There are said to be over 150 million olive trees in the province of Jaén. They dominate the landscape as infinite rows of green against the orange-red earth, occasionally interspersed with stark white farm buildings. It’s beautiful on a grand, sweeping scale, though concealing a bitter and entrenched economic reality. The majority of the olive groves are owned by a mere handful of families, and for most residents this is a very poor area.

Sights may not be as plentiful here as in other parts of Andalucía, but there are a few gems worth going out of your way to take in. Fairly dull in itself, the provincial capital of Jaén merits a visit for its fine cathedral and Moorish baths, while farther to the northwest Baeza and Úbeda are two remarkable Renaissance towns filled with architectural gems. Extending northeast from the town of Cazorla, Parque Natural de Cazorla, Andalucía’s biggest natural park, is a vast expanse of dense woodlands, lakes and spectacular crags.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Spain features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: a 1 minute guide to Spain

Video: a 1 minute guide to Spain

From the Moorish marvels and flamenco heartland of Andalucía to Ibiza's bleached-sand beaches and hedonistic nightlife, Spain is a country you'll want to visit…

16 May 2018 • Colt St. George videocam Video
A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Madrid

A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Madrid

One of the sunniest and liveliest capital cities in Europe, Madrid has a lot to take pride in. Indeed, its inhabitants, the Madrileños, are so proud of their …

15 May 2018 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
An expert’s guide: the best places to stay in Madrid

An expert’s guide: the best places to stay in Madrid

A trio of world-class art galleries, an atmospheric historic core, the most successful club in the history of football and some of the best tapas, bars and nigh…

14 May 2018 • Simon Baskett insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right