Hear about travel to the Andalucia region of Spain as the Amateur Traveler talks to Crawford Hill from Chill Expeditions Educational Travel about his adopted home in Southern Spain.
Crawford traveled in that area and then fell in love and bought a second home in the little fishing village of La Herradura (the horseshoe).
Andalucia stretches from the coastline into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada. “Grenada is about 45 minutes straight north of La Herradura. So you move from sea level, the spectacularly rocky and gorgeous cliffs, coast dotted with beaches up through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada which surround Grenada. Grenada is a small city but it is extremely cosmopolitan. They have the fusion of Moorish, Jewish and Christian cultures that’s unique, and of course, you have the Alhambra there. You could spend a week just in that 40-50 mile radius and have an amazing experience.”
La Herradura is in the Coasta Tropical which has more Spanish influence and better beaches than nearby Costa del Sol according to Crawford. “The beach at La Herradura is smooth stone almost like river rocks”.
Grenada is best known for the Alhambra which is a fortress and palace that was the last bastion of the Moorish in Spain and the last city to be captured by the reconquistadors of Ferdinand and Isabella. Crawford recommends getting a guide who can really unwrap the history and art of the palace to you. You can also stay at the Parador de Granada which is one of the hotels run by the government of Spain.
In the mountains above Grenada are Los Pueblos Blancos, the white towns of Andalucia. In the towns above Grenada, the towns have white houses with flat roofs that look more like those of Northern Africa. Crawford particularly recommends hiking between Pampaneira, Capileira, and Bubion. It takes half a day to hike between these towns. When you hike above these cities in early Summer the hiking among the wildflowers reminds Crawford of the time he has spent in Switzerland.
right click here to download (mp3)
right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)
La Parrilla Restaurant
Parador de Granada
Los Pueblos Blancos
Andalucia Travel Guide
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+Chris Christensen | @chris2x | facebook
One Response to “Travel to Andalucia, Spain – Episode 389”
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Tags: andalucia, audio travel podcast, grenada, podcast, spain
October 16th, 2013 at 8:19 am
Listening to this podcast took me back to Granada. I spent five nights there last August. Yes, it was very hot but it was fine once I adjusted to the local pace, which meant taking mid afternoon naps and having supper at 9:00 p.m. I stayed at Casa del Capitel Nazari, a restored 16-century Renaissance palace. With a full breakfast, and a discount because I was staying multiple nights, the cost was very reasonable.
A few comments:
1) Pay attention to the route you are going to take when visiting the Alhambra. It is built on a hill and you probably don’t want to backtrack. Give yourself time to explore the ground around the Palacios Nazaries before you enter the palace because the exit will take you through the Generalife Gardens. It’s a bit of a hike to get back to the Palace’s ground.
2) Since I was there almost a week, I purchased the weekly pass which was a fairly good deal. The pass entitled me a number of trips on the mini-buses, the regular buses, a bus tour and admission to the Alhambra twice (presumably one during the day and one at night). The mini-buses zipped around the Old Town and up the hills to Alhambra and Albayzin (the Moorish part of the city)
3) I walked up the gentle slope from the Old Town to Alhambra as suggested by Rick Steves’ guidebook but took advantage of my pass for a mini-bus ride back. It was a breath-taking but nerve-wrecking ride.
4) I took a minu-bus up to the San Nicholas Church just before dusk. The vista from the square to Alhambra at dusk is stunning. I heard Bill Clinton took his family here for the view too. From St. Nicholas Square, I wandered back into the Old City by walking downhill via the narrow streets. I stopped at a random restaurant for a delicious Moroccan tajine meal.
5) The tour of the Cathedral was informative and worthwhile but if you want to save money, just attend one of the Sunday services for free. However, during the mass, most of the interior of the cathedral were off limit to the worshipers.
6) Cordoba is a short bus or train ride away. It is definitely worth the effort to see the impressive and stunning Mezquita. I took the bus there and paid twice as much for the train ride back to Granada. I do love train rides though.
Granada has become one of my favorite cities and I hope to return there one day.