Andalucia Diary – Seasonal Travel Notes

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From convents to carmenes – Granada’s ancient Albaicin, Andalucia

I’ve just had the opportunity to truly get an ‘inside’ view of the fascinating World Heritage Albaicin (Albayzin) and
Sacromonte neighbourhoods of Granada. So often viewed from the towers and terraces of the extraordinary Alhambra citadel, yet so rarely explored, the Albaicin and the adjacent ‘gitano’ district of Sacromonte still retain some of the essence of romantic Andalucía.

View of Albaicin from escuala carmen de las Cuevas

Sometimes charming, sometimes quite raw, this medieval Moorish community of ancient noble palaces and spacious ‘cármenes’ (houses with walled gardens, including a modest vegetable patch and small holding dating back centuries) is full of surprises. Understandably it has inspired artists and writers over the centuries.

Gitano muscians Plaza San Nicolas

Graffiti Albaicin and Sacromonte Andrew Forbes Blog

My hosts was the local association of tourist related businesses, and I will be writing an article about this
seductive corner of Andalucía, so please remember to come back to this post in a few weeks.

It was wonderful to gain access to some of the most fascinating places from Arab baths to Nazari Palaces; from quaint
courtyard homes to gypsy caves. There’s a lot more to see than just the Mirador de San Nicolas…

Iglesia de San Nicolas Andrew Forbes Blog
View of the Alhambra from the bell tower of the San Nicola Church (Andrew Forbes)

El Bañuelo Arab Baths Granada Albaicin
El Bañuelo Arab Baths (Andrew Forbes)

Casa Zafra, Granada Albaicin
Casa Zafra (Andrew Forbes)

Casasdel Chapiz, Albaicin, Granada
Casas del Chapiz (Andrew Forbes)

Pastas de Albaicin, Granada
Typical Granadine Pastas cakes at the Restaurant San Nicolas (Andrew Forbes)

Santa Isabel La Real Monestary, Albaicin, Granada
Santa Isabel La Real (Andrew Forbes)

People in the Albaicin Granada
People in the Albaicin (Andrew Forbes)

Of course, since we were in ete Albaicin, we didn’t miss the opportunity to return to the Alhambra (I wanted to see the restored Fountain of Lions in the Court of Lions). It’s easy to get to the Alhambra from the Albacin, as there is a small bridge and cobbled path known as the Puente del Rey Chico and the Cuesta del Rey Chico that connects the two in about 10 – 15 mins walk.

Alhambra detail Andrew Forbes blog

Alhambra with restored Lion Fountain

Court of the Lions, and palace detail, Alhambra (Andrew Forbes)



I travelled around Granada with ease, thanks to my Granada Card – making travel and visits so convenient. You can buy the digital card preloaded with entries to museums and monuments such as the Alhambra, and use on the local city buses and the tourist bus. More information here

Escuela Carmen de las Cuevas

Local Flamenco Dance and Spanish Language school, Sacramonte

Tel: +34 958 211 062

Casa Morisca Hotel

15th century Moorish hotel in the heart of the Albaicin

Tel: +34 958 221 100

Apartamentos Turisticos Alhambra

Tourist Apartments in the Albaicin, Granada

11th Century building converted into stylish and very comfortable accommodation.

Tel: +34 958 04 98 08

 Vista Alhambra Apartamentos

16th century classic Albaicin house converted into simple holiday apartments.

Tel: +34 858 982 488

MontesClaros Apartments

MontesClaros Apartments Albaicin Granada

MontesClaros Apartments Sacramonte

Unique well appointed, well equipped apartments in classic Sacramonte caves! There are also some non cave apartments with stunning views of the Alhambra.

Tel: +34 958 221 311

Makuto Guesthouse

Relaxed and funky b&b, style guesthouse – perfect alternative to a classic backpackers hostel.

Tel: +34 958 805 876

Taller de Arte

Gift boutique specialising in work from local artists, located in San Nicolas street, 1, in the Albaicin.


Restaurante Carmen Aben Humeya

Located in a classic Carmen, with superb views and lots fo authentic Moorish historical details.

Tel: +34 609 376 761

Restaurante San Nicolas

Upscale dining experience with equally impressive views of the Alhambra

Tel: +34 958 272 842

Restaurante Ruta del Azafran

Stylish restuarant at the foot of the Alhambra, in the Albaicin with a great wine list.

Tel; +34 958 226 882

Restaurante Mirador de San Nicolas

Simple bar restaurant with friendly team, serving tapas and meals with local wines – seating outside on the square too.

Tel; +34 958 204 383

Restaurante Casa Torcuato

Menu of Andalusian dishes with north African influences.

Tel: +34 958 202 818

Snowy Albaicin Granada Andrew Forbes Blog

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Andrew ForbesTravel & Lifestyle Marketing Communications Consultant | Travel Editor Web: Twitter : @andrewaforbes Instagram @andrewaforbes and @luxurynavigatorView all posts by Andrew Forbes »