Posted by: Peter Block | February 6, 2012

Rent our home in Granada

This site tells you about renting our guest apartment in the historic and beautiful city of Granada.

For many visitors to Spain Granada is often a one day visit on a tour of Andalucia with the focus on the Alhambra.

We think it is worth much more of your time.

We hope that the information we provide here or direct you to explains why we have a home in this city and that we can share some of the cities many attractions with you.

Our apartment is on the top floor of a renovated building in a quiet side street close to the city centre and the cathedral. This building (el edifico) was re-built in the Moorish style known as a corral and dates back to the 12th Century.  Like so many buildings in Andalucia it keeps a plain front to the street with a cool galleried courtyard inside surrounded by ten apartments on three floors. There is a private patio at the back of the building. It is said that merchants once lodged here and kept their goods on the top floor while their animals slept below. We have no livestock, apart from the pigeons.

There is a lift to our floor. Our guest apartment has its own front door and a ‘back door’ to the private terrace that joins the two halves of our home.

Inside the guest apartment (estudio apartamento) you have a quiet haven from the heat of the city. The design of the building keeps it cool even in the height of summer. A ‘raffles’ style ceiling fan adds a cooling breeze while you take your siesta. If you need it, there is air conditioning.

The apartment is a single space yet provides a double bed, bathroom with shower, a kitchen area and at the far end a sitting room with breakfast table.

There is a well stocked larder sufficient for breakfast and the basics to help make an evening meal. And, you can help yourselves to the wine and sherry.

But, why bother when  the nearest tapas bar is at the end of the street and a short stroll will take you to Plaza de la Trinidad and our favourite late breakfast cafe where you can sit outside with the locals and watch the tourists tread their weary way from the coach park to the Albaicin (the Arabic quarter). In  truth nowhere is far from anywhere in Granada. It is a city to walk, except the hike up to the General Life, the portal to the Alhambra.

You will hear the sounds of the city as people chat in the nearby bars but it all goes quiet by midnight. The next sound you might hear is the bell calling the nuns to prayers in the early morning. This might be a moment to nip next door  to the convent and buy some cakes from the nuns  “dulces de convento”. You may well be greeted with “Ave Maria purisima” – which means Hail Virgin Mary, and in response you should reply “Sin pecado concebida” – conceived without sin. With the formalities out-of-the-way, you can ask about the cakes, biscuits and sweets, or just look on the wall for the offers. You will be served via a rotating dumb-waiter – a turntable arrangement. You place your money on the turntable and it disappears into the building. Back out will come your cakes and biscuits and your change. You may not see the person who has sent the items through as they are members of a closed order.

Time for cake and coffee on the terrace.

 

So if you are interested get in touch.

Posted by: Peter Block | October 8, 2019

Studio apartment video

A three minute video showing the studio apartment…

Posted by: Peter Block | May 18, 2014

A local expat blogger – some useful info

This is from a local blogger one time Brit who writes on food, culture & travel in Granada, Andalucia and Spain:-

http://www.piccavey.com/

 

 

 

Posted by: Peter Block | March 18, 2013

Road Trips as recommended by Traval Guardian Andalucia

From Travel Guardian

870 miles 

Two weeks
Fly into Málaga (1), pick up a hire car and drive east along the coast. An obvious place to stop for a day on the beach is Nerja (2): there are some quieter sands off the coast road towards Herradura.

You could spend months hiking in the Sierra Nevada national park (3), so if you can spare a few days, do. One of the white villages in the foothills of the Alpujarras would make for a magical base for hiking. Bubion has incredible views, and Casa la Sevillana B&B, where doubles cost from €55.

Dominated by 10th century fortifications, Almería (4) is an attractive port that still has a north African feel, and there’s a new movie museum, Casa del Cine. The beaches of the Cabo de Gata (5) are gorgeous, sweeping and almost deserted.

Andalucia map

Then head on to Murcia (6), which many say has the best tapas in the land. Tour and chomp around the cathedral and bishop’s palace, trying squid, mussels, and cazo (spiced hake), and enjoy the Moorish architecture.

Córdoba (7) is another attractive Arabic city. Established in 1908, theBodegas Campos is a recommended restaurant for dishes such as tiny fried fish with gazpacho or Iberian pig’s cheek casserole.

Colourful Seville (8) is the place for art, architecture, flamenco and late-night fun in the cobbled streets. The grand finale is Granada (9), for the Alhambra, free tapas and Granadina guitar music. Cortijo del Marques, has stunning doubles from €90 a night.

Posted by: Peter Block | September 23, 2012

A useful reference site

We found this useful site:-

Love Granada

Posted by: Peter Block | April 29, 2012

Granada: Culinary Crossroads

Here’s a great introduction to eating in Granada.

Annie Sibonney explores the culinary crossroads of Granada,
where ancient civilizations have left their marks on the food to this day.

In the historic Arab quarter of the city, she cooks traditional dishes.

http://www.foodnetwork.co.uk/node/19987/episodes/239306

 

 

Posted by: Peter Block | March 16, 2012

A few restaurants to whet the appetite

La Ermita Centro

La Estrella (Albaicín) – great views of the Alhambra and in warm summer evenings eat upstairs on the outside terrace.

El Agua (Albaicín)

Paladar (off Plaza de Gracia)

Gondoliere – the city´s fav Italian (just opposite Paladar)

Las Titas

Zakuro (sushi – off Paseo de los Tristes)

Chantarela – mentioned in our opening piece

Posted by: Peter Block | February 24, 2012

Local links

First on the list Granada Tapas Tours  web address: www.granadatapastours.com

‘The idea is to show you Granada´s “real” tapas bars. You will be taken to places that perhaps you would not venture into normally where you can enjoy the BEST QUALITY and BEST VALUE tapas on offer in the city. If a place is packed with locals it´s usually for a good reason!
Suitable for everyone. Lunch time and evening tours available.”

This is run by Gayle Mackie our co-host when you stay with us.

 The local official information sites are:-

The local guide from the city council  Granadatur.com  web address http://www.granadatur.com/en/

This will give you access to most activities in the city.

There are three tourist offices there is a link below with the official address.

For a general sense of where they are; one is just off Plaza Nueva, the second in the Town Hall and the third in a side street near El Corte Ingles (The English Court) the biggest department store in the city centre.    http://www.granadatur.com/en/useful-information/offices-interest-points/

The pocket guide (pocketguia) you will find in print at the tourist offices. It is in Spanish but with the pictures and dates and a little help from a dictionary it is very useful. Plus you will see the names of events and ‘things’ in Spanish and that’s helpful when you are off to find a venue.

Granada Insider ‘is English language magazine covering events, culture, dining, news and more in Granada. Granada Insider is packed full of useful Granada Info on the best Bars, Music and more.’

This is a private publication but very useful. You can pick up a copy in many of the larger hotels.

Finally, always good to know the weather before you arrive.

You can check on the Met Office site but that will only get you to Malaga or here on the Weather Channel which gives the local weather for Granada, this is often quite different from the coast.

And if you didn’t know there is an App from the Weather Channel.

Posted by: Peter Block | February 22, 2012

How to get here…

Bus, or train, or taxi will get you to the city centre.

Then walk.  We will send you a map.

Flying
There are two direct flight services from the UK. BA from City Airport and EasyJet from Gatwick. The BA service is seasonal from just before Easter (Semana Santa) and ends a few days after the last weekend in September after the Sunday procession of the Virgen de las Angustias.

You can take a flight to Malaga and then hire a car or take the bus, about 90 minutes. More on car hire elsewhere.

Or fly to Madrid or Barcelona and get an internal flight.

If you fly to Seville you will have to get a car or taxi. The train takes three hours!

The overall travel time differs little but from Luton via Malaga and a hire car or via Madrid and a second flight will take 6 hours overall.

Posted by: Peter Block | February 15, 2012

At the end of the day…

… walk or take the bus up to the Alhambra Palace Hotel 30 minutes before sunset. Go through the hotel to the balcony that is attached precariously to the side of the hotel and overlooks the squares below. Find a table, get a drink (try tinto de verano – red wine of summer – similar to sangria but not as pricey) and watch to sun go down over the plains below. The swifts will come out and sweep across the sky scooping up the insects and as it gets dark the bats will join in.

Then walk down the hill as the row of restaurants in Campo del Principe open up for the evening.
Probably time to stop for some food. There is a great range on offer.

Finally, head back to the center where you can sit and watch the city orchestra give a free concert in the cathedral square and at the end of the concert, stand up, join in with everyone singing Granada.

Probably not with Placido Domingo leading the signing but the sentiment is the same …

Posted by: Peter Block | February 14, 2012

A few of Kalpana’s favorite….

SHOPS!

The centre of Granada seeks to seduce all the shoppers of the Granada province, and consequently caters for every taste and price range. There are serious places to shop in the main streets along Calle Mesones, Puerta Real and Calle Recogidas towards the Hotel Palacio de Patos, then turn in at Massimo Dutti, trinkets to purchase in the alleys of the Alcaiceria off Plaza Bib Rambla, haggling to do through the artisan streets of the Albaicin, and dreaming to do in the numerous small art galleries along the way. Convenient to all of these, the location of our apartment is just perfect for wherever you decide to stroll, so no matter how heavy your shopping bags become, popping back home is so easy. That is, of course, if one of the plentiful street cafes don’t lure you in first.

PEOPLE WATCHING SPOTS!

Granada truly is cosmopolitan, and there is no better way to get to know a place than to sit still and watch the place walk past you! Street cafes abound, most serving along with the usual drinks menu,the sweetest most refreshing glass of zumo de naranja, or freshly squeezed orange juice to you and me. Whilst watching the world go by,you’ll see probably some of the smartest and trendiest students that I have ever seen, quite a few hippies, professionals in beautifully tailored attire, and the immaculately presented retired or jubilado Granadinos, often with their families, surrounded by small children dressed from a 1950’s catalogue.So cute! For me, however, the best time and place to watch the Granadinos is on a Saturday as family and friends congregate outside a church prior to a wedding. There are many churches to see this spectacular sight, but right on our doorstep on the Plaza de la Universidad, is located a very popular church Iglesia de los Santos Justo y Pastor. Pull up a chair at the cafe on the plaza, order a long cool drink, and enjoy.

ACTIVITIES

Now I would never use the term “sports”, since the very thought of breaking into a sweat, well, quite frankly, makes me break into a sweat. But even I have learned that sometimes a little activity can bring forth much reward.Here are 2 things that the Granada air make me enjoy. Firstly, rent a bike! No, not a “sporty”variety, but one of the electric bikes, they make cycling along a doddle, even hills become achievable. You see, one of the main attractions of Granada is that it is quite small, so on a bike you can explore virtually the whole town, or even cycle out for a spot of lunch in one of the surrounding  quaint villages. Bike rental is less than a 10 minutes walk from our place, so easy to collect and drop off a bike.

Secondly, the mountain air of the Sierra Nevada just has to be inhaled. Wether in the heat of the summer or the snow of the winter, this ski resort is only a 45 minute drive from our place. There are plenty of long gentle blue ski runs for those of you who like to pootle along on skis, as well as more challenging runs for you others. In summer there are beautiful walks for those who wish to escape the heat.

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