Granada is the capital of the province with the same name, situated in the eastern part of the region of Andalucia. Geographical and scenic diversity charactizes the land. There is the coastal area with its warm climate; the extensive, fertile Genil plain; and the mountainous regions with a colder climate, where we find the 3,481 metre Mulhacén, the biggest peak on the peninsula of Spain. The city of Granada is located at the foot of the sierra Nevada mountains at the confluences of the Darro and Genil rivers. Its unique history has bestowed it with an artistic grandeur embracing Moorish palaces and Christian Renaissance treasures. As the last Moorish capital on the Iberian peninsula, it also holds great symbolic value.
The city of Granada has been shaped by the hills, where the old districts in the Albaicín and the Alhambra were founded, brimming with steep, narrow streets, beautiful nooks and crannies, and marvelous landscapes. The new part of the city is situated on the plain, crisscrossed by the large arteries of Gran Vía de Colón and Calle de los Reyes Católicos, and where the busy streets around the Cathedral are found.
Granada is in the south east of the Iberian peninsula, in the province of Andalucia. (it is 40 mls from the coast at Motril. 80 mls SE of Cordoba. 150 mls E of Seville. 10 mls E of the airport). It is set in a fertile lowland plain formed by the confluence of 2 rivers, with the Sierra Nevada mountains as a dramatic backdrop. It is a worthwhile stop for anyone with an interest in things cultural and historical. It also offers lots of student nightlife, making it a natural draw for young people from all over the world wishing to study Spanish and party.
Granada offers a variety of shopping experiences, from lively, modern streets to quiet alleys with workshops selling local handicrafts; however, most prices are quite high compared with the UK. The pedestrianised Calle de los Mesones, with its designer shops and buskers, is a real treat to wander down in the evening; a good selection of handicrafts can be found in and around Plaza Nueva, including hand-made guitars, weaving, basketry, leather goods, ornate Moorish-style lamps and ceramics; Plaza Bib-Rambla has a selection of market stalls selling mainly flowers.
During the daytime activities include sightseeing, including the Alhambra, Palace of Charles V and lovely Generalife gardens, the magnificent 16th- to 18th-century cathedral with lavish façades and cavernous interior, the spectacular Monastery de la Cartuja with its extravagant frescoed interior, various churches such as San Pedro y San Pablo and San Nicolas in Albaicin, for views of the Alhambra; Sacromonte Hill, famous for its cave dwellings.
The nightlife here offers lots of bars, many offering “tapas” along with the drinks at no extra cost, there are flamenco shows or “zambras” in the caves of the Sacromonte quarter, there is a a couple of nightclubs which stage local folklore shows, there are plenty of discos, an extensive year-round programme of cultural events including theatre, jazz, and music and dance festivals.
There are mediocre Chinese restaurants and pizzerias abound, and there is an abundance of cafes surrounding the squares. More upmarket dining can be found in some hotels, especially near the Alhambra, although prices can be steep. Some of the best value-for-money dining can be had at the country inns or “ventas” found in the villages around the fringes of the city.