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The city of Cordoba is less than two hours from Madrid aboard the high speed "Ave" train, which offers a comfortable ride with excellent waiter service.

Meat and poultry are the specialty of this region but if you're not in the mood for a big steak, it's common in Spain to share a series of small dishes instead of a main course.

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From the mosque, head towards the Palacio de Viana. Interesting sights on the way include the Plaza del Potro, mentioned in "Don Quijote", and the museum of Converse Boys Shoes

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The 16th century cathedral is built on top of the Great Mosque of Cordoba, which was erected in the 8th century by the first emir of the city.

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The mosque is stunningly preserved, a forest of 850 columns of granite and marble connected by arches of red stone Converse All Star Sale Sydney

If you enjoy combining cultural history, good food and good wine with a stroll through pretty old streets and some olive groves, then the province of Cordoba in Spain's southern region of Andalusia offers the perfect itinerary.

The house is built around 12 patio gardens, each with a distinct design varying from orange trees, palms and fountains to one with a huge 400 year old Holm Oak. The rooms contain some magnificent tapestries, as well as period furniture and paintings.

Here are tips for getting the most out of a trip to eastern Andalusia from Reuters, whose 2,600 journalists in all parts of the world offer visitors the best local insights.

Also, about 15 minutes west of the city is the Medina al Zahra palace built in the 10th century by Abd al Rahman III. In his heyday, he impressed audiences with a room studded with diamonds and a mercury fountain that visitors thought was liquid silver.

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Among the best restaurants is Bodegas Campos at Calle Los Lineros 32, where the walls are also adorned with bullfighting poster bills dating back as far as 1899.

Cordoba's Jewish Quarter is where you want to stay as it is inside the old city walls and everything is within walking distance. There are plenty of options, including the highly recommended NH Hotel Amistad Converse White Shoes With Jeans Men

and red and white brick, typical of Cordoba's Caliph architecture.


It's only a short walk through the narrow streets of the old city to the Cathedral/Mosque, indisputably Cordoba's main attraction.

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local painter Julio Romero, famous for his realistic portraits of women.

If you like horses, there's also a popular nighttime show of Andalusian thoroughbreds with flamenco music at the Royal Stables.

that is conveniently located in the Plaza Maimonides.

At Casa Pepe de la Juderia at Calle Romero 1, famous local bullfighters are featured on the walls, including the legendary Manolete who died in 1955 after being gored.

In May, the streets are full of flowers and houses open their patios and decorate them in a 10 day competition, the "Festival of the Patios".

The cultural legacy of Moorish Spain is still Converse Chuck Taylor All Star much in evidence, even if the society around it today is emphatically Christian and westernized.

To appreciate the intellectual might of Cordoba under the Moors, visit the Museum of al Andalus in the Tower of Calahorra, on the banks of the Guadalquivir.

Prepare your palate with a glass of Torre de la Barca, a young white wine from the region, accompanied by partridge pate with a dark Pedro Ximenez sherry sauce and olive oil powder. You should try the salmorejo soup, a cream of gazpacho with egg, ham and olive oil.

The Palacio de Viana, built in the late 15th century, was the home of the Marques of Viana who was close to King Alfonso XIII.

Cordoba offers a wide range of casual outdoor caf to fine dining where you can sample regional dishes, some of the best in Spain.

There is perhaps no region of Spain as rich in cultural history and diverse in geography as Andalusia, spread across a varied topography from the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts to dramatic mountain peaks and wide valleys of olive trees stretching as far as the eye can see.

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The two structures are so closely interlocked that only a few steps take visitors from one religion into another.

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For a tour of the city, local guides can be hired by the hour. Reuters used Juan Torres Carmona, a friendly multilingual guide with a flexible schedule. Alternatively, catch a flamenco show near the mosque at El Tablao El Cardenal every night at 10:30.

´╗┐From mosques to olive groves in Cordoba

Founded by the Romans, Cordoba sits strategically on the Guadalquivir river linking the port of Cadiz to the interior. It was the heart of the Moorish (Arab) empire that ruled Spain for 800 years until the "reconquest" by the Christian forces of King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella I in 1492.

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