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Granada and Beyond   by Edward Kirwan

Granada featured hotels - Granada/Costa Tropical Self-Catering Accommodation

Granada, in the east of Andalusía, is a city steeped in Moorish tradition. The Alhambra Palace which was recently short listed as a Seventh Wonder of the new world, is truly wondrous but there is so much more to see and do.

The last stronghold of the Arabic/Moorish kings, Granada has retained and celebrates much of its ancient history. A bustling city, it happily combines the old with the new. It can be enjoyed largely on foot using the Gran Via as your central point. Stroll in the tranquil Gardens of Triunfo, gaze at the Hospital Real and the Carthusian Monastery. 

Carved Wall with Tourists in Background, Alhambra, Granada, Spain
Take in the glorious Gothic style Royal Chapel and renaissance Cathedral where Isabel and Ferdinand are entombed. You will be sure to find an eatery to your liking among the many atmospheric restaurants, cafes and bars. Happily, unlike much of modern Spain, Granada's bars still offer generous free tapas.
Patio de los Leones in the Alhambra, Granada, Spain The old Moorish Quarter, the Albaycin, offers narrow shaded streets and is an ideal maze to explore. From the Plaza Larga you can take a stroll along the walls of the Alcazaba de Cadima to the main ancient gateway, the Puerta de Elvira. From Saint Cristobel Mirador de San Nicholas you can gaze upon the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada beyond..

The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and marks the beginning of the Nasrid Dynasty, under Mohammed Ibn Alhamar in the 11th Century. It graciously overlooks the city of Granada and the vast surrounding lands. This great fortress-cum-palace is easily accessible by car, bus or for the stouter among us, on foot. No visit to Granada is complete without experiencing the magnificent Royal Palace and the Genaralife's well kept gardens.

Granada also acts as a centre for visiting the Sierra Nevada some 75km distant. The area offers full winter sports facilities, walking tours, cycling, horse trekking and many more activities besides. This is truly an adventurer's paradise. The ancient whitewashed villages of the Alpujarras, famed recently for the Lanjaron water and Chris Stewart's "Driving over Lemons", lie to the southeast. Among these, Trevelez lays claim to being the highest village in all of Spain.

From Granada it is possible to ski in the morning and swim in the sea in the afternoon. If this is for you, head south to the lesser known Costa Tropical, an hour's drive away. It has quiet sandy coves and beaches stretched along the craggy coastline between the Almeria and Malaga provincial borders.

Granada featured hotels - Granada/Costa Tropical Self-Catering Accommodation

Many of these beaches are barely accessible by car but well worth the effort of reaching them. Among these are large, dedicated naturist's areas.

For those that like to take things a little easier, La Herradura (meaning "horseshoe"), Almuncecar, with all popular facilities, Salobrena, with its castle and Motril for its easy yet working town demeanor are all worth visiting (forget visiting the port). For sailors and scuba-divers the well maintained and expanding Marina del Este (between Almunecar and La Herradura) provides excellent facilities in a secluded and tranquil setting.

Venturing away from the Mediterranean and to the east of Granada, lies the intriguing troglodyte town of Gaudix. Having sandstone as a natural resource, half the town's population live in caves. And yes, you can stay there. To the northwest lies the old fortified town of Moclin with its magnificent views, one of the last Moorish strongholds before Granada fell to the Christians in 1495. Further afield, to the southeast you can enjoy the relaxing spas of Alhama de Granada.

Granada is easily accessible by air from its newly upgraded international airport to the west of the city. The modern road infrastructure allows easy access to your destination by car or bus. Granada both ancient and modern is there to be enjoyed.

Granada featured hotels - Granada/Costa Tropical Self-Catering Accommodation


About the Author - Edward Kirwan resides in Southern Spain and is co-founder of Finca Fantastica Travel. Edward has travelled, lived and worked in Canada, the USA and Spain. Extended visits to Ireland, France, Germany and northern Africa expanded his horizons. He now resides in southern Spain with his Danish wife.
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Aben Humeya Hotel Granada
The modern Hotel Aben Humeya is located one kilometre from the famous Alhambra Palace. The hotel's Aben Humeya Restaurant serves a buffet of local and international dishes, and guests can enjoy a pre-dinner drink or a nightcap in the bar.  Practical amenities include a 24- hour front desk with multilingual staff, concierge services, currency exchange and laundry facilities.  The hotel is close to many of Granada's main attractions; the Cathedral and Cartuja Monastery are both one kilometre from the hotel. Granada Airport is 12 kilometres away, with an approximate driving time of 10 minutes.
AC Palacio de Santa Paula, Granada
A restored 14th century Moresque house and convent located in the historical centre of Granada, the AC Palacio Santa Paula is 1 kilometre from the Alhambra.  After sampling the home made pastries at the extensive buffet breakfast, guests can enjoy a relaxing morning browsing through the complimentary newspapers outside on the hotel's palatial courtyard terrace amidst the Moresque arches and pillars of the restored convent.  More active guests can work out in the hotel fitness centre and afterwards enjoy relaxing in the sauna and Hammam.  This 5 floor hotel features 75 air-conditioned guestrooms stylishly decorated with high ceilings and wooden floors.
Hostal Atenas, Granada
The Hostal Atenas in Granada is a modern family-run hotel set in the historic city, within two kilometers of the Alhambra and the Cathedral.  The Atenas offers a round the clock front desk and provides complimentary internet services in a public area. Those looking to explore the area can visit the renaissance-style Cathedral, which is 300 meters from the hotel, or the hilltop castle of Alhambra, which is within two kilometers.  For beach lovers, the southern coastline is 60 kilometers away.   Hostal Atenas in Granada is also only 30 kilometers from the Sierra Nevada, Europe's southernmost skiing destination.   The nearest airport to the hotel is Granada Airport, which is 35 kilometers away.
Hostal los Girasoles, Granada
The Hostal los Girasoles is a modern property located next to the San Juan De Dios Church, in the historical centre of Granada. It is 500 metres from the Cathedral and 900 metres from the Alhambra.  The air-conditioned public areas of this city-centre hotel feature colourful furnishings and polished marble floors. Multilingual staff at the 24-hour front desk can provide tour assistance, and there is wireless internet access available throughout the property.  Hostal los Girasoles offers 29 air-conditioned guestrooms located on two floors and accessible by elevator. All have simple, contemporary decor in natural shades with wooden floors, modern furnishings and dark wood and chrome headboards. 
Hotel Juan Miguel Hotel, Granada
The Hotel Juan Miguel is located in the city center of Granada, Spain, overlooking the Plaza Puerta Real.  The Alhambra Museum, Granada Cathedral and the Congress Center of Granada are one-half kilometer from the hotel. The cafés, restaurants and flower stands at Plaza De Bib-Rambla, shopping at Gran Via de Colon and the Monasterio de Cartuja are one kilometer away.  Marble floors and tapestries decorate the hotel's Spanish-style Lobby. Buffet breakfasts, coffee and snacks are served in the on-site cafeteria and limited room service is offered.  The Juan Miguel Hotel features 66 guestrooms decorated with polished tile floors and medium-toned wood furnishings.
Hotel Macia Real de la Alhambra, Granada
Offering panoramic views over Granada and the surrounding mountains, the Macia Real de la Alhambra is a modern property located two kilometres from the historic Alhambra and the tranquil Generalife Gardens. Guests can go for a refreshing dip in the outdoor swimming pool, and pamper themselves in the hair salon with a range of beauty treatments.  The Macia Real offers two dining options: the Daraxa is an informal, contemporary restaurant, serving a range of traditional Andalusian and international dishes, and the relaxed, modern snack bar offers light refreshments including sandwiches, salads and tapas.The 185 guestrooms, over six floors, feature contemporary decor. all include air conditioning, complimentary wireless internet access...
Hotel Villa Sur, Húetor Vega, Granada
The Hotel Villa Sur is a beautiful "Villa" in the traditional Andalusian style set in a privileged location. There is a small number of large rooms with a balcony or terrace. These rooms have a fully-equipped bathroom, hairdryer, scales, welcome kit, a minibar, safe, alarm clock, telephone, ADSL line, satellite TV, heating and air conditioning.
Parador of Granada, Alhambra, Granada
Spending a night in the gardens of the Alhambra, among fountains, trees and large arched windows is the exclusive opportunity offered by this Parador, a former convent built by decision of the Catholic Monarchs. This monumental ensemble proposes placid walks around the city for the guest, although the building itself invites you to discover a dreamlike interior, where Arabic and Christian styles mix. Its bedrooms offer exceptional views of the Generalife, the Secano gardens and the Albaicín, while the classical furniture and numerous portraits mark the decoration of the interior rooms. Under the coffered ceiling of the dining room and the freshness of the summer terrace 'gazpacho andaluz', 'tortilla de Sacromonte' and 'piononos de Santa Fe' are offered.
Room Mate Migueletes, Albayzin, Granada
Housed in a 17th-century mansion, the Room Mate Migueletes is a renovated, traditional Andalusian property located in the Albayzin area, declared a heritage site by Unesco.  The Alhambra and Granada's Cathedral are both within 500 metres of the hotel, and Granada Airport is situated 14 kilometres away, approximately half an hour by car.  The hotel provides a 24-hour front desk with a multilingual concierge service to book excursions, flamenco dances and restaurant reservations, and offers a traditional Andalusian patio, a meeting room and dry cleaning facilities.
Rusticae Gar Anat Hotel de Peregrinos, Granada
This seventeenth century palace dedicated to pilgrimage is more than just a hotel; it also plays host to characters and stories both real and fictitious. The experiences, concerns, emotions and conversations of those who stay here are the foundations of the Gar-Anat, a traditional name which originated in Granada.  This building of noble origin with its courtyard-style interior dating back to the Golden Age pays tribute to the stage in its hallway, vaulted basement, library, column-lined patio and rooms. Ten of the 15 bedrooms are dedicated to Gar-Anat pilgrims.  The hotel is located in the Realejo district, at the base of the Alhambra and a few minutes from the cathedral.  One of the bedrooms is located inside the tower and affords stunning views of the Realejo and the towers of the Alhambra. 
Saray Hotel, Granada
The Saray Hotel in Granada – close to the Congress Hall, a superior first-class hotel, was built in 1992. This modern-style hotel features Granada Alhambra decor in its public areas.  It is the only hotel in the city with a swimming pool and private parking.  Some of the amenities at the Saray Hotel include air conditioning, a bar, cable tv, concierge, a cocktail lounge, car parking, conference room, and direct-dial telephone, facilities for the disabled, laundry service and minibar. The Saray Hotel in Granada has guest rooms that are comfortable and nicely equipped to give a feeling of being home while away from home. 
Vincci Granada Hotel, Granada
The Vincci Granada is a deluxe hotel strategically located within close proximity of the Granada Airport.  Situated in a land of composers, poets, and painters, it is easy to fall under the spell of this fascinating city. Comfortable facilities and convenience are what make this property the perfect choice for the business traveller and vacationer alike. What distinguishes this hotel is the personal service and constant quality that you will receive.  Major attractions within close proximity to the hotel include the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort, Alhambra and the Cartuja Monastery. The hotel is minutes away from fine dining, shopping and entertainment venues.
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Latest update: May 11, 2012