Granada is a beautiful city with a relaxed, hippy vibe. During a visit here, it’s easy to get caught up in the laid-back Spanish way of life find yourself extending your stay! It’s a charming city that’s hard to leave no matter the time of year of your visit. If visiting in the summer, make you maximize your energy by taking a siesta (afternoon nap) every day. This how the locals tolerate the high temperatures and it helps sustain your energy long into the night!
The perfect way to have some alone time is to spend some quiet moments in exile amongst the University of Granada botanical gardens (Duchess Street). These gardens are open to the public, but secluded enough not to be swarmed by tourists. See if you can find the mulberry tree and sample the deliciously juicy red fruit. Find a quiet bench by a fountain and laze away the hot afternoon reflecting, reading, and rebuilding your soul.
While in Granada, be sure you explore the main attraction – The Alhambra. A world heritage site and Spain’s most popular tourist destination, you’ll need to be sure that you book a time slot in advance (http://www.alhambra.org/eng/) in order to wander through the gardens and palace. Get the most out of your visit by purchasing a book ahead of time, getting a guided private or group tour, or exploring on your own with an audio guide. Enjoy the impressive stonework of the palace and the amazing views over Granada and the Albayzine.
After a siesta, try exploring the local tapas selection. This is great cultural way to eat a meal while still being easy on the pocketbook. At the tapas bar simply order a drink and it will come accompanied with food. Some tapas bars allow you to select your food item, others serve you whatever is currently available in the kitchen. Either way it is sure to be an exciting way to experience a meal in another culture!
Wander through the streets lined with cave houses in the Sacromonte area of Granada. These cave house – originally occupied by gypsies – have been dug out of the hillside and offer the modern conveniences of power and running water. The current occupants in the neighborhood keep the hippy spirit alive. If you’re adventurous, find a friendly occupant and see if you can get invited in to take a peek at the modern cave dwelling. If, before your arrival, you already know you want to express yourself and your inner gypsy, try renting a cave house in Sacromonte for the duration of your stay! Verea caves have several options. http://granadainfo.com/verea/.
Exorcise your inner frustrations with a wander through the Albayzin, Granada’s world heritage neighborhood. Walk the narrow car-free streets and enjoy getting lost and tangled in the old community. Use this opportunity to re-emerge as with a cleansed state of mind. The pockets of Arab-influenced stores and shops are sure to make you feel like you’re in Morocco – a delightful way to time travel for the afternoon!
While wondering the Albayzin, check out the Arab bath complex, the non-operational ruins of a Moorish bath. Explore the waiting room, warm room, and cold room and imagine what it was like for those fortunate enough to spend time there so many years ago. Reward yourself and exhale with a trip to the operational Aljibe San Miguel baths (http://www.aljibesanmiguel.es/). For a modest 28 euro, you can spend the better part of the afternoon enjoying the baths, a massage, and aromatherapy. Make sure you book ahead so you don’t miss your chance to relax in the multiple pools, sip plentiful cups of mint tea, and have your stress massaged away.