At the foot of the Andalusian Mountains is a city steeped in history; one that has seen great conquests, great tragedy and greater monuments – Granada. It is also a very gorgeous part of the Spanish landscape, one that can be the perfect escape for a romantic couple.
Chief among the sights of Granada and perhaps all of Andalusia and probably its most famous example of architecture is the Alhambra. Constructed initially by Jewish viziers, seized by Muslims after the pogrom of 1066 and taken over by the Catholics in 1492, it has had an eventful history. Easily one of the most beautiful buildings in Spain, it was home at once to sultans, their officials and their harems. When the Christians in turn expelled the Muslims from Spain, the Alhambra became home to the Catholic monarchs. The intricate carvings of its walls, the exquisite gardens and the gently soothing reddish hue that give the structure its name make for an engaging vision to share with a special someone.
The Generalife is a network of gardens attached to the Alhambra building complex. It was a venue of escape for royalty for centuries and its fountains, greenery and overall architectural charm have not lost their charm to this day. Gardens are always a couples’ favorite, and the Generalife is something special. The Patio de los Cipreses might be particularly appealing – it is where Sulatna Zoraya met with her secret lover, almost literally under the eyes of the sultan.
Albaicín is a Granadian town with history that pervades its atmosphere. It lies below the mesa where the Alhambra stands. Here, Carrera del Darro, which runs along the Darro River, is the ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon, walking hand-in-hand on charming avenues. The street performances, shaded parks and quaint cafes are ideal for light entertainment and a dose of culture in a fairytale setting.
If you are more of an outdoors-y couple, the Sierra Nevada National Park that includes part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range is the place to bond under clear blue skies and endless stretches of verdant hills, valleys and clear, cool mountain streams. A hike and picnic could not be more romantic for the stunning landscape.
Throughout Granada, you will be able to catch authentic flamenco performances – this is where it originated, after all. The shows inside the caves of Sacromonte are an especially wonderful experience. Match that lively music and entertainment with some of the best tapas bars anywhere on the planet and you will see that Granada is really one of the most conducive places to have a romantic vacation as a couple.
Visit between May and June when the cool summer makes exploring a pleasure and the breeze carries the scent of fresh blooms. This period coincides with some of Granada’s biggest cultural festivals.