You’ve explored the incredible UNESCO sites of Cordoba and want to uncover the beautiful surroundings of this unique Andalusian city. There are so many wonderful day trips from Cordoba, Spain to not only famous places but also incredible hidden gems in Andalucia.
This winter, we’ve been mostly slow traveling through the Cordoba Province unveiling some of the most astonishing whitewashed villages in Andalucia, so you can expect some pretty awesome destinations in this list of Cordoba day trips.
Note that many of these Cordoba day trips can only be done by car, as they are a bit off the beaten path. However, some of the bigger places are better connected by public transport.
Read on to unearth the best day trips from Cordoba to add to your Andalucia itinerary.
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Best areas to stay in Cordoba Spain
How to get around on Cordoba day trips
While some day trips from Cordoba easily can be done by train or bus, others require a rental car to get there. As with most of rural Andalucia, bus times might require you to stay over a night to get anything out of your visit.
Some villages and towns are only served by a couple of buses a day and return times might not be in the evening when you would want to return.
I have added the possible modes of transport under each destination, so you easily can see how to get there. You can look for rental cars, trains, and buses below.
However, note that buses to the smaller cities and towns usually must be booked at the bus station or on local transport sites. Your best bet is to ask in the Tourist Information about local transport to destinations beyond Granada, Seville, and Malaga.
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Best day trips from Cordoba Spain
Priego de Cordoba
Priego de Cordoba is one of my absolute favorite day trips from Cordoba. There are a lot of attractions to see in a day and great restaurants and bars to grab lunch.
Among the top things to see in Priego de Cordoba, head to the majestic King’s Fountain where you will also see the Fountain of Health behind it. There is a cute bar on the square where you can grab a drink too if you need a break.
Priego de Cordoba has a castle worth the modest entrance fee and the lush park of Recreo de Castilla is wonderful to stroll through.
Make sure you don’t miss out on the narrow streets of Barrio de La Villa which is the oldest neighborhood in Priego de Cordoba with colorful potplants on whitewashed walls.
Finally, you can walk to the Mirador del Adarve for exquisite views of the surrounding countryside.
BY CAR: 1 hour and 20 minutes drive, free parking on the outskirts of the town center. I recommend looking around Parque Adolfo Suarez (about 15 minutes to walk to the attractions.) If you drive a campervan or RV you can park for free at the caravan park at the entrance of town.
BY BUS: 2 hours by bus. On weekdays you can take an early bus and return with the last bus at 18:00, but on the weekends, there are no useful bus times. You can check the local bus timetable here.
Situated in the foothills of the Sierras Subbeticas Natural Park, Rute is a wonderful town for a day trip from Cordoba whether you want to explore the hiking routes that take you to old ruins and watchtowers or you want to visit the museums.
Rute has one of the region’s oldest Anis distilleries and you can visit the museum which includes a delightful tasting at the end.
There are also award-winning patios in Rute, one of them can be visited together with the Anis Museum all year round and it’s well worth it! Most of the patios, though, only open to the public in the month of May when the patio competitions are on in the province.
If you visit Andalucia in winter, Rute has a lot of great things in store like the Chocolate Museum and a chocolate nativity scene.
BY CAR: 1 hour and 10 minutes to drive. You can park for free by Nuestra Señora del Carmen Park (except Saturday mornings when the market finds place – then you can park in the streets nearby) or in the streets near the Anis Factory.
Almodovar del Rio
One of the absolute best day trips from Cordoba is to the tiny village of Almodovar del Rio, famous for its impressive medieval castle.
The castle was originally built around 760 by the Moorish but was restored excessively during the first half of the 1900s. It was later one of the Andalusian filming locations of Game of Thrones.
Visiting Almodovar Castle is absolutely the main attraction, but there are still more things to see. Step back in time at the Municipal Archaeological Exhibition and enter some of the churches like the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
BY CAR: 30-minute drive from Cordoba. There is free parking by the castle and throughout the village.
BY BUS: There are multiple buses throughout the day with the last return at 19:15. Take the bus M-250 (Cordoba Posadas)
Iznajar is one of the most charming places to visit on a day trip from Cordoba. The whitewashed hilltop village overlooks Iznajar Lake and is crowned by a medieval castle.
There are a lot of great things to do in Iznajar and it also boasts a number of exquisite patios and squares worth visiting. Among them, Patio de Las Comedias and Plaza de La Torre.
Iznajar Castle, the old library, and Parroquia de Santiago Apostol are all clustered at the top of the village and well worth visiting.
Besides the castle, there are multiple viewpoints where you can see the glittering lake below. If you get the time, you might also want to take a drive down to Valdearenas Beach where you can go for a swim in the lake.
BY CAR: 1 hour and 15 minutes by car. There are multiple free outside parking lots entering the village.
Lucena is one of the most underrated cities in Andalucia and a wonderful day trip from Cordoba. It is a small walkable city which makes it possible to explore the top attractions in a day.
The old town encompasses a castle and several museums, churches, and palaces. Among the top palaces to visit are Condes de Santa Ana Palace and Casa de Los Mora.
The most astounding church in Lucena to visit is the Parroquia de San Mateo with its impressive interior.
Other points of interest are the Jewish Necropolis and the Alfar Romano, which is a newly discovered Roman pottery factory.
BY CAR: 50 minutes by car. There is free parking by the old Feria Ground next to a CEPSA Gas Station about 10-15 minutes walk from the tourist attractions.
BY BUS: There are some buses traveling between Cordoba and Lucena during the weekdays that make it possible to go on a day trip, the last bus from Lucena is 19:15 (Weekends at 18:00 or 18:30.)
Cabra also makes one of the top day trips from Cordoba. The vibrant town has a charming old quarter that boasts incredible architecture, old city walls, and a castle turned into a school.
Take a stroll through Barrio de La Villa where narrow streets take you through whitewashed houses and colorful potplants,
Besides a whole lot of interesting museums, you can visit the old train station where a couple of old steam trains still stand. Whether you’re a big kid like us or you travel with younger kids, this is a fun place to visit. There is also a small playground for the youngest.
Cabra also boasts a number of hiking routes, but on a day trip, you might just want to take a leisurely walk through one of the parks.
BY CAR: 1 hour by car, there are multiple free outdoor parking lots around the town. The easiest places to park are near the bus station and down to the Monday market area. It is illegal to park in the market area on Mondays, but continue a few meters further down and there’s a dirt park on your right-hand side.
BY BUS: On weekdays you can take the bus between Cordoba and Cabra with the last bus returning at 18:30. On the weekends you must drive.
Zuheros is one of the most wonderful day trips from Cordoba you can take. The picturesque village sits on a hillside of the Sierras Subbeticas Natural Park making it a popular hiking destination, but there are still a whole lot of things to fill up the day with.
Zuheros boasts a hilltop castle perched on the steep cliff edge overlooking the surrounding countryside. You will not be surprised that this is one of the best castles in Andalucia.
Stroll through the narrow streets, search for the best viewpoints, and visit the museums of the village to dive into pre-historic times to newer history.
The village also hides one of the coolest Insta spots in Andalucia. Below the castle, you can cross a hanging bridge between the cliffs which makes for cool pictures.
BY CAR: It takes about 1 hour to drive from Cordoba to Zuheros and you find free parking at the entrance of the village from both sides.
Écija is a lesser-known city situated between Seville and Cordoba. Though it might look a bit rough around the edges at first glance, it hides a whole ocean of incredible palaces and old churches.
the city gives you the feeling of being under constant restoration and you are lucky to witness the sites that have been fixed up.
Plaza de España boasts an energetic atmosphere surrounded by ancient buildings. Among the top palaces to visit you find the Palacio de la Justicia which holds the city courts.
The courtyard and stairs can be visited for free and is probably the most opulent palace you will find in the city. According to the security guard, it is a replica of the Alhambra, and the hallway is decorated with tiles from the same factory in Seville that decorated the Plaza de España in Seville.
Besides, you should go to Palacio de Peñaflor and Palacio de Benamají (where you also find the History Museum.)
BY CAR: It takes 45 minutes to drive from Cordoba to Écija. There is street parking around the historical center. Near the RV park, there is plenty of spaces and it only takes 10-15 minutes to walk into the tourist sites. Otherwise, there is paid underground parking at Plaza de España.
BY BUS: There is a bus with Alsa from Cordoba at 09:00 that takes 40 minutes, the last return is at 19:45.
No list of day trips from Cordoba is complete without mentioning Granada and Alhambra. One day in Granada gives you just enough time to visit the impressive palace before lunch and explore the charming old streets of Granada after lunch.
Make sure you book your tickets to Alhambra in advance as they get sold out early. You can either get a guided tour or individual tickets with audio guide for your visit. If you prefer a private tour to get the most out of it, I recommend this tour.
After visiting the impressive gardens, palaces, and fortresses there is enough time for a lovely lunch in albaycín, going for a stroll through the oldest streets of Granada, and attending a Flamenco show in the old Gypsy Quarter where you also find the Cave House Museum which shows how a typical cave house in the Gypsy era would look like.
BY CAR: It takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to drive from Cordoba to Granada. Your best bet is to park in paid underground parking lots, but you can find free parking above Albacín on the other side of the city walls.
BY BUS: The bus takes 2 hours and 40 minutes. There are buses in the morning at 8:30 and return at 18:30.
BY TRAIN: The train takes around 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours. Trains start running at 08:25 in the morning and the last return is at 20:00.
While there are a lot of things to do in Seville and I would recommend spending more than a day, you can still get a lot out of a Cordoba day trip to the Andalusian capital.
One day in Seville is enough time to visit the cathedral and Giralda Tower and walk the majestic Real Alcazar palace. I do recommend getting tickets in advance to save time on your visit.
For lunch, you can stroll through the vibrant neighborhood of Santa Cruz to look for a nice restaurant before heading to Plaza de España. This is one of the best free things to do in Seville by far!
Admire the beautiful tilework on the famous square and go for a stroll through Maria Luisa Park towards the Guadalquivir River where you can round off the day with a boat tour in Seville‘s glittering river.
BY CAR: Driving from Cordoba to Seville takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. You can park in paid underground parking lots in the center or park for free at any of these places.
BY BUS: The bus takes around 2 hours give or take and runs all day in both directions with the last return at 18:30.
BY TRAIN: Direct trains take about 45 minutes and run all day in both directions with the last return at 21:35.
A Cordoba day trip to Malaga’s bustling coastal vibes is a great way to escape a hot day. There are a lot of things to do in Malaga from shopping, eating tapas, and visiting museums like the Picasso Museum.
With one day in Malaga, I recommend starting the day with the top attractions, the Alcazaba, Gibralfaro, and Nasrid Palace.
This can easily be done on a guided tour to save you time and give you the most out of your visit. Make sure you book it in advance so you don’t miss your spot. You can check availability here.
After lunch, you can walk to the Muelle Uno, go shopping in Calle Larios, or go for a swim at La Malagueta Beach. You can also go on a Malaga boat tour for sunset to round off your day in the refreshing sea breeze.
BY CAR: Driving from Cordoba to Malaga takes almost 2 hours. Parking in Malaga is best in one of the paid underground parking lots near or in the historical center.
BY BUS: The direct bus takes 2 hours and 30 minutes. Buses run throughout the day with the last return at 19:30.
BY TRAIN: There are trains all day between Cordoba and Malaga and the journey takes about an hour give or take. The last return is at 20:13.
Osuna is another underrated town in the province of Seville. It gained more popularity after the Game of Thrones was filmed in the towns, but even before that, Osuna has been discovered by UNESCO which claims one of Europe’s prettiest streets are found there.
Calle San Pedro is jam-packed with opulent palaces. Among the most important are Palace of the Marquises of La Gomera, now a hotel where the GOT crew stayed during the filming and Cilla del Cabildo Colegial.
Make sure you visit the Monasterio de la Encarnación, the Old University, and the Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. And if you get time, a visit to the Coto de las Canteras.
BY CAR: 1 hour by car, you can park for free on the top of the town by the Collegiate Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. There is no good public transport to take you from Cordoba to Osuna on a day trip.
Another lovely Cordoba day trip is to the tiny village of Doña Mencía. You can easily browse through the village in a few hours, visiting the castle and museum, strolling around the old streets, seeing the Old Church, and taking pictures of the picturesque Calle Juanita La Larga.
You can also visit the Museo del Vino Menciano and Museo Histórico-Arqueológico for an insight in the village’s rich history.
Doña Mencía is also situated right by the Via Verde del Aceite and a lovely activity to do is to hire a bike and cycle along the old train line.
BY CAR: It takes an hour to drive to Doña Mencia from Cordoba and there is free parking throughout the village.
Ronda is one of the oldest settlements in Spain and among the most breathtaking towns near Malaga you will encounter.
Going on a day trip to Ronda gives you the opportunity to walk down to the viewpoint of the New Bridge where it connects the dramatic 100-meter-deep gorge that splits the town in two.
But you can also visit other tourist attractions like the Arab Baths, see the remains of the Moorish city walls, walk the steps inside the mountain to the bottom of the gorge at Casa del Rey Moro, and do some shopping.
There are a lot of fun things to do in Ronda and it is an absolute must-visit town.
BY CAR: Driving from Cordoba to Ronda takes 2 hours and 10 minutes. There is a very convenient paid underground parking as you enter Ronda at the top of the pedestrian street. Otherwise, you can drive past it and take to the left when you reach the train station. Up the streets behind the train station, there is a chance of finding free parking.
Reflections on day trips from Cordoba
As you can tell, there are a lot of wonderful day trips from Cordoba that you can do. So if you were in doubt that the city was a good base for your Andalucia vacation, I hope you’ve got your answer.
It is a lovely destination to stay in during the cooler months and the spring when it is perfect to explore the inland of Andalucia.