Ruta del Califato (Caliphate Route)

Ruta del CalifatoRuta del Califato History

The 800 years of Islamic presence in Spain rose to its greatest splendor in sunny Andalucía, where even today the civilization's influence is evident in practically every facet of Andalucían culture- music, architecture, food, art, etc. The Ruta del Califato (Caliphate Route) unites the emblematic cities of Córdoba and Granada, the two most important hubs of the resplendent Islamic epoch.

Córdoba represents the Islamic empire at the very peak of its splendor. Once the capital of the caliphate, its massive Mezquita (Mosque) - along with its sea of columns, candy cane-striped arches and incredibly ornate Mihrab - remains. In fact, it's so big that when the Córdoba finally succumbed to the Reconquest, a full-sized cathedral was rather symbolically plopped right smack into the middle.

The final years of Spain's Islamic presence were centered in the city of Granada- and more specifically in La Alhambra. Exuberant, refined and undeniably sumptuous, this sprawling Arabic palace represents the final stronghold of the Nasrid dynasty: the very last of Spain's Islamic kingdoms.

Ruta del CalifatoRuta del Califato Routes

The Ruta del Califato running between these two cities will lead you through a mountainous landscape full of part-Islamic, part-Christian Spanish architecture. There are two routes - the northern route and the southern route - which together compose the Ruta del Califato.
Regardless of the route you choose, you will come across legendary fortifications, towers, castles and cities which played vital roles in one of the most important epochs of Spanish history. As originally Islamic towns and cities one-by-one gave into the Reconquest, they took on new roles as bases from which to lay seige to the final Islamic stronghold of Granada.

Along with emblematic cities and fascinating architecture, the routes also pass through tiny towns tucked into the mountainous terrain of the Sierras Subbéticas, Sierra de Moclín, Sierra Elvira and the Sierra de Huétor. These areas are great for trekking, hiking, bird-watching and other nature activities.

Ruta del Califato: Northern Route

  • Córdoba
  • Espejo
  • Castro del Río
  • Baena
  • Luque
  • Alcaudete
  • Castillo de Locubín
  • Alcalá la Real
  • Pinos Puente
  • Granada

Ruta del Califato: Southern Route

  • Córdoba
  • Fernán Núñez
  • Montemayor
  • Montilla
  • Aguilar de la Frontera
  • Lucena
  • Cabra
  • Carcabuey
  • Priego de Córdoba
  • Alcalá la Real
  • Pinos Punete
  • Granada

*** For more detailed information and routes, visit the following official website: