Granada is a large and cosmopolitan city, with an intriguing historic centre topped by the wonders of the Alhambra and surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada. Browse the narrow alleys of the Albayzín, or enjoy the elegant courtyards of the Realejo district. Enjoy drinks and tapas in the Plaza Isabel la Catolica, before stepping into the Granada Cathedral to marvel at the magnificently painted Capilla Mayor Dome. Set aside a day to fully explore the Alhambra, the largest remnant of Southern Europe's Moorish past. Granada also makes the perfect base for skiing on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada, or heading South to the beaches of Almunecar and Nerja.
Granada, the dramatic Moorish city of Andalucia, is one of Spain's most popular destinations, with travellers keen to experience the magnificent gardens and architecture of the Alhambra Palace. When selecting the best time to visit, it should be remembered that Andalucia is among the hottest regions of Spain. In mid summer, from June to August, temperatures can average in the mid 90s. Although the Moors designed the Alhambra to be a cool refuge, with fountains and shaded arbors, it can still be uncomfortably hot exploring a historic monument in high summer. Preferable seasons for a visit to the Andalucian city are late spring or early fall. At these times, temperatures are usually in the high 70s, warm enough to enjoy an al fresco dinner in a Granada restaurant, without being too warm. Visiting outside the peak season also has the advantage of avoiding the large crowds of visitors that descend on Granada during summer vacations. In winter, the city takes on a different aspect, with quieter streets, a chill in the air, and snow on the peaks of the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains. It's an ideal time to explore the city at leisure and discover its hidden treasures.
Granada, the historic city of Andalucia, has a cuisine that emphasizes the traditional flavors of southern Spain, while acknowledging the city's Moorish heritage. Top chefs in the city are respectful of tradition, usually offering a stylish take on Andalucian classics, making use of excellent local ingredients. For example, hams are often sourced from Trevelez, the village in the Alpujarras where the meat is dried in the cool mountain air. Andalucian dishes that feature on most menus in the city include classic summer cold soups such as gazpacho and its near relatives, salmorejo and ajo blanco - refreshing lunch options when the temperatures are hitting the 90s. In winter, traditional dishes take the form of hearty mountain stews such as Olla de San Anton, a bean stew with pig's head, bacon and blood sausage. If that's a little too daunting for some travellers, migas alpujarrenas is a traditional shepherd's dish made from breadcrumbs, seasoned with ham, garlic and paprika. Fittingly for a city with Moorish roots, north African cafes and kebabs have become as popular as tapas bars in the city center. The student population has also made it easier to find vegan and vegetarian eateries, once very rare in Granada.