Road Trip in Spain – Marbella to Madrid

The window of good weather in our Marbella golfing paradise is over with temperatures dropping another 5 degrees and the chance of rain on the continual rise. Time to start the drive back to France. 

We decide on a stop in Madrid. (No hurry to get back home. It’s only colder in France with more rain.) Don has never really visited this capital city and I haven’t spent time there in a good decade. Just 6 hours from Malaga to Madrid, we have time along the way to pay homage to one of our favorite destinations, the Mesquita in Córdorba.


On the drive north low clouds cling to the hilltops and threaten rain. Olives continue to be the crop of choice and will be all the way to Madrid. Our first view of Córdoba is a low bank of clouds hanging in the Guadalquiver river valley in which the city located.

Driving is prohibited in the casco viejo, old city, but there is easy parking at the underground garage on Avenida del Aeropuerto, a 15 minute walk to the Mesquita.

Much has already been written about this sublime structure, a church turned into a mosque turned into a cathedral. In its heyday, 10th century AD, the Mosque was one of the most important Islamic places of worship in the world. What remains today is a stunning contrast of Islamic simplicity and Baroque Catholicism. In mid-January there were relatively few tourists inside the vast cavernous space.

North from Córdoba the terrain flattens – an agricultural basic with olives, olives and more olives with a few vineyards thrown in as you near the Madrid metropolis.

Madrid After Dark

After dark the majestic avenues of the city center are illuminated, perfect for an evening stroll.

January 17, 2013

For links to all the posts in this series see the Spain page.