After enjoyining a magical walk around the city of Granada, what could be better than treating yourselves with delicious food and a cold beer? Granada is one of the best places for tapas in the whole country. With every drink that you buy, you get a free tapa! One of my favourite places in Granada where you can find delicious food is "Bodegas Castañeda". Where, apart from enjoying your free tapa, you can choose from the various and exquisite boards (sharing wooden plates), as well as, taste their home-made mixed wines.
This is just one place, there are hundred of bars around Granada where you can enjoy a nice tapa with your drink, sharing laughts with friends, getting lost in its little and magical streets, contemplating its astonishing arquitecture. Or simply buy a beer and a durum kebab in "Calle Elvira" and walk up to the "Mirador de San Nicolás" and enjoy the BEAUTIFUL view, while you listen the music of the flamenco musicians who are play in the squares. It's just bewitching.
BEAUTIFUL NATURAL SPACES AND BEACHES:
-Cabo de Gata-Níjar, a must!
MY HOMETOWN, ANTEQUERA: In the centre of Andalusia, you will find Antequera. Antequera is a beautiful, cultural and historical town. A fascinating place where you can travel from the bronze age visiting the pre-historical dolmens to the wonderful Al-Andalus era, walking around the beautiful Moorish fortress. Without forgeting the classical world -Roman heritage- and the beautiful 33 churches that Antequera has, traces of the Reconquista.
Also, a wonderful place to enjoy its beautiful food! Visiting the "Bar Carrera" or "Las Hazuelas" you will think you are in heaven :)
It's very important that you don't forget visiting "El Torcal", an amazing walk in our unique mountains! As well as enjoying a cheap delicious home-made rustic lunch in one of the "ventas" (inns).
Large rectangular area within the Albaicin area from where you have a wonderful view of the Alhambra on the other side of the gorge. The view is even more stunning at night.
Just be careful as pickpockets are known to operate in the area.
Google map: bit.ly/qkiOqm
Worth going in to this late Gothic chapel to see the final resting place of the two famous Spanish Catholic monarchs Isabel and Fernando.
The two monarchs lie in the crypt in simple lead coffins along with a few other related royals.
A lovely villa, right in the city centre of Granada. It actually shares its garden wall with the Alhambra. It is a big place, with gardens and a swimming pool (quite rare in any city centre).
Bars, restaurants, shops and the magnificent Alhambra palace all in easy walking distance. Most of the terraces have fantastic views over the Albaicin (old Arabic quarter). It may seem a bit on the expensive side, but really isn't when you take a reasonable sized group and see the price per person.
We used the villa for a joint family holiday, it was perfect as it catered to all of us - adults, teenagers and the smaller kids. Definitely one of our top three family holidays.
This is the absolutely ideal place - as originally recommended by the Guardian. Perfect and funky attention to detail, great and helpful service, the right balance of privacy and community if you want it, easy access to the best of both worlds - old and new city; stunning views, no traffic noise as it's in the middle of the UNESCO world heritage pedestrian zone of the Arab old city, the Albaicin. And it turns out to be the absolute cheapest option in town - if there are more than two of you travelling together, it even works out cheaper than a bunk in a backpackers dorm. So with the individual kitchen in each apartment this is an ideal budget location, too. Or use it as a hotel, don't even bother cooking, and dine out in style in the fab tapas bars and restaurants all around.
We stayed in Granada for long weekend and you can see the Sierra Nevada mountain range in front of you. We got in touch with Ibex Trex who could guide us to the best walking areas. They took us to Las Alpujarras, which is beautiful and full of history - our guide was great, very friendly and knowledgeable.
Santa Rita, 8, Narila, Granada
The Alhambra is beautiful and really worth a visit. You can see parts of it without tickets but if you want to see the palaces and the wonderful gardens you need them.
Try and book online in advance as the queueing system for buying there is badly organised and can take hours.
This is the official site in English for buying tickets:
Book a night time visit to the Alhambra, and especially out of season, you will find it very quiet and peaceful compared to the daytime crowds.
Sometimes you will even have the palace entirely to yourself if you go towards the end of the evening, an amazing experience. The palace is open until 11.30pm in the summer season.
But don't forget to check the time of the last minibus back to the centre of town if you don't want to walk down the hill afterwards.
Tickets for the Alhambra are available on the day but they are limited and you need to get there very early in the morning! 8am in April there was already a queue. It's good to get there early anyway as there are less people then.
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.
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.
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