There is a lot of beauty to be discovered in this part of Andalucía. There is of course the Alhambra palaces here in the city, the snow capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada, the “pueblos blancos ” (white villages) of the Alpujarras and the sunny beaches of the Costa Tropical. Not to mention an abundance of delicious local food and wine, blissful summer evenings and a rich history of culture, arts and music.
The city of Granada is the capital of the province and it is located on the confluence of the rivers Beiro, Darro and Genil. The city is 700 meters above sea level and is quite unique for being under an hour drive from both the ski station in the Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean coast. On a fine Spring day it is claimed that one can enjoy skiing in the morning and spend the afternoon sunbathing on the beach.
The city is serviced by Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén Airport (GRX), however due to recent disputes with Ryanair and Monarch airlines there are currently very few International flights and it operates primarily domestic routes. The closest major International airport is Malaga some 120 kilometers from Granada. Bus and rail connects Granada to all of the other major cities (Seville 3hrs, Madrid 5 hrs) with construction underway to connect the city into the AVE (high speed rail) network due to be complete in the next 2-4 years.
Granada has no major manufacturing or engineering industry, instead the city depends largely on the twin pillars of the tourism sector and third level education.
The prestigious University of Granada caters for over 60,000 students who flock to the famous student city from across Spain as well as thousands more Europeans participating in the Erasmus student exchange programme and others from further afield. While the major draw for tourists coming to Granada is the Alhambra, there is many other historical and cultural activities that attracts large numbers to the city every year.
Granada is considered (along with Seville and Cádiz) to be at the heart of the Flamenco world. Many of the most famous stars of Flamenco learned their trade in Granada and none more famous than perhaps the most influential contemporary singer of all, Enrique Morente.
Europe’s Famous Hostels have also produced an excellent guide for the budget traveller which can be downloaded from the Europe’s Famous Hostels website.