Jaén is probably best known for its abundance of olive trees which dominate the landscape and punctuate the horizon, interspersed by stark white-washed farms and houses against a deep orange backdrop; the colour of the soil. This province is the world's leading producer of olives and olive oil. Little wonder that it is also the venue for the world's largest trade fair devoted to this quintessentially Mediterranean crop which takes place in Jaén city during the first week of October.
The landscape of Jaén province is expansive, unspoilt and very beautiful. The small towns boast numerous magnificent Renaissance buildings - exuberant palaces, richly endowed churches and stately public squares. Some of the towns and villages worth visiting here include Baeza, Ubeda, Alcalá.
Jaén is a city that every lover of Andalucia should visit, enjoy and spend a good deal of time getting to know. Not only does the city have an ancient and fascinating history, but the castle that towers over its winding streets offers some of the most quintessentially Andalusian views there are to be had.
Areas to Explore in Jaén Province
Jaén is a city that every lover of Andalucia should visit, enjoy and - if possible - spend a good deal of time getting to know. Not only does the city have an ancient and fascinating history, but… More →
Ubeda (pronounced OO-bay-da), with its wealth of Renaissance palaces and churches, has much in common with its counterpart Baeza.
Baeza is tiny, compact and provincial with a kind of perpetual Sunday air about it. At its heart is the combined Plaza Mayor and the paseo which is flanked by pavement cafes but delightfully low… More →
La Carolina is a small town of 16.000 inhabitants is located in the north of Jaen province adjacent to the A-4 Seville to Madrid motorway. It is the last town of any size to stop if heading out… More →
Despite some recent construction around the village, the view of Hornos del Segura from afar remains spectacular. The ancient wall of this former Arab fortress stands almost intact, and the… More →
The delightful small town of Alcalá La Real has a population of approximately 21,000 and is located on the N432 between Cordoba (85km) and Granada (47km) although, technically, it falls within the… More →
Baños de Encina offers visitors interesting historical and artistic heritage as well as attractions for nature lovers. Originally named simply Baños, the village bacame 'de la Encina' ('of the… More →
Although of significance to both the Iberian and Roman civilisations, it was the Moors who brought splendour to Iznatoraf.
45 kilometres east of the city of Jaén, within the Sierra de Mágina mountain range, lies Albánchez de Úbeda. Even from a distance, the village can be clearly recognised, its white buildings… More →
Natural Parks and natural monuments in Jaen Province
The rugged Sierra Mágina Natural Park covers 19,900ha of rocky, steep limestone terrain, with precipitous cliffs and high summits that are often snow-capped in winter. Evocatively named by the… More →
The gently rolling 74,774ha Sierra de Andújar, part of the vast Sierra Morena, is densely wooded and boasts one of Andalucia's best preserved expanses of Mediterranean forest and scrubland.… More →
With a total surface area of 209,920ha and covering almost a fifth of Jaen province, this is Spain's largest protected area and one its most extensive forested zones. Located in eastern Jaen… More →
The Despeñaperros Natural Park is a magnificent sheer-walled rocky river gorge that forms the backdrop of the most dramatic gateway into Andalucia. As the only natural break in the 500km-long… More →
Close to the Andalucia-La Mancha border and the Despeñaperros Natural Park are a series of magnificent waterfalls (cascadas), making a total protected area of 534ha. On the Guarrizas river, the… More →
The Alto Guadalquivir Natural Area comprises three reservoirs (embalses) covering 663ha, which are situated along the upper reaches of the Guadalquivir river. To the east is the largest one, the… More →
This is one of two sites in Andalucia with dinosaur prints. The 24 prints cover an area of sandstone only 20m² on a site near Santisteban del Puerto, northeast of Úbeda. They date from the Late… More →
El Piélago Natural Monument consists of a Roman bridge, the Puente de Vadollano, which spans the Guarrizas river and its granite rock formations. The river has two impressive waterfalls.
Los Órganos Natural Monument is located within the Despeñaperros Natural Park very close to the Andalucia-La Mancha border. It is a spectacular geological feature, with massive layers of vertical… More →
Located on the fringes of the Sierra Mágina Natural Park, this centuries-old woodland of Aleppo pine trees (pinus halepensis) is one of the best preserved of its kind in Andalucia. The trees, aged… More →
This magnificent gall oak, the Quejigo del Amo o del Carbón, is thought to be more than 500 years old. Its name (del Carbón) reflects a common use of gall oaks, to make their wood into charcoal.… More →
Located near the Laguna del Chinche Natural Reserve is the 65ha saltwater Laguna Honda, with an additional 220ha area around the lake shores. It usually dries up in summer, so it's best to visit… More →
Just east Ubeda and Beaza lies the Sierras de Cazorla nature park, arguably one of the most beautiful nature parks in the Andalucia.
Many travellers enter Andalucia through another nature park named Despeñaperros. Here the twin carriages NIV motorway are forced to part company to negotiate the narrow gorge aptly named "Gateway to Andalucia" (240 km South of Madrid and 40 km south of Valdepeñas.