I could get used to these Spanish bank holidays. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception happened to fall on a Thursday which meant a four day weekend and us finally taking our long awaited trip to Granada (insert Camp Granada song). It also happened to be the first weekend in long enough when it didn’t pour with rain.
Granada is much chillier than Seville so I was glad to have packed my tartan scarf. Lying at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada you get amazing views of the nearby snow-capped mountains. It took three hours on the ALSA bus from Seville, which worked out to be a perfect opportunity for a siesta. My bed in my apartment in Seville doesn’t offer the same such luxury…or warmth.
Granada is a walkable city with a young population owing to a third of people being university students. There are a few things I particularly like about Granada. Firstly, the local beer, Alhambra, tastes more like beer than its Seville counterpart Cruzcampo (sorry Seville!). Secondly, the free tapas. Many local tapas bars offer free tapas when you buy a drink. What’s not to love about stuffing your face with Albondigas (Spanish meatballs) and croquettes with every drink of Sangria? One of my favourite bars with standing room only was Bar Ávila II.
To burn off all those Albondigas take a hike up the hill towards the Alhambra. Although we missed the chance to go to the Alhambra there are plenty view points of the city and the fresh air and scenery is well worth it. We went in mid-December when a lot of the trees were golden with enormous autumnal leaves covering the ground.
A further must visit destination is up the winding streets of the Albaicin neighbourhood to the Mirador San Nicolás where you get breath-taking views of the Alhambra, Granada town and Sierra Nevada mountains. No amount of time seems long enough to stand and take in the view, particularly worth seeing at sunset.
Walking down the steep cobbled streets from the Mirador San Nicolás you feel transported to another country as the medieval Moorish architecture surrounds you. When you reach the bustling ‘Great Bazaar of Granada’ stop in one of the cafes for an Arabic tea and baklava.
For nightlife we headed to the student area around Calle Pedro Antonio de Alarcón. We visited the Nightrain café and beat the locals at a game of table football – much to their disappointment! With Christmas just around the corner the streets of Granada were sparkling with lights and the main plazas had lovely little craft stalls. Definitely in the festive spirit now!
Have you been to Granada, what was your highlight?