There’s an energy to Granada, a city in the Andalusia region of Southern Spain, that mimics the quirky vitality of towns you’d find in California or Colorado. Most are drawn to Granada to visit the Alhambra, a palace with roots in Islamic architecture and design, but the city has lots of diverse offerings all within walking distance of each other. From buzzing tapas bars to beautiful churches and unique street vendors, there are many reasons Granada should be added to your summer European bucket list.
Start your morning with a hike at Silla de Moro. Located behind the Alhambra, this easy-to-follow path features panoramic views of the entire city. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a whiff of sweet olive oil as you pass the bountiful olive trees nestled in the greenery. The hike can be as short or long as you make it, and is perfect to embark on with a travel partner of any fitness level.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get a whiff of sweet olive oil as you pass the bountiful olive trees nestled in the greenery.
Spend your daily afternoon siesta digesting with a stroll in Federico García Lorca park, named after the Spanish poet. Surrounded by pine groves, palm trees and a panoramic mountain view, this spot is popular amongst young Spaniards sunbathing and hanging out.
For a quick, inexpensive smoothie, check out i need, a hip coffee shop that also has yummy vegan pastries. The “green reviver” drink is a perfect way to sneak kale into a vacation-mode diet.
Another breakfast option is tostadas and açai bowls at Cafe Baraka. I enjoyed an avocado and tomato tostada, açai bowl and soy latte with a nice breeze seeping into the open air restaurant.
For mid-day tapas with a view, Rollo is a must. Rollo is located directly in front of the Granada Cathedral in the Plaza de las Pasiegas. Enjoy a coffee or tostada, or check out their extensive, seasonal wine and tapas menu, all while taking in the gorgeous architecture and intricacies of the Roman Catholic church.
The Alhambra is the largest tourist attraction in the region and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back to the 13th century, the Islamic palace was built for the last Muslim rulers in Spain and was renovated under the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century. It’s easy to spend hours lost in the wildflower gardens and the Arabic inscriptions adorning the palace walls. Make sure to buy your tickets months in advance if you’re visiting during the high season.
After strolling through the narrow and winding streets of the Albaicin, the old Muslim quarter filled with street vendors (that’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site), enter your evening watching the sunset at the Mirador de San Nicholas. This famous viewpoint does not disappoint and is worth the uphill trek.
Photos by Lexi Reich.