Getting to Grips with Granada

Valencia was the first stop of my 11 day trip through Spain. It was also the only one I was doing as part of an organised tour, once that finished I was left (even more) to my own devices. My next stop was Granada, which I would get to after a ten hour bus trip!

As soon as I walked through the streets of Granada I was in love with the city. All the beautiful gifts and tea sets and bits and pieces for sale in the Arabic shops, it felt a million times more laid back then even the rest of Spain and I was in love with it before I even got to my hostel. There was something else about Granada as well, it had a different climate, the mountains kept the heat out, and on my first night there was huge thunderstorm. The cobbled streets became hard to navigate (particularly in slippery rip-off cheap versions of Toms) because they were wet, but I loved it. There was something about Granada that made me feel at home.


The hostel I stayed in was in the Albaicin, Makuto Backpackers, was easily the most welcoming place I've stayed. The hostel itself is pretty small and the common areas are almost entirely outdoors, there is the 'tree house' which is a platform creating shade below and a sun terrace in itself. I never made it up to the top of the platform because I was quite happy hanging out in the hammocks below. There was a bar, and the hostel serves dinner's for around 5€ with a drink (paella is 6€) all their food is vegetarian and they cook it all on site. It was so chilled there, that you barely needed to leave the hostel. As an example, I was there on a Saturday night, which is paella night. Everyone stayed in that night and just drunk at the hostel bar and chilled with the rest of the guests, no one felt the need to go out.

The hostel also takes you on a walking tour, they don't do a city tour, they do a tour of the mountains and the caves. A lot of the caves are still lived in by the Senegalese population of Granada, and the city council allows them to live up here. They are kind enough to let us into their home, which was slightly uncomfortable, but fascinating to see, for a couple of €'s tip. 

There is so much to do and see in Granada, firstly, it's right by the Sierra Nevada's so you can go skiiing or other extreme sports (my friends went canyoning, and bungee jumping one day). The Alhambra, it's apparently the second most visited attraction in Europe after The Eiffel Tower, yet it surprised me how few people have been to Granada or had included it in their itinerary's. The Hammam's, there are a couple but I chose to go to this one, it was pretty expensive, but I didn't mind, spa days are always worth it particularly when you're backpacking. Plus, walk into any bar and order a drink and they give you food. You don't even need to buy lunch- which makes it even cheaper to stay in as you never need to pay for food! 

Cat with our free dinner!

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  1. I've been to Granada several times (I used to stay there when I went skiing in the Sierra Nevadas), however I've also stayed there during springtime, and also stayed at the Makuto backpackers. I agree it's a very cool hostel in a perfect location for exploring the Albaicin, and I love the city too. I never tire of reading articles and looking at photographs of the place :-)

    1. I am seriously considering moving to Granada in the next few years. I want to live in Spain again & just loved Granada- but it's so far from the sea!


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