Andalusia - Cordoba Courtyard Festival

Old Nov 27th, 2023, 02:20 PM
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Andalusia - Cordoba Courtyard Festival

Hi fodorites. I'm in the very very early stages of planning a trip to the south of Spain in 2024. We were originally thinking of including it as part of a larger trip to Portugal next Christmas to visit family and friends but realize the weather may not be ideal (especially in Granada) and perhaps it warrants a separate trip possibly in May of 2024. We saw some videos showing the Cordoba Courtyard Festival and thought it looked fun. Does anyone have any personal experience attending this? I'm unsure if it's something we should seek out or avoid lol. It's being held May 6-19/24. As mentioned, this is very early stages - I haven't even looked at flights yet. Any input would be most welcome!
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Old Nov 28th, 2023, 11:16 AM
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topping - hoping someone with first-hand experience can advise. Many thanks!
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Old Nov 29th, 2023, 05:27 AM
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I don't have any recent experience with the patio festival.
Fodorite progol did attend and I hope she sees this and can respond.
What I do know is this:
it's become increasingly popular and thus, increasingly crowded. The lines during the day and especially on weekends (when visitors come up from Sevilla) can be long. Entrance is regulated, thus the lines.
It's been deemed of "international tourist merit" and has UNESCO Cultural Heritage status. I imagine you've seen how crowded the patios can get and how hot it can be in Córdoba in May from some YouTube videos.

These days I personally try to stay away from Córdoba from mid May through mid September because of the heat. Last year (festival held from May 2-14) the highs during the festival ranged from 27 to 34C. But you may have a much better heat/crowd tolerance than I do.

Outside of the festival (late September or better still early October can be more pleasant), you can see some of the patios (4 or 5) open to the public in the San Basilio quarter or better still, visit the Renaissance palace-museum, the Palacio de Viana with its twelve interconnecting patios.
These patios have diverse vegetation, not only geraniums, but also tall cypress trees, orange trees, fountains and lovely tiles. The palace was occupied by noble families until the end of the 20th century. Also during the downstairs visit one can see the stables with an 18th century wedding carriage painted by Vicente López, used for the wedding of King Alfonso XII plus the kitchen. (I didn't purchase the ticket for the upstairs guided tour in Spanish, with leaflets in English). This palace-museum receives almost 200,000 visitors a year. Entrance to patios: 7 euros.

Palacio de Viana - Palacio de Viana.

https://www.turismodecordoba.org/palace-of-viana#.
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Old Nov 29th, 2023, 07:49 AM
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Kiddo and maribel,

I just saw this before Maribel responded and I agree with maribel's description of the Patio Festival. We were there in 2015 and I arranged my itinerary just to include it. But, honestly, we found it underwhelming. It was crowded with very long lines so we lost patience very quickly and didn't waste our time trying to see any other patios. Maybe we missed something -- but we were happy to escape the crowds. Honestly, though, there are flowers EVERYWHERE - you don't need to wait on a line to see someone's patio to see flowers! Okay, I know that's not the entire point of the event, but if I were to return, I'd definitely not go at that time. We did, however, visit the Palacio de Viana, which maribel mentions, and we did enjoy that visit. .

Flowers aside, the most breathtaking sight is the mosque. One of my all time favorite places.
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Old Nov 29th, 2023, 08:15 AM
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Thanks, progol, so glad you responded with your feedback!

Incidentally, I read in the Córdoba news that they were actually thinking of changing the dates of the festival to earlier, late April, because at the end of the festival this past May the flowers were dragging, looking a little forlorn, due to the heat. Climate change and all of Andalucía is heating up!
On October 8 the high in Córdoba reached 35C (95F).

Last edited by Maribel; Nov 29th, 2023 at 08:26 AM.
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Old Nov 29th, 2023, 12:11 PM
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Thank you so much Progol and Maribel! That was exactly the type of information I was hoping to receive. It sounds like it's something we will take a pass on. Also with your comments about the heat in May, makes me think we should reconsider our timing - either April or October. Thanks again.
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Old Nov 30th, 2023, 01:39 PM
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I certainly wouldn't put you off going to Cordoba, we loved it and it has a lot to offer, but if you want a town full of flowers you should look at Estepona, the most floriforous town I have ever seen, all year round too. The road that used to run through the town adjascent to the beach has been pedestrianised and converted into a lovely park / promonade.
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Old Dec 1st, 2023, 11:40 AM
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I was in Cordoba during the festival in May 2017. I loved it! Then again, the festival coinciding with the dates of my visit was a nice surprise; I didn't plan my trip around it. Your enjoyment will probably depend a lot on expectations. If you go thinking it's going to be the most wonderful, magical thing you've experienced you may be underwhelmed and put off by the crowds. Southern Spain in gorgeous, so if it works for your trip to be in Cordoba for the festival and you have realistic expectations, I think you'll enjoy it.

My trip report includes photos, so you can click on my name to read about my experience and see my photos.
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Old Dec 1st, 2023, 11:44 AM
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Ooops, I just went back and looked at my TR and discovered it doesn't actually have photos. I don't think Fodors had that capability enabled back then.
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Old Dec 2nd, 2023, 10:24 AM
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Thank you tonyee and memejs!
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