Jaen is a Spanish province in the region of Andalusia. It is said to be the largest olive producing area in the world, producing 10% of the world's olives. The province sees fewer tourists than the coastal provinces of Andalusia, but has among the highest concentration of castles in the world outside the Levant thanks to its strategic position during the Reconquista.
- 1 Jaén — it's called the world capital of olive oil, and has the most beautiful Renaissance church in Andalusia
- 2 Alcalá la Real — situated within the Sierra Sur and dominated by a Moorish fortress
- 3 Andújar — a long and storied history along the Guadalquivir river, the last Sunday in April holds special significance
- 4 Baeza — a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the best-preserved Italian Renaissance architecture in Spain
- 5 Jódar — olive oil and parasols nestled into the Sierra Mágina massif
- 6 La Carolina — enjoy the novelty of exploring streets laid out along a grid in this relatively new city
- 7 Lineares — often used simply for transit connections; Lineares is a beautiful city in its own right
- 8 Úbeda — it has a fantastic collection of Italian-inspired Renaissance era palaces and churches
- 9 Villacarrillo — notable for its churches and the nearby Sendero de La Osera hiking trail
Cazorla village offers beautiful mountains, plenty of water, Guadalquivir river, nice food, wooden bungalows, deer, and eagles. In the surroundings you will find tiny villages and nice landscape with a wide variety of tourist activities.
The Parque Natural Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas in the east of the province is seen as a preferred summer retreat by Madrilenians in particular. The mountain towns of Cazorla at the southern end and Hornos and Segura de la Sierra at the northern end are worth a detour, the nature park spoils with spectacular views and a unique nature.
To the south of the twin cities, the Sierra Mágina awaits as a natural park with appropriate hiking opportunities and a visitor center in Jódar. Sierra de Andújar Natural Park in the north of the province is another nice spot.
The region is characterized by well-preserved castles from the Middle Ages, which can also be linked with one another for tourist purposes via a separate route. The main attractions are likely to be Alcalá la Real and Baños de la Encina with the Castillo de Burgalimar.
The province of Jaén, which is the furthest inland in Andalusia, gets the least from tourism. The sunny coasts are too far away for day trips from there to be worthwhile. For too long, a clique of wealthy landowners has stuck to the original structures, which were purely tailored to the olive harvest.
But anyone interested in Andalusia as the melting pot of European cultural history cannot avoid the region. The roots of the Moorish culture and those of the Catholic Reconquest (Reconquista) can be experienced in Cordoba and Granada. The renaissance bourgeoisie, who achieved prosperity through the olive trade, left their visible traces in such density, but only in this region.
The experience of nature and hiking opportunities also give the visitor a completely different picture of Andalusia than the average tourist is used to from the beaches near Torremolinos.
As the northernmost province of Andalusia, Jaén is hardly further away from Madrid than from Malaga or Seville in view of the well-developed transport network. In contrast to the more southern destinations, an alternative is to travel via Madrid.
The nearest national airports are Granada and Cordoba. There are international flights to Madrid, Seville and Málaga. Inexpensive and package flights are concentrated in Málaga or Jerez de la Frontera.
The AVE high-speed train network runs past the northern end of the province from Madrid via Ciudad Real to Cordoba and Seville. Via the network of MD (Medium Distance) and AVANT trains, which is comparable to our D or IC trains, the Spanish railway company RENFE connects the capital Madrid within approx. 4 hours and Cordoba-Seville (2 hours) -Cadiz with Jaen. A connection to Malaga is usually connected with a change in Cordoba and also takes about 4 hours. From the Linares-Baeza train station (40 minutes drive from Jaén). Granada can also be reached in 2½ hours.
As everywhere in Andalusia, it is mainly individual providers who take care of regional and national bus connections. Intra-regional connections are assigned and listed by the Junta de Andalucia . Supraregional providers such as ALSA connect the province with Seville, Granada and Madrid and also link intra-provincial destinations on these lines. It is usually worth going to the local bus station here.
The province can at least be explored faster and easier with your own car on the well-developed Spanish roads. The A-4 (or E-5) connects the province, coming from Seville and Cordoba, via Bailen with Madrid. In Bailen near Linares, the A-44 from Malaga and Granada via the capital Jaén joins this main traffic route. From the A-44, the A-316 branches off at Jaén in the direction of Baeza and Úbeda, which has now been almost completely expanded as a motorway.
- The Cathedral: a beautiful renacentist building.
- The Castle: place with very nice views and good place to chill out having a coffee surrounded by Arab environment.
- The Arab Baths: very old Arab baths with an impressive arquitechture.
- The world heritage listed villages Úbeda and Baeza are beautiful monumental cities with very typical landscape full of olive trees.
The Landscapes of cultural interest in Jaén route could be an excellent way to delve into the landscapes and ethnography of the province.
- El Alambique, in the surroundings of the city. You have to order chorizo, morcilla, pilpirrana, and conejo al ajillo.
- The neighbourhood "El Boulevard" is very nice for lunch and you will find plenty of places: Cambrinus, Tito Nono among others.
- Úbeda — historic city with great renaissance architecture.