Andalusia is a popular destination for anyone seeking a Mediterranean climate, millennia of history, and a surfeit of good wine and olive oil--or liquid gold. Most visitors head to Costa del Sol or Granada, but according to our Traveler of the Week, the province of Jaén is worth a visit. Niiko shares of his time there in his well-named journal, Here Be Olives.
If you’re already in the area, getting there is easy, as the city of Jaén itself is halfway between Cordoba and Granada and “train and bus services are good and car access is simple.” The area is well known for olive oil production, which “finds its way into all corners of local cuisine, and is perhaps best enjoyed simply – as a tostada (toasted roll) with blended tomato (another Andalucían staple), the dark, pure, almost green oil is about as good as food gets.”
Good food aside, the Sierra de Andujar Natural Park is a highlight. Niiko makes the point that while it’s not as stunning as other big parks in the area, it’s less developed and visited. This makes it an ideal home for one of its residents, the critically endangered Iberian Lynx.
For more on Jaén and what it has to offer, read the rest of Niiko’s journal, which does include a comparison of a UNESCO World Heritage site to “a great beast of Renaissance architecture tramping across southern Spain” that “it scars the scrubby earth with its pilaster-claws and gobbles up the terrain with a red-brick tongue.” Muy interesante.
Posted by eyesoftheworld (Anna Welch)