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The magic of the Alhambra in Granada

  • General view of the Alhambra palace. Granada © Turespaña

    General view of the Alhambra palace. Granada © Turespaña

  
  


" The impressive monumental complex comprising the Alhambra and the Generalife rises on a red hillside overlooking the city and the rich fertile plain of Granada. ..."

The impressive monumental complex comprising the Alhambra and the Generalife rises on a red hillside overlooking the city and the rich fertile plain of Granada. The Alhambra was once home to the Al-Andalus Sultans and today it is Spain’s most visited monument. Every year, millions of visitors come to admire the exquisite beauty of its many rooms, patios and gardens.

Everything is designed to achieve perfection in the Alhambra. From the old Alcazaba or military fortress to the Nasrid Royal Palaces, decorated in plasterwork and tiles and dotted with inscriptions evoking Paradise on earth. The famous Courtyard of the Lions or the Sultan’s Chamber are examples of poetic architecture that fires the imagination.

In addition to the ornamental richness, water is another essential element integrated into the complex as a further architectural feature and is ever-present throughout the tour. Constant murmuring and freshness coming off the many fountains and ponds in the Alhambra create an internal microclimate isolating the magical space from the rest of Granada.

Alongside the Palaces and located on the Cerro del Sol hillside is the Generalife. A complex bordered by intimate gardens inviting visitors to calm, tranquillity and let themselves by surrounded by the scent of the many varied flowers. It is worth taking the time to sit and rest to see the light tones reflected by the light in the many water features.

The Andalusi heritage in Granada also extends to the San Nicolás vantage point, in the Moorish neighbourhood of Albaicín. This is the locals’ favourite spot to contemplate the jewel of the Nasrid kingdom. The city palace shows off one of its most impressive sides at sunset since it seems to rise up out of the mountain and is imposing in an image that is hard to forget.

Enchanting Granada

After visiting the Alhambra, a stop in Granada is a must. The streets and squares of this Andalusian capital are full of history and culture, and seduce visitors with the joy of the locals and exquisite cuisine. “Fried fish” tapas or gazpacho are just a few of the specialities for tasting in Granada, before heading to a flamenco club or taking part in the bustling nightlife.

Outside the city and just a hundred or so kilometres away, visitors can take a dip in the Mediterranean Costa Tropical, which enjoy warm weather almost throughout the year. In addition, the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, set in the nature reserve of the same name, are a unique destination for skiing in winter and mountain sports, such as hiking, in warmer months.

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