Granada, Spain: city, beach, and ski—three destinations in one!

Granada is one of those places in southern Spain where you really can have it all. You can eat free tapas in one of the many bars around the city, walk through the Sierra Nevada mountains before the first snowfall, or relax on a beach along the Costa Tropical. You’ll never be short of things to see and do in this authentic area of Spain.

Granada City
Granada may not be one of the more obvious cities to visit in Spain, but this only adds to its charm and authenticity. You can still go to traditional tapas haunts around the cobbled streets and get some delicious free tapas (when brought with an alcoholic drink). 

A particularly lively area called Plaza de Bib-Rambla is a great place to tick off when exploring the city. Full of cafes, bars and shops, this tree-lined square is full of Spanish charm and makes you fall in love with the area. Nearby is one of the great bazaars which sells a wide range of Arabic goods including silks, spices and colourful jewellery. 

The city is also the perfect place to get some wonderful views of the Alhambra Palace. A great way to see both the palace and the Sierra Nevada is to take in the views at Mirador de San Nicolas. Simply take bus number C31 from the Plaza Nueva or alternatively take a taxi which will cost only a few euros. 

Costa Tropical 
Less than an hour from Granada, the area of Costa Tropical is a great way to go from city to beach and enjoy a different part of Spain. With the Costa Tropical cooling to a pleasant 24C (75F) in October, and the beaches themselves becoming less crowded, it’s a great time of year to visit.

The nearest beach from Granada is Motril, which is approximately a 45 minute drive away. This long, shingle beach has a few beach bars dotted along the coastline, and the sea is relatively calm if you wanted to take a quick dip. If you stop for a drink, go to Hoyo 19, a chiringuito (small bar) right on the beach which serves delicious food and ice-cold drinks. 

Further along, you will also find Salobreña: labelled as ‘the jewel of the Costa Tropical’, this whitewashed town sits above a wonderful beach while being overlooked by a traditional Moorish castle. Enjoy the views while having a coffee in town, or take a walk along the beach and make the most of the peace and quiet.

Sierra Nevada 
Sierra Nevada means ‘mountain range covered in snow’ in Spanish. Along with the skiing, this national park is an ideal place to see some unspoilt beauty, and is just as scenic in the summer months as it is in the winter. Take the bus and look out for the variety of fauna such as badgers, wild boar, goats, and golden eagles. 

There are also over 60 different species of birds to see, and a wide variety of pretty wild flowers surround the landscape. 

A great way to see the national park to its full potential is by taking a day excursion. This covers this expansive area by 4×4 and also includes food and drink in a panoramic scenic restaurant.

All in all, the area of Granada has a wide range of things for you to see and do. Whether you want to explore the city, laze around on the beach, or get back to nature, you’ll get a taste of true Spain. It will leave you wanting to come back again and again.