10. Granada: Albaicín and Sacromonte Smartphone Audio Guide
The Alhambra’s palaces and ramparts, with the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains towering above them, are one of Andalusia’s iconic images. On this walking tour, you’ll never be far from a spectacular viewpoint and, between them, you’ll dive into narrow, winding streets that have hardly changed since Moorish times. Our tour starts outside the Santa Isabel la Real Monastery (Royal Convent of Saint Isabel), from where you’ll explore the very oldest part of the city which has been settled for almost 3,000 years. You’ll then wind your way through the heart of the Albaicín, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is rich in charm and dotted with historical sights, including the old city walls, palaces, gardens and churches. The tour then continues into the Sacromonte valley, famous for its exotic cave houses and brilliant flamenco artists, where the Roma community has traditionally lived. This two hour tour is packed with sights and breathtaking viewpoints, including: • Alhambra and Sierra Nevada views from the unmissable Mirador de San Nicolás • Iglesia de San Miguel Bajo, a church that sits on a charming square packed with bar-restaurants • Palacio Dar al Horra, a palace that dates from the same period as the Alhambra’s Nasrid Palaces • The delightful house of the Belgian artist Max Moreau, which is now a museum with an interesting collection of art and artefacts • Arco de las Pesas, one of the old city walls’ best-preserved gates • Tranquil spots from where you can take in the Alhambra and the landscape surrounding Granada, including the Mirador de Mario Maya, Mirador de la Lona and the garden of Granada’s mosque • Cave houses and the fascinating Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte (the Sacromonte Caves Museum) On this tour, you’ll find out: • Who built the Alhambra, and who tried to blow it up • Why there was a struggle for power in the dying days of Muslim rule • Where to see the most beautiful sunset in the world (according to Bill Clinton, at least…) • How the melting-pot of cultures in the Sacromonte valley gave birth to a particular style of flamenco • Where to look for long-lost Moorish treasure Join me on this tour to weave through a picturesque maze of alleyways and soak up the majestic Alhambra views that have inspired artists and romantic travellers over the centuries. There are plenty of great bars and restaurants en route where you can enjoy a drink with tapas on a delightful little square or dine on a jasmine-scented terrace as you gaze across at the floodlit Alhambra.