Travel

GRANADA´S MIX OF HISTORY AND BEAUTY

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If you mention Granada to me, my Manchester roots come to the fore believing that it is some kind of reference to the old regional ITV station.

Little did I know as a kid spending my early years in the north-west of England, that the name was lifted from the splendid city in Andalucia, that brings in tourists from all over the world to check out sights like the Alhambra Palace.

Located at the base of the snowy Sierra Madre mountains,  Granada is crammed with history and character.

Because it was once a Muslim kingdom, much of the city has been built in a style of Islamic architecture that remains today.

There are loads of museums, monuments and statues worth seeing and exploring, and Granada has a unique mix of cultures, plus some terrific bars and restaurants.

Most people will of course make an immediate date with the Alhambra Palace, but despite the title, the Alhambra is not just a Palace.

It is a castle and a fortress, a royal palace and a town, with some amazing gardens.

It was built between the 13th and 14th centuries and was the crown jewel of the Emirate of Granada, who ruled over a large territory that stretched to Murcia.

There are various ways of getting hold of entry tickets, and various types as well. Advance booking is strongly recommended.

Granada is home to many beautiful viewpoints and romantic places. As the novelist Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “the sun goes lazily down in Granada, and it allows people to enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world”.

The Mirador de San Nicolás is perhaps the most famous viewpoint in Granada.

Since ex-US president Bill Clinton visited in 1997 and said it has “the most beautiful sunset in the world”, the Mirador de San Nicolás has become a must-see for tourists.

There are lots of nice places for a romantic stroll as you  explore all the sights of the city and the surrounding area.

Check out the Plaza Nueva, which is a few minutes walk from the Alhambra, and despite the name, is actually the oldest square in Granada.

It was formerly one of the most important parts of the city where various tournaments, games and bullfights were held.

Outside Granada are the famous caves of Sacromonte which are grouped around ravines, forming what amounts to streets.

There are caves of several categories. The best known to visitors are those devoted to Zambra: spacious, white and adorned with shiny copper pots.

It´s highly recommended is to spend a night at cave restaurant with a flamenco show in what is regarded as the flamenco capital of Spain.

Driving to Granada will take between three and five hours, depending on where you are in Costa Blanca and Murcia regions.

For example, a journey from Benidorm down the A-7 is roughly four hours to reach a city that is stacked with tradition and with plenty to do.

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