In Depth

A guide to Granada, Spain

Beautiful but subversive, affordable but stylish; prepare to fall hopelessly in love with Andalusia's most seductive city

alhambra-967024.jpg

Leafy, luminous and languorously draped over the Sierra Nevada foothills like a snoozing cat, Granada is memorably scenic. But it also boasts free tapas, that constant Andalusian sun and one of Spain's great cultural sites. Thank goodness then, for easyJet's new flights from Gatwick, which launched on 4 February.

What to see

The Alhambra merits a day on its own. This mighty hilltop fortress was the Moors' final European stronghold, and it's easy to see why they clung on so long – such are the arched courtyards, intricate tiles, reddish ramparts and fountain-filled gardens. Be sure to book tickets ahead.

Take some time out

British expat Josh Taylor, who blogs about Granada and wider Andalusia at Spain For Pleasure, advises exploring further afield. 'In April,' he says, 'the Sierra Nevada ski resort still has snow but nearby, beach temperatures have risen into the 20s. You can do both in the same day'.

What and where to eat

Want to hear something wonderful? In nearly all Granada's bars, ordering a drink also means receiving free tapas. The classic venue is bustling Los Diamantes on Calle Navas, known for its fried fish, while Tapas Reina Monica rewards budget-conscious boozers with two free small plates alongside each €2 beer.

What and where to drink

Granada excels at flamenco, but finding authenticity can be tough. Le Chien Andalou, cavernously positioned beside the Darro river, is a reliable bet. Also popular are the teterias (tea houses) around Calle Caldereria Nueva, where youths puff on shisha pipes and perma-tanned hippies toast former local Joe Strummer.

Don't miss…

The showpiece quarter is handsome Albaicin, a cobbled, charming maze that slowly climbs uphill. Bordering it is the more residential Realejo, its wonderful gardens visible behind alabaster walls. But most beguiling of all is the gypsy barrio of Sacromonte: here, locals still ride donkeys and reside in cave-houses.

The best place to stay

Casa 1800 is a three-storey former private mansion oozing Spanish charm near the gothic cathedral. Original features accompany state-of-the-art room technology, and highlights include a rooftop pool and terrace. The top-floor rooms have private terraces and outdoor Jacuzzis.

Recommended

Alladale: into the wild of the Scottish Highlands
Alladale Wilderness Reserve is located on 23,000 acres of Scottish countryside
In Review

Alladale: into the wild of the Scottish Highlands

Nasjonalmuseet of Norway: a cultural renaissance in Oslo
National Museum of Norway, Oslo 
Behind the scenes

Nasjonalmuseet of Norway: a cultural renaissance in Oslo

Is British Airways in trouble?
British Airways and easyJet aircraft 
Today’s big question

Is British Airways in trouble?

The UK’s best summer food and drink festivals
Bakers on a stall at the Abergavenny Food Festival
On the menu

The UK’s best summer food and drink festivals

Popular articles

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022
Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll in Murder in Provence
In Depth

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022

The Week Footer Banner