The city of Granada, located on one of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, was a stronghold of the Nazeri Dynasty, the last great Moorish kingdom in Spain. In the 14th century its monarchs built the so-called "Red Castle"- La Alhambra - an incredible palace of refined, expuisite beauty with large arcaded courtyards, slender halls and splendid gardens, beautiful fountains and tranquil ponds like those of the Generalife.
How to get there
Aviaco flies to Granada every day from Madrid and Barcelona, and three times a week from Valencia. Passengers departing from any other airport can use the network of the Iberia Group, which includes Aviaco, to connect with a Granada flight.
By road, 432 km from Madrid, 126 km from Malaga and 256 km from Seville.
By train, 6 hours from Madrid and 4 hours from Seville.
Climate and location
Granada, the capital of the province of the same name, lies at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, in the Autonomous Region of Andalusia. It has an extreme climate, with temperatures above 40 degrees in summer and below zero in winter.
The typical dish of Granada is the Sacromonte omelet, made of eggs, vegetables, brains and bull's testicles. Visitors should order gazpacho in the summer, and potatoes a lo pobre in winter.
The whole city is a monument. Apart from the Arab edifices and walls, many of the churches still bear the traces of the mosques they once were, and there are countless other buildings of historic and artistic interest.
The Alhambra and the Generalife. The Royal palaces of the Nasrids are one of the wonders of the world. The magnificent Palace of Charles V is also worth a visit.
Sacromonte. A legendary area of hillside caves inhabited by Gypsies, with characteristic flamenco shows and beautiful views of the Alhambra.
Albaicin. The oldest quarter, once inhabited by Iberians, Romans, Visigoths and Arabs. The Plaza Larga, San Miguel Bajo and San Nicolas are not to be missed.
El Realejo. The former Jewish quarter. Of special interest are the gardens of Campo del Principe and the so-called "Casa de los Tiros".
Casa de Castril. It is a pleasing Renaissance palace that houses the Archaeological Museum.
Cathedral. A renaissance building by Diego de Siloe, with statues by Alonso Cano, who also designed the facade. In the Royal Chapel is the tomb of Ferdinand and Isabella.
The Charterhouse. The crowing masterpiece of Spanish Baroque. Well worth seeing is the sacristy, whose intricate decoration took fifty years to complete.
La Alpujarra. A rural area stretching from Sierra Nevada to the sea. It contains over a hundred Moorish villages, whose houses have flat roofs made of slate and gray clay.
Sierra Nevada. The many attractions of these mountains, 30 kilometers from Granada, include magnificent skiing facilities as well as the highest peak in the Iberian Peninsula, Mulhacen. World Ski will take place here in 1996
Montefrio. Small town picturesquely situated, has a ruined Arab castle, an old church designed by Diego de Siloe and a pacemaker of Spanish neoclassical architecture Ventura Rodriguez.
Fajalauza is one of the loveliest varieties of pottery in Spain; its primitive technique and forms and its blue, green and purple glazes are of Moorish origin. another traditional handicraft is taracea, which consists of inlaying wood with ivory, mother-of-pearl, sea shells and bone. Along the steep Cuesta de Gomerez, there are a lot of shops selling pottery and taracea. Also worth visiting is the Alcaiceria, an old Arab market. La Alpujarra produces superb woven cloth and patchwork.
The busiest area at night is the area of Pedro Antonio de Alarcon, which has a fair number of bars. There are good flamenco shows at Los Jardines de Nepturno, Los Tarantos, Reina Mora, and the caves of Sacromonte, which are very popular with tourists.