Granada is a historic city located in Southern Spain and many people visit there to see the Alhambra Palace and Fortress complex. It is equally important to visit the Granada Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Incarnation, and the Royal Chapel, which is adjacent to the church. The cathedral has an interesting architecture that represents the changing styles that were occurring during its construction in the mid-16th century. There are some gothic features, but it is mainly in the Spanish Renaissance style with elements of Baroque.
The cathedral features a large organ, high domed ceilings, white marble pillars, and a black and white checkered floor. The main dome, with its green background and gold stars, certainly draws the attention of anyone who visits the cathedral. In addition to all of the golden features throughout the interior of the cathedral, beautiful pieces of art adorn the walls of the church. Although the exterior is not as impressive as some of the other gothic cathedrals that can be found all around Europe, it is still quite worth visiting.
Located next to the cathedral is the Royal Chapel, which is the burial place of the Spanish Monarchs, Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand. It was Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand who famously funded Christopher Columbus’ venture that led to the European colonization of the Americas. Construction of the Royal Chapel began in the early 1500’s and was built in the gothic style. The highlight of visiting the Royal Chapel is seeing the tombs, which are protected by a glass wall.
The Granada Cathedral is certainly gorgeous and is a highlight of any visit to Granada. In addition to the cathedral and the Royal Chapel, there are many small streets that wind all around the heart of the old town area with plenty of small restaurants and shops.
We have said many times that every trip is special in its own way and we certainly can’t pick a favorite. Some are great for adventure, some for history, or culture, or because of the people that we met. As we enter our 5th year of hosting this site, we thought that we would take a quick moment to reflect on some of our trips that have been memorable for many different reasons. Having visited so many wonderful countries and cities, there were many to chose from, but these stood out to us.
New York City – As much as we love traveling to foreign locations, visiting New York City was definitely a wonderful trip. Walking through Central Park, going to the Top of the Rock and the observation deck at the Empire State Building, the emotional experience at the 9/11 Memorial, and seeing a Broadway play were just some of the things that made it memorable.
Chennai, India – The first trip that took us completely out of our comfort zone, which has had a lasting impact on the way that we travel. Visiting the temples, learning about the culture, and tasting the amazing food were just part of the experience. The highlight of the trip was having dinner at the house of a local family and is a memory that we will always cherish.
Southern Spain – We saw so many interesting places while spending a couple of weeks in Southern Spain including Seville, Granada, Ronda, Gibraltar, and even a day trip to Morocco. We went to a wine tasting, toured the largest bullfighting ring, and seeing the Alhambra Palace and Fortress were some of the many highlights of our time there.
Ecuador – With such a diverse ecology, it was almost as like combining three trips into a single visit. We stayed at an ecolodge in the Amazon where we paddled boats through the jungle, climbed to the top of the rainforest canopy, and saw wildlife everywhere we went. While we were in Quito we took time to visit two very different volcanos, hiked in the Andes Mountains, and stood on the equator.
Our First Trip to Europe – It took us longer than some people to get to Europe, but have obviously been there many times and even lived there since our first trip. We were definitely tourists and not travelers during that trip to Paris, London, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Manchester, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. Walking the streets of Paris, staying in a flat in London, and seeing an EPL (English Premier League) soccer/football match made the trip truly special.
Egypt – Taking a cruise down the Nile River, seeing the Great Pyramids, climbing into tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and walking through temples that are thousands of years old is something that we’ll never forget. Obviously the history and amazing scenery were completely amazing, but the people that we met also made the experience one of our favorites.
Clearly these trips are just the tip of the iceberg and we have many other memorable experiences. We are also looking forward to creating many new experiences in the coming months as well. With busy lives and seemingly always planning an upcoming trip, it is good sometimes to sit back and reflect on how fortunate we’ve been to see some of the things that we have.
Located at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is a wonderful city located in southern Spain. For obvious reasons, the Alhambra Palace is a definite highlight of a visit to Granada, but there is more to see than just the fortress and palace. The narrow streets, beautiful cathedral, the Royal Chapel, and restaurants and stores make visiting the city worth at least a couple of days in order to see it adequately. The city is very walkable, although many of the narrow streets can be quite steep, so feel free to stop at a local bistro for a quick break to enjoy a glass of Spanish wine.
With an elevation over 2,400 feet (730 meters) above sea level and with roads that crawl up the sides of the Sierra Nevada mountains, there are wonderful views of the city from several vantage points. Some of the best are from the walls of Alhambra, but there are many from neighborhoods as well. Even though the panoramic views are amazing, the best views can be found by walking the side streets and discovering some of the many restaurants and shops that the city has to offer. One of our favorite streets wrapped itself along the sides of Alhambra and provided a different view of the fortress.
When planning a trip to Granada, or southern Spain in general, one should be prepared to be on a relaxing schedule. No one is in a hurry and even though the temperatures can be more mild than other parts of the region, people still go out for walks late into the evening. Granada is located about an hour’s drive from the coast and an hour and a half from the city of Malaga. It was closer to a four and a half hour drive from where we stayed in Estepona. It was certainly worth taking the time to get there. If you intend to go to Alhambra, as you definitely should, be sure to buy your tickets well in advance as they do sell out up to six to eight weeks ahead of time.
We really enjoyed our time in Granada and it was one of our favorite memories of the region. We also spent time in Seville as well as Ronda, but seeing Alhambra in Granada is a memory of a lifetime. We spent several days in Granada, making our time there very relaxing and enjoying many different restaurants with wonderful food.