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Explore Granada - An Exclusive Guide

A perfect day in... Granada, Spain


From a vibrant flamenco scene, to the outdoor joys of the Sierra Nevada, via the birthplace of tapas, Granada in Andalucía is a treasure trove of discoveries for the curious traveler. The highlight, of course, is the world-famous Alhambra, a marvel of Moorish architecture and art, and one of the finest attractions in all of Spain.

What to see in Granada

Any visit must (and most likely will) begin with the Alhambra, with its red-hued fortified palaces, backed by the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada, dominating every city view. The complex started life as a walled Moorish citadel, before becoming the 13th to 14th century seat of the city’s Nasrid rulers, who in turn were overthrown by Christian forces in 1492.

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Today, it is home to Europe’s finest examples of Islamic architecture, with the extraordinary Palacios Nazaríes as its centerpiece. Book ahead and take a guided tour for a full insight to these intricately-decorated halls, latticed arches, shaded courtyards and towering, inlaid domes, followed by the dreamy Generalife, a network of peaceful pools, patios and walled gardens. Lastly, make sure you head to the oldest part of the Alhambra, the Alcazaba, for spectacular city views.

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What to do in Granada

While most visitors make a beeline for the Alhambra and then make a sharp exit, they’re missing a trick as Granada offers so much more. First, enjoy getting lost in the hilltop Albaicín, the former Muslim quarter and a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a maze of whitewashed houses, squares and narrow lanes zig-zagging down the hillside.

The nearby cathedral is also worth a visit, a cavernous, gothic structure dating from 1583 and connected to the Royal Chapel, the final resting place of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, the Catholic monarchs who ended Spain’s Moorish rule. Just behind here is La Alcaicería, once the silk souk and today packed with Moroccan shops selling fabrics, rugs, lamps and leatherwear.

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For a taste of the Sierra Nevada, hire a guide and head into the foothills for exhilarating hikes over swaying footbridges and to lookout points with glorious views.

What to eat in Granada

Andalucía is home to the humble (and completely delicious) tapas, and the tradition of serving a tiny plate of complementary tapas for every drink ordered continues to this day. So drop by a little bar for a quick glass of cerveza (beer) and you’re likely to be served anything from boquerones fritos (fried anchovies) to a pork loin emparedado (sandwich).

4438-B472521D8D3DAC26 15-20 V2 Restaurante El Huerto de Juan Ranas Albaicin Granada

Freestyling it can often be the most fun, trawling around the bars of Plaza Nueva and Realejo, and sampling the different tapas en route. Eat your fill and then head to one of the many traditional taverns for a dramatic display of toe-tapping flamenco.

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For more information, visit andalucia.org

This article has been written for review purposes only and does not suggest sponsorship or endorsement of AARDY by the trademark owner.

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