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Considered Andalucía’s most vibrant and vivacious city, Granada shines brightly in the perpetual summer sun. With its intriguing Islamic influence and authentic Spanish culture, Granada is a city whose imitable ambience will send you spiralling. Sip sangria and feast upon tempting tapas in one of its many bustling bars; enjoy the ecclesiastical extravagance of the city’s sacred structures; hike to the snowy summit of a Sierra Nevada mountain; or watch a feisty flamenco show in one of the city’s subterranean cellars. Wherever you end up, the medieval majesty and audacious charm of Granada is sure to result in an unforgettable sojourn.
Granada is home to Spain’s most visited monument, and a visit to the indescribably beautiful Alahambra will instantly explain its popularity. Home to revered sultans in the early 13th century, the palace presents an imperial picture of perfection; sugar cane columns support decidedly Arabic arches and verdant gardens sprawl around the perimeter.
Jump from regal to the religious with a visit to the city’s captivating Cathedral, a splendid structure that houses a selection of consecrated chapels. Adjoining this ecclesiastical example is the Royal Chapel, a buttery sandstone building whose façade melts into elaborately decorated carvings; in its subterranean depths lies a Gothic mausoleum where monarchs rest in simple lead coffins that contradict their prosperous lives. Steeped in intriguing history and local legend, the cloisters boast an excellent museum in which the full story can be discovered.
Andalucia is the birthplace of one of Spain’s most colourful artistic expressions, flamenco dancing. Many of Granada’s restaurants seamlessly combine colourful flamenco shows with delightfully authentic cuisine to provide an unforgettable cultural experience. Occupying a picturesque position near the Saint Nicolas Viewpoint, the Jardines de Zoraya Restaurant serves regional specialities with a flamenco-inspired flair; sample sizzling chorizo, crispy squid and rich red wine braised beef while watching a shimmering spectacle of Spanish dancing. (Calle Panaderos, 32, 18010 Granada, Spain)