Take an unforgettable journey through the mighty compound of the Alhambra Palaces built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th century, a labyrinth of magnificent halls and intimate courtyards decorated by rows of elegant arches, peacefully bubbling fountains and splendidly carved decorations. The oldest part of the Alhambra complex is the Alcazaba fortress whose Torre de la Vela tower will offer you spectacular views of Granada with its former Islamic quarter el Albaicín and the unique Sacromonte district of cave dwellings dug into the hill centuries ago by gypsies and refugees. At the centre of the Alhambra stands the massive Palace of Charles V, an outstanding example of Spanish Renaissance architecture built after the reconquest in 1492 at the hands of Queen Isabel and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon who have found their final resting place in Granada’s impressive cathedral. Your visit continues to the Generalife, right next to the Alhambra, a royal place of leisure and recreation with beautiful exotic gardens, stunning water features and the lingering aroma of jasmine to remind you of its grand Moslem past.
The Nasrid Kingdom of Granada was the longest lasting Muslim dynasty on the Iberian Peninsula, under Moorish reign for almost 800 years. Linking the commercial routes of Europe with those of the Muslim world, it was very wealthy, particularly due to its gold trade and silk production. When King Boabdil finally surrendered the city in 1492, many of Granada’s Moorish and Renaissance monuments were destroyed but those which remain comprise the most complete group of Moorish domestic architecture in Europe.
You can perfectly visit all inside the Alhambra compound on foot and if you are staying in a Granada hotel you can walk up to the Alhambra to meet with your guide at the entrance or you may prefer to add on a private car & driver to take you there and back.
For a walking tour of Granada city, your private guide will collect you at the hotel and show you the medieval Albaicín quarter, a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets dotted with mosques rebuilt as churches and whitewashed houses with secluded gardens known as carmenes. Other points of interest are the Alcaicería or Arab bazaar and Plaza Bib-Rambla, Granada’s main square, where in Moorish times, festivals and jousts were held and in Christian times bullfights and other public celebrations. Today the square is famous for its flower stalls and many restaurants and terraces. Granada’s majestic cathedral was built on the site of the former main mosque and one of the best examples of Renaissance churches in the world. Its beautiful Royal chapel was ordered by the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella as royal burial site and their luxurious marble tombs can still be admired there today. The chapel has a great wrought iron screen made by a master blacksmith and an impressive altarpiece showing the conquest of Granada and the conversion of the Moors.
You may also like to take one of our lovely day trips to the surroundings:
Day trip to the Alpujarra
Day trip to the Sierra Nevada
Day trip to the Costa Tropical
Day trip to Malaga