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Granada city, Spain

Granada department is located along the coast of the Lake Nicaragua. There are four municipalities in this department. Below is the map of Granada showing its municipalities.
Granada Map
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About city : 
Granada is a city located in the Andalucía region to the south of Spain. It is about 433 kms away from the capital city of Madrid. It is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, only an hour’s drive from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The origin of the city can be traced to a small Jewish settlement called Garnata-Al-Yahud. The present day Granada was actually established in the 11th century; the same era when the civil war came to an end. Post wars, the Berber general Ziri ibn Manad came up with his own independent kingdom, and made Elvira its capital. The rise of the city can be traced from this time. During the 16th century, the Muslim influence waned and the city took on Catholic and Castilian characteristics. Today, it is the headquarters of the province of same name and has an approximate population of 270,000.

Geography : 
The geographical character of Granada is quite diverse. It is located at the foot of the spectacular Sierra Nevada Mountains. The average elevation of the city is about 738 meters above the sea level. Three rivers bound the city, i.e. Beiro, Daro and Genil.

The city is noted for its pleasant climate and heavy rainfall is experienced in the months of November, March and April but snow is very rare.

How to reach (transport) : 
You can travel to Granada through multiple air routes. The Granada Airport is located about 20 kms from the city. It offers regular flights to various destinations in Spain and to international destinations like London, Paris and Rome. However, it is the Malaga airport, located about two hours away which offers a more options for international destinations.

Regular buses connect Granada with Madrid as well as most of the towns along the Mediterranean coast. Long distance trains connect the city with various destinations in Spain like Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville etc.

When to visit : 
Fall and spring are the best time to visit Granada because summers (June, July, August) can be quite hot and winters (December, January, February) are chilly.

Culture (fairs and festivals) and traditions : 
The city has a long and mixed cultural heritage while tourists love the relaxed pace of life here. Some of the major festivals celebrated in the city are : 
  • The Festival of the Capture is celebrated on 2nd January to commemorate the event when the city was “liberated” by the catholic monarchs in 1492.

  • Reyes Magos is celebrated on 5th January. Three biblical monarchs and other colorful characters march up in a parade called Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos and are welcomed by all – especially the children.

  • The Festival of San Cecilio is held on 2nd February to honor the patron saint of the city with mass and competitions related to food and culture.

  • Mariana Pineda anniversary is celebrated on 25th May to honor the young political leader who stood against the conservative government. Cultural performances and outdoor dancing are held.

  • The Albaicin festival is celebrated on 29th June when pilgrims garbed in traditional dresses arrive on horseback or carriages to the San Miguel hermitage.

  • On the last Sunday of September, the Festival of Our Lady is celebrated to honor the Virgin Mary with a beautiful procession.

  • Navidad or Christmas Eve and Nocheviaja or New Year’s Eve is celebrated with parties, family get-togethers and general merriment.

Points of interest (places to see) : 
There are a vast number of things to see in Granada. Some of them are : 
  • The Alhambra is the best preserved and most beautiful Moorish palace. Build between 13th and 14th century, it is a vast complex including many structures and gardens. It was initially built in 889 as a small fortress which was then named as the Alcazaba. Within this Moorish palace, you'll find a number of other palaces such as the Palace of Charles V and the Nasrid Royal Palace.

  • The Granada cathedral build by Queen Isabella is one of the best examples of Renaissance architecture. It contains several chapels of various styles.

  • The Arab baths were built in the 11th century and good examples of the baths of that period.

  • The Royal chapel contains the tombs of many catholic monarchs and also contains intricate designs and artwork.

Apart from this, there are many other places to see like the Sacromonte – a gypsy district, Santo Domingo church, Federico Garcia Lorca Museum, San Jeronimo monastery and many others.

Accommodation : 
A variety of hotels are found in the city of Granada, from where you can make your choice as per the need and budget. The Hospes Palacios de los patos, Fontecruz Granada are the five star hotels while Parador de Granada, Saray, NH Victoria Collection, Corona de Granada and Granada center are the four star hotels. For budget accommodation, you can check out the three star hotels like Macia Gran via, Santa Isabella la Real, Casa Morisca and Posada del Torro or two star hotels like Los Tilos, Macia Plaza etc.

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