Moorish Quarters: Granada, Spain

visitors flock to the city of Granada for the
, but there is plenty more to see and do in the city
and the surrounding area.

We stayed in Albaicin, the Moorish quarter which formed the
residential part of the medieval city, located on the hillside
opposite the Alhambra. The winding cobbled streets are narrow and
steep; buildings are white-washed with flowers spilling over from
balconies. It’s a charming area to explore on foot, and even more
so if you are out early in the morning before the crowds of
visitors appear.

Further along from Albaicin, away from the city centre, is the
Sacromonte neighbourhood – home to the gypsy community who
historically lived in cave dwellings, built by carving out the soft
earth of the hillside. Many of these have been modernised and
rented out or converted into intimate flamenco tablaos, where you
can experience flamenco performances in an atmospheric setting.

The city centre is a mix of Islamic, renaissance, baroque
architecture and modern buildings. Here you will find plenty of
small tapas bars dotted around – our favourites being the ones
tucked away down quiet streets, packed with locals. Many of these
bars still provide free tapas with each drink, a tradition which
seems to have largely died out in Southern Spain.

For a day away from the city, it’s worth hiring a car and
heading towards the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The mountain
peaks are high enough to be snow-capped for most of the year (with
a popular ski resort) but at lower altitudes it is hot and dry. Our
hiking route took us through a variety of landscapes; from
olive-tree groves, along cascading rivers and across a hanging
footbridge, to dramatic rocky gorges, before returning back through
a valley lush with cherry and pomegranate trees, from where we
could see Granada in the distance.

@lesley_lau_ |

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