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Granada Car Hire

Granada is a wonderfully scenic and culturally and historically rich city in the province of Granada in southern Spain in Andalucia and is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains giving it a fantastic scenery and landscape and approx 1 hour from the Costa Tropical.

Over the years Granada has been ruled by many different peoples and the many varying influences of each peoples left over time have all made their mark on the city and contributed to the wonderful sense of character and history that the city has. The city has been inhabited since time immemorial and these days there is evidence all over of the days of Moorish rule with Moorish-Arabic architecture, traditions and customs evident throughout the city.

The invading Moorish forces first seized control of the city in 711 and Granada was an important city of the Caliphate of Cordoba, which was actually an area so large it covered most of Spain between the years 921 and 1031 and is generally known as the heyday of the rule of the Caliphate which is the Islamic form of government.

Various conflicts led to the restructuring of the city throughout the early 11th century and Muslim dynasties controlled the city with the Nasrid dynasty enjoying the longest lasting dynasty known to the Iberian peninsula between 1228 and 1492 giving them much time to devote to the construction of the Alhambra palace.

By 1492 the Spanish Reconquest of the peninsula or “Reconquista” as it is known in Spain, had ensured that many formerly Moorish occupied cities were taken over under Christian rule and Granada was the last bastion of Muslim rule in the country and in 1492 the city was taken by the Catholic monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand, “Los Reyes Catolicos”.

1492 marked a very important year in the history of Granada and centuries of Moorish rule had firmly placed their mark on the city and many Muslims still lived under the new Catholic rule at the turn of the century until it was decided that the remaining Muslims in the city of Granada had to either emigrate or convert to Christianity. Those that did convert were known as Moriscos. In the ensuing years, churches were built on the sites of former mosques and Christianity had its turn to influence the city.

Architecture around the city reflects the times of both Moorish and Catholic rule. Granada is perhaps most famous for the Moorish palace, the Alhambra. The Alhambra is a palace and fortress and was built for the occupying Moorish rulers of the Nasrid dynasty and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once you have your Granada car hire to get up to the Alhambra you are free to explore.

A walk around the Alhambra is a truly fascinating experience and the architecture and detail to the rooms and buildings is absolutely incredible and a true testament to the skills of the Moorish architects with endless mosaics, intricate patterns and great attention paid to the smallest of details all around. Due to damage caused during the Reconquista and subsequent to the original buildings being constructed, the Palace of Charles V, a Renaissance building, was added in 1527.

The Alhambra palace also has amazing gardens, the Generalife and these days open air concerts are held within the gardens that consist of a maze of plants, trees and flowers that will truly amaze.

For fantastic views of the city, the Alcazaba, the fortress and oldest section of the Alhambra gives great panoramic views that also stretch over to the “Mirador de San Nicolas” a viewpoint in the Albaicin area of the city across the valley, a good place to sit and marvel at the Alhambra from. 

Down in the city centre the Granada Cathedral is evidence of Catholic architecture and is another of the tourist attractions of the city and is located in the middle of a maze of smaller side streets full of shops and stalls selling all kinds of trinkets and souvenirs of the city. You will also find a branch of the department store El Corte Ingles where you can find anything from designer suits to groceries, etc.
The city is divided into different areas each with quite different characteristics and the Albaicin area is the former Jewish quarter and these days is home to quite a bohemian community with many shops selling artwork of the Alhambra. Sacromonte is the area just a bit further up the hill from the Albaicin and is home to many cave dwellers and is known for its flamenco and guitar players who will play into the early hours.

Further afield

Being located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, Granada is also a very popular place for visiting tourist to pass through on their way up to the ski resorts in the mountains. Just around 45 minutes away Granada is one of the few places in Europe that offers the combination of great beaches an hour to the south and the chance to ski under an hour to the north.

If you are a fan of the great outdoors, the Andalucian countryside is truly breath taking and you should not miss the chance to jump in the car and explore some hidden gems. Heading north-east you will find the "Lake District" of Malaga, as it is known. 3 spectacular lakes, surrounded by pine trees make for a wonderful contrast to the city centres.

As a university city Granada has a buzzing nightlife and the university quarter has many bars and clubs, none of which are far from each other and you can easily spend an evening bar hopping and enjoying one of the few places left in Spain to offer you free tapas with your drinks.

Granada is a fairly compact city and you can walk up to the Alhambra from the city centre. It is quite a steep walk though and many prefer to catch the bus service up to the palace or drive as there is also extensive car parking to accommodate the hundreds of daily visitors to the site. To experience the full delights of the city and region and to pop up to the mountains to spend a day skiing before then going down to Almunecar or Nerja for the beaches though we would recommend using Granada car hire. With great and affordable deals to be found using our search engine you can’t afford not to have a look!

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