For the first time in my 3 years of wandering, something WEIRD has happened to me.
I’ve actually been content staying in my homebase city for more than a month at a time. The city of Granada…well, it’s magical, and just a happy place to be!
However, not to worry. The traveling ants in my pants haven’t completely escaped! I’ve taken these past couple of months to explore the tiny villages and tucked away gems hiding right around the corner. Outside Granada’s city limits, the province of Granada has a whole world to explore! All within an hour and a half away, there’s everything from cave communes and beach villages, to mountain towns and forests filled with hanging bridges. Rent a car, hop on a bus…heck, walk if you’re feelin’ ballsy! Seatbelts on?
4 Off the Beaten Path Day Trips from Granada Less than 1.5 Hours:
Guadix: a cave village
This is by FAR the weirdest place I’ve ever been to in Spain. And maybe even the world. The center of Guadix looks like your average Andalucian village (except a little more abandoned); it’s got an Alcazaba fortress, a town hall, cathedral, central plaza, etc. However, it’s when you walk to the “outskirts” that things start getting weird. Only 5 minutes from the center of this sleepy town, there’s an entire village made of cave houses. And yes, people actually live there. And dogs. Lots of them. Ever seen Star Wars? Well, it’s like you’re being transport to the planet of Tatooine.
See what I mean?
Salobreña: a charming beach town
Not into the weirdness? Take a beach day! This picturesque beach village along Spain’s Costa Tropical is where many Granadino city dwellers escape during the hot days of summer. The white washed city is like a mini beach-Granada: it’s got a mini Albayzin, free tapas, lotsa’ Moroccan influence, hippies and even a mini Alhambra! Well, kinda. If the weather’s nice, this is the perfect beach escape from mountainous Granada.
Alpujarra: tucked away mountain villages
If you’re a hungry mountain mongul, this is the day trip for you! “Alpujarra” refers to the network of 150 white villages tucked away deep in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Granada, averaging about 1,200 meters above sea level (4,000 feet). So, how in the world do you pick just a few to see?! The most visited are the following: Trevelez, the highest village in mainland Spain, famous for its (you guessed it…) jamón! Then, there’s the fab three, all right next to each other: Pampaneira, Bubión and Capileira. In fact, you can hike from one village to the next! Which will leave you feeling totally guilt-free when you eat your way through the day: known for its chocolate, goat cheese, jamón, chorizo, sausage…unleash your inner hungry mountain man!!
My motto? When in the mountains, grub like a ravenous grizzly bear! Go to El Asador in Capileria, and order the meaty “Plato Alpujarreño” consisting of grilled chorizo, morcilla (aka blood sausage), jamón, a grilled green pepper and a fried egg… all on top of potatoes. Still hungry? You’re my kinda’ kid! Stop in Pampaneira’s Abuela ili and get as many free samples of chocolate as your stomach can withstand. Oh, and buy one for later! 😉
Get there: About a 1.5 hour car ride depending on where you go, taking the N-322 then switch to the C-332. Or, take this Alsa bus to one of the three villages (Pampaneira is the closest of the villages mentioned)
Monachil‘s Los Cahorros: into the forest
After a day in the Alpujarra, you’re gonna wanna burn off some of those meat cals. So, put on your hiking shoes and head to the village of Monachil! From the charming lil’ village, find the start of the hiking route and off you go! Prepare to crawl on all fours under cliffs, scale rock walls, skip over streams, duck under vines and of course, cross the almighty hanging bridge. Once you’ve made it back to civilization in one piece…grab a bite at La Barberia, the cave cafe!