Situated on the north-western side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Granada is home to the famous Alhambra Palace and gardens, the old Moorish neighbourhoods of the Albaicín, with its steep, winding, narrow streets and of Sacromonte with its cave houses. Granada is easily accessible from your Lecrín Valley holiday villa and makes an ideal day’s outing during your stay in Restábal.
What to See in Granada
A large choice of cultural activities awaits the visitor to Granada and its province, including music, dance, theatre, exhibitions and museums. Don’t miss the exceptional International Festival of Music and Dance held each year in June/July, (see this year’s promotional video below). Visit historical monuments of all sizes and styles which abound all over the province. You’ll find ancient ruins, castles, fortresses, nobles’ palaces and mansions, churches and cathedrals.
Skilled artisans still design and create unique objects, especially relevant is Taracea, Granadino inlay work. This ancient craft is now only found in Granada and Damascus. Look out for the Fajalauza pottery, of Arab origin, still made in family run potteries. Discover the beautiful guitars designed and handmade in small workshops in the old part of the city.
The Alhambra Palace
The Alhambra Palace, “the red one” in arabic, is the most visited monument in Spain. Built on Sabika Hill, the old Moorish fortress rises above Granada with the Sierra Nevada mountains behind to the south-east. Probably constructed over Roman remains as a small fortress in 9th c. like many others around the province. Fallen into ruins for several hundred years, Al-Ahmar the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty re-built it in 13th. century, much as we know it now. The Alhambra was a palace, a fortress and a citadel; the residence of the Nasrid Sultans and top government officials, court servants and the royal guard. Today the monument continually undergoes restoration work, returning the intricate decorative work and architecture to its original state, wherever possible.
However Granada is not just the Alhambra. Don’t miss the imposing Cathedral and the Royal Chapel where the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabel are buried. Marvel at the Carthusian (Cartuja) Monastery, one of the finest examples of the Spanish baroque style, finally see the Church and Monastery of San Jerónimo, the first monastery to be built after the reconquest of the city by the Christians.
Albaicín, Sacromonte and Realejo
For a very special experience, wander through the streets of the Albaicín, Sacromonte, el Centro and Realejo quarters, in addition, visit the tiny but fascinating botanical garden. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and churros on the Bib-Rambla Square, the city’s main hub. Cross the square and pop into La Alcaiceria to browse in the small, colourful shops of this old Arab market. Don’t miss the Realejo, the old Jewish quarter and its newly restored square, Campo del Principe.
Try an aromatic arab tea with delicious little cakes in one of the many teterias. Looking for local produce? Near the Cathedral, the San Agustín Market has become a gourmet destination, offering quality products from all over the province of Granada. Last, but by no means least, take a tapas route, go from bar to bar and get a tapa with each drink. The main tapas streets are Calle Navas and Calle Elvira but wherever you turn you tapa!