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The beautiful historic city of Granada nestles in the foothills of the Spanish Sierra Nevada Mountains and has long been an absolute must-see on the tourist map.
With just 240,000 inhabitants Granada is not a metropolis, but the 80,000 students who live and study in the city make it a lively, vibrant place and great fun to visit. Every year, the numbers of Granada residents are swelled by some two million visitors who come to marvel at the beautiful architecture of the Alhambra Palace, which many deem to be the “Jewel of Moorish Spain”.
Many visitors who come as a tourist for the first time are overwhelmed by the beauty of the city and the Palace complex. they fall in love with the relaxed, yet stimulating atmosphere of the city and vow to return often. This love affair often extends to buying a second home or holiday residence in the city or surrounding hillside villages.
Property in Spain has undergone some dramatic price reformation in recent years. Luxury apartments, condos, villas and town houses have far more affordable asking prices than just a few years ago. Who wouldn’t want to spend time in this wonderful place, where many bars serve tapas free of charge with every ordered drink?
Granada Airport is situated just 17 km outside of the city, but with budget airlines not offering flights to the city as yet, most tourists fly into Malaga, rent a car or take public transport to reach Granada. It’s roughly a 1.5 hour drive to the Costa del Sol’s beaches, making Granada an excellent base for both winter skiing trips and summer beach life.
While those fortunate to live in the city can visit the Alhambra Palace when the main throng of the tourists have gone, overseas visitors are advised to book their tickets at up to 90 days in advance, before their date of arrival. The pre-ordered tickets can be collected from a ticket machine at the Palace entrance, thus avoiding standing in a queue for a very long time.
Granada’s nightlife offers something for everybody, from traditional flamenco entertainment to bars and clubs that cater for a student population. There are many excellent restaurants and at Mirador de San Nicolas visitors can enjoy the best panoramic views of the Palace for free!
Living in Granada offers not just hiking, climbing and skiing to those who love an active outdoor life. It is possible to join excursions to other historic cities or visit the Nerja caves at the Costa del Sol. The main ski resort of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is just under an hour’s drive away and there are numerous operators who can arrange for a pre-booked transfer for those part-time residents who do not have their own car.
Granada’s tropical coast offers beachlife and sunshine all year round with 320 sunny days per year. Hidden coves, crystal clear lagoons and 73 km of Costa Tropical make a holiday home in the Granada region an attractive investment. Local markets sell locally grown mangoes, avocadoes, papaya and cherimoya thanks to the temperate climate.
Sailing, sunbathing, windsurfing, diving, paragliding, swimming and snorkelling are all on the agenda for those who love the beachside life. There are some large tourist resorts with all the usual amenities and services, too: Poniente, Calahonda and San Cristobal to name but a few.
There are also two noteworthy marinas for sailing enthusiasts and those who love to see the yachting world go by while sipping a refreshing cool drink: Marina del Este and Puerto Deportivo de Motril have moorings for 227 and 168 yachts respectively.
Throughout the year residents with a permanent or semi-permanent home can enjoy the fiestas and many events that are part and parcel of living in the Granada region. At the Costa Tropical every June bonfires are being lit all along the beach at San Juan to honour the sea. In July a procession is taking a statue of the Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of seafarers, out of its usual resting place to ensure safe passage for the fishermen and women working the boats that bring in the delicious seafood served in the local restaurants.