A city in southern Spain with grand Islamic architecture, free tapas, counterculture street art and a beer spa, Granada surprises and delights visitors. Many are drawn to the vibrant Spanish city for its show-stopping hilltop fortress, the Alhambra. But all are soon swept up by the fast, fun pace of life in the city. Lose yourself in the maze-like streets running through lively neighbourhoods like Realejo and Albaicín, where tender tapas are dished out for free with every cold glass of beer, and powerful street art adorns weathered walls. Here are a few reasons to launch yourself into the heart of Granada and beyond.
Skiing in toasty southern Spain? Surprising, but definitely possible thanks to the immense Sierra Nevada mountain range, just a short drive from Granada. The area encompasses a national park, the highest peaks in mainland Spain and Europe’s southernmost ski resort. If zooming down the slopes isn’t your thing, there are 86,000ha (212,510 acres) of wild landscape – incorporating lakes, pine groves and meadows – to explore via hiking and cycling trails. Look out for local wildlife – mountain goats, wild boar, badgers, eagles and vultures – before retiring to the Costa Tropical, a stretch of coastline just south of Sierra Nevada dotted with dreamy beaches and pretty fishing villages.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Mark Nayler.