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For holidaymakers the Alhambra and Generalife gardens are typically the first port of call – they are some of the world’s most visited historic monuments and a major tourist attraction in the Granada province. Some eight thousand visitors per day are recorded in the summer season; they come to marvel at the stunning architecture and splendour of the interior of what ranks among the zenith of Islamic art.
Residents of Granada take the hordes of summer tourists in their stride – come October, they know, they’ll have their city back and can enjoy such wonderful treasures as the Arab Baths Banuelo, well-preserved Arab baths dating back to the eleventh century or the beautiful Church of Santa Ana, located just at the entrance of Carrera del Darro, a Mudejar church dating back to 1501, which overlooks the banks of the Darro river.
At the imposing Plaza Nueva, which is actually the oldest square in the city of Granada, residents can sit and contemplate their good fortune; who wouldn’t want to live in a place where they are surrounded by such beauty? From the Plaza Nueva one can walk up to the Alhambra or to nearby Elvira Street, a vibrant place with cafes and independent shops which leads to the Albaycin, an ancient Moorish quarter filled with winding streets leading past splendid examples of Arab-style and Renaissance buildings.
For a first longer visit to Granada it is advisable to rent an apartment or villa. Outside the city in rural villages prices go down considerably and it is possible to rent an apartment with access to a swimming pool for as little as EUR 20.00 per day. There are so many very distinct quarters to the city of Granada, it’s best to rent for at least a couple of weeks before deciding on where to concentrate on a property hunt. More luxury costs more money and such apartments will charge at least in excess of EUR 60.00 per day.
Granada is a province of religious and cultural contrasts. While the Carthusian monastery, located about two kilometres from Granada city centre, contains a splendid seventeenth century Baroque church and a beautiful cloister, at Corral del Carbon in the heart of Granada city, visitors can admire an ancient Arabic inn dating back to the fourteenth century.
As a great example of the Christian influences on the region, Granada Cathedral, built during Queen Isabella’s reign, is a masterpiece of the Spanish Renaissance period. Its elaborate facade and stunning interior, in particular the great altarpiece and chapels, make Granada Cathedral a favourite with both short-term visitors and permanent residents. In the cathedral’s burial chamber the Catholic Kings of Spain found a final resting place in a series of tombs.
Today’s array of property in the province of Granada is just as varied. There are high-end apartments and villas or fincas and village houses that need restoration, town houses dating back centuries and modern beach-front property ideal for holiday letting. Prices are low at present thanks to the Euro’s weakness against Sterling.
Many people are beginning to look for property away from the Costas, since the Granada region offers not just amazing cultural highlights like the Alhambra or the Cathedral, but also beaches and the Sierra Nevada mountains, ideal for winter holidays with down-hill skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing.
Another advantage for house hunters and would-be residents is that the city of Granada is home to one of Spain’s most prestigious universities, which provides year-round rental income to investors. Students prefer to live in the city centre, close to the university and modern amenities like the Science Museum, a highly entertaining and educational place, where visitors can participate in science experiments or test their knowledge of physical phenomena such as erosion, gravity or electricity.
Property prices can range from EUR 20,000 for a small village house in need of restoration to an average of EUR 165,000 for well-built, 2-bed apartments in desirable locations. Investors seeking to let out long-term can expect around EUR 700.00 to EUR 1,000.00 per month for a 3-bed, 3-bath town house close to all amenities and around EUR 380.00 per month for a beach-front 1-bed, 1-bath apartment on the main promenade of Almuñecar.