The river’s name comes from the Arabic “wadi al-kabir,” meaning “great river.”
The fifth longest river in the Iberian Peninsula, the Guadalquivir is the only great navigable river in Spain. Rising in the mountains of the Jaen province, it flows in a westward direction for 408 miles, emptying in to the Atlantic Ocean and Sanlucar de Barrameda, on the Gulf of Cadiz.
In addition to hosting some of the richest and most varied areas of plant and animal life in Europe, the Guadalquivir supports the rich agriculture of Andalusia and nurtures some of Spain’s loveliest cities, including Cordoba and Seville. The countless sieges and battles that have been fought on its waters also make the region irresistible to history lovers.
Traveling the vast expanse of the Guadalquivir aboard a river cruise ship is an ideal way to drink in the awesome natural display, where scattered islands heave with bird life, from herons, storks, and cormorants to hawks and eagles overhead. Called by knowing travelers “the greatest European river you’ve never heard of,” a Guadalquivir River cruise is the ideal way to experience the very heart and soul of Spain.