The picturesque city of Granada in Andalusia, Spain is located on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and at the meeting point of the Biero, Darro, and Genil rivers. The city is only an hour’s drive from the coast. The annual daily mean temperature here is 15.2 °C. A last minute holiday to Granada lets you enjoy the finest of Moorish architecture, the beautiful Alhambra, Carmen, and of course, the region’s cuisine.
Granada covers an area of 88 sq km and is home to around 250,000 residents. Although, the area in and around Granada has been inhabited by humans from 8th century B.C., the city grew under the Moors who founded it in the 11th century and ruled it till 1492. The conquest of Granada by the Christians is a landmark event in the history of Spain as it brought to an end the Reconquista. Spain was now free to concentrate on building an empire.
The city is served by the Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport. You can also arrive in Granada by train or by road. Granada is best explored on foot; however, the many streets that wind up hillsides may have you out of breath. In such situations, a bus will serve to take you to your destination.
There are many memorable sights in this city; perhaps, more so than any other city in Spain. Central Granada in the heart of the city houses many historical landmarks. These include the Plaza Isabel la Catolica, Cathedral of Granada, Plaza de bib-Rambla, Plaza Nueva, and many others. The Bib-Rambla deserves mention as the place to check out for superb food.
Last Minute Holidays to Granada – Things to Do
If you wish to take in modern and urban sights, then head to the northern part of the city. This part of the town contains parks, the local university, and many modern buildings. Notable landmarks include Triunfo Gardens, Cartuja Monastery, San Jeronimo Monastery, and others.
The Moors are long gone but have left behind architectural masterpieces; three of these are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include the Alhambra, the Albayzin district and the Generalife palace.
The Alhambra is a world-famous landmark and marks the culmination of Moorish architecture in Spain. It is a fortified palace to which successive rulers added rooms and courtyards.
The Albayzin district in the old quarters of the city is known for its winding alleys and remnants of Granada’s Moorish past. These include Arab baths, and extant Moorish constructions. The Archaeological Museum of Granada located here is a rich repository of artifacts from Granada’s past. This district is also noted for its street food, a lot of which is inspired by North African cuisine.
The Generalife palace and gardens complex was built during the early fourteenth century. It consists of beautifully laid out gardens, pavilions, colonnades, flowerbeds, and fountains.
The good folk in this historic city prefer to communicate in Spanish and you will do your stay in Granada a lot of good if you spend some time learning this beautiful language.
There are a number of places worth visiting that lie close to Granada. The Sierra Nevada Mountains offer excellent skiing and lie just thirty kilometers to the south of the city. The cities of Seville and Cordoba are close by and can be easily visited if you are planning on a stay in Granada.