Granada is a modern city with numerous historical sights, famous for its exciting nightlife, quirky residents and tapas bars. With its exceptionally favorable geographical location – in the Sierra Nevada foothills and 45 minutes from the Costa Tropical coastline – Granada really has it all.
THE MOOR’S LAST SIGH
There is one popular legend that relates how Boabdil, a pacifist and the last king of the Moors, surrendered Granada without a fight to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. The city was the last fortress of the Moors on the Pyrenean Peninsula. When in 1492, after more than 700 years of Maverick possession, Granada became again part of Christian Spain and Boabadil was forced to leave his beautiful palace, the Alhambra. On his way, the bold and extremely proud Boabadil was so shaken that he could not hide his sadness and cry like a little child. The tears he shed were his realization that he was going to abandon a paradise on Earth. So when Boabdil paused at a mountain top to glance one last time at the beautiful city he had lost, he sighed.
This legend is repeated in numerous poems and works of art that attempt to convey the magic of the city, which has made the mighty and proud ruler cry.
How to get there?
Granada has good air and ground connections that provide easy access to the city by various means of transport: plane, bus, train, car and taxi.
By Plane – Granada Airport is 20 km from Granada and has very good communications with the capital. The nearest airport with a better range of international flight destinations is Malaga. Buses from Malaga to Granada run every one to two hours and take only between 1.5 and 2 hours.
By Train – The visitor can go to Granada by train from Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, or other cities in Spain. Granada has no high-speed rail but has long distance lines, including:
Madrid-Granada: it takes 4.5 hours, there are two daily trips – morning and evening, and the ticket prices start from 27 euros.
Barcelona – Granada: the trip takes almost 12 hours, 1 train in the evening, and the ticket prices start from 30 euros.
Another option is to go from Madrid o Barcelona to Antequera in the high speed train and there take a slower train to Granada.
By Bus – Granada is connected by bus with the other Spanish cities, most principal towns along the Mediterranean coast and with several international destinations.
Things to do:
Alhambra – One of Spain’s most-visited monuments, this UNESCO-recognized wondrous complex of exquisite palaces, patios and fortresses dates back to Moorish times.
Generalife Gardens – The summer gardens of the Nasrid rulers, complete with pools, fruit trees, flowers and tumbling streams. Host to events in the International Festival of Music and Dance, held every June/July.
Albaicin, Mirador San Nicolas – The Moorish quarter, which spreads up the hillside opposite the Alhambra, is full of steep, narrow streets and hotels in converted courtyard houses.At the top is the Mirador San Nicolas, with stunning views of the palace.
Carmenes – Unique to the Albaicin, these are town houses with high walled gardens. Designed for privacy, they were filled with fountains, aromatic plants and kitchen gardens, all looking towards the Alhambra.
Cathedral – Magnificent Gothic basilica built for the Catholic Kings, Isabella and Ferdinand, in 1532.
Science Park – Probably Andalucia’s best interactive museum, this 70km2 site has sections on the human body, Moorish-era scientists and thinkers, and light and sound, as well as a butterfly garden.
Eating, Drinking and Shopping
Grenada has a wonderful selection of traditional recipes to try, ranging from wholesome savory dishes to sweet treats. With year-round sunshine and fertile soil, Grenada produces many organic fruits and vegetables. Not to forget the great variety of freshly caught fish and seafood available too. Healthy and delicious, you’ll be drooling over the options available during your stay.
If you choose to stay in and dine, most of the island’s hotels and resorts have delightful dining options, including on-location elegant restaurants specializing in international and local foods, or if you’re up for a night on the town, Granada has a variety of fine restaurants and eateries scattered around the island, though Grand Anse and St. George’s have the highest concentration of options.
Where to stay?
Find out here affordable accommodation in Granada.