Stay in your own little white-washed house, nestling in the Alpujarras. The owners cultivate organic vines, olives, figs and almonds, some of which end up on the table at dinner. With a swimming pool, library and bodega, this is the perfect get-away.
CÁDIAR - GRANADA - ALPUJARRA - ANDALUCÍA
Tlf. 958 34 32 21 - 958 34 33 03
Make like the Spanish and enjoy a beer and tapa in the bars in Granada. Most places give you a free tapa when you buy a drink - spend an evening wandering from bar to bar in this beautiful city and you won't need to find a restaurant for dinner.
Precious water resources are being squandered, and new housing estates are being built around new courses, sometimes illegally, to the detriment of English buyers, like in my village, Otura, south of Granada.
New golf courses are planned in Andalucia, whilst my farming neighbours do not have enough water to irrigate.
Although the majority of natural and historic attractions are outside the town Antequera itself is worth a day trip from Granada or Málaga. The Baroque church of El Carmen has a fine exterior and the views from the ruins of the Alcazaba take in the green and lush Sierra de Ronda.
The locals are really friendly and welcome the few tourists who visit their town. There are plenty of hill walks starting from Antequera and leading to El Chorro gorge and the natural park of El Torcal.
Antequera is one of the most authentic country towns of Andalucía with a comforting village atmosphere.
Antequera lies 55km to the north of Málaga on the main rail line to Granada. There are no buses from either Granada or Málaga to Antequera so you have to take the train from either of these cities. The once daily train from Málaga to Granada stops at Antequera, but 7 trains depart daily from Granada to Seville (calling at Antequera) giving you more time to spend in Antequera.
Jaén is not the most spectacular provincial capital of Andalucía but it does have some beautiful attractions which are worthy of a day trip from nearby Granada or Córdoba. The most inspirational monument is the city's cathedral. There is also the Baños Arabes and the Museo Provincial.
Jaén lies 98km to the north of Granada just off the N323 motorway to Madrid. 12 buses depart daily from Granada. The journey takes 2 hours - look out for the famous olive groves creeping down the mountains alongside the motorway.
The last stronghold of the Moors in Iberia, the Alpujarras is an unspoiled region of hilltop villages spilling down from the Sierra Nevada mountains south of Granada. Up here the mule is still an essential form of transport and tapas are still free when you buy a glass of wine in a village bar. Fabulous area for walking and birdwatching.
We stayed in a lovely, newly reformed holiday let with stunning views in Juvíles, one of the highest and prettiest of the villages, about an hour and a half from Granada city.
Well what can I say? The last of the Moorish strongholds. One of the things that Europe really does have going for it is even when conquerers conquered, they took over the magnificent building and did not destroy them. This really is magnificent as well.
No two ways about it if you are in Andalucia for any period of time Granada and this great red castle are a must.
The construction of the Cathedral took from the 16th to the 18th century. It was built over the former Central Mosque and shows a mix of gothic, renaissance and baroque motifs. It is also the centre point to begin a walk around the town to discover its secrets.
Plaza Pasiegas, just off the Gran Via de Colon.
View the Alhambra from the plaza beside Granada's Mosque. This is the only place to truly give a feel of what the Alhambra and Granada were like before the massive and extremely ugly building boom got underway some years ago.
The right time of day is at sunset when the Alhambra is tastefully floodlit. Afterwards casually make your way down through the barrio visiting the numerous Flamenco bars.
Numerous tourist buses go to Sacromonte barrio from the centre of Granada.
Vegetarian/vegan restaurant and tiny guesthouse in the Alpuharas Mountains outside of Granada. After weeks of salad and chips, this vegetarian couldn't get enough of the varied and inventive multicultural fare on offer. Set in a peaceful village, situated in the heart of trekking country, it’s a perfect break in the journey or a place to unwind at the end of the day. Recommended in Rough Guide to Andalucia, but should be more widely known.
Calle Alberca s/n, 18416 Mecina Fondales, La Taha, Granada;
tel: 958857 501;
An old 15th century grand house with an open courtyard that overlooks the Alhambra which is floodlit at night. There are inward and outward facing rooms. Very atmospheric and within easy walking distrance of the Albaicin area. Has Ac and central heating. Very cosy in Jan this year 2006. Helpful staff.
Dine at El Huerto de Juan Ranas which over looks the alhambra, tapas at bodega castaneda in calle almireceros.
Cuesta De La ictoria 9m 18010 Granda
Tel +34 958 221 100
The Carmen is a large four-star hotel in the centre of Granada. It has a restaurant serving excellent breakfasts and evening meals, a large comfortable lounge with bar, a piano bar, outdoor pool and roof terrace. Everything about it is high quality; from the bedrooms and public rooms, to the efficiency and friendliness of the staff.
The Carmen is quiet and relaxing, depite being only a five-minute walk from the cathedral and a ten-minute bus or taxi ride from the Alhambra.
Acera del Darro, 62 Granada, ES 18005
Tel: +34 958258300
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