24 hours in Granada

 

Set yourself up for the day

Don’t head out to explore Granada before you’ve indulged in a spot of breakfast. The most popular way to start the day Andalucia-style is with toasted mollete, a soft floury bread from Antequera, topped with tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil. Add slices of dry-cured serrano ham and a café con leche and you’re good to go!

Tour the Alhambra Palace

The highlight of your day in Granada, and for many, one of the main reasons to visit Andalucia, is the exquisite Alhambra Palace. Looming right over the city, this stunning work of Islamic art was originally built as a fortress in AD 889. Over time it has been added to by the Moors and the Nasrid sultans, fallen into neglect and been restored. Now it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Slip on your comfiest shoes and give yourself three or four hours to explore. Discover the Nasrid Palaces, draped around a central courtyard, and the Alcazaba, one of the oldest parts of the complex. Round off your visit with time in the lavish Generalife Gardens, where the kings of Granada would head to relax in this paradise on earth. 

Time for a spot of lunch

With all that walking you’ve probably worked up an appetite. The city has plenty of restaurants, and you’ll find that many offer a menú del día – a set three-course lunch. Maybe start with Andalucia’s famous chilled soup, gazpacho, and order albondigas for your main course, meatballs traditionally served in a lightly spiced tomato and paprika sauce. Finish with pionono, a small sweet pastry.

A stroll through the Albaicín

After lunch you’ll probably find the streets are less crowded as the locals enjoy a siesta. This gives you a great opportunity to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring in comfort, so make your way up to the Albaicín, the Arabic quarter. You’ll easily while away a couple of hours as you discover its medieval charm amongst narrow, cobbled streets, secret alleyways and small squares. You can also enjoy dramatic views down to the Alhambra Palace from this hill-top location.

Tapas and flamenco

Traditionally the dance of Andalucian gypsies, flamenco originated here. So, as night falls, go off in search of a tapas bar or two and listen out for distinctive guitar music or the stomp of a thick-heeled shoe. When you order a drink – a chilled glass of pale, dry fino sherry from Jerez comes highly recommended – the chances are it will be served with tapas on the house. Anything from spicy prawns to pork stew all served up with no charge is a great end to the day.