The province of Granada is diverse offering history, beaches, snow and some tasty cuisine.
The Alhambra and Capilla Real are two of the most interesting and captivating sights in the region and definitely deserve some attention, however, lets have a quick look at some of the other highlights.
Albayzin – The old Islamic quarter of the city of Granada is set on the hillside facing the Alhambra across the Darro Valley. The area houses the Archaeological Museum, the Arab Bath Complex and the Church of San Salvador. For a relaxing afternoon snack venture down the hillside to the ‘Carrera del Darro’ which runs alongside the ‘Rio Darro’ (Darro River) and find a seat in one of the many cafes. This area is also well known for its Arabic cuisine.
Monasterio de la Cartuja – Located about 2km outside the city centre this impressive monastery is visited primarily for its ‘Sanctuario’ (sanctuary).
This building was erected in 1515 and although the original design was medieval, it is completely baroque. As a result, this monastery has a blend of different styles and artists making it far from austere. The monastery, sacristy and the shrine are lavish affairs with numerous encrustations of precious stones.
Make sure you spend plenty of time taking it all in because no pictures are allowed.
Catedral de Granada (Granada Cathedral) – Adjoining la Capilla Real is Granadas cavernous cathedral. This is a Renaissance church conceived by the renowned architect Diego de Siloé. The cupola of the main chapel has three beautiful doorways and the stained glass decorations are worthy of study. The main facade is Baroque and within the old chapel is an exhibition of the Cathedral treasure.
Science Park – Just on the other side of the ‘Rio Genil’ (Genil River) you will find the Science Park. A modern complex which provides an alternative day out for the whole family. A recent Titanic exhibition was very successful and the park also focuses on the development of Granada highlighting the advances in technology and education under the moors.
Sierra Nevada – Home to the highest mainland peak in Spain this mountainous region is the perfect place for an adrenaline junkie! Snowboarding and Skiing are the most popular sports in the area and the World Championships have been held here in the past. Snow season is usually December to April or May and there are plenty of schools and hire shops to get you on your way to becoming a professional.
Las Alpujarras – For the walking enthusiast in you ‘Las Alpujarras’ is an excellent starting point for long treks up the mountains. On your journey stop into the forgotten villages of Orgiva, Pampaneira, Bubion, Capileira and Trevelez. You can find accommodation in each village and some very good ‘Jamon Serrano’.
The Coast – This province has quite a small coast compared to its neighbours. However, Almunecar and La Herradura are both worth a visit with the latter being the lesser populated of the two. Almunecar has a 16th century Christian castle that commands spectacular views. It also has a botanical garden and hosts Andalucias only summer jazz festival – Festival de Jazz during early July. La Herradura offers some interesting dive sites and good sea food.