“Patsy in Priego” here, as I now like to call myself – having lived and worked ( teaching) in the beautiful Andalusian, provincial town of Priego de Córdoba
for over 14 months now.
Do you KNOW Priego de Córdoba? Have you been here? Vistied? Passed through? Stayed? Even heard of it?
Well, if you haven’t, let me tell you a little bit about it in the hope that it might tempt you to come and discover this magical town and
the surrounding area.
For a day, a weekend or maybe even longer, if you wanted to use it as a base to discover places further afield in the area.
Priego, as you will see when you look at a map,
is situated in an area of outstanding beauty called the Subbetica.
A region of olive and oak grove covered mountains in the middle of the triangle formed by Córdoba, Granada and Malaga,
just one hour’s drive up from the coast and Malaga airport.
Amonst other things it is most famous for being the place where the Baroque art style was first developed as well as for being
the birth place of Niceto Alcala-Zamora. (the first president of the Second Spanish Republic, just before the outbreak of the Spanish
Civil War in 1936.)
The town currently has a population of around 22,000 and has it’s old part, dating back to the 13th century, as well as it’s more modern
residential and shopping areas.
The old town, bordered on one side by an impressive cliff face, known as the “Adarve”, isn’t very big but is just bursting with hidden
jewels to explore and discover, Either on foot and / or by the fantastic yellow Priego “tuk tuk” , An open-sided bus that holds up to
12 people , driven by a very personable and knowledgeable local driver/tour guide.
These “jewels ” range from the beautiful baroque churches, pretty squares , “señorial” mansions, the medieval castle and it’s park and
the ancient “Royal Slaughterhouse” to the “Balcon del Adarve” itself (a semi-circular walkway that has the most stunning views out over the mountains
of the Subbetica, where you will discover 3 fountains, gushing fresh spring water from the surrounding mountains, viewing platforms to sit and admire the scenery, and
a cute, bronze statue of “Joselito” ( a famous child actor from the 50s, fondly remembered as “El Rosiñol” -“The Nightingale”) to have your photo taken with!
Nobody who takes a stroll along this balcony walkway can fail to be impressed by it, can ever forget it
The Arab quarters here, very similar to the “Judería” in Córdoba, but on a slightly smaller scale, is known as “La Villa”
Here you can find those peaceful, winding, narrow, cobbled streets so typical of Andalusian mountain villages and towns.
With their attractive white houses, walls dotted with bright, ceramic geranium pots,
windows covered with stunning , individual, black wrought -iron “rejas” ( window covers), ornate, solid oak doors, and lovely, inviting interior patios
glimpsed briefly through doors left open etc.
There are also a few houses where craftsmen ( carpenters, artists, potters) still ply their trade as well as cosy shops selling local goods and
souvenirs such as olive oil and products made using olive oil, sweets, cheeses, crisps, figs, honey, jams, handicraftes etcetera.
The town is just such a pleasant, totally safe place to stroll around at leisure,during the day and at night.
There are so many different itineriesthat you could take in order to take in all the sites including
2) La Fuente del Rey
3) El Compas de San Francisco
4) El Paseillo.
5) El Museo Niceto Alcala-Zamara
6) El Museo Arqueológico
7) El Museo de Arte de Lozano Sidra.
And in English:
1) The “Calvary Hill”, with it’s church and square, overlooking Priego, Where the Good Friday procession takes the statue of the ” Nazareno” ( Jesus the Nazarenian),
2) the “King’s Fountain- an ornamental square where you can see an impressive baroque fountain that has over 130 spouts! Sit and have a coffee in the summer.
Watch the world go by, the children playing. Have a nice meal in the shade of the huge plane trees etc.
3) the Square of Saint Francisco with the Church of Saint Francisco and the Hospedaria ( hotel) San Francisco.
4) Town Hall Square. With it’s stylish town hall, pleasant square where you can have a coffee, watch the children playing football, the fountain dancing
( very prettily lit up at night and lively in the warm summer months)
5) The Niceto Alcala-Zamora Museum. A really fascinating tribute to this president. The chance to see the house where he was born, a typical Andalusian
“señorial” mansion with it’s patio, cellar, kitchen, reception and bedrooms. Full of realia. personal artefacts, photosm documents etc for history fans.
6) The Archaelogy Museum, full of artefacts discovered in the surrounding area, dating back thousands of years in some cases.
7) The museum dedicated to local “costumbrista” artist Lozano Sidro
There is a wide selection of places to stay here, From humble ” Casas Rurales” , bed and breakfasts, to more luxurious, boutique hotels,
A very popular hotel is ” Los Baños de La Villa” a “spa hoteñ” where the price of a double room includes a session in the Turkish Spa!
And if you wanted to stay outside town, in the peaceful countryside there are several options.
For example Casa Olea
La Huerta de Las Palomas
If you like to eat, and discover new restaurants, you won’t be disappointed in Priego.
Local restaurants, hotels and bars offer a wide range of local, Andalusian and traditional Spanish dishes such as
“gazpacho”, ” salmorejo”, “flamenquín”, ” berenjenas con miel” “revuelto de collejas” ( gazpacho, gazpacho with bread crumbs and garlic, Serrano ham wrapped in pork
loin and deep fried in bread crumbs,)
deep friend aubergines with dark honey) as well as local meats, especially pork.
There is a very nice pizza restaurant, tucked away up a side street and several
fabulous tapas bars
Some restaurants are able to offer a “set menu” on demand, in advance, for individuals and groups.
For those wishing to use Priego as a base to go exploring, the town is within one hour’s drive from places such as Granada, Jaen, Cordoba,
Lucena, Cabra, Luque, Zuheros, Montilla, Puente Genil and more.
I will close now, as it is very late and I wanted to get this done within the 14 day limit set at the last Costa Women meeting!
The reason that I have written this ” blog” is that I want to stay in Spain, go on living my dream to live and work in the sun.
Being where I feel good in my skin.
I want to promote this town and area where I am living. I think it is an undiscovered jewel, unknown to many
people living down on the Costas.
I need to earn a living, to support myself and I want to do that doing something enjoyable, that I love!
I am fortunate in that I am able to teach, that I love teaching, but……
I would also like to have to the chance to offer my services as a personal guide to individuals or groups who would
like to come and explore this area.
To do the groundwork and create a package, ( hotels, itinerary of visits, meals etc) and then, if needed, be a Spanish.speaking guide.
For a morning , a day ………..or more.
I feel that, knowing the place and the people, I could not only create really interesting, fun visits ( with or without me in tow, leading!)
but could also negotiate discountsand best rates etcetera.
Here I am at your disposition.
Patsy in Priego
If you are interested to find out more, want to come up to the area, or know anyone who does, PLEASE don’t hesitate to contact me
Patsy Sweeney on facebook,
WhatsApp 603328481 or
or pass on my contact details to anyone you know who might be interested.
Thank you so much for reading my first blog
All the best from me
Patsy in Priego