Rural Grenada Villa
Granada - Rural Granada Villas Carrera del Darro
Granada - Rural Granada Villas Alhambra

"He who has not seen Granada, has seen nothing" popular saying

Granada is an enchanting city, lying at the foot of the impressive Sierra Nevada mountain range, the highest in Spain. It was the capital of Spain's last Moorish kingdom, before it was reconquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492. As a result, Granada has an unmistakable Arab flavour. Its cuisine, crafts and urban layout are a consequence of the city's glorious history and give it a unique charm. To experience this, all you need to do is stroll around the narrow cobbled streets where you stumble across the atmospheric 'teterías' (tea shops) serving a full range of teas, including the mint teas so typical of North Africa, served in an unmistakably Moorish environment. Add to this the many fountains, viewpoints, Cármenes (the villas surrounded by gardens typical of the city) and the spectacular views to the surrounding snow-capped mountains, and it is easy to see why Granada attracts visitors from all around the world.

Granada is, of course, home to the Alhambra and the Generalife gardens, which together with the Albaicín, one of the oldest districts in Granada, have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The Alhambra Palace is an artistic gem of Arab Granada, built between the 13th and the 15th centuries. Today, the monument is divided into four main areas: the Nasrid Palaces which are composed of many rooms linked by courtyards, gardens and fountains, the military zone or Alcazaba , the city or Medina and the Generalife, the summer residence of the Nazarite Monarchs. Other notable buildings belonging to a different time period are also included, such as the Renaissance style Palace of Charles V, which houses the Alhambra Museum (most of the items are from the site of the monument) and the Fine Art Museum.

Due to the popularity of this attraction, advance booking is recommended.

Click here for more information on visiting the Alhambra.

If you want to enjoy the experience of the Alhambra Palace to the full, then a stay at the Parador within its grounds is a must. The Parador is a converted 15th Century Convent, built by decision of the Catholic Monarchs. Also situated within the grounds of the Alhambra is the 4 star Alhambra Palace Hotel, inaugurated by His Majesty King Alfonso XIII on the first of January, 1910.

Other main attractions in the city include the Albaicín, one of the oldest quarters in Granada and one that has also been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its steep narrow streets lead up the Mirador de San Nicolás from where there are magnificent views of the Alhambra.

Set on one of the other hills in Granada is the Sacromonte district, a gypsy quarter which is home to cave-houses, whitewashed with a mixture of copper and lime, and with its alleyways decorated with gardens of cacti, carnations and jasmine. This district is also where you will find the 'zambras' (Flamenco dancing).

cathedralAmong the monuments worth visiting are the 16th century Cathedral, one of the most beautiful examples of Renaissance style, the Corral del Carbón, an old Arab corn exchange, which is the present site of the Andalusian Legacy Foundation, and the Plaza de Bib-Rambla, famous for its flower market.

Also of Arab origin are the Alcaicería (silk exchange), an ancient marketplace where nowadays you can buy regional crafts; and the Palacio de la Madraza, an excellent example of Muslim architecture.

A tourist pass (bono turístico) can be purchased and it allows direct access - one visit only - to the following monuments: the Alhambra and the Generalife, the Cathedral, the Royal Chapel, The Cartuja, the Monasterio de San Jerónimo, and the interactive Science Park Museum, including 9 free trips on any of Granada's mini-busses or city busses and one ticket valid for 24 hours for the Granada tour bus, Granada City Sightseeing.

There are also other discounts on hotels and restaurants available to pass holders. The City Pass is valid for five days from its initial purchase date. In order to visit the Nasrid Palaces it is necessary to establish the exact date and time of entrance, which could be on any given day within the City Pass' validity. Further information on the pass and how to buy it can be found on the Granada tourist board website.

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