Granada is one of the favorite destinies to visit in Spain and every year it leads the lists of most visited cities for numerous reasons. Its light, people, gastronomy and most of all those charming corners that you find while walking through the city. However, this hundreds of corners filled with history and charm are unknown for many tourist and even some locals. Let’s find out some of them.
Carmen de los Mártires
Despite sharing the same hill as a certain red fort and being a popular civil wedding venue, visitors to the Carmen de los Martires tend to be fairly few and far between. Peacocks roam the (slightly ramshackle) gardens, while there are grottoes, a boating lake and a striking 19th century mansion to poke around. With plenty of shady areas and lovely views across the city and on to the shimmering vega beyond, it’s also an ideal spot for a picnic. Free entry.
Monasterio de San Jerónimo
From the moment you cross the threshold of the Monasterio de San Jeronimo (built in the early 16th century by the Catholic Kings) and stroll around its large cloistered courtyard you’re struck by its rather solemn, forgotten about air. The highlight undoubtedly is the adjoining church: its gilded altarpiece and a central nave covered in faded, sepia frescoes lean inwards, creating the effect of having stumbled into a forest clearing in autumn.
Cuesta de los Chinos
Snaking alongside the Alhambra’s intriguing outer fortifications and babbling waterways, you rarely have to share the Cuesta de los Chinos with anyone other than the odd dog-walker or strolling couple. At the last bend (before the path dips down onto the Paseo de los Tristes), you get a glorious view of the Albaicin on a good day, a dazzling white smudge in the sunlight, its green cypresses reaching upwards towards the brightest of blue skies.
Carmen de la Victoria
It seems bizarre that a restaurant with one of the finest views of the Alhambra and a garden echoing with the sound of water features should be so rarely visited. If it has the air of an off-limits private members’ club, that’s because it is. Sort of. It belongs to the University of Granada, and if you manage to secure a (very decent) meal on the terrace you’ll most likely be surrounded by academics admiring the view, not quite able to believe their luck.
Granada Secreta y Subterránea
A series of guided tours led by artists and writers that explore several hidden aspects of the city. One takes you behind the (otherwise closed) doors of the carmenes of the Albaicin; another includes a tour of the city’s disused gold mines. The most popular however, delves into the secrets of the passage-riddled ground around the Alhambra and the Fundación Rodriguez-Acosta. And for such an ancient city, secrets there are obviously plenty.
Now, don’t let time to go to waste and start exploring this beautiful gems of the Nasrid city.
Tired of walking up and down Granada? Get on a Segway and choose one of four fun tours exploring the city and its surroundings. Oasis Hostel’s guests take these tours at a special rate. Lucky you!
Origin of Segway
Trademark name (Segway Inc., Bedford, New Hampshire, U.S.), in use from 2001; according to the company, chosen for similarity to segue on notion of “a smooth transition from one place to another,” with probably influence of way (n.).
Along Calderia Vieja and Calderia Nueva, twisting antique lanes climb the hill into the heart of the old Muslim district of the Albaizín, where Arab shops offer handmade crafts from Morocco, sweets from Jerusalem, and pungent Arabian spices. Softly lit tea houses promise mint tea and water pipes, evoking the hospitality of ancient Persia.
Not just a tea room
Unlike the typical English tea room patron, who is likely to be quietly reserved and conservatively dressed, in a tetería you can expect to see many young people, both native Spanish and foreign. The informal, relaxed atmosphere attracts people from all walks of life, including many students. Granada is an important University City and during term time almost 25% of the population is represented by students.
Teterías at Albaizyn
The historic quarter of El Albaizyn in Granada, where our hostel is located is home to many teterías, so as well as soaking up the atmosphere of centuries past in the Alhambra and other monuments of worldwide historic importance, you can also stop off for refreshments in one of these delightful establishments. The inside of a teteria is typically done in a Moroccan style, with an atmospheric courtyard filled with North African-style furnishings and pillows. Mint tea is always a good bet at the teteria, though the tea offerings are usually much more extensive; at some places you can even get smoothies and Mediterranean munchies. Another great aspect of the teteria are the little Moroccan pastries on offer, which transported us to the Djemaa al Fna.
The majority of tea-rooms in Granada can be found on Calle Calderería Nueva, this street is known as La Calle de las Teterias the street is literally lined with tea-rooms but here are some of the most famous ones.
Visiting these teterias can be a highlight of your visit to Granada, and they definitely will transport you to another era of Spain’s history. Whether you are looking to hide out from the punishing sun, or get some munchies, when you are in Andalusia you have to make sure to stop by a teteria for the full experience.
Go to Monachil via the Los Cahoros Mountain Route to see the beautiful nature of Andalucia. You can enjoy beautiful views, waterfalls, and a babbling mountain river there. Join our Waterfall Hike Activity and enjoy it.
Los Cahorros is the ideal place for a picnic and a walk. This place offers a magnificent view of the mountain reliefs and the walk is punctuated with numerous bridges and passages that make the hike even more pleasant.
For people who love climbing, this place is also ideal. There are two walks you can go on in Los Cahorros – one high and one low. The two are largely feasible to do in a day.
You can go all year, but it is particularly scenic in autumn, when the leaves are starting to change colour, and spring, when the meadows just above the gorge are covered in flowers.
How to arrive?
By car: From Granada, take the Vergeles/La Zubia/Cájar/Monachil exit from the A-395 southern ring road (Ronda Sur). At the roundabout, take the exit for Monachil and Cájar. Follow this road for roughly 6 km, past a roundabout and two sets of traffic lights, until you reach the village of Monachil. After you enter the village, follow the signs for public parking for Los Cahorros. The signs lead you to a car park on the south side of the river at the far end of the village, near the sign marking the start of the walk.
By bus: Service 183 goes to Monachil approx. once an hour Monday – Friday. On Saturdays, the service is mornings only, with the last bus back at 13:40, and there is no service on Sundays. Service 181 goes more frequently to Barrio Monachil, but this is some way short (approx. 2km) of Monachil village. Click here for more info and links to current timetables.
You will find baths with different temperatures, like in the Al-Andalus times, hopping from one pool to another. Massages are optional and a great way to take a break from stressful travelling.
A great plan for this winter
The official tourist train service of Granada City Tour recommends you an attractive plan for this winter. Have you ever had de opportunity of relaxing in traditional Arabian baths in Granada? Do not miss this opportunity and get in one of our Hop-On Hop-off trains, which will take you to the area where they are placed.
History of Arabic baths or hammams
It is not unusual that cities with a historical and cultural past influenced by the Arabic presence (for more than 800 years) place a great number of Arabic baths or hammams. Their origin is in the Middle Ages, when, on the one hand, personal care and hygiene were minor worries in society. Houses, for example, did not have water supply. On the other hand, water, for the Arabic world, meant knowledge and purity. That is why the biggest cities of Andalusia had many public baths. In the Muslim Cordoba, for example, there were more than 600 and they were considered as a meeting and social discussion point.
Even the origin of the hammams is in the Middle Ages, the Arabians were inspired by the ancient Roman and Greek baths regarding to the use of water as a therapy for health and wellness. At that time benefits of water vapours and massages were already known; it was known that water vapours open skin pores, help natural exfoliating, reactivate respiratory tract, reactivate blood circulation, relax muscles and clear your mind.
The Arab Baths are one of the most important historic and architectural aspects of Granada, as they are symbolic evidence of the city’s religious turmoil all those centuries ago. The baths were built by the Muslims because they believed water was a symbol of purity, and so used it to cleanse their bodies, whilst the Christians, on the other hand, believed this to be decadent and heathen behaviour, and so had the majority destroyed, with only a ‘few left remaining. It’s easy to forget how important the baths were in Moorish life: they were a key focal point for social activity, second only to the mosque. They help to give us a glimpse into day-to-day life in Arab-era Granada.
Relax physically and mentally
Take advantage of your visit to Granada and take your time to relax physically and mentally at any of the Arabic baths you can find all over the city centre. At the street Carrera del Darro you will find many hammams to relax. You will also find this charming baths between Plaza de la Trinidad and Plaza de Gracia.
Granada contains many notable architectural and artistic monuments. The city is the see of an archbishop, and it is dotted with fine Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical churches, convents, monasteries, hospitals, palaces, and mansions.
One of the most beautiful buildings in Granada. As is the case of most Christian buildings in Granada, the Cathedral was built on the site of a former Mosque. Work on the Cathedral began on the 15th of March, 1523, and it was not completed until 1704, as construction came to a halt during the Plague.
History of the Cathedral of Granada
After the conquest of the city of Granada and the great triumph of Christianity the construction of the Cathedral was not immediate. Granada had been under siege for many years and there were not enough funds to start construction. On top of that, wars in other locations diverted the attention of the Spanish rulers onto other projects.
In 1492, a papal bull authorised the construction of the foundation. From this moment, the episcopal church occupied other buildings of the city, like the Royal Mosque, two Franciscan Monasteries and the Great Mosque in the centre of Granada. It was not until 1523 (31 years after the conquest) that the Cathedral was to be constructed and was not finished until 1704 (181 years of construction). During almost two centuries of construction, the building went under numerous alterations. The most controversial was the change from a Gothic layout to a Renaissance elevation.
The architect Diego de Siloé was in charge of the work until his death in 1563. He had 17 successor architects to continue the work, hence there were numerous changes in style. The only master builder that could match Siloé’s expertise was Alonso Cano.
Granada Cathedral Admission Prices
General admission, individual or groups: 5 euros (audioguide included).
Students: 3,5 euros.
Children under 12 and disabled people: free entry.
Groups of students from Granada and the province of Granada (request by fax): free (without audioguide).
Where to buy tickets
You can buy tickets directly at the ticket office of the Granada Cathedral.
From Monday to Saturday: from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Sundays and Holidays: 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Address and Location of La Encarnacion, Granada Cathedral
Address: Gran Vía de Colon 5, 18001. Phone: 958 222 959. Fax 958 225 488
Granada Cathedral is located in the center of the city, between Oficios, Carcel, Plaza de las Pasiegas y la Gran Vía de Colón streets near some of the most important buildings of the Arbic era: Madraza, Banuelo, la Alcaiceria, etc.