I mentioned it in my last post, but I thought I’d elaborate a bit on my time in Granada, Spain.

A friend and I decided to go Interrailing in May; we’d both spent an awful long time organising the trip and deciding where to go, and we decided to fly to Málaga and work our way up Europe. Unfortunately, the plan all went south after a week, but we did spend a great week in southern Spain, and I wanted to share a bit about our trip 🙂

So after arriving in Málaga, we got the coach to Granada (where I’d spent a couple of weeks back in February) and basically drank lots of wine and ate lots of tapas (when in Rome…). I’ve put together a Google Map of some of the places I liked – we didn’t do as much as I’d hoped; we didn’t get tickets for the world-famous Alhambra, for example, but it was nice to just spend some more time in a beautiful place and have enough time there not to feel rushed.

38°c, at 5pm in May…

We did get to Sevilla, but sadly that’s where the trip ended for me – long story short, I don’t handle heat well (it was over 40°c, and I AM British, after all). Some day I’ll recommence the journey there – Sevilla is an absolutely beautiful city, with lots to explore, just maybe not in the summer months!

View from the Alhambra

One of my favourite places in Granada has to be Heladería Los Italianos on the Gran Via, with their delicious helados (ice creams) – open well into the early hours, it seemed very popular with locals as well as tourists, which is always a good sign. My favourite tapas bar had to be…

    Bar Poë – with only a handful of tables, it was very cosy, and the English owner was very accommodating both of my bad Spanish and me giving up and reverting to English! The Portuguese bacalao was so good; we visited 3 times in a week.

Other notable mentions have to go to…

    Sabika, a tapas bar on the south-east end of Calle Elvira. It doesn’t seem to be online, and it doesn’t even appear to be there on Google Street view, but it definitely was one of my favourite tapas bars in Granada. A dedicated vegetarian menu made it easy to choose great tapas that I could enjoy too 🙂
    Babel, another tapas bar on Calle Elvira; “world fusion tapas” led to some interesting dishes (sushi, fajitas, risotto…), and at €2 a pop, it was great value.

My favourite non-foodie place would be the Mirador de San Nicolas, a great viewpoint up in Albaycín, in the north-east of the city. The views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, topped with snow even when it was 40°c, behind the Alhambra, along with the mountains going southwest towards Málaga were really special. At night, the Alhambra is lit up, and you can see the stars, which is novel in a city.

View over the rooftops, Albaycín

I really enjoyed my time in Granada – it did at times feel somewhat like we’d run out of things to do, as it is quite a small city. However, when we felt like that, we went and found a new tapas bar to try, or found a park in which to sit with a good helado and it didn’t matter so much. The whole atmosphere of the city is nice – not hectic, like some bigger cities, and there’s plenty of opportunities to just sit and watch the world go by. The only “chaotic” thing about Granada is the CRAZY Spanish drivers! And you need to arm yourself with a polite but firm “No, graçias” for the seemingly endless stream of men trying to sell you roses, lighters, watches and sunglasses in the bars…

You can easily fly to Málaga from the UK, for under £100; Granada is a 2 hour, €10 coach journey from Málaga airport. And there’s also plenty of accommodation options – from €10 hostel beds to paradores to upmarket hotels. Well worth it.

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