Granada was first settled in the prehistoric period by native tribes and was known as Ilbyr.
When colonising southern Spain, the Romans built their own city here calling it Illibris. Later, the Arabs invaded the peninsula during the 8th century and gave the city its current name Granada. It was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492 at the hands of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon.
The long term capital of Moorish Andalucía, Granada is one of the pearls of Spain and is one of the most visited by tourists from all over the world. Not least for its many buildings and monuments built during this time period, with the world-famous “Alhambra” at the top of the list. Tickets to visit the Alhambra are bought in advance; call 00 34 915 37 91 78 from the UK or 902 22 44 60 if calling within Spain; alternatively tickets can be purchased via www.ticketmaster.es or in any Spanish branch of the BBVA bank.
Granada was first put on the tourist map by Washington Irving´s romantic Tales of the Alhambra (1832), and the magical hilltop palace is now Spain´s most-visited monument attracting over two million visitors a year. It is hard to resist this nostalgic testament to the twilight years of the Moors reign in Spain, with its seductive patios, exquisite stucco work and wistful Generalife gardens. But there is a lot more to this busy University City than the Alhambra, so don´t miss out on exploring it´s atmospheric streets and enjoying its lively nightlife and first-rate tapas.
Shaped by the hills, the historic quarters Albaicín and Alhambra founded on its slopes are brimming with steep, narrow streets, beautiful nooks and crannies and breathtaking landscapes and views. The new part of the city is situated on the plain, crisscrossed by the Gran Vía de Colón and Calle de los Reyes Católicos and where you can find the Cathedral surrounded by a bustling network of narrow streets.
Walk through picturesque gardens, charming narrow streets, relax in one of those typical bars to have some of that famous “Trevélez” ham and local wine, and breathe in the centuries of history that surround you in every corner of this beautiful city. Enjoy listening to gypsies singing “Flamenco” and be sure to visit their famous “Cuevas” in Sacromonte where many still live and are renowned as magnificent artisans. If you visit during the right time of the year, you´ll be able to enjoy Granada´s popular and attractive festivals, based on both Moorish and Christian tradition.
Granada city is located at the foot of the “Sierra Nevada”, Spain´s highest mountain range and Europe´s most southern ski resort. Mulhacén its highest peak reaches an altitude of 3478 metres. The Mediterranean Sea is not far away, making it possible to ski and go to the beach in one day. With both these features at its finger tips, Granada is a great place to visit in any season.
Having something as wonderful as the Alhambra, Spain’s main architectural marvel and one of the twelve finalists for the New 7 Wonders, has made the selection of hotels on offer in Granada one of the best traditionally at an international level. Here is a selection of the best hotels in Granada.
If you are flying into Malaga airport you can pre-book a private Malaga airport transfer taxi or minibus to Granada to take you straight to your accommodation without fuss.
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