“Give him an offering, my lady, for there is no greater tragedy than that of the blind man in Granada.”
So goes the famous quote, said to a woman walking past a blind beggar in the streets of Granada. Without a doubt, the greatest virtue of this fun, compact city is its beauty. Surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains and located where four rivers - the Beiro, the Darro, the Genil and the Monachil – meet, Granada is a must-visit city in Spain.
With the beautiful Moorish influence in the architecture and layout of the city, walking around it you get the sense that you’ve stepped right back in time. It’s easy to get lost in the narrow, sinuous streets of Albayzín, the old Arab quarter of Granada. The feel of its Medieval Moorish past still hangs in the air, this art-filled quarter is like a maze to be discovered and exploring it is intoxicating.
Don’t miss a visit to the Alhambra, the palace and fortress where the Nasrid sultans and government officials lived in the 13th and 14th centuries. Surrounded by woods, gardens, and orchards the Alhambra is, in my opinion, a highlight and one of Europe’s great treasures. Don’t forget to book tickets in advance, visitors are limited and spots sell out.
Within Albayzín is an area called Mirador de San Nicolás' and from here you can get a good view of the Alhambra which sits just above the city.
To get the most out of the area, stay in one of the many cave houses for rent. The region’s peculiar geology (rock formations from sediments of a prehistoric sea) lends itself well to cave dwellings. Cut into the rocky hillsides, the houses are surprisingly light and airy inside. The Moors were the first to dig the houses out, with a big spike in the 19th century, but the tradition still lives on. In the hot, dry climate of Spain, living underground has many advantages – and is fun, too!
- Visit La Alhambra but book early!
- Granada is famous for flamenco which makes for a fun night! Wine, tapas, and flamenco – what could be better?
- Take a trip into the Sierra Nevada mountains and down to the Costa Tropical for a beach day (or two or three!)
EAT + DRINK:
The locals are very proud of their mineral water Lanjarón mineral water which is sourced in the mountains near Granada
- RESTAURANTE SEVILLA
Calle Oficios 12, Granada – try the “habitas con jamón” served in the traditional Granadino way
- CASA JUANILLO
Camino del Sacromonte 83, Granada – this is hearty home cooking that is not to be missed. Book ahead.
- BAR DIAMANTES
Calle Navas 26, Granada – come here for the famous tapas which are served on a zinc counter with wine or the local brew
Photos & text courtesy of Adrian Morris
Adrian Morris (Mowgli) is a photographer who shoots for various editorial and commercial clients. See more of his work at thisismowgli.com. Follow him on Instagram @adrianmowgli.