One of the central cities in the Spanish community of Andalusia, Granada is packed with Moorish and Medieval history, and being right next to the Sierra Nevada mountains, you can also ski in the winter. Ever since I first saw the iconic photos of the Alhambra palace on the hillside of the city I have wanted to visit, and last year I got the chance to go and spend a long weekend there.
The photo above was the incredible view from my Airbnb apartment, and although not fantastic for getting a clear photo (and so not included), 20 minutes before this photo was taken, the sun came up. Watching the sunrise slowly lighting the walls of that powerful yet peaceful palace/fortress was something to remember! The only thing to keep in mind is that tickets can be a little difficult to get hold of, so book well in advance!
My favourite part of the Alhambra palace, which has its roots from 9th Century AD Roman constructions, is the gardens. Vast, open and colourful, these gardens are a maze of towering flowers, arches covered in three different colours of roses and all this is arranged around quiet little ponds and smaller structures.
Granada is also famous for its Moorish traditions that are still kept in the city, and the Arab markets in the Albaicin district are an amazing place to get lost in, take in the colours and smells and buy hand-made souvenirs!
A lesser known but incredible experience was a visit to the Mirador de San Nicolas. This viewpoint obviously features great views, but even better was the energy and life in the large square at the viewpoint. There were bands playing and singing, small pockets of street market vendors and food sellers as well as not too many tourists.
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