Suggestions, ideas, plans or whatever you want to call them to experiences this ‘sea and mountain’ made province to the fullest

alhambra granada spain

The Alhambra

Diving, tasting, learning, skiing and even flying. We go to Granada to appreciate it in its fullness through to ten experiences. Because traveling in capital letters is much more than uploading photos to Instagram.  Come with us to truly experience the province of Granada!

1. FLY THROUGH THE DESERT OF GORAFE 

Imagine someone kneels before you, asks you the question and offers you a ring 600 meters high? This is what has happened more than once to the   Glovento Sur team , a company from Granada that offers the possibility of traveling by balloon individually, in groups or, of course, as a couple.

Of course, you do not need to arrive on that special day to enjoy the experience: if the weather allows it, any day is good to fly.

“The sensation of floating is quite special,” says Miguel Juliá, who, in addition to being one of the people in charge of the company, also runs the balloons.

The desert of Gorafe,   in the surroundings of Guadix, it is one of the most suitable enclaves to enjoy the heights.Where today there is an arid area there was once a lake and its sediments are now modeled by water and wind, which create   a unique landscape based on gullies and spectacular mountain formations.

There is also the option to fly over the city of Granada , as well as places like Ronda or Antequera . However, “the trip through the skies of Guadix is ​​the most recommended,” says Juliá. It also means a great opportunity to   see from the air the famous cave houses of the town where, why not, you can rest a night after the balloon flight.

(Price of the trip: from 165 euros) .

Guadix Granada

On the balloon and from the air, the desert of Gorafe at your feet © Glovento Sur Team

2.WALK THE MONACHIL CAHORROS 

Those who enjoy early mornings to go hiking have a paradise in Granada. The whole  Natural Park of Sierra Nevada is full of routes, many of them through the region of La Alpujarra joining each and every one of the localities of the area.

Some are gathered in the Sulayr, a route that takes the Arabic name of the place that runs in a circular way along 300 kilometers.

Other options are more unknown and, nevertheless, they are quite an experience. One of the most recommendable is the one that covers the so-called   Cahorros de Monachil, canyons that the river of the same name has been excavating patiently for thousands of years.

Recently a walkway has been built so that the route starts in the town of Monachil, so access is more than easy. From there,   stairs, huge walls, narrow limestone alleys and wonderful hanging bridges are part of a journey that, despite what it may seem, is suitable for the whole family provided that the necessary precautions are taken.

It is also an ideal place to practice climbing thanks to its many ferrata routes, which brings climbers from all over the planet. Next to the route is the San Garrito Merendero, perfect to regain strength at the end of the tour based on local products.

3.PRACTICING THE LOCAL SPORT: EL TAPEO 

It’s more than recommended to practice the local favorite sport:   Go for tapas.

There are always new places, old classics to visit and places to return to.

Get lost in the Albaicín to have some snails in the Aliatar square, stroll around the bullring in search of Los Pescadores (Calle del Doctor Pareja Yébenes, 9) and The Owl’s Nest   (Calle Doctor Pareja Yébenes, 10), let yourself be surprised by the Realejo district and take the penultimate one in Campo del Príncipe …

All roads lead to a tapa in Granada! Also, if you want, the British blogger   Molly Sears ‘Piccavey’ can accompany you to tell you some of the secrets of each bite or get you a photographer to make the perfect photos to make your visit to Granada a triumph in social networks.

remojon granadino tapas tour malaga

4.LEARNING SCIENCE WITH THE FAMILY

From the human body to the Biosphere, from Al-Andalus to the advances of science. One of the most interesting sites in Granada is, without a doubt, the   Science Park   (Avenida de la Ciencia s / n) .

It seems like a place tailored to school children, but nothing is further from reality: its exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and experiments are suitable for curious people of all ages.

There is so much to do, see and touch that time flies there, as do the raptors or the many specimens in the mariposario.

The planetarium is one of the most attractive places thanks to the possibility of traveling through the universe along 7,000 stars, but the Science Park of Granada offers so much that it makes you want to go back again and again.

5. TASTE LA ALHAMBRA

Few new words can be dedicated to the monument between the monuments, to the place where travelers from all over the world have traveled to since before tourism was invented.

The Alhambra has always been “that magic word that in the minds of the English constitutes the summary and the substance of Granada,” as Richard Ford wrote.

Before him, at the beginning of the 19th century, romantic travelers like Washington Irving arrived,   one of the people who fought the most for its conservation.He was followed by, among others,   Téophile Gautier or Josephine de Brinckmann , at a time when the Nazari precinct was far from what it is today: so much so, that its surprise was huge when they saw the locals trade with the rubble falling from the building.

Today, fortunately, the only way to take a piece of the Alhambra is to make it in the form of cookies made by Margarita Núñez inspired by arabesques, such as the ceramics of Angel Vera.

Visiting the monument is already a little less romantic than it was two centuries ago because more than 8,000 people pass through it every day (2.7 million in 2017). Still, there are few sensations like walking through its gardens and towers, unhurriedly going through its rooms and patios.And, of course, feel part of a story that will be unique forever.

Flor de Vainilla cookies

Cookie inspired by Alhambra tiling © Flor de Vainilla

6. A ROMANTIC JOURNEY TO THE ALPUJARRA

As there is no two without three, the appointment of Capileira and Pampaneira among the most beautiful villages in Spain in 2017 has been accompanied by that of Bubión in 2018.

Located in the ravine of Poqueira, this trio of towns separated by just a few kilometers are a sure bet for the Alpujarra initiation based on excellent landscapes, walks along streets crossed by ditches, almost endemic architectural postcards and a gastronomy where spooning is taken to the maximum expression.

From there you can follow the steps of Pedro Antonio de Alarcón by Órgiva and the Sierra de La Contraviesa or Gerald Brenan by the gray city of Yegen, a town that to the British Hispanist resembled a Braque painting.

They did it on foot or on a mule, but now that there are roads, the route can also be enjoyed by car.  Although it does not hurt to forget about your vehicle (and the mobile) to go through paths, villages and viewpoints   that make up the infinite Alpujarras.As many as each traveler creates with their steps on a land where the past is still alive, the tradition beats and the present looks to the future with its head high.

capileira granada

Capileira ©Mario Fuentes

7. GO TO A CONCERT

Live music is another experience to be included in any visit to Granada, which is called the City of Rock for a reason.

In fact, it has even a rock route that runs through shops to buy records, tapas in musical gambling dens or visit Joe Strummer Square.

However, the key is the rooms.  One of the most classic is Plantabaja (Calle Horno de Abad, 11) , as is the Industrial Copera (Desmond Tutu Street, Plot 13) without forgetting The Train   (Ctra. De Málaga, 136) .

In all of them it is relatively common to see the groups that the city itself generates as a quarry, from Los Planetas and Niños Mutantes to Apartamentos Acapulco or Koel.

In total, there are more than half a thousand venues, spaces and buildings where concerts are held throughout the capital of Granada, according to the Granada Concerts website .In fact, surfing for its programming, gives the feeling that the difficult thing in the city is to find a bar without live music.

If you want more, another experience is to enjoy the good flamenco in one of the caves of Sacromonte where, they say, the voice of Morente still sounds.

For festival worshipers, Granada has two: En Órbita during the spring and Granada Sound to say goodbye to the summer.

8. SIERRA NEVADA, THE PLAN THAT NEVER FAILS

The ski resort of Sierra Nevada is one of the places to visit if you want to know in depth the province of Granada.

Beyond lowering El Río, surrounding the Península de Dílar or going down the slopes of Pico Veleta, the place offers opportunities for very different experiences.

Astronomical observation workshops, racket walks, night skiing and even the possibility of driving one of the snow plowing machines that are used to leave each skiable route in optimum condition.

The options are more than varied. And if you go at the right time, from April 13 to April 15 music also reaches the highest peak of the Iberian Peninsula. The sierra welcomes those days   the Sun and Snow festival , in which there will be concerts and many other activities that will serve to celebrate that the spring sun is showing itself and dismissing the snow until next fall.

sierra nevada Granada

Sierra Nevada, Granada © Yeray Sánchez

9. PRACTICE CROSS COUNTRY SKIING AT THE PORT OF LA RAGUA 

Less well known, but also located in the Sierra Nevada National Park, the recreational station of Puerto de la Ragua is the place to take a liking to the snow without fear of slopes and speeds.

Halfway between Granada and Almería and 2,000 meters above sea level, this space has three tracks for cross-country skiing, two of them of low difficulty and accessible to anyone.

Right there you can rent, for 13 euros, the complete equipment and, from there, it is quite an experience to learn to drive along the trails of the area.

For the more adventurous there is the option to practice extreme skiing and for the less adventurous there is also a hollow for family fun in the form of a toboggan run.

And if it does not snow, there is no problem. The place is also the starting point of   numerous hiking routes such as those that reach the Cerro del Almírez and the Morrón del Mediodía or the peak of Chullo , the roof of Almería which is a little more than 2,600 meters high.Some of them are also suitable for mountain bikes.

10. LIVE THE TROPICAL COAST

Although it sounds like music, La Rijana is a paradisiacal corner of the Granada coast.  Turquoise waters, rocks and cliffs are some of the ingredients of one of the most attractive beaches in the province, almost hidden at the foot of the National Highway 340.

But the Costa Tropical of Granada offers many more quality baths thanks to Almuñécar, Salobreña or Castell de Ferro.  And in the limits with Malaga, the area of La Herradura is perfect for diving and Cantarriján for the practice of nudism.

In Motril do not miss the tasty dry octopus from the El Paso bar   (Calle Antilla, 43) , a gastronomic delight, as are tropical fruits that, like mango or avocado, give color and flavor to any dish.

Of course, worthy of a trip to this coastal city are the already mythical shrimps that have become famous in a bunch of restaurants with Michelin stars.What better than to try them in your motrileña house!

And what better to finish the tastings than a mojito based on Montero rum prepared, also, in Motril.

English version of the article  Diez experiencias que solo podrás vivir en Granada  written by Nacho Sánchez for www.traveler.es on 16/02/2018

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