From the snow capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada to the crystal clear waters of the Costa tropical, it is no wonder why so many see the province of Granada as being the perfect location for settling down to enjoy the good life.
The Beaches and Costa Tropical
The city of Granada is located just 60 km from the Costa Tropical. The Costa Tropical is famous for its agriculture and horticulture and produces some of the most exotic and tropical fruits in all of Spain, think mangoes, avocados and the chirimoya (custard apple).
There are a number of beach resorts and towns along the coast and while the housing and construction boom of the last 15 years managed to reach the Costa Tropical, it was not as severe and did not experience the massive urban sprawl that is seen on some of the other Spanish Costas.
The major towns of the Costa Tropical are the port town of Motril as well as the resort towns of Saloboreña and Almuñecar and the more famous and built up beach town of Nerja.
Like all good Spanish beaches, on the Costa Tropical you are never far from the local Chriniguito. In all of towns you will find a large selection of beach front restaurants and cafes. Fresh fish is often the highlight of the menu, but Paella is often a special treat and when you see it bubbling away in front of you on an open log fire it is often hard to choose anything else.
Skiing in the Sierra Nevada:
Sierra Nevada boasts Spain’s best and longest ski season every year (early December to mid April) and is just a 45 minute drive from the centre of Granada. Known throughout Europe for 79 slopes and over a hundred skiable kilometers of piste, this ski-resort is a magnet for visitors from all over the globe. One of the many beautiful things about these pristine mountains is the availability of slopes for everyone, regardless of how well he or she might ski. In total there are 8 green slopes (very easy), 33 blue slopes (lower intermediate) and 34 red (advanced) and black (difficult) slopes.
Smaller villages of Granada:
Illora: One of the little-known places in the province of Granada, Illora is perfect for a day´s excursion. About 25 km from the capital, Íllora was known as Granada’s “last frontier” and “right eye” due to its important role in keeping watch over the capital. Located on the lower slopes of the impressive Sierra Parapanda, Íllora is an ideal starting point for those interested in mountain hikes (local environmental association Íllora Natura organises excursions).
Moclin: is the perfect small village to visit just 40 min from Granada
Moclín is another one of the gems that guard the province of Granada, and a must-see for all history and nature lovers. It’s located in a strategic spot surrounded by beautiful rolling landscapes. From its Islamic castle atop a hill you can take in the whole plain of Granada and keep watch over the routes into northern Andalucia
Is a region located midway between Granada city and the coast. The region flanks the southern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and is best known for its unique mini ecology and 50 odd small villages dotted throughout the valley, the region was also made famous by Chris Stewart´s bestseller “Driving over Lemons”.
Lanjarón just 35km from Granada, this idyllic town is perfect for a day trip to enjoy the fresh mountain air. It lies in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and acts as a gateway to the Alpujarra region. A small spa town which offers spectacular views of the mountains and is recognized by the World Health Organisation as being one of the places on earth with the greatest longetivity; the water, the climate, the clean mountain air and the Mediterranean diet are all, no doubt contributory factors.
Orgiva is the next town that you will come across as you venture into the Valley. Orgiva is probably the most popular town in the province for expats to settle with an estimated 50% of the inhabitants moving here from abroad. It is famous for its hand- made crafts, its weekly market and generally the simple way of life.
Trevelez: Located at 1500mtrs above sea level, Trevelez is recognized as the highest municipality in Spain. But the town is most famous for the quality of its air cured ham and other pork produce. It is believed the cold climate due to its high altitude makes perfect conditions for storing such products.