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Granada Our visit was prompted by our niece graduating from a student exchange program here in December 2005.

Most of the tourists to Granada come to see the Alahambra, but there are also other things to do here:  city walking, hiking in the nearby national park, downhill skiing, and tapas bar hoping.


A 1 1/2 city walking tour starts at 10:30 AM at Plaza del Carmen (10 Euros in 2005).   The main theme of the walk is the period of history when Granada transformed from Moorish to Christianity.   BTW, another chapter in Granada history is the meeting of Columbus and Queen Isabel  (or Isabella if you are Italian) ... and you know the rest.  BTW 2, in Spain Columbus is known as "Cristóbal Colón."  Thus the main drag in Granada is Via Colon.  At the end of the avenue is a large monument of guess who.


The Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada, 20 km from Granada, has great possibilities for hiking and other outdoors activities.  We did a moderate hike on the trails along or the River Genil gorge, near the town of Guejar Sierra.  (Finding the River Genil road is a bit tricky.   From Granada drive/take bus to Guejar Sierra.  In Guejar Sierra town center ask for directions to the River Genil road (which they also know as the old tramway), or the Casa Chiquito restaurant, which is on that road, or the Barranco San Juan, at the end of the road.    We got there escorted by the friendly National Guard!)  There are several trailheads from the road.  One is at the very end of the road, next to the parking lot of the Barranco San Juan (a family restaurant).  On the trail there are numerous glimpses of the Sierra Nevada ski area - Spain's largest (only?) ski area.  


After the hike we feasted at the very friendly family restaurant Casa Chiquito, which celebrates the historic tram that used to run along the River Genil.   Even if you don't have time for a hike, this restaurant is worth a detour.


Another road from Granada takes you to the Sierra Nevada ski area.  Although there was not much natural snow on the ground when we were there, we did have one great day of skiing thanks to snow making machines.   The base resort has numerous outfitters that will get you into skis, boots, ski jacket, and even gloves for about 25 or 30 Euros.  At that price why schlep the stuff all the way from home?


Finally, Granada is the city of Tapas bars which open at 8 pm.  (Spaniards like late dinner.)  One way to do the bar scene is to settle in one place for an evening of wine tasting, assortment of tapas, and conversation.  Another way is to bar-hop, doing one wine glass and plate at each stop.  On one night we did the 3-tapas-bar-hop in the around Plaza Nueva ...   Bodega Castaneda, Taberna Salinas, and Al Pie de la Torre.  All three are highly recommended.  The last is the fanciest. 








© 2005 R. Abileah

Last updated February 27, 2008