Granada Travel Guide
Situated in eastern Andalucia, Granada is the capital city of the province of Granada. The last Moorish foothold in Spain and immeasurably proud of its rich Moorish heritage, it is a vibrant city that embodies its geographical location and historical legacy: a veritable meeting point of European and North African cultures. This Granada travel guide will help you in discovering Granada before you journey there for yourself.
The strong Moorish influence is visible in every aspect of Granada’s life, from the artistic grandeur of its UNESCO-listed architecture to its soul-searching ‘flamenco’, spicy gastronomy and melodic language. The region of Granada boasts the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the beaches of the ‘Costa Tropical’, the fertile plains of the ‘Vega’ and a glorious Mediterranean climate. Granada is also a thriving university city with a host of quality hotels and services, an excellent nightlife and an abundance of unique sightseeing opportunities.
The jewels of Granada’s historical crown are undeniably its awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage-listed ‘Alhambra’ and ‘Generalife’ gardens. Framed by the Sierra Nevada Mountains and perched on a hill overlooking the city beneath, ‘La Alhambra’ has been referred to as the most sensual building in Europe. Originally a fortress, it was later expanded by successive sultans to include the palaces, reception rooms and residences of the members of court. Total harmony with Nature is apparent throughout the Alhambra’s delicate architecture as light patterns and water enhance the beauty of the engraved walls, the serenity of its ‘patios’ and the seduction and femininity of its harem buildings and baths. Sensuality and spirituality also characterise the fountains, enclosed gardens and shaded benches of the neighbouring ‘Generalife’ gardens, the sultan’s summer palace.
Albaicín, another UNESCO world heritage site and the best preserved Arab quarter in Spain, lies on a hill below the Alhambra and is a picturesque maze of winding, narrow streets, home to tiny ‘flamenco’ dens, aromatic tea rooms, ethnic restaurants and buzzing outdoor bazaars. Sacromonte, a neighbourhood made up of a multitude of cave dwellings, lies just above Albaicín and is home to a longstanding ‘gitano’ community and the birthplace of the ‘flamenco’ ‘zambra’ dance.
Granada itself is a thriving university city humming with ‘tapas’ bars, ‘flamenco’ bars, plenty of shopping opportunities, a multitude of Spanish or ethnic restaurants and a very lively nightlife. The region’s gastronomy is mouth-watering, with an evening of ‘tapeo’ alone providing enough to satisfy many a visitor’s hunger.
Away from the city centre, the nearby mountains of the Sierra Nevada are a favourite skiing destination from December to April while the lower slopes are excellent for hiking around the mountain villages of ‘Las Alpujarras’.
Granada awaits you with its legacy of sublime architecture, beautiful natural landscapes, true Andalusian hospitality and a taste of that exotic mixture of Spanish and north African cultures.