Situated at the foot of the southerly Sierra Nevada ski resort, Granada is one of the most splendid cities of eastern Andalucia.
On its southern side is 103 kms of fabulous Mediterranean coastline, with the Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical in close proximity whilst, in between, lies a fertile plain producing exotic fruits.
Granada dates back to prehistoric times and was known as 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 flavor, and Moorish and Christian elements go hand-in-hand.
One of 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 called the Albaicín. One of 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 the Albaicín, is famous for its magnificent view of the Moorish Palace.
Sacromonte Hill, which overlooks the city from the north, is famous for its cave dwellings, once home to a large gypsy community. Here, you can find some of the best 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 in the Royal Chapel.
Among museums well-worth visiting are the Art Museum in the Palacio de Carlos V at the Alhambra, the Alhambra Museum, the Cathedral Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Science Museum.
If the children become a little bored with sightseeing, they will just love the activities available in the nearby Sierra Nevada ski resort or the beautiful beaches not too far away. And so will you!