Granada

The varied landscape of the Granada Province ranges from the arid zones in the north and centre to the ski slopes of the Sierra Nevada, through the lush Lecrin and Alpujarra areas to the beaches of the Costa del Sol in the south. The reagion can be easily accessed from either Malaga or Granada airports.

Granada airport is an International airport. Granada is linked by train with its main connections being: Almeria, Malaga, Cordoba and Seville, and it has both Express and Talgo Trains (they can travel at 135miles per hour). You can also travel from London to Granada by train. There are plans for a link from Nerja to Granada once the train line has been completed along the coast to Nerja.

The road network around Granada is excellent, with major routes from main cities such as Madrid, Cordoba, Malaga, Seville, and Almeria. Granada is 2 hours from Malaga city centre, and Marbella 3 hours, and these times will reduce when the motorway along the coast is finished.

 

The City of Granada

The city of Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Its unique history has given it an artistic grandeur embracing Moorish Palaces and Christian Renaissance treasures. Almost unrivalled for beauty and architectural splendour, the entire city has been declared a national monument. Granada is one of Andalusia’s most vibrant cities, with a youthful student population, in certain hotspots there are more people on the streets at midnight than midday.

Granada is a relatively wealthy city and is still very Spanish. You will not come across stag parties in this city however there are lots of lively bars and restaurants serving a range of tasty tapas and good food and wine. Granada is one of the remaining Spanish cities where you can still enjoy free tapas with your drink.

Here is a list of a few places to visit in Granada
• Visit the famous Alhambra Palace-it is a beautifully palace give yourself plenty of time to go round it
• Walk through The Albaicin-the city’s ancient quarters with plenty of tiny cobbled streets
• Go to Sacromonte- see live flamenco venues in the main street
• Go shopping in Modern Granada-city’s most fashionable shops and boutiques
• Go and see a bull fight
• Festival International de Musica y Danza-held in June for a month
• Aquaola Water Park-Water slides and wave machine: fun for all the family.
• Visit the Arab Baths
• Golf courses-one established and one being built .

Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada is approximately 35kms southeast of the city easily accessible by road. Spain may not be as famous for its snow as France or Switzerland, but it has miles of slopes of different difficulties and excellent facilites for beginers and children. Buy a place in Andalusia’s Sierra Nevada for skiing, and you can use it in summer, too, as a mountain base a short drive from Granada and an hour from the coast.

There are a number of towns a short distance away from the ski resort and properties are still relatively cheap compared with the Spanish Costa regions. Properties here are likely to become attractive as second homes with rental potential, due to Granada been more accessible with flights to Granada Airport - you can be skiing in the Sierra Nevada within a few hours of landing. On the northwest slopes of the Sierra Nevada Parque Natural, lies the ski station of Pradollano and nearby Solynieve, the southernmost ski resort in Europe. It has 38 slopes with varying degrees of difficulty.

The resort is accessible by road from Granada, the same road continues past the resort as far as the peak of Veleta, earning its title as the highest road in Europe. Naturally this is only accessible in summer. The Sierra Nevada Mountain Ranges highest peak (the Mulhacén) reaches 3,482m above sea level. In these mountains the air is known to be the cleanest in Europe and, because of the altitude, the heat in mid-summer is not as oppressive as it can be on the coast. This area is also a paradise for walking and trekking with a myriad of footpaths snaking their way through the Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Nevada’s main village Pradollano has been greatly modernised there has been new alpine-style buildings constructed and the introduction of an environmental programme. One of the village’s most important features is the four-storey underground parking complex with a capacity of 2,880 vehicles. Pradollano offers a variety of amenities including hotels of all categories. There are ski lodges, apartments for sale or rental, restaurants featuring local Andalusian and international cuisine, tearooms, night clubs, pubs and bars, discotheques etc. A new medical centre, child day-care centre, banks with ATM’s, supermarkets, sports and fashion boutiques, gift shops, magazine and newspaper kiosks, ski rental, photo-developing services, hairdressers, car rental, taxi service, pharmacy, church services, among others are available at the resort.

Here is a list of some of the things to do in Sierra Nevada depending on the time of the year
• Skiing in the Sierra Nevada
• Snow boarding-Up and coming sport in Sierra
• Mountain biking in the Sierra Nevada-Guided bicycle tours / bike hires.
• Go paragliding in the Mountains-Tandem flights are available
• Horse-trekking
• 4x4, hiking
• Rock climbing
• Nature walks with experts See separate pages on Cenes de la Vega, Pinos Genil, Guejar Sierra which are small villages surrounding Sierra Nevada.

Otura

Otura is located 8kms south of Granada, situated on top of a hill, which has spectacular views of Granada and the fertile flat lands of La Vega. The name originated from the Arabs and means “height”. It is a modern town with all local amenities including the usual banks, bakeries and small supermarkets and typically Spanish food shops. There are a few bars and restaraunts. They have a very modern secondary school.

The views to the northeast of Otura are flanked by the "sierras" which make a beautiful surrounding area which is much loved by hikers in the summer as well as skiers in the winter. There are several urbanisations consisting of individually designed villas, also there are plenty of new builds taking place which include apartments, duplexes and villas of all sizes from small to exclusive. An exclusive residencial complex set in a private 290 acre estate with a golf course is under construction in Otura. You will be able to go skiing in the morning and golf in the afternoon, or even go down to the beach and relax, it is only an hour away.

La Zubia

La Zubia is just 8 kilometres from Granada, 30 kms from the ski slopes and 50 kms from the Costa Tropical coastline. The village of La Zubia forms part of the Natural Park of Sierra Nevada. La Zubia is a large modern busy town with several lovely urbanisations built high in the mountain over looking Granada with the Sierra Mountains behind. The town offers all local amenities, there are all the main banks, lovely clothes shops and an Irish bar run by Spanish people who speak only a little English!

Same as all the towns/villages on the outskirts of Granada there is plenty of new property being built, and not much older property for sale. La Zubia is full of history, in the old town there are interesting architectonic examples, such as: the Archbishop Palace overlooking the breathtaking Valley of Granada, the so called House of Fear, with Arab Baths from the 12th century, and an outstanding example of the Andalusian natural heritage: a holm oak, Huerta Grande over 700 years old. Its name is from an Arab term Az-Zuwia, meaning "retreat" or "hermitage" it was first used as such by a Muslim saint. In the Nasrid period, it was a pilgrimage enclave and just before the Christian conquest it had over one thousand inhabitants.

Cenes de la Vega

Cenes de la Vega, on the banks of the river Dílar, is geographically located in the Area known as the Campana Granadina, 27 kms from Sierra Nevada. La Campana was said to cover the lands where the bell struck from one of the Alhambra Towers (Torre de la Vela) could be heard, Cenes de la Vega is situated at the base of the road up to Sierra Nevada, here you will find several ski shops, plenty of bars and hotels. Monday is market day.

The town is compact with houses built up the hill side. On the outskirts of the town on the hillside are several new build properties being built. This area is an ideal base for a holiday home for skiers. Here the Aquaola Water Park is located. The park is built on the mountainside providing attractions which include, (among others), kamikaze shoots, gentle slides, toboggan rides, wave pool, pipes and rapids.

Monachil

Monachil is a typical Spanish town, where the Spanish go about their day to day lives. If you are looking for touristy places, this is not for you. If you are looking to stay in a typical Spanish town and enjoy the skiing during the day, and Spanish entertainment, bars and restaurants in the evening in Granada, this is the place for you. Or if you are looking for a summer holiday and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city, and would like to retire to a typical Spanish village, then Monachil is ideally located.

Monachil is located on the northwest face of the Natural Park of Sierra Nevada at 810m altitude, Left of the riverbank. Monachil offers access to the mountains via an exciting and spectacular gorge not to be recommended in the winter months or via the main route from Granada Centre where the roads are excellent and kept free from snow and slush in the winter. To get to the old town of Monachil drive through the town, following signs to Los Cahoros. On the far bank of the river, just after a bridge leading to the main square of the old town, you will find plenty of parking. There are a few shops, a bank and restaurants, very typical of a Spanish town.

Monachil is also densely populated with urbanisations and plenty of new build property. At the bottom of the town there is an English nursery taking children upto the age of five and during the summer holiday they also run a holiday school for older children if you are a working parent. This area has some exceptional beauty spots such as Los Cachoros, the Pool of Las Yeguas, the Trevengue or the fountains Fría and Hervidero. The Natural Park of Sierra Nevada was given the Reserve of the Biosphere award due to the diversity and uniqueness of its plants and wild life, thus it was also known as "the botanic jewel of Europe". In August Monachil holds a festival to the Virgen Del Rosario you can enjoy the traditional horse riding competition known as carrera de cintas. Monachil’s nocturnal pilgrimage in honour of the Virgen de las Nieves can be said to be the highest nocturnal pilgrimage to be celebrated in the world.

Pinos Genil

On the road leading from Sierra Nevada to Granada, and 10km from the city, lies Pinos-Genil, a beautiful village located between the stream of Aguas Blancas and the river Genil. It enjoys not only the magnificent scenery in the nearby Natural Park of Sierra Nevada, but also the proximity to Granada city. The village is very quaint with narrow streets and a few bars over looking the river where you can watch the ducks in their pretty houses in the middle of the river. You can get to the slopes in 20 minutes and you’re only ten minutes from Granada. Property is very reasonable and situated in a lovely location Pinos Genil is more charming than Sierra Nevada, with a feeling of old Spain about it, although this looks likely to change as more people cotton on to the fact that the slopes are only a short drive away.

Güejar Sierra

Located south west of Granada in the north west quarter of the Sierra Nevada Natural Park, at an altitude of 1084m and with a population of 2360, Sierra Guejar is yet another traditional Spanish village. The village of Guejar looks across to the most important mountains of the Sierra Nevada range and the beautiful lake below yet only twenty minutes away from the city. Its location means that it enjoys excellent dual carriageway links with Madrid, Spain's coast and, of course, the rest of Andalusia. To get here you drive up into the mountains via a windy round 8kms climb from Pinos Genil. The view of the lake is stunning, and as you turn a corner you will see the village set into the hillside. It is a fairly large village with squares and plenty of bars, restaurants and nice clothes shops. There are some new build properties taking place which will have stunning views of the Sierra Mountains and the lake. In Güejar Sierra, August is the month when the town celebrates the festivities in honour of its patron, San Roque, while in September the Virgen de Gracia is celebrated.

Gojar

Gojar is a village on the road between Otura and La Zubia about 8kms from Granada City, it has all the usual amenities that you would find in a village with some nice modern shops. The property around the village is very luxurious there are some nice individually designed villas.

Cajar

Cajar is another village that is set into the hillside, the village has stunning views of Granada. Cajar is on the road between La Zubia and Monachil. At the top of the village there is a very modern secondary school, surrounded by some nice modern property. At the other end of the village at the bottom of the hill is a very large supermarket which is used by all the other local villages. Like all the villages there are loads of different types of properties being built.

Huetor Vega

Huetor Vega is a very busy modern town, with plenty of wide streets that have several hotels established on them, it is probably the largest town that is closest to Granada before reaching the main route upto Sierra Nevada, hence the amount of activity in the area. There are plenty of lovely villas and apartments in this area and many more being built. It is an ideal town to be situated in for access to the ski slopes and the motorway to go down to the coast.

Illora

Located on the slopes of the Sierra Parapanda, Illora lies just to the north-west of Granada City on the main road to Montefrio. This typically Spanish inland town is dotted with historic monuments including the Alcazaba de Illora and surrounded by beautiful countryside. It is one of the small towns in the Poniente Grenadino region that are becoming more and more popular with people looking for alternatives to the coastal areas.


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