If you’re travelling to Andalucia, make sure to spend some time in Carmona, Spain. This little town is one of the most charming in the area and makes a brilliant base for exploring nearby Granada, Córdoba, Marbella or Seville.
Carmona, Spain Highlights
At just 19 miles from Seville, Carmona is easy to visit on an Andalusian road trip. This is one of the oldest towns in Europe.
The town’s motto, As the Morning Star shines in the dawn, so shines Carmona in Andalusia, was given by Ferdinand III of Castile who captured it from the Moors in 1247.
Carmona, Spain Tours
One of the nicest things about Carmona, Andalucia is that the Tourist Office run complimentary group guided tours of the town from Wednesday to Sunday except in July and August. Our guide showed us to some of the top attractions including The Córdoba Gate.
You can drive through the gate on your way into town. Its borded by two octagonal turrets and though it dates from Roman times, it was altered in the eighteenth century to the monument that you see today.
There were originally four gates in the town and two remain – the other one is The Gate of Sevilla where the Tourist Office is located. Do drop in here as they’re extremely helpful.
The Alcazar de la Puerta de Sevilla, or Fort of Carmona is also situated here and is well worth a visit for the far reaching views from its ramparts. Remains found nearby date from the seventh century BC.
The Carthaginians constructed the gate itself, and the Romans reinforced the fortress with the addition of a gate.
Carmona Town Center
Iglesia de Santa Maria is an impressive church, constructed between 1424 and 1518 on Plaza Marqués de las Torres. There are several other picturesque squares in Carmona including Plaza del Mercado, the market square which sells food produce and flamenco costumes.
Plaza de San Fernando is a natural meeting place for locals.
It is borded by some attractive buildings including this tiled beauty.
Carmona Town Hall
Located on Calle el Salvador, Carmona Town Hall houses a hidden gem, a Roman tiled floor that’s extremely well preserved. It features a head of Medusa, and is easily visited during normal weekday hours.
Museo de la Ciudad de Carmona
Carmona City Museum is also interesting for its historic artefacts, presenting a snapshot of local history from the palaeolithic period, through the Bronze Age and Roman Carmona to the Islamic Middle Ages and the present day.
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Convento de Santa Clara
Perhaps our favourite of all Carmona’s sights is the Convento de Santa Clara. The interior is breathtaking and a great example of Andalusian Moorish architecture from the 16th century.
You can buy cakes from the nuns, and they’re well packaged enough to bring back as gifts. It’s possible to buy similar cakes in Seville where it’s a popular tourist attraction, but there you don’t meet the nuns.
Wandering around the cloisters, you get a real sense of peace. In fact Carmona, Spain is one of the most relaxing of all the places that you’ll visit on your Andalusia road trip.
We recommend staying at the Parador de Carmona, Andalucia. One of the best hotels in Carmona, it’s located in an Arab fortress dating from the 14th century. The parador has been sensitively restored to maintain its original features.
The paradors are government-run hotels in impressive buildings and locations and this is one of the very best. There are also great paradors in Jaen and Ubeda, both also in Andalucia. Carmona Parador has a very distinct style of its own.
You’ll pass through the fortified medieval walls to get to the hotel entrance. Parking is available in the cobbled courtyard.
The citadel was originally constructed by the Moors and later extended by King Pedro. First impressions are excellent – the receptionists are extremely friendly and speak perfect English.
After a speedy check-in, we headed to our room, a spacious bedroom with a seating area. With two adjacent windows, the room was light and airy with a view over the valley.
The bathroom has two vanity basins, and a complete set of Paradores toiletries. It’s fun to explore the rest of the property, starting with a stylish series of lounge bars.
Continue to the Moorish-style tiled patio area, where you can soak up the sun by the fountain or seek shade to the side, and on to the outdoor bar area with its panoramic views.
Heading outside, you follow a path downhill that is bordered by flowers. It leads to a pool area with sun loungers and a barbecue grill.
The pool was just being filled up when we were there in April. It must be perfect for bathing now, making this one of the best hotels in Carmona, Spain.
Restaurants in Carmona, Andalucia
This particular Parador is renowned for its cuisine and the vaulted dining room is a lovely spot in which to sample it. Executive chef Francisco Caparrós Soler favours seasonal ingredients and has a talent for presentation. The star of the show is the extensive dessert buffet.
Within a few minutes walk of the Parador, you’ll come across La Yedra, which serves up some of the best food that you’ll taste on our Andalucian road trip.
Also close by is Molino de la Romera – set in a converted mill, it’s a good choice for simple home cooking.
Casa Puerta de Cordoba is a cocktail bar in a former palace. The drinks here are potent and the vibe is relaxed.
We also recommend spending a weekend in Seville, just half an hour away by car from Carmona, Spain. Further afield, there are many fun things to do in Marbella, Cordoba, Jaen and Ubeda, other interesting Andalucia towns.
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