The city of Granada is famous for the Alhambra, but did you know there are many leafy green oases that should also be on your must-visit list? Especially in spring, the gardens of Granada are just gorgeous with colorful flowers and lush vegetation. When the weather becomes hotter in summer they are the perfect retreat from the heat.
Here are five of our favorite parks and gardens in Granada.
Make your way up to the hilltop fortress and palace of Alhambra. The entire monument has a plethora of trees and lovely plantings but one of my favorite areas is the Generalife gardens. The palace was built as a rural retreat for the Nasrid rulers, and at the time was surrounded by orchards and edible crops as well as pleasure gardens in the Moorish style. Now you’ll find mostly decorative plantings. My favorite parts are the arches of roses that you can walk under in the lower gardens and the Patio de la Acequia enclosed garden at the palace entrance with a lovely water feature. The Patio de la Acequia has the additional charm of being surrounded by delicate plasterwork and arches and has lovely views to the southwest from the lookouts.
You can visit the Generalife gardens with a ticket to the Alhambra. Check out our article on how to get Alhambra tickets here.
You may already know that “carmen” is the name for a specific type of house with enclosed garden in Granada. There are several carmens open to the public. One of my favorites is Carmen de la Victoria because of the beautiful gardens with amazing views of the Alhambra. Take a seat on the benches by the trickling fountains and soak up the image of the Alhambra through the leaves. It is the perfect place to hide when the sun is just a little too hot. The property is now part of the University of Granada, and they have art exhibits and even a bar there. In addition to the lovely fountain I also like the many lanterns nestled among the leaves. This garden is located in the heart of the Albaicin neighborhood. Carmen de la Victoria is free to enter.
Another carmen with amazing and expansive gardens is located on the hilltop next to the Alhambra. Carmen de los Martires is more of a park than just a garden, the property is large and it’s a great place for a leisurely stroll. There are even resident peacocks! Opening hours vary per day, but usually the park is open all day on weekends. Take along a picnic to enjoy in the park. You can also take a short stroll over to Mirador Alixares for views across the valley.
To get there, you can walk up the hill from the Realejo neighborhood or take the bus C3 or C4 and get off at the stop for Carmen de los Martires just past the big orange Hotel Alhambra Palace.
Just across the road from Carmen de la Victoria is the Escuela de Estudios Arabes which is housed in the Casa del Chapiz, restored Moorish buildings. It is not usually possible to visit the interior of the buildings but the Moorish gardens are lovely. Admission costs a few Euros most days but it is free on Sunday. Views from the gardens to the Alhambra are also nice from here. Stop by on your way to Sacromonte.
Also known as Huerta de San Vicente, this park is home to the vacation residence of famous writer Federico Garcia Lorca. You can visit the house and museum daily (except Mondays) and it is free on Wednesdays. But head to the park any day, especially in the springtime when the roses are in bloom. The rose gardens are spectacular, with many different varieties and colors, most of which smell divine.
On sunny days the park fills with sun worshippers getting their tan on, as well as people strolling with their dogs or sitting on park benches with a book. It’s a lovely place for a stroll. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses!
Unfortunately there are not botanical gardens in Granada but you can visit one nearby – check this list for some of the best botanical gardens in Europe.
We hope you are able to visit all five of these great gardens in Granada. Let us know if you discover others!
Have you already booked accommodations in Granada? It can get busy in the high season. We recommend staying in the Albaicin or Realejo for the best ambiance. Check HotelsCombined to compare lodging prices across booking engines.
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