In Andalucia, there’s a quaint village in the province of Córdoba that offers a perpetual Christmas atmosphere. Perfect for getting into the holiday spirit.
Under the often clear blue skies, the village’s 9,801 inhabitants reside in white houses nestled in narrow alleyways. Moreover, often these are connected by stairs. Surrounded by the Sierras Subbéticas, a landscape of rolling hills covered in oak forests and watercourses lined with white poplars, this village offers a beautiful natural setting and numerous nearby trails, ideal not just for those with a sweet tooth, but also for nature enthusiasts.
A haven for Spanish Christmas sweets
This eternal Christmas vibe is because the village is the production centre of ‘mantecados’ and ‘polvorones’, traditional Spanish Christmas sweets. These delights, individually wrapped in shimmering, crinkly paper and sold by weight, fill the supermarket shelves from mid-October.
Rute: a village immersed in Christmas
Rute, located an hour southeast of Córdoba city, cherishes its sweet Christmas treats so much that it even has a dedicated museum: The Museo Artesanal del Turrón, Mantecado y Mazapán, open all year round. Anís (anise liqueur) and chocolate also play a central role in Rute’s Christmas traditions, highlighted by Spain’s largest chocolate nativity scene.
The annual production of these festive delicacies has turned Rute into one of Córdoba’s most visited villages in December. Furthermore, it’s become a significant attraction for visitors eager to experience and taste the unique Christmas ambiance.
Attractions in Rute
Despite its modest size, Rute offers various attractions:
Several anise distilleries in Rute, including Anís Machaquito & Licores, offer factory tours. Here, visitors can learn about the production of anise liqueur and enjoy tastings. The Museo del Anís, a specialized museum, focuses on the history of Rute’s famous anise liqueur. Additionally, the Museos del aguardiente anisado de Rute y España combines art and history museums showcasing the tradition of anise brandy in Rute and Spain.
Belén de Chocolate, Chocolate Nativity Scene
Rute is famous for its gigantic chocolate nativity scene, considered the largest in Spain and perhaps the world. Crafted by Galleros Artesanos for 90 years, the nativity scene, with a different theme each year, is displayed until January 6th.
Museo del Azúcar, La Flor del Rute
A specialised store and museum focused on confectionery.
Embalse de Iznájar
Close to Rute, the Iznájar reservoir is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, or relaxing by the water.
Rute is known for its flower traditions, featuring two unique wild flowers, Allium reconditum and Hypochaeris rutea, growing among the rocks, attracting photographers.
Lastly, don’t miss a walk to Plaza Fresno for a panoramic view of the surroundings.