GRANADA - A Travel Guide

Posted on Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Although it was built from Jewish and Moorish heritage, Granada has a modern edge to it. Granada is one of Spain’s hippest and most youthful cities—home to the ‘free tapas’ culture and excellent bar hopping. The rich history and drastic changing of religious heritages over the centuries gives Granada a vibrant and varied culture evident in the architecture of its buildings and styling of its monuments. The contrasts, the colors and the spirit of the city make for an unforgettable visit.

The city is located at the foot of the "Sierre Nevada", Spain's highest mountain-massif with great posssibilities for winter-sports. The highest peak, "Mulhacén" arrives to 3478 meters. On the other hand it is not far from the Mediterranean sea, so Granada is a great place to visit in any season and is included on many of our tours of Spain.

MUST SEE AND DO

Sights—

Alhambra: The “Red Castle”; the largest monument in Granada constructed from cypress and elm

Capilla Real: Elaborately adorned Isabelline Gothic mausoleum

Albayzin: Open air museum located in Granada’s old Muslim quarter

 Hammams de Al-Andalus: Moorish bathhouse

Palacio de Los Leones: One of the most stunning structures in town

Dining—

If you are looking to get a taste of Spain without breaking the bank, Granada is the place for you! Since this city is made of mostly student culture, most districts boast the free tapas culture! Meaning, with every drink purchased at any given tavern, you get a free plate of assorted tapas to enjoy. Le Bella y la Bestia, located in the city’s center is some of the best in Granada. If you’re craving seafood, Oliver has some of the freshest for both lunch and dinner. After dinner, head to the famous Rey Fernando for a frozen treat or traditional Arabic pastry.

Night Life—

La Plaza Nueva is the best place to hit the town in the summertime. This district is booming with late night energy and tons of bars and clubs. Some of the best are Postigo de la Cuna—a jazz club with live performances, and La Estrella—a much younger crowd. Pedro Antonio de Alarcon is where you’ll find most of Granada’s students partying, and for the late night crowd, head over to Mae West.

Family Friendly—

The Sierra Nevada is the perfect place for the family to take a day trip. Enjoy beautiful scenery while taking part in skiing and other snow sports. The gardens at Generalife are something for the kids to enjoy, or if you’re a sports family, the Club de Futbol is a real treat.

HISTORY

Granada didn’t play a significant role in the Roman rule of the Iberian Peninsula during its fall in the early 5th century. In fact, it wasn’t until the Arabs overtook the town, then named Ilbria, that it experienced and economic boost. During the Nazari dynasty in the in 13th century, Granada became quite a large district in Spain, and it was at this time that the monumental Alhambra was erected. The Nazari held Granada until 1492 when it was conquered as the last Muslim kingdom in Spain. In the late 15th century, Christians overtook Granada—forcing high taxes on Arabs and banning the language. During this time, French and English architecture was flourishing, and Granada followed suit with its constructional styling.

Granada became the center of the first revolutionary activity against the Spanish kingdom in the late 18th century, causing the town to spiral into economic crisis. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that Granada started to become the center of artistic movement in Spain with famous artist like the poet Federico Garca Lorca. In the 1970’s, the University of Granada experienced a population boom, virtually saving Granada from its economic crisis and molding it into the modern attraction it is today.

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Granada is located just where the Sierra Nevada Mountains meet the plain of the vega. The steep mountain range beautifully juxtaposes the flat agricultural land the city is built on.

April to June and September to October are the best times to visit Granada. July and August are generally very hot; with temperatures reaching 104 F/40 C. Winter can be rainy, foggy and windy. At the higher altitudes of the Sierra Nevada, temperatures drop dramatically.

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