Granada is a province in Andalusia in Spain. The coast of Granada province, the Costa Tropical, attracts hordes of Spanish and foreign beach-seekers. The city of Granada's Moorish architecture and famous Alhambra palace bring in tourists from all over the world. In the winter the mountains of the Sierra Nevada play host to Europe's most southerly ski resort. Hiking and eco-tourism also attract visitors to areas such as the Alpujarras and Lecrin Valley.
- 1 Granada — one of the Nazari's Alhambra Palace and many traditional festivals
- 2 Alhama de Granada — a lovely old spa village, perched above a river gorge, with an impressive monumental quarter and with hot springs not far away
- 3 Almunecar — a seaside resort for Northern Europeans and North Americans with ancient ruins
- 4 Baza — a mountain town with beautiful scenery and layers of history
- 5 Motril — long known for its production of sugar, Holy Week here starts Palm Sunday and is big business
- 6 Pitres — village part of Las Alpujarras
- 7 Portugos — village part of Las Alpujarras in the heart of the National Park of the Sierra Nevada
- 1 Sierra Nevada — the highest mountains in Spain, with the most southern ski resort in Europe
- 2 Las Alpujarras — traditional Moorish villages scattered throughout the mountains South of Granada city; well worth visiting for the scenery and slow, laid back way of life
Granada station is in a very central position within the city.
Granada is reached from Seville, Malaga, Almería and Murcia on the A92, from Madrid on the A4, diverting to the A44 in Bailén, from Jaén on the aforementioned A44, and from Spain on the N432, although some people prefer to make a detour to use just highway and take the A4 to Bailén and then the A44.
Roads in Granada province tend to be fairly quiet between towns, but can be congested and frustrating in and around towns. Car Hire is available in Granada (Airport) and on the coast, for example in Motril. Buses are mainly operated by Alsina-Graells, who have a good web site showing schedules and fares. Other operators work out of Granada bus station, offering routes across Andalucia and beyond (e.g. to Romania).
Trekking (on horseback) in the Sierra Nevada is offered by various operators (mainly based in the Alpujarra).
The Alhambra in Granada is the most popular visitor site in Granada province. The highlight is the Nasrid palaces. Tickets are frequently sold out for weeks ahead, though some are reserved for those who turn up early in the morning. However, access to the rest of the complex is easier, and the gardens of the Generalife are worth a stroll. There are two hotels within the Alhambra grounds, including one of the more expensive Paradors.
Granada town is very pleasant to stroll in. The cathedral is enormous. Behind it is the Capilla Real, holding the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella; the Corral de Carbon is a Moorish building nearby; the Albaicin is the old Moorish quarter, with lots of twisty little lanes, and several lookout points across the valley to the Alhambra. At the bottom, near the Plaza Nueva, are lots of Moroccan and touristy shops. Getting the bus to the top of the hill and wandering down works quite well
Federico Garcia Lorca is associated with Granada. A park and a museum are dedicated to him.
As in most of the rest of Spain, Easter Week (semana santa) is the biggest fiesta.
You may want to participate in a botellon in Granada. This is basically a street drinking party, mainly populated by students from the university. Dates are variable. The City Council seems inclined to limit them.
The coast to the west of Motril is given over to tourists, with Salobrena and Almunecar as the main resorts. The coast to the east of Motril is given over to plastic greenhouses (invernaderos) which extend all the way to Almeria.
Inland lies the Alpujarra, a valley running about 50 km east-west along the southern edge of the Sierra Nevada. It contains about 80 settled places, most of them tiny villages, usually containing a jumble of white-painted houses around a plaza. The Alpujarra was the last place from which the Moors were expelled by the Christians. Little visible trace of them remains. Occasionally it is obvious that the church is a converted mosque (e.g. in Jubar).
The most popular visitor destinations in the Alpujarra are the 'white villages' of Pampaneira, Bubion, and Capiliera, possibly with an extension to Trevelez, where the high, dry air lends itself to the curing of ham. Fans of Gerald Brennan's book 'South From Granada' may want to go further again to Yegen.
At the spring equinox, Orgiva hosts the Dragon Festival, which is a week long bash of travellers, competing sound trucks, live music, theatre and insomnia.
To see the Sierra Nevada, most of the operators offering walking and riding tours are in the Alpujarra.
Granada province is also host to some lovely coast (Salobrena, Almunecar are only 40 minutes from Granada city, or east of there are some great beaches, from coves and hideaway nudist beaches to resorts and fishing villages like La Rabita, Castel del Ferro and Torre Nueva.
The Poniente Granadino region is the western part of the Province of Granada. The region is rich in areas of archaeological interest and is encircled by the Sierra of Cordoba to the north, the Axarquia of Malaga to the South and to the west, the Valleys of Archidona and Antequera.
- Great skiing (November to April) in the Sierra Nevada half an hour by regular buses from Granada.
- Climb the Mulhacén, the highest peak on the Iberian Peninsula, or hike any one of a number of easier routes in the Alpujarras.
- Flamenco Show: Get involved in the musical tradition of Andalucia and enjoy a great night.
- Experience the nightlife of Granada at one of the great, local bars. The bar mojitoo, located on "Calle Navas", has a fantastic atmosphere with great drinks and a friendly bartender named Fran.
- Go to one of the many popular night clubs (discotecas) of Granada, including: Mae West, El Camborio, Granada 10, Forum.
Granada province (and town) is one of the few places in Spain where you will habitually and automatically receive a free, freshly cooked and generous helping of tapas (food) with your beer or wine. This may be anything from a small homemade burger on bread, to cheese in oil and garlic, tortilla, prawns or calamari or other fish or seafood, or the ubiquitous carne con tomate (meat in sauce). Rather than go out for a meal you are well advised to go on a pub crawl as you will have more variety for less (no!) cost.
Granada is one of the cities in Spain with the highest concentration of catering establishments. Tapas are also world famous, and in Granada they are offered free with every drink. There are areas of the city that you have to visit for "tapas": La Chana, El Zaidín and the Plaza de Toros. Typical of the area are the piononos, a small cake filled with cream that comes from the nearby city of Santa Fe, and broad beans with ham.
In La Alpujarra you can order the Alpujarra dish: a hearty plate of fried eggs, poor potatoes, fried peppers, blood sausage and chorizo.
Have a botellon with Alia by the river