Exploring the historic Andalusian city on two wheels.
When the Moors plotted the urban layout of Cordoba, the capital of their Spanish realm, they didn't have modern cars and tour buses in mind. But there is one conveyance that is perfectly suited to exploring the picturesque corners of the Andalusian city's historical old quarter: the bicycle.
An ambitious scheme has endowed Cordoba with what will eventually be Spain’s biggest network of urban biking lanes. And travelers can now enjoy a different perspective of an area declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO by signing up for a guided bike tour of this eminently two-wheel-friendly town.
Cordoba La Llana en Bici started out offering bicycles for rent to visitors, but it soon became apparent that what travelers really wanted was organized cycling tours combining a leisurely ride through the orange blossom-scented streets of the city and historical insights on the Cordoba’s wealth of sights, provided by a knowledgeable guide.
Today, Cordoba La Llana feature a number of tours. Half-day excursions take in some of the city's main sights, as well as some its less known historical neighborhoods. Variations on the theme include a gastronomic tour, with a stop for lunch at one of the city’s renowned restaurants or, for a more romantic experience of the city, an evening tour with a view of its floodlit monuments.
A longer excursion which takes in the ruins of Medina Azahara has proven specially popular. Leaving the city, it ranges along unstrenuous country lanes, past bull ranches, to reach the ruins of this fabulous Moorish city-palace outside Cordoba. The tour involves some two hours of cycling, a two-hour guided visit to the monument, and an hour enjoying memories of the experience at a typical tavern.
Ranging even further afield, weekend tours are available to two of Cordoba provinces nature parks, Cardeña-Montoro and Hornachuelos. Travelers are taken by car to the parks, and then can spend a pleasant day cycling at their own pace through the landscape of the Sierra Morena foothills.
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Copyright © 2001 An Andalusian Experience. Text by Mark Little. Photography by J. D. Dallet - A Freelance Spain production
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Copyright © 2000-2006 Mark and David Little & J.D. Dallet