M.A Hotel Puerta de los Aljibes
Avenida de Pulianas 10, Granada, 18012, Spain
More about Granada
Perigrino crossing the Arroyo del Cohete
Walking above and around the garden
Flamenco shows and personal guides
I'm travelling to Granada this weekend and would like to book a flamenco show in one of the caves (especially if it comes with a short walking tour of the area) but would prefer to book before I leave rather than waiting to get to the hotel. I've searched on the net but can't find much info. is there anything I can book online with a credit card? and if not what is the best way to organise things?
second, I have booked tickets for the alhambra and would like to also book a personal guide (someone who will take just the 2 of us around as opposed to a big tour of people). Can anyone recommend a good guide? is it always better to take a guide than go around yourself (I would imagine yes as there is so much to see asnd we might miss something important, despite all the guidebooks we'll be taking!)
Anyway, any advice is really appreciated.
RE: Flamenco shows and personal guides
An alternative to a personal guide for the Alhambra that you might consider is doing the audio tour that's offered. You get a headset and device with a little CD that has info on all of the rooms and features. The nice thing is that you can do it at your own pace. If I recall it was only 5 euros (as of last June...I could be way off however) but whatever it is I'm sure it would be cheaper than a personal guide. Of course the nice thing about a personal guide is connecting with someone local.
Travel Tips for Granada
Alhambra Tip 2 - Charles V Palace
This is one of the emperor's projects for the city of Granada and one of the most popular spots of the Alhambra. I hope you like my pictures. Please rate my tips and leave your comments.
The choice of the Alhambra for its construction shows the king's awareness of the beauty of the Arab palaces and his interest in preserving them for posterity.
The construction of the palace, which was started in 1533, was abandoned years later, as the kings had lost interest and the Court was already fully established in Madrid.
It was at the end of the twentieth century when the building's roofing was put in place and the museums were fitted out inside, the Fine Arts Museum on the top floor and the Alhambra Museum on the ground floor.
The building also houses temporary exhibitions, as well as some of the concerts of the Granada Music and Dance Festival in the courtyard.
In a Renaissance style, the palace represents the introduction of Italian classicism in Spanish civil architecture. Designed by Pedro Machuca, the concept of the project is extremely original, above all due to the addition of the round porticoed courtyard in the external square block and the harmonious distribution of the strengths. The facades are imposing and the main one, on the west face, is the most adorned and rich.
No ticket is necessary to visit the Charles V Palace, as it is permanently open at the same time as the Alhambra and it is free.
As far as the museums are concerned, the Fine Arts one is free for citizens of the UE on presentation of a passport, Identity Card, etc. The price for rest is €1.50.
The Alhambra Museum is free for all visitors.
If You've checked out other VTers Granada tips already, You'll be aware that Granada restaurants/bars offer free Tapas with drinks!
My experience was that some do, and some don't!
I was offered a plate of chicken wings and a carrot/ sweetcorn salad at Titas to accompany my beer prior to eating my main course. (See my Restaurant tip)
In Plaza Bib Rambla, I stopped at a cafe for a beer and was offered a dish of delicious plump olives.
However in Sacromente, I stopped off at a restaurant for a beer and that was all I got, likewise in Plaza Nueva.
(These were all daytime visits).
*UPDATE- my second visit I tried more Tapas, Naves, (off Plaza Carmen ) was a good place for free Tapas, also the restaurants on Paseo de los Tristes (overlooking The Alhambra) offer a plate of 4 - 5 Tapas for 7 euros (Plateau tapas variades)
Sunflower Fields near Granada
On the way to Granada from Marbella, several large fields of Sunflowers made their glorious appearance. I didn’t even know at the time that Spain had a Sunflower industry. I was much more use to a sight like this around the German countryside than in Spain. But I found out that Spain is a large producer of Sunflowers.
To make up for its shortage of domestic feed grains, Spain became one of the world's largest importers of soybeans, and it developed a modern oilseed-crushing industry of such high productivity that surplus soybean oil became one of Spain's most important agricultural export commodities.
As a further step in reducing Spanish dependence on imported soybeans, the government encouraged sunflower production. Especially favorable growing conditions, coupled with generous government support, caused sunflower seed output to expand spectacularly. In this area close to Granada is grown about 43% of the total sunflower crop of Spain.
Sunflower-seed meal was not the most desirable livestock feed, and therefore it is not used in that way, but most Spanish households use the cooking oil it provides because it is less expensive than olive oil. As in most places, sunflower is used commercially only for oil production.
For tourists, the scenic sight of large fields of glowing Sunflowers is reason enough for farmers to nurture these crops.
Sierra Nevada is also known, within these kind of resort, for its good nightlife. Although people are there to get up early (or at least intend to) to go up the mountain and do some snowboard or ski, there are plenty of places were you can go out for just a drink or for a 'till next mornin' night out.
But if you're not into chart music and that kind of environment there's not that many choices. But you have "Sticky fingers". Really cool arty decoration, good djing music, really relaxed atmosphere.
Getting To The Alhambra
If you are feeling energetic you can walk from Plaza Neuva up Cuesta de Gomerez. Or you can catch minibus #32 which departs from Plaza Issabel La Cotlica and is marked for the Alhambra. The service is fairly regular at around every 15 mins. Alternatively you can take a taxi from Plaza Nueva. It is not recommended to drive more for the congestion of one way streets you will encounter on your departure.
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