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Visiting Granada in Spain

Located at the meeting point of three rivers at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is an average sized Spanish city blessed with an abundance of history and culture. Ruled by Moorish Princes for over eight hundred years, it is heir to a rich cultural legacy and boasts unmatched examples of Spanish-Muslim work. The city is also home to the gypsies of Andalucia and its unique blend of Arab, Jewish and Gypsy influences helped produce the Granadinas style of Flamenco.

Granada is most welcoming the autumn and spring, with plenty of sunshine and warmth to be had. It is also a popular destination during early summer but the soaring temperatures in August can make the heat unbearable.

Granada – Top Attractions

The Alhambra is the jewel of Granada and possibly the top tourist attraction of Spain. Seated on a hill above the city, this red stone fortress is one of the most remarkable and best preserved examples of Arab art in the world. Pronounced a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Alhambra consists of three parts; the sumptuous Palaces, the ancient battlements and the magnificent waterworks of the Generalife gardens. Tourists are advised to procure their tickets well in advance for getting one on arrival is mostly impossible.
The Albaicin or the old Arabic Quarter is a wonderful neighborhood located close to the Alhambra. After the Spanish recoup, this locale became the primary Arab settlement and with its narrow cobbled streets, many terraces and characteristic architectural style, still holds echoes of its recent way of life. The quarter now houses several cafes and restaurants which provide an excellent vantage point for viewing a sunset over the Alhambra.

Another popular neighborhood of Granada is the gypsy settlement of Sacromonte. The gypsies arrived here soon after the Spanish re-conquered the city and made their homes in the caves of Sacromonte. Apart from visiting the famous Abbey, visitors flock here during the evening to witness a Flamenco show and experience the nightlife.

Other notable attractions in Granada are the Arab Baths of Banuelo dating from the eleventh century, the Royal Chapel which served as the resting place of Catholic Monarchs, the Cathedral of Granada dating from the 16th century and the Arab merchant house Corral del Carbon. Realejo, Paseo de los Tristes, Carrera del Darro and Plaza Nueva are some neighborhoods offering varying landscapes and feels of the city.

Located in eastern Andalucia, Granada is an excellent base for exploring the surrounding region. The Costa Tropical lays a short drive away and offers beautiful Mediterranean beaches for sunbathers. The Sierra Nevada ski resort is also close at hand providing a superb skiing escape from Granada. The city’s unique placement makes it theoretically possible to go skiing and sunbathing on the same day. The cities of Malaga, Cordoba and Seville are all placed 2-3 hours drive away providing several day trip options.

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