The first trip of the year: Granada

Destination: Granada y La Alpujarra

Dates: 03.01.17 – 06.01.17

Accommodation: Hostel “Suecia”

Our first trip of 2017 was to Granada that is located in the south of Spain. We spent four days in this amazing city. If I had to choose one word to define this place, it would be “complete” as it offers its visitors a lot of different activities in the city and also the beautiful nature on the outskirts.

We stayed in the hostel “Suecia”. Situated in the neighbourhood of El Realejo, it’s close to all the places of interest. Although the room is rather small and simple, it’s good value for money. The receptionist is friendly and gives some good advice. There isn’t a free car park near the hostel. We were lucky though as we could find a free parking place every day. Anyway, in case you can’t find a spot, there is a pay and display car park near the hostel.

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The only thing you should bear in mind is that in the city centre there are some streets with restricted access that are controlled by cameras. It took us a lot of time to get to the hostel as our GPS was indicating all the time the restricted street. That’s why I recommend asking your hotel about the best way to get to your accommodation.

My top 5 highlights of the trip:

5). The Alhambra: a real must-see. This ensemble of gardens and palaces is absolutely breathtaking. The views of the city from here are definitely worth the visit.

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4). Albaicín, Sacromonte, El Realejo: getting lost in these neighbourhoods makes you forget the modern life for a few hours and go centuries back in time. The white houses, facades with flower pots, narrow streets and amazing views of The Alhambra are great ingredients for a perfect walk. It’s curious to find some cave houses where local people live. You can also visit the cave museum.

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3). Tea House Street: I love drinking tea and it’s nice to walk down the street full of tea houses and stalls that remind a bazaar. Having a tea in one of these tea houses takes you to Morocco for a while. You can find them in Caldería Nueva Street.

2). Having tapas: I loved eating out in Granada. Here it’s typical to get a free tapa with your drink. It’s fun because you never know what tapa you’ll be given. It’s always a surprise. There are restaurants where you have to wait to get a table, but it’s worth queuing. The dishes are plentiful and delicious, especially those of seafood and fish, and they’re good value for money.

1). The Alpujarra: the small villages located in the Sierra Nevada mountains are very picturesque. The white houses, nice portals, hospitality of the local people and delicious food make your visit an unforgettable experience.

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We visited Lanjarón, Órgiva, Cáñar, Carataunas and Pampaneira. We want to go back so that we can visit Capileira, among other villages, as our receptionist told us that it is really awesome.

Special places that we discovered in Granada and The Alpujarra:

1). The impressive panoramic views of The Alhambra from the restaurant Las Tomasas. You can enter just to take a picture from its terrace. They have nothing to envy to the ones from the well-known lookout San Nicolás that is always full of tourists.

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2). Victoria Square (Placeta de la Victoria): located near the Chapiz slope, it offers peace and awesome sights.

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3). Pampaneira, The Alpujarra

I fell in love with this village. It’s small, charming, full of slopes and surrounded by the mountains. There is a sort of canal in the middle of the street that gives it a refreshing touch.

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4). Lanjarón, The Alpujarra

There were a lot of original Christmas trees made of fabric around the village. You can also find lots of fountains in the village with high quality water (Lanjarón, which is sold in supermarkets, is bottled here).

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I was also surprised by the houses’ portals called “tinaos” that are very big, full of plants and are well-kept. A local man told us that it’s because in the past the families used to live together around the same patio.

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We also bought a huge tomato here that weighed almost one kilo.

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There is also a green park that takes you to a castle where we climbed up.

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Good places to have a meal or a drink:

1). Los Diamantes: it’s a typical Spanish bar. It was packed, so we had to wait to have dinner at the bar. We ordered different fish and octopus. We got a tapa with every drink such as mushrooms or mussels. We had a good dinner. Everything was very tasty and the waiters were friendly and cheerful in spite of the fact that the place was crowded.

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2). El Labrador: it’s a place where you can find local people, especially students. You can have enough food just eating tapas that you are given with your drinks. They are mainly sandwiches, but it turns to be genuine. It was a very cheap dinner.

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3). La taberna de Kafka: it was near our hostel. We just had a drink with some tapas. The place is cosy and bustling.

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4). Have a chai tea in the Tea House Street. It’s spicy and really good.

5). Restaurant Némesis in Órgiva: it’s a simple place with no aim of sophistication which serves typical food from the Alpujarras. We had a traditional soup that was delicious and another typical quite caloric dish. We had a lovely lunch at a good price.

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To conclude this review, I encourage everyone to visit this great city. It has everything to make your stay unforgettable by combining the bustle of the city with the peace and tranquillity of white villages lost in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

 

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