LIFE IN LUCENA AND MONTILLA
11/05/2011. Living in Lucena and Montilla
Lucena is the second biggest town in the province of Córdoba with a population of roughly 42,000 people. The town boasts a wide range of bars and shops as well as a cinema, theatre, and sports centre. Other attractions and amenities include the castle, museums, galleries, gyms, restaurants, and music conservatory, not to mention the stunning Baroque and Renaissance churches scattered throughout the town. Nightlife in Lucena typically revolves around tapear: going from bar to bar enjoying the (usually complementary) tapas. Indeed the food in Lucena is second to none. Despite these amenities however, Lucena is, at its heart, a traditional Andalusian town. Life moves a little more slowly here and this might pose a challenge to those used to the rhythms and excitement of the big city. For those looking for a taste of authentic Andalusian life, however, Lucena presents a wonderful compromise between the relaxed pace of the pueblo and the amenities of a bigger town.
Lying thirty minutes to the north and surrounded by a sea of vineyards and olive trees, the picturesque town of Montilla has roughly half the population of Lucena. Nevertheless, the town offers a dynamic combination of traditional small-town Spanish life with a vibrant cultural scene. Amenities include restaurants, bars, shops, gyms, a sports centre, swimming pool, museums, galleries, a peña flamenca, theatre, and a regular program of cultural and musical events. Montilla is perhaps most famous for its bodegas which produce the potent sherry-like drink known as fino, sought the world over. Smaller than its sister town, Montilla offers a relaxed pace of living and the opportunity to experience all that traditional Andalucía has to offer. Nevertheless, Montilla does boast a train station with services running north to Córdoba and on to Madrid, as well as south to Málaga, ensuring that the city is never too far away.
While living in a pueblo is not without its challenges, those of us who have made our homes here would say that the pros more than make up for the cons. Both towns lie on the edge of the stunning Parque Natural de la Sierra Subbétic, which offers hiking and cycling unmatched in the region. Situated as they are in the geographical heart of Andalucía, both Lucena and Montilla offer regular connections to the four major cities of the region. Seville, Córdoba, Granada, and Málaga are all easily accessible by public transport allowing you to sample the amazing diversity of Andalucía. One might choose to spend a weekend skiing in the Sierra Nevada, a little over two hours east, or drive an hour south to Málaga and the world-famous Costa del Sol. There is something for everyone here.