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Granada, Spain: Soulful, Gritty, and Polished.

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Above is a slideshow / video with a collection of images from our visits to Granada, Spain over the past few years . . .

We love Granada! It’s one of our favorite cities in all of Spain. Located in the Andalusia area in southern Spain, Granada is an interesting mix of polished shopping streets, beautiful architecture, and a gritty counter-cultural vibe that all seem to get along together nicely. And it’s easy to think that visiting Granada is all about seeing the Alhambra. No doubt, you should absolutely spend a day there, as it's the most famous and best-preserved Islamic palace in all of Spain. It was actually nominated to be one of the “wonders of the world" but didn’t make the cut as it came in 8th.

However, the Alhambra need not be your only reason to visit Granada. The town itself is very compelling and its Albaicin neighborhood is a World Heritage Site. The Albaicin is a maze of narrow and hilly streets to the north of the Alhambra. It is the old Arab quarter, where “the ordinary” people lived and worked - those who were not considered important enough to live within the walls of the Alhambra.

Wandering these streets is both captivating and enjoyable – they are filled with cafes, small shops, and homes that look much like I imagine they did 800 years ago. The cobbled streets and winding pathways do not always make for an easy stroll, but it’s well worth the effort. If you make it to the highest point you’ll reach The Mirador de San Nicholas, which has a magnificent view of the Alhambra, and is filled with street musicians, vendors, and a laid-back vibe, and reminds me a little of the parking lot scene outside a Grateful Dead concert. The Mirador is also where you have the best views of the city along with the gorgeous and towering Sierra Nevada Mountain range. And, if you happen to make the climb near dusk you will be rewarded with one of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ll ever see.

Granada is a modern-day melting pot with bohemians and countercultural types, a very young and progressive student population, as well as people who have lived here for generations. This unique blend fills the streets with a laid back, yet exciting and eclectic vibe and that’s what makes this city so engaging and interesting. It’s a delightful blend of contradictions – which makes it such a dynamic and appealing city.

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