Exploring Jaen & Jaen Tapas Tour

Recently renewing my acquaintance with Shawn - Sevilla's 'Queen of Tapas' in my home city of Jaen was great fun. Three years ago I met Shawn in the fabulous city of Sevilla and we had a great tapas experience, alhough mine was rather 'dry' as I had to forego alcohol due to a 3 hour drive home.

Baeza


Shawn was now on an exploration of Jaen province's best - the twinned UNESCO towns of Ubeda and Baeza and Jaen city. I love both those former towns but at 1.5 hours away I don't know them as well as Jaen.


Jaen Cathedral


Jaen is a short drive away and a worthwhile one, especially to show others its highlights and back streets. Or see as much as possible while trying to take it easy and sampling the tapas bars, which I'm sure everyone knows still offer free tapas with your drinks. These range from crisps, olives, which goes without saying in Spain's olive oil capital, to very tasty home-made offering or seafood are served with each drink.

Rosada Tapa, Pato Rojo Jaen


The main and most prominent tourist highlight visible from miles or kilometres around is Santa Catalina hill with its castle and parador of the same name. The Parador de Santa Catalina has won awards for the best castle/hotel. It should, I think, also get some recognition for the best and most far reaching city view.

View from Santa Catalina, Jaen

White Monumental Cross, Jaen

After walking along the hill top and popping into the castle a drink in the Parador de Santa Catalina is so in order. Champagne was the order, while I, the chaffeur, had a beer on one of the tiny, 3 or 4 tabled, flower filled, railing surrounded patios.

Jaen Parador

Visiting the white cross at twilight is magical as the lights of the city turn on almost one by one and day fades gently into a warm sultry night. And then back down into the narrow city streets to try several bars and more tapas. A perfect ending.

Jaen at night, me under arch, Cathedral behind


Read other posts about Pato Rojo, our favourite bar in Jaen, What To Do On a Weekend in Jaen or see some more photos of Jaen Parador.