One week in Granada

Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 07:18 PM
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One week in Granada

Hi, everyone! New to this board and am requesting feedback on one week in Granada. I've always wanted to visit the Alhambra and my husband and I are finally going to do it. When we travel, we like to go to one place at a time and stay there for a week. We don't like to take a train to a different city every day or every other day. We move at a slower pace because I'm very prone to motion sickness and need more rest than the normal traveler (sorry, not a backpacker)! Here are my questions:

1. What time of year is best to go to Granada? Lower cost, less or no precipitation, and no hotter than 80 degrees. Summers are out because of the extreme heat and so are regular school semesters because my husband teaches.

2. Is there enough to do in Granada for a week? Or could I enjoy the Alhambra fully in a week? I don't mind spending extra time in one place or going back to a place--I've frequently done this. I haven't researched the Alhambra passes or tickets so I'm not sure if it's a one-day only thing or if you can buy a week-long pass.

3. Has anyone spent Christmas or the winter holidays in Granada? Thoughts? We'd love to attend Christmas Mass in Spain.

Thanks for any input! StarryEyedGal
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 07:54 PM
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We could probably do one week in Granada as we have friend to see, but 2 to 3 days is fine for most people unless you really want to get into the city and its culture.

The Christmas holidays are fine, just remember, they do not end until the 6th of January.

Have you read Maribel's Guide to Granada ( ? It should provide you with a lot more insight.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 08:07 PM
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Hi, winters in Spain are pretty mild, I was in Barcelona in December and the temperature is quite mild with very little rain. Over a 14 days period it only rained for half a day, but Granada will be colder so spring or autum should be perfect.. apart from Alhambra there is not much to do in Granada a week is plenty of time.

In regards to the tickets, you need to book them well in advance (you can do it online) as avery limited number of tickes are issued per day.

I suggest you book the morning session, it starts at 8.30am but there are fewer visitors then the afternoon, and you can take your time looking around.
Also, to collect the tickets ensure thay you are there at least one
hour before the start of your session, as there are only 3 machines that dispense the tickets, and if you miss your entry time, you will not be allowed in.

Also, "the enfanta palace" (the palace of the princesses) is not part of the general admission ticket, for this you need to book it seperatly.

I belive that you could see it in 1 day or two days max, it depends on your pace and if you wish to visit the modern palace as well.
Alhambra, will always stay with you, it is hartstopping amazing.
Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2013, 08:59 PM
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A week in Granada seems excessive. We spent 3 days there and thought it was a day too much. Of course the Alhambra is awe-inspiring, as are the tombs of Isabella and Ferndinad. But beyond that.....meh.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 03:25 AM
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Spring (April/June) and fall (September/October) would perhaps be the best times of year to go. But winter can also be great. Often mild temperatures in Granada (16 past years statistics for January says daily highs 50-61F and an average of 5 hours sun/day) while you can go skiing in the close by Sierra Nevada from December through March.

For the Alhambra experience, Washington Irving's classic "Tales of the Alhambra" from 1831 is a must:

If one week is a bit much, perhaps a couple of days in nearby and small Alhama de Granada?
Video presentation:
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 08:34 AM
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I agree that a week is a long time for Granada. I spent 3 days there and it was plenty of time - and this was during the May Crosses festival and I prefer a slower travel pace. Honestly I'd divide the trip into 5 days Sevilla and 2 days Granada. If you can fly into Sevilla directly then you're really not doing any additional travel by visiting Sevilla. With a week in Granada you'll probably want to do Daytrips which defeats the purpose of moving around less.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 08:34 AM
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Granada is the Alhambra . . . and notsomuch else. It's main sights can be seen in an overnight stay.

I'd reconsider the plan and do a week or so in Seville with an overnight to Granada included.

Have you used the Transderm Scop patch or Benadryl (blocks the vomiting/nausea receptors in the brain) for your motion sickness?
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 08:56 AM
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I would spend two nights in Granada and the rest of the time in Seville. You won't regret it.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:39 AM
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Agree with the previous posters that Sevilla is fabulous, but if you are in Granada on a Thursday, I recommend the Thursday night performance at Peña Flamenca La Platería, one of the oldest exisiting flamenco clubs in Spain.

In the Albaycín district, which retains the narrow winding streets of Granadas Medieval Moorish past, and very close to the center and Plaza Nueva. This would be the real deal, and you could be up for an excperience to remember for very long. Sometimes they also have performances on Saturday nights. The performances starts at 10.30pm and the entrance is only some 10-12€ with one drink included. Also a restaurant.

One of the greatest up and coming flamenco dancers in the world today, Patricia Guerrero, literally grew up here, and the greatest local flamenco artists perform here on a regular basis. This clip gives you an idea of the place and the atmosphere. Here, the extremely popular singer Diana Navarro from Málaga performs. She is not a traditional flamenco singer, but she has a beautiful voice and are fully capable of creating magic:

And perhaps take a look into Federico García Lorca's Granada, Lorca the greatest Spanish poet of the 20th century. The article is not new, but neither is Granada:
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Two days is enough to see Granada, but you could also ski the nearby Sierra Nevada and visit the villages of the Alpujarra.. Otherwise, I'd visit Cordoba for a day and Seville for two, which is enough, since you seem to ave only a week for your trip.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:49 AM
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I like Granada a lot. Spent 2 or 3 days there last January/February, where it was very cold.

But yeah, not much else in the way of attractions to see. It's more of a place where you can lounge and enjoy the ambience, especially if you stay in the Albaicin with a great view of the Alhambra.

I like the tapas bars there where you order a drink and get a tapas. That custom isn't carried in other parts of Spain.

One thing though is the Albaicin requires a lot of stairs or uphill and it can be a trek at times to get down to the Plaza Nueva and the area around the Cathedral.

There aren't a lot of day trip opportunities out of Granada either.

I paired Granada with several days in Sevilla, from which I went to Cordoba for a day trip.

Been to Andalusia twice and I haven't been able to get to Ronda, which is tough to do without a car.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 10:58 AM
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Hi Starry-eyed,

we spent 3 days in Granada and really liked it; I'd have liked longer. THere is plenty to do in the town itself to fill at least one day, and the Alhambra can easily fill another, and an evening if you do a night visit.

incidentally, the information give above may inadvertently give you the idea that you need to get to the alhambra at 7.30 am to pick up your tickets. Fortunately it's not so - if you buy a morning ticket, for example, it will have a time on it which entitles you to enter the nasrid palaces at that time or for 30 minutes afterwards, but you may enter the site from 8.30am onwards. so if your ticket is for 10.30 am, you will need to enter the Nasrid palaces by 11am, but you can enter the site when you like and visit all the other buildings, shops, restaurants, etc. then you have the rest of your time to see the rest of the site, and the gardens which are very beautiful.

if you buy a morning ticket you can stay all day, but if you have an afternoon one, you are limited to the time after 2.30 until it closes; as you like to move slowly, I suggest trying for a morning ticket. you should also try to get an evening ticket [works the same way] as the Nasrid palaces are beautifully lit up at night.

we went in November - it was warm enough to walk round comfortably in the day, but never too hot.

where will you be flying into? if it's Malaga do consider spending some time there too - you could easily spend a week between Granada and Malaga and not run out of things to do.

the Cadogan guide is very good on this area, I seem to remember.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2013, 01:08 PM
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<We'd love to attend Christmas Mass in Spain>

Easter (Semana Santa/Holy week) is the major religious event of the year in all of Spain, but particularly so in Andalucía. In fact, THE major event of the year. Devotion, serenity and fiesta hand in hand 24/7 for a whole week. Would be crowded and festive, but this is dead (pun intended) serious business for the locals and not a touristy fair.

Prices go up, but Semana Santa in Granada or any other Andalucian city/town could be an experience for life if you know what's coming.
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Old Jan 4th, 2013, 07:16 AM
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We spent a week in Granada at the end of May 2008. The weather was lovely for the first 6 days and then it poured on the final Saturday.

This was our 25th wedding celebration and so we hired a villa which shares a wall with the Alhambra grounds and went with some longstanding friends.

The villa has a terrace overlooking the Albaicin and it also has a swimming pool. Some of us swam every day although the water was a little bracing and we all sat out on the terrace to midnight each evening needing only light jackets.

Granada can be seen in two days but if you prefer a slower pace then three or four can easily be filled. We had intended to take at least on daytrip but never got around to it despite our full week. We found the Alhambra took an entire day to see fully including the lovely Generalife. The rest of the time we just wandered and enjoyed the town, shopped or lazed by our pool. We saw the Cathedral, the cave houses, explored the Albaicin, visited the Moorish Baths and enjoyed lots of tapas (although I was the only one who liked the snails at one bar!).

Our only regret was that we missed seeing the flamenco (I think it was the one mentioned by Kimhe above) as we had planned to go on our final evening but the rain was so torrential and the steep cobbled hill down from our villa was so slippery that we cancelled.

Granada is sometimes described as "edgy" and we were shocked by the graffiti when we arrived but we soon felt very comfortable. In fact the only the only thing we had to be careful about when walking was the cobbles and the amount of dog mess everywhere on the smaller alleys.

So go and enjoy Granada whether you combine it with another city or not but do give it at least 3 nights. It is a lovely small city.
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Old Jan 5th, 2013, 12:59 PM
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What was that pass which was called something sighs?

As the Moors retreated from Granada, they looked over and sighed?

Then a similar kind of sigh at the Ponte dei Sospiri in Venice.
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Old Jan 5th, 2013, 11:48 PM
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<What was that pass which was called something sighs?>

Puerto del Suspiro del Moro (Pass of the Moor's Sigh). The name comes from the legenedary sigh of Boabdil, the last emir of Granada, when he at the mountain pass known as Puerto del Suspiro del Moro, for a last time had a look back upon the now lost city (1492). His mother shall then have said: "You cry like a woman over a city you couldn't defend as a man".
The Suspiro del Moro-road down to the Med is very scenic.
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