Granada, Glorious City Of Southern Spain

Located at the foot of the southerly Sierra Nevada ski resort, Granada is among the most splendid cities of eastern Andalucia.

On its southern side is 103 kms of fabulous Mediterranean shore, together with the Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical in close proximity whilst, in between, lies a fertile plain producing tropical fruits.

Granada dates back to ancient times and was called Ilbyr. When the Romans colonized the southern part of Iberia, they built their own city there, calling it Illibris. The Arabs, invading the Peninsula in the eighth century, gave the city its current name of Granada.

Being the last Muslim city of Spain to be reconquered by the Christians, Granada has an unmistakable Arab taste, and Moorish and Christian elements go awry.

Among the most brilliant jewels of Granada is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the fourteenth century. This mighty compound of buildings, including the summer palace called Generalife with its beautiful fountains and gardens, stands at the foot of the Sierra Nevada.

The hill facing the Alhambra is the old Moorish casbah or medina known as the Albaicín. Among the oldest districts, it has been declared a World Heritage Site, along with the Alhambra and Generalife.

The Plaza de San Nicolas, at the highest point of this Albaicín, is famous for its magnificent view of the Moorish Palace.

Sacromonte Hill, which overlooks the city from the north, is famed for its cave dwellings, once home to a large gypsy community. Here, you will find some of the greatest flamenco shows in Andalucia.

Perhaps the most important Christian monument of Granada is the Cathedral. Built in 1523, Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand are buried there at the Royal Chapel.

One of museums well-worth visiting are the Art Museum at the Palacio de Carlos V at the Alhambra, the Alhambra Museum, the Cathedral Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Science Museum.

If the kids become somewhat bored with sightseeing, they will just love the activities offered at the nearby Sierra Nevada ski resort or the gorgeous beaches not too far off. So will you!