City of Úbeda: Andalucía's hidden gem

City of Úbeda: Andalucía's hidden gem

3 minutes to read

Most foreigners will most definitely not have heard of Úbeda, so let me quickly tell you about it. Úbeda is located in the Andalusian region of Jaén, right to the north of beautiful Granada. The region is known for being a crossroad where many historic battles of the utmost importance have taken place, deciding the fate of the nation. It is also the country's greatest olive-oil producer, so if you've ever had Spanish olive oil, it almost definitely came from Jaén (especially if it was good). 

Taste Spain's best olive oil in Ubeda
Taste Spain's best olive oil in Ubeda
Úbeda, Jaén, Spain

Úbeda is one of the most famous and beautiful towns of the region. Despite the fact that it only has 40,000 inhabitants it attracts a large number of Spanish visitors who do tourism within their own country. What's good about it is that it's not as hot in summer as other Andalusian regions (like Seville, or Granada). It is also yet to catch the eye of mass-tourism, so it remains a tranquil place to visit, with very affordable prices, amazing food and inspirational architecture.

Picture © Credit to iStock/Digicomphoto
Picture © Credit to iStock/Digicomphoto

Home to the Spanish Renaissance

You've definitely heard about Úbeda if you've studied Art History or if you're interested in Spanish architecture. The Renaissance, as you know, was an artistic and cultural movement that developed in Florence and quickly spread out to Spain and France. Thanks to the genius of Andrés de Vandelvira and Deán Ortega, a wonderful artist and architect, and a rich and tasteful patron, Úbeda witnessed the building of marvels such as the El Salvador chapel in the 15th and 16th centuries, which you can see in the picture above. Those were indeed the years of greatest splendor of the city, which is no more than 8km away from Baeza, another beautiful Renaissance town I will soon be writing about. Both are simply full of charm!

Picture © Credit to iStock/venemama
Picture © Credit to iStock/venemama
Parador de Úbeda
Parador de Úbeda
Plaza Vázquez de Molina, 23400 Úbeda, Jaén, Spain
Historic city of Ubeda
Historic city of Ubeda
23400 Úbeda, Jaén, Spain

Scenery aplenty

Úbeda has two main squares with loads of beautiful monuments, buildings, gardens and fountains to enjoy. One of these is right next to an old Renaissance palace that was turned into a Parador (a famous chain of high-quality Spanish hotels). It is in fact not the only palace in Úbeda that was turned into a hotel, and maybe not the most beautiful one. Right next to these squares you'll find a wonderful mirador with a fountain in the middle from where you'll be able to view the landscape of the region for miles. Úbeda, just like Baeza next to it, are cities that were placed as strategic defensive enclaves. From this mirador you'll see the Guadalquivir Valley, Sierra Mágina and the Sierra de Cazorla - beautiful natural parks that are counted amongst the greatest glories of the region.

Picture © Credit to iStock/m-martínez
Picture © Credit to iStock/m-martínez
Picture © Credits to iStock/grantuco
Picture © Credits to iStock/grantuco

Gastronomy

So here comes the favourite part for us all. Jaén is one of the few remaining places where the true concept of the Spanish tapa still goes on (by ordering a beer or a soft drink you get a good-sized plate of, of jamón, salchichóntortilla, or some sandwich, not just a few olives). That alone makes it worth visiting the city right? Jaén, because of its olive-oil, its tapas and the quality of its cuisine is undoubtedly a region that will not leave you gastronomically down. I suggest you visit Casa Juanito, a great restaurant/hotel located between Úbeda and Baeza, which has a 4**** rating on TripAdvisor (yet deserves more). Just as it says on the link, they serve a degustation (tasting) menu that you will appreciate (it includes a typical dish that is known as "old clothes" made out of meat, potatoes and legumes; it tastes much better than it sounds!).

More...

If you ever pass by Úbeda, make sure you don't miss out on loads of great possibilities it offers... so check them out right here below, enjoy!

Escape Room Úbeda
Escape Room Úbeda
C/ Santo Domingo, 2, 23400 Úbeda, Spain
Museo Arqueológico de Úbeda
Museo Arqueológico de Úbeda
C/Cervantes,6, 23400 Úbeda, Spain
Teatro Don Bosco Úbeda
Teatro Don Bosco Úbeda
C/ Ramón Gutierrez, 23400 Úbeda, Spain
Bowlingvico Úbeda
Bowlingvico Úbeda
Calle Albañilería, 23400 Úbeda, Spain
Sala Lokamia Ubeda
Sala Lokamia Ubeda
23400, 23400 Úbeda, Spain

Cover picture © Credit to iStock/fotomicar

Mentioned places


The author

Antonio Nogueras Malpesa

Antonio Nogueras Malpesa

Hello, I am Antonio from Seville. I moved to Brussels a few years ago but I have always come back to Andalucía and the rest of Spain, more and more astounded each time by its mysterious beauty.

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