Welcome to the city! If you are still at the airport and need a transfer to Granada… Let us tell you that you are in the right website!
We want to achieve something more than giving you just a ride, but also explaining everything about this town and giving you the info you need to visit some good places.
History of Granada
The origin of the city of Granada seems mysterious. Many of its corners are wrapped in legends and fables that have turned it into a magical city.
The most incredible theories have been elaborated, from tracing their creation to the biblical Noah, passing through Hercules, to different Mediterranean civilizations of antiquity.
The truth is that the origin of Granada goes back to the Iberian tribe of the túrdulos, one of the most civilized of the first settlers of the Iberian Peninsula. This tribe founded it with the name of Ihverir, that later the Romans called Iliberis.
Later, the Romans conquered it and converted it into a municipality (1st to 2nd century BC), calling it both by its Iberian name Iliberis and by the Latin name Florentia.
Which according to Antonio Gallego y Burín in his artistic and historical Guide of Granada «could be interpreted by florid or fruitful city ».
This Roman population occupied, mainly, the current neighbourhoods of the Alcazaba and the Albaicín, and extended to the hill of the Alhambra.
From the Visigothic period documents of the population or their customs have not been preserved, although coins and medals have been preserved.
And the history keeps going, so take your time to enjoy the rest
Which leads us to suspect that Granada continued to be the capital of the province, as in the Roman period, even more so when its military power and decreased the importance of other populations of the Empire due to the invasion of the barbarians.
Iliberis shared settlement with Granata, which was more a slum than an autonomous population, occupied mainly by Jews and which stood on the border of the Alcazaba of Iliberis.
The Muslim invasion of the Iberian Peninsula began in 711 with the arrival of Tariq to the coast of Tarifa.
Later, in the year 745, a detachment detached from the Muslim army from Damascus, who had intervened in the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, went to Cordoba with the intention of claiming the booty promised for their participation, but they arrived late.
The Syrians had no choice but to accept, but they could not imagine what would make that decision, taken with so little enthusiasm, over the centuries.
Iliberis became Elvira for the Muslims, which was destroyed in 1010, and its inhabitants began to move to the Albaicín.
Ibn al-Ahmar, founded a new dynasty, the Nasrid, after conquering once more Granada, dynasty responsible for the construction of the Alhambra.
Which reigned until January 2, 1492, when the Christian troops of the Catholic Kings entered the city culminating the Reconquest, with the surrender of Boabdil, last of the Nasrid kings.
Monuments that are worth to see when you get your transfer to Granada
The Alhambra is a castle and fortress, a royal palace and a city, gardens and a summer retreat, the Alhambra is all that and much more.
Built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, it was the jewel of the Nazari kingdom that came to encompass all of Almeria, Malaga and Granada, as well as part of other provinces.
It is more than a palace, it is an entire walled citadel within the city of Granada. It has royal apartments, forts, gardens, courtyards, barracks, etc … all surrounded by an impressive wall.
At a time of some peace with the Christian kingdoms, his grandson Muhammad III (1302-1308) erected the Great Mosque of the Alhambra. Deposed this one and assassinated, a series of internal fights took place.
It is the purely military part of the enclosure. The constructions that are conserved date from century XIII.
The first thing you will find on entering is the Barrio Castrense or Plaza de Armas, the place occupied by the houses and barracks of the troops.
Currently, you can only see the floor of these buildings, marked with small walls. In a subsoil there are reservoirs and dungeons.
Beyond are the Torre de la Pólvora and the Torre de la Vela or La Campana, so called because the Catholic Monarchs installed a bell whose touch governed the irrigation turns in the fertile plain of Granada.
The best thing about this tower is the view it has of the city, on the one hand, and of the Alhambra, on the other.
If you continue to circle the Alcazaba in the direction of the hands of a clock you will reach the Puerta de Armas, the main entrance during the Arab period.
The Royal House
This name is given to the set of Nasrid Palaces. It can be divided into three main nuclei and one added: The Mexuar or Meshwar, the Palace of Comares and the Palace of the Lions.
It was the place where matters related to the administration of justice were dealt with.
It completely surrounds the Patio de los Arrayanes or of the Mirtos, which is the plant that forms the hedges of this patio.
This palace is considered one of the jewels of the Alhambra and has a beautiful pond flanked by two rows of hedges.
The Lions Courtyard
Upon entering, one is impressed by the forest of 124 columns that, like palm trees, surround the patio.
Everything in this courtyard has its symbolism: they say it represents Paradise, bathed like this by four rivers, while the twelve lions located in the centre represent the twelve signs of the Zodiac.
The Gardens of the Partal, one of the most beautiful places of the Alhambra, and the Towers that come next walking towards the Generalife. This land was formerly occupied by military homes and servants at the service of the palace.
Carlos V Palace
It is the great mass of stone that is seen when entering, near the ticket office, and that for many breaks in an unpleasant way the harmony in the delicate set of the Alhambra.
The Generalife of Granada was a rustic village or royal garden and is the only sample left to get an approximate idea of how those beautiful mansions were surrounded by gardens in which the Arab spirit was carried away by his poetic and sensual instinct.
Generalife means architect’s garden. The Generalife of Granada is located on the hill called Cerro del Sol, adjacent to that of the Alhambra.
In its origins, it must have been an architect’s pleasure mansion, so the etymology points, and later it went on to the royal patrimony, suffering the remodelations that are appreciated as a whole.
The Generalife is composed of large gardens, where each corner offers a novelty and a pleasant surprise for the view, and for a building reduced to the minimum of dependencies.
Some dependencies of the Generalife of Granada are parasitic constructions, work of Christian hands, like the gallery of the west and the building that closes to east, and the body of two plants that rises in the northern front.
Isabel la Católica ordered the construction of the Cathedral of Granada in 1505, shortly after the taking of the city, and chose for its location the place where the Great Mosque of Granada was located.
Here the works of the Royal Chapel, which would contain its mausoleums in the future, had already begun.
Carlos V, always respectful of the memory of his august grandparents, wanted the plans to be made as the desire of the Catholic Monarchs had been.
The Cathedral of Granada or Cathedral of the Incarnation shows impressive facades and a magnificent interior with a grandiose altarpiece. From its central nave, you can contemplate the grandeur of its Main Chapel, true jewel of the Spanish Renaissance.
The impressive main facade of the temple was the work of Granada artist Alonso Cano.
The Royal Chapel is located between the Cathedral of Granada, the salient of the old Lonja, and the church of the Sagrario, in the historic centre of the city.
It is of late Gothic or Elizabethan style and was built by order of the Catholic Monarchs in 1504 to become a burial place for their bodies.
Queen Elizabeth gave high priority to the project and endowed it with the necessary funds, leaving even written in her will how it should end.
The monarchs died before it was finished and, meanwhile, their bodies rested in the Convent of San Francisco de la Alhambra, today Parador Nacional de Turismo.
Emperor Charles V respected all the wishes of his grandparents and was later commissioned, in 1521, to move their bodies to the newly finished chapel.
Bañuelo, Arabs baths
Bañuelo was also known by the name “Aammim Alyawza” (Baños del Nogal).
The Baths of the Bañuelo are in the bottom of a private house, in the Carrera del Darro, at the foot of the Alhambra, and show us the degree of refinement that the Spanish Arabs had a thousand years ago.
The Bañuelo de Granada is one of the few places of this type that managed to save itself from the destruction of the Catholic Monarchs since among the Christians the Arab baths had a reputation comparable to that of brothels.
This marvel has survived despite the fact that a private house was built on it almost from the day of the occupation of the city by the Castilians.
In 1918 El Bañuelo de Granada was declared a National Monument.
Monastery of the Cartuja
The Monastery of the Cartuja de Granada was founded by order of Don Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (The Great Captain) on ancient Arabian carmen called Aynadamar (Source of the Tears), in fulfillment of a vote pronounced in that place to get save the life after a trap of the Muslims.
The works began in 1506, but it would be three centuries before it was finished. In him the monks Carthusians lived until they expelled them in 1835.
The entrance to the Monastery of the Cartuja is through a Renaissance door that gives access to a patio. From here some stairs allow the passage to the door of the convent. Then you can see the different dependencies.
La Madraza was the first university in Granada, founded by Yusuf I in 1349 with all the Nasrid splendour of the time.
In it, they taught such illustrious characters as Ibn al-Khatib or Ibn Zamrak, whose poems decorate the walls and fountains of the Alhambra.
Located in the centre of Granada, on Calle Oficios, it is the only building of the era that remains to stand, in what was one of the most emblematic areas of Nasrid Granada: the suburb of the Great Mosque.
The name of Madraza comes from the Arabic word “medersa”, which means Koranic school or university.
The history of the “Tuna de Granada”
What is a tuna?
A Tuna or Estudantina Universitaria, is a musical group of university students. They wear a combination of ancient clothing and perform musical themes of Spanish folklore.
History of the tunas
First of all, the tuna is one of the oldest university institutions in history. Its origin is in the Universities of Palencia (1208) and Salamanca (1220).
The first tunos were poor university students. They would make rondallas and serenades to entertain those present in exchange for a bowl of soup. That is why they were also called “sopitas”.
As the university evolved, so did the tuna. That’s why all kinds of people from all economic backgrounds joined in.
The term “tuna” comes from the word “tunante”, which was the name given to those who led a cheerful and nocturnal life.
Nowadays, all universities have their own tuna. Whether they are tunas from each faculty, or the so-called district tunas that its members are from all the faculties.
We can find them in any type of celebration, singing in the streets and terraces of tourist places, in weddings, bachelorette parties and in thousand and one saraos.
Foundation of the Tuna of Granada
Specifically, the tuna from the Granda District was founded in 1948. With an uninterrupted activity since that year. After each faculty cretaed their owns Tuna. For example:
- Ciencias, which is the best in Spain.
RESTAURANTS & FOOD
Most typical food from Granada
One of the first things you need to do after you get your transfer to Granada it’s to go and enjoy the food and wines that this town has to offer.
Here are some of the typical dishes that you will need to taste, let your transfer to Granada lead you to the door of the restaurant! 😉
Habas con jamón
Green beans, generally fresh and small, that are cooked in olive oil accompanied by strips of ham. It is a dish that is served hot (usually accompanied by an egg dish: scrambled egg or an omelette).
Olla de San Antón
It is a stew that requires both dried beans and beans (both are soaked on the night before they are made), which are abundant by the dates of San Antón. In the final part of cooking, rice and blood sausage are added as ingredients.
It is a cake of bread dough coated with grains of fat salt and baked. It is usually consumed during the spring months and it is typical to take it during the festivities of that time of the year (May Crosses, Corpus Christi Festivity, etc.).
The normal thing is to eat it as an accompaniment to the green beans of the Vega or Serrano ham.
Tortilla de Sacromonte
Made with brains of beef, criadillas or other types of casquería. Usually, it also takes small parts of nuts, peas and breadcrumbs. Some recipes include pieces of ham, potatoes and chorizo.
Of Arab origin, it is served as the first cold dish and its preparation can vary considerably from one locality to another, but all have in common the use of orange and olive oil.
In its simplest form, it is nothing more than a mixture of peeled and chopped orange, oil, and, depending on the taste of the diner, salt or sugar.
The most common ingredient of those who incorporate is cod. Other possible ingredients include olives, eggs, onions or chives, garlic, vinegar, paprika, potatoes or tomato.
Getting your transfer to Granada will let you taste all this amazing dishes in the different restaurants, we cannot recommend one and only, but we can tell you that taking your transfer to Granada to the follow up streets will give you a great experience:
- Calle Elvira
- Gonzalo Gallas
- San Antón
- San Matías
- Centre Catedral
- Plaza de la Romanilla
The best restaurants in Granada
First of all, this is one of the most famous restaurants in Granada. Moreover, its menu is one of the most appreciated in Granada. It is mainly inspired by the regional Andalusian cuisine with a very suggestive incursion of “very Granada” dishes and others with strong Arab-Andalusian roots.
It has a spectacular romantic terrace, surrounded by the centenary trees of the Plaza del Campillo. An environment that invites the diner to taste its attractive gastronomy in a perfect and relaxed atmosphere. And that turns into joy and bustle in the Bar where you can enjoy the exquisite and deep-rooted tapas from Granada.
Ruta del Veleta
First of all this restaurant has two locations, one in Cenes de la Vega and another in Sierra Nevada. The closest one to the capital is the first one. Which is on the road to Sierra Nevada at 5 kms. from the city of La Alhambra.
The cuisine of “Ruta del Veleta” is very imaginative and creative with an approach to the most modern trends.
In addition another of the keys of its success, is the respect by the products of season. Its delicious recipes are an example of this:
Fried Beans with Ham from Trevélez.
Baked Salmon Supreme with Persimmon Compote and Squid Ink.
Caramel Nest with Prickly Pear Ice Cream.
Mesón Pepe Quiles
It’s an exquisite restaurant far from the center but in the capital. It offers both service and very good food, at a reasonable price. It also has a large window to see the fish to consume.
Its raw materials are outstanding. It has a very varied offer and the elaboration, although traditional, is quite well achieved.
And don’t forget to ask for the wine list.
This restaurant offers its customers a great selection of dishes. Also with a blend of flavors through the mixture of the best products chosen by our chefs. It merges the typical German and Spanish food.
With more than 35 years of experience. Your customers can enjoy the new offer of portions and tapas in bar and terrace.
They also offer a large selection of international pastries and gins.
Real Asador de Castilla
For years, it has been a reference in Granada and is also synonymous with hospitality and quality of service.
It is in an excellent location next to the city’s Town Hall. Also with something very important for the place with free parking.
And about the restaurant we can say that it has a very careful service. In addition to the recognized quality of its cuisine and its great wine cellar. The Real Asador de Castilla has earned its reputation on its own merits, as a reference for restaurants in Granada.
The best restaurants in Granada to eat quality meet
After walking around the Albayzin, visit the Alhambra or any of its monuments or museums. You can enjoy a good meat lunch or dinner in one of the best meat restaurants in Granada. That’s why in this post we present you the best meat restaurants in Granada:
Negro Carbón Albayzin
In the heart of Granada’s historic centre we can find this restaurant which is perfect for savouring the best grilled cuisine of Granada.
We recommend it because this modern grill has a lot to offer. They are specialists in grilled meat cuts, although they also offer grilled fish and vegetables. Among their specialities is the veal chop, which they bring to the table and weigh in front of the customers. Or also their impressive hamburgers, and the homemade croquettes, the provolone a la Provençal or the autumn salad.
And for dessert, a delicious tiramisu rosso.
Negro Carbón also has another establishment open on Calle Neptuno, near the exit to the Autovía de Recogidas.
Restaurant La Casona 1897
The restaurant La Casona 1897 is a grill with more than 100 years of history. Because it opened its doors for the first time in 1897. We can find it on the road of the Sierra la Venta de Eritaña. Elegance and white characterize its interior, where you can taste a wide and varied menu in which we can highlight its grilled meats and grilled vegetables.
- Grilled pork steak with pepper sauce
- Crunchy ham knuckle
- Veal entrecôte with holm oak charcoal and baked potato
Terrace Asador Barranco
This excellent restaurant is on the Camino Nuevo in the cemetery. In which you can enjoy its grilled specialties. But also
also with other dishes from home cooking and Andalusian gastronomy.
We recommend you:
- black pudding
- lamb shoulder
It also has a large open-air terrace where you can enjoy the sun and the wonderful views of the ravine, from which you can see practically the whole of Granada and Sierra Nevada.
BOOK YOUR TRANSFER TO GRANADA HERE!
You can book your transfer to Granada in the link bellow, also you can get more information regarding the city and what to do.