Southern Spain is beautiful, unforgettable, and I loved all of the places I visited. At the top of the list is Granada. Nomadic Matt’s travel blog on Spain gives great tips on the top things to do while there.
The architecture and culture is ancient and exciting so there is much to see. The geographic backdrop, and mountains, remind me a little bit of home in Southern California as well! If you’re younger I would absolutely recommend a hostel like they do in his blog. They are cheap, clean, and very convenient.
The top things to do:
Visit the Palace:
Make sure you get inside the palace as well as roaming the exterior. I have a million pictures of my time at the Alhambra, and, in my opinion, this is some of the best Moorish/Islamic architecture that you can find in the region. Parts of the palace are unbelievable, and where it’s situated, within the mountains, rivals some of the best European castles that I’ve been to.
Mirador De San Nicolas:
Sunset, sunset, sunset. Did I say it enough? Make sure you get there to view something that is right out of a James Bond or Indiana Jones movie.
The Sierra Nevada Mountains:
They are the tallest mountains in Europe. You have to hike those mountains! Make sure to make a day trip out of it and join one of the many hiking tours. You won’t regret it!
The cathedral is spectacular with it’s Spanish Renaissance architecture. Dating back over 500 years, make sure you take time to climb the stairs to the top for view of the entire city.
This area reminds me more of Tunesia and parts of northern Africa than anything else. If you can, try to take a guided tour of this area and enjoy the ethnic foods ranging from Tapas to other international cuisine.
Flamenco is dramatic and vibrant. I would share this experience with a significant other along with a bottle of local red wine. There is nothing like it and the passion and power of this cultural tradition, that continues today, will get your heart pumping.
Visiting this monastery inspired me as a young author to write about the modern versus ancient world. Enjoy the experience, the beautiful paintings, and impressive stained glass.
In addition to Granada, I would recommend visiting Seville and Cordoba during your time traveling the region. All three cities have unique culture and charm.
Some food tips as well!