We started the day with a hike up Albayzin. Its a neighbourhood in Granada that looks up to the Alhambra and has some great view points for pictures and scenery. The hills make for a tough walk but well worth the effort. Before getting to Mirador San Nicolas we wanted to stop by a little breakfast place we found called Cafe 4 Gatos and it was fantastic. They brought out this toast the size of an adult arm covered in homemade jam and the coffee was the best we had in Granada. The place was packed so we sat outside on a the ledge of the entrance way. Really cute spot.
After breakfast we continued our trek up the hills and winding roads to Mirador San Nicolas. The view point is quite large as there is a square filled with Flamenco dancers, handicraft salespeople and singers. Every inch of the ledge was filled at some point during our visit here. The views of the Alhambra are the best in the city so we took some pictures and decided instead of turning back we would head to a close by barrio called Sacromonte.
Narrow streets and higher up than Mirador San Nicolas we continued our way up to check out the Gypsy dwellings. Very cool cave houses built into the mountain side and more great views. There are supposed to be some nice shops in the area but they were all closed today. We spent a little while taking in the scenery and then made our way down to Paseo de los Tristes and walked to the Cathedral from there.
The Cathedral is massive and really beautiful. It looks really large from the outside but the inside did not feel as large. We enjoyed the coolness of the Cathedral as it was great to get out of the heat. Our son listened to almost the entire audio guide (we think he digs history). By this time we had seen enough Cathedrals for one trip so we went for our siesta before our Tapa tour this evening.
With the help of google, Anthony Bourdain and a few bloggers we made a map of about 7 tapas places. As we mentioned Andalusia is all about Tapas, you order a small beer (Cana) or wine and they bring you a small tapas (bite sized dish). The tapas varies depending on what the restaurant is serving so you can take a look at what most tables are eating when you walk by and if it looks good take a seat or you can do what we did and just pick a bunch of places and see what you get. We really liked the potato salad or a bacon sandwhich and our son made a friend named Jesus who bought him an ice cream cone. A few of the places we wanted to go were closed but we still ended up getting into 5 tapas bars/restaurants and I think we spent like 28 Euros total (including all of our drinks). Finished eating around 11:00 and headed back for some R & R.
- Order Cana or wine not large beers.
- Wait for your tapas before you order from the menu (the tapas will come, don’t worry).
- If you dont like seafood or meat, tell them before they bring you something you wont eat.
- Take a look at what everyone is eating to get an idea of what the current tapas being served is
- Don’t bother waiting for a table, there are ledges, barrels, stools that all work perfectly well for tapas.
- Don’t stay in one spot. Part of the fun is bouncing around from place to place. Pick a few and enjoy them all.
Granada was probably our favourite stop so far. We expected to like it but it beat our expectations in almost every way. Most people suggested 3 nights in Granada, we could have done 7 easy if not more. It is beautiful, the food is great, the city is alive with lots to do. With the heat in the low to mid 40s from 2 – 7 we really had to make the most of our mornings and evenings here. The Granada Card was an amazing purchase and really saved us some stress and allowed us to see a few attractions we might have skipped had we not bought one. Our hotel was central so nothing was more than a 20 minute walk for us, most stuff was less than 5 minutes away. Tomorrow we head back to Barcelona, rent a car and head up the coast to Costa Brava in a small fishing town called Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell. Looking forward to getting back to the beach.