends visiting Baños de la Encina and Burgalimar Castle, as well as Alcalá la Real and Fortaleza de La Mota. These cities were even closer to the Moorish Grenada border, so they had more important fortifications.

Jaén also has 4 natural parks with a variety of activities including hiking, but Molly, who leads the food tours, focuses us more on places to have a great meal.

Jaén is a beautiful region of Spain and deserves more tourism than it gets…but you might not want to visit in the heat of summer, as I did on a press tour recently.

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Show notes
Spain Food Sherpas Tours
Undiscovered Spain – Jaén Province of Andalusia
Province of Jaén (Spain)
Granada border
Jaén Cathedral
Parador de Jaén
Sierra Magina
Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park
Restaurante La Alcuza (Pegalajar)
Santa Catalina Castle (Jaén)
Jaén Arab Baths
Museo Internacional Arte Naïf
pure art
Baga Restaurant
Vazquez de Molina Square
Ubeda Parador
Basilica de Santa Maria de los Reales Alcázares
Hotel Palacio De Úbeda
Synagogue del Agua
Palacio de Vela de los Cobos
Baeza, Spain
Baeza Cathedral
Plaza del Populo
Baeza University
Jabalquinto Palace
Alcala la Real
Fortaleza de La Mota
Banos de la Encina
Burgalimar Castle
Cherry Festival in Castillo de Locubin
Vandalvide Restaurant, Baeza
Taberna El Pajaro, Baeza


Boss Jeff commented on Journey to the South of Iceland – Amateur Traveler Episode 802

The South Iceland episode brought back many memories of Iceland. One of my memories was of the houses of “hidden people” (gnomes, elves, etc.), piles of rocks built around roads. One fun activity I enjoyed was dog sledding on the Myrdalsjokull Glacier. Finally, the Westmann Islands are great to visit, but you might want to consider a sightseeing flight on Surtsey Island. This island emerged from under the ocean in a volcanic eruption in November 1963. I don’t know if it still has the distinction of being the newest island to be created in the world. It is a scientific reserve accessible only with a permit, so the only way to see it is on a sightseeing flight. They search for the plant and animal life that colonized the island. An added bonus was the aerial coastal views of Iceland’s countryside and including the Westmann Islands.

I forgot to comment on the hot dogs. Icelanders love their hot dogs (pylsa). you can have them

everywhere, wrapped in bacon etc. The best dog in Reykjavik is a small 10×10 kennel in Baejarins Beztu where then-President Clinton stopped by and ate hot dogs. The “Pinks” of Reykjavik.


Russetts via Apple Podcasts Great Britain 18/05/22

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Travel to Jaén province of Andalusia, Spain (Podcast) |  Things to do in Jaén #spain #andalucia #jaen #baeza #ubeda #castles #olives #travel #holiday #trip #holiday

Travel to Jaén province of Andalusia, Spain (Podcast) |  Things to do in Jaén #spain #andalucia #jaen #baeza #ubeda #castles #olives #travel #holiday #trip #holiday Travel to Jaén province of Andalusia, Spain (Podcast) |  Things to do in Jaén #spain #andalucia #jaen #baeza #ubeda #castles #olives #travel #holiday #trip #holiday