Andalusia, Spain, Close to Home

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Susan Umberger traveled on an Untour to Andalusia, Spain a couple years ago. She shared a very rich trip log with us. Here are memories of a day she spent in villages “close to home” near her Untours apartment.

We decided it would be fun to drive around in the local country and explore the villages of Rute and Iznajar. 

Juan, our wonderful landlord, had furnished us with grapes from the vine in the courtyard. It was time to cut the vines back and he saved us some of the most delicious, sweet white grapes. We took them on every picnic!  Armed with our maps and Garmin, we set off for Iznajar, driving the most spectacular scenery roads along the way.  
They were harvesting some olives at one point, and we learned these were for green olives; they were not yet ripe, when all are picked and crushed for olive oil. 
We entered the village of Iznajar after a fair amount of driving and drove on some of the steepest grades I’ve ever been on! Wow, was the view from the top spectacular! The town is on an embalse, or reservoir, of the Genil River. The plaza by the church of Santiago is the place to get the best views, but there are charming walks all over town.

A view from the top.

A peak through the buildings to the reservoir.

After a picnic bite, we decided to head for Rute. It was a charming village too. I’m not a huge fan of anise, but my sister in law is. Later on in the trip I’d find her some great anise flavored cookies made by a Dominican order. Cookies that were sin sin!

A charming little duck pond in Rute.

We saw beautiful old olive trees along the way.

Then we did a backtrack maneuver, and headed to Almedinilla, a village east of Priego. Once a Roman town, it has a villa which is still being excavated. We were amazed at the stunning job they’ve done.  The painting on the walls, the mosaics, the fountain. They have a lovely museum separate from the villa. Ask at the visitor’s center how to get there and pay attention to the opening hours and other details.

This was quite a bit of driving today; we were tired. We came home and cooked for ourselves in our Untours apartment, had a steak, salad, and carrots. Good meal, good wine, good company, good night!

Discover the wild beauty and charming towns and villages of Subbetica on the Andalucia Untour in Spain.

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