Granada is situated on the north-western side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This charming city is home to the famous Alhambra Palace and gardens, the old Moorish neighbourhoods of the Albaicín, known for the steep, winding, narrow streets and of Sacromonte for 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.
A large choice of cultural activities awaits the visitor to Granada and its province, including music, dance, theatre, exhibitions, museums. Historical monuments such as ancient ruins, castles and fortresses, nobles’ palaces and mansions, churches and cathedrals, of all sizes and styles, abound all over the province.
Skilled artisans still design and create unique objects such as Taracea, Granadino inlay work, an ancient craft now only found in Granada and Damascus. The Fajalauza pottery, of Arab origin, is still made in family run potteries and beautiful guitars are designed and handmade in small workshops in the old part of the city.
The Alhambra Palace, “the red one” in arabic, is the most visited monument in Spain. The old Moorish fortress is built on Sabika Hill, rising above Granada with the Sierra Nevada mountains behind to the south east. Probably constructed over Roman remains, it started out as a small fortress of uncertain origin in 9th. century, like many others around the province. Fallen into ruins for several hundred years, it was re-built, as we know it now, in 13th. century by Al-Ahmar the founder of the Nasrid Dynasty as the residence for his Court. 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 is continually undergoing restoration work, returning the intricate decorative work and architecture to it’s 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; the Carthusian (Cartuja) Monastery, one of the finest examples of the Spanish baroque style, or the Church and Monastery of San Jeronimo, the first monastery to be built after the reconquest of the city by the Christians.
For a very special experience, wander through the streets of the Albaicín, Sacromonte, el Centro and Realejo quarters to enjoy the streets and squares. 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, and from here pop into La Alcaiceria to browse in the small, colourful shops of this old Arab market.
Try an aromatic arab tea with delicious little cakes in one of the many teterias. Looking for local produce? Near the Cathedral, the Old 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 with each drink you get a tapa. The main tapas streets are Calle Navas and Calle Elvira but wherever you turn you tapa!