My 5: The Alhambra – Granada, Spain.

The Alhambra Granada Spain

1. View From The Muslim Quarter, March 2017. I’ve lost count of the number of palaces, castles, forts and royal residences seen during my travels. The Taj Mahal was pretty special, Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque not too shabby. The ghostly ruin of Slovakia’s Spissky Hrad was an underrated delight and Bangkok’s Grand Palace a monstrous love-hate experience like no other. n Spain of course it’s all about The Alhambra, a fourteenth century palace-fortress watching over the Andalusian city of Granada. A unique blend of Christian and Moorish architecture with UNESCO World Heritage kudos to boot, today the Alhambra is Spain’s most visited monument. This shot was taken from Paseo de los Tristes in the city’s Muslim Quarter.

2. The Palace of Charles V, March 2017. The Alhambra complex is huge and many of its sights free to enter. You can stroll through the public gardens and dip into the sixteenth century Santa Maria Church. But the pick of the bunch was this unfinished renaissance palace commissioned by the holy Roman Emperor Charles V. It was supposed to symbolise the triumph of Christianity over Islam, but after years of construction funds eventually dried up and it was never finished. Epic fail. 

3. Nazrid Palaces, March 2017. You’ll need a ticket to enter The Nazrid Palaces. This really can’t be stressed enough as on the weekends it can be booked up for months ahead. The crowds were huge on the afternoon of my visit and in truth the experience was a little obnoxious as I made my way through the initial courtyards and patios. The first real Wow! moment came here at Patio de los Arrayanes (Court of the Myrtles). It was named after the myrtle bushes growing on either side of the pond. Waiting patiently for the sea of elbows, heads, selfie sticks and baseball caps to clear, I finally secured this unobscured shot with a victorious click.

4. Nazrid Palaces, March 2017. The architectural details throughout are really impressive, from walls of glazed clay tiles and multi colored mosaics, to barrel-vaulted wood carved ceilings and flowery Arabic inscriptions. The audio guide is essential for enlightening you to all manner of trivia you’d have otherwise missed. 

5. Palace Gardens, March 2017. Entering the palace gardens felt a bit like coming up for air after being underwater. Here you can survey the delicious openness, figure out where everyone’s heading and shoot off in the opposite direction. The gardens are gorgeous and meticulously kept, with deep blue reflecting ponds, bright red persimmon trees and cobbled walkways with fine views across the city and the surrounding countryside.

For more on Granada, take a look at my choice spots from across the city.

I’ve also written a bunch of other 5s on Andalusia.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Why not also take a look at my many more articles from around Spain.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger

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Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

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