Spain for Pleasure
The most amusing and detailed blog on Granada is “Spain for Pleasure“, written by “Young-ish” Brit Josh. Josh – or “Hos” as he says Spaniards calls him – moved to Spain in 2010 and took a teaching job in the small town of El Puerto de Santa Maria in the province of Cadiz. When he moved to Granada the following year, his initial plan of only spending a couple of years in Spain went out of the window: Josh remained in this enchanting Moorish-Spanish city for the next five years, working as an English teacher. Although he’s now living in the UK again, “Spain for Pleasure” contains a wealth of tips on teaching English in Granada, learning Spanish and living in Spain, as well as some great stories and anecdotes about the locals and local life. A good place to start for anyone thinking of moving to Granada.
Originally from Nottingham in the north of England, Molly Sears moved to Barcelona in 1998. Like many a traveller before her, she was seduced by Granada after moving there and began “Piccavey“, her excellent blog about the city’s culture and attractions, in 2011. Aided by her now-fluent Spanish, Sears has collected a wealth of on-the-ground knowledge and understanding of local life in Granada, making the blog an essential read for anyone planning a trip to this enchanting city. Indeed, as Sears explains in her online biography, “I share my own on the ground approach, explain things as locals see them”. “Piccavey” is particularly strong on food, restaurants and historical attractions and is packed with “tips that may not appear in guidebooks or travel magazines”.
Alex, the author of this wonderfully-titled lifestyle and travel blog, introduces herself as follows: “I’m a California girl who’s hungry for adventure and even hungrier for my next meal.” Based in San Franciso, where she works to fund her extensive travels, Alex’s entry on the best places to go in Granada for tapas – and what you’re likely to get when you go – is superb: picture -heavy but amusingly-written when there is text, this is definitely worth a look before you head to the tapas capital of Spain. The sheer number of tapas joints in Granada can be overwhelming for the casual visitor, not to mention the huge range (and wildly varying quality) of dishes you’re served up, so Alex’s “Grubbin’ in Granada” post is a must-read.
For those curious about Granada’s culinary scene, the best blog out there is by Lauren Aloise, the Italian-American founder of Devour Tours (which offers food tours of several major Spanish cities, including Granada). Fascinated by food – in particular by its social and cultural significance – from as far back as she can remember, Lauren moved to southern Spain from the U.S. in 2009, since which time she’s been pretty busy: as she explains on her blog, “I’ve traveled the country in search of local food and farmers. I’ve met the families behind the food and heard their stories. I’ve learned to cook the most authentic Spanish recipes”. Somehow she’s also found time time to write “Spanish Sabores” (Spanish Flavours), a superb blog on Spanish food and cooking which contains an exhaustive survey of the culinary scene in Granada. Definitely a blog to read if you’re a little overwhelmed by Granada’s legendary free tapas.
The Longest Haul
Danika, the author of this conspicuously well-written travel and lifetsyle blog, is a professional journalist who relocated from her native Australia to southern Spain several years ago. Although now based in the Andalusian capital of Seville, Danika lived in Granada for over a year and writes about the city with a rare nuance and understanding; indeed, her “Ultimate Local’s Guide to Granada” is just as thorough as the title promises. Danika doesn’t just offer background information and tips on visiting the city’s key architectural attractions, but more original entries on where to go for the most stunning views and how best to appreciate the centuries-old neighbourhoods of Albaicín and Sacromonte (getting completely lost). The blog also contains some surprising and little known facts about Granada: did you know, for example, that in winter it is Spain’s second coldest city, yet in summer the third hottest?
Jessie on a Journey
“Jessie on a Journey” is a “solo female and offbeat travel blog” penned by American traveller (and gifted writer) Jessica Festa. The entry on Granada is inventive and original, eschewing the usual “top tips for visiting the Alhambra” kind of thing. Instead, Jessie’s focus is on how to really get the most out of Granada life and culture without spending much cash, which in any case is not hard in a city as cheap as this: she recommends the best viewpoints and Arabic markets in the old Moorish quarter of Albaicín or a day spent nosing around the rustic and romantic gypsy barrio of Sacromonte. Particularly lovely is her suggestion of buying a bottle of wine from a grocery store (about 4 euros for something decent) and taking it up to the city’s highest point – the hermitage of San Miguel Alto – to watch the sunset. It’s an inspired tip that you certainly won’t find in any guidebook.