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Alhama de Granada - A travel report by neil
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Alhama de Granada,  Spain - flag Spain
2151 readers

alhamarental's travel reports

Alhama de Granada

  9 votes
The town of Alhama offers history dating from Roman times through Moorish reign and up to modern days. Alhama is very attractive, traditional, bustling and precariously positioned running along the edge of an enormous limestone gorge, Los Tajos.


Alhama de Granada from Tajos
Alhama de Granada from Tajos
The medieval Church of the Encarnacion was built on the grounds of the Great Mosque and its imposing silhouette stands proud of the town. The museum inside the church houses a priest's vestment hand-embroidered by Queen Isabella. Other historical and architectural highlights include a Roman bridge, the pink-walled Moorish fortress, the gothic Inquisition House, the 13th century Il Posito (the old synagogue) and the Renaissance Hospital of La Reina. West of the steep and narrow streets of the Arab district the town’s character changes and there are many fine townhouses and two pretty squares where Spanish families promenade in the pleasant coolness of the mountain evenings.
Around the squares there are lots of lively bars and restaurants serving local cuisine, all with outdoor seating in the summer months. Enjoying complimentary tapas with your drink is a great local tradition and there's lots of choice. Typically, you could be served crusty bread with the local cured ham or cheese, grilled mushrooms with garlic, slices of pork or lamb with mayonnaise served in a little bun, langoustines, calamares and monkfish, olives, spanish tortilla - the list is endless!
Alhama is a great town for strolling around as there is lots to enjoy in the traditional whitewashed houses with their terracotta tiled roofs and shaded terraces. Often you can hear the trickle of running water from the many fountains, sounds of flamenco drifting down from balconies and catch glimpses of the beautiful pastel shades of the landscape beyond the town.



Favourite spots:
Lake Bermejales
Lake Bermejales
Beautiful Lake Bermejales is dramatically set against a backdrop of jagged mountain peaks. Much of the lake is surrounded by sandy beach and pine trees offering restful shade. You can picnic at the weekends with local Spanish families or find a deserted spot of your own. It’s a great spot for fishing, canoeing, swimming, windsurfing, walking and relaxing and the small settlement next to the lake has a handful of pleasant bars with shaded courtyards offering local wine and cuisine. The Sierra Nevada National Park is a further 45 minutes from Granada. Lots of snow in the winter months, particularly from January to April with opportunities to tobogan/sledge and learn to snowboard or ski. A nice, user-friendly website is granadamap/sn/, with a good overview it's better than the official website. However, you can see the webcam and pre-book passes on www.sierranevada.co.-uk.

What's really great:
Los Tajos
Los Tajos
The town of Alhama offers history dating from Roman times through Moorish reign and up to modern days. Alhama is very attractive, traditional, bustling and precariously positioned running along the edge of an enormous limestone gorge, Los Tajos. Along the bottom of the gorge run the Rios Alhama and Merchan. Nearby, hot springs gurgle into four thermal pools next to the Rio Merchan. The town has grand, imposing Medieval architecture and lively bars surrounding attractive squares. Surrounding Alhama are soft, pastel shaded rolling hills, attractive small villages and stunning views extending to looming mountain ranges.

Accommodations:
Casa Navidad
Casa Navidad
Casa Navidad (Christmas House) is a fantastic little village house - cosy, cute, eclectic, beautifully restored - lovely accommodation and the best bargain in Alhama! The delightful, sunny double height sitting room has a traditional sloping ceiling, an elegant Moroccan banquette with stacks of comfy cushions, antique terracotta floor and a woodburner for those chilly winter evenings.
A flight of stairs leads up to the wooden mezzanine; tucked under the eaves, this cosy little space houses lots of books, DVDs and CDs.
There are two comfortable, pretty double bedrooms both with traditional beamed ceilings. The hand-crafted kitchen is modern and stylish and well-equipped for your stay with lots of essentials including teas/coffee, local olive oil, herbs/spices, dried foods and we will leave you a welcome pack to help you settle in and enjoy your holiday.

Nightlife:
Carnaval
Carnaval
Carnaval: The feast before lent is celebrated in style in Alhama. The big day is on Sunday 1st March in 2009; but always six weeks before Easter Sunday. The people of Alhama love to dress up and this is a day for the weird and wonderful to party! Men dress as women and women dress as men with often quite disturbing faces painted onto pillowcases to complete the disguise. They parade the town speaking in high pitched, squeeky voices so you could quite easily have a very strange encounter with someone who's your friend or neighbour and have no idea who they are! This was a tradition banned by Franco as the disguises were used to satirise and criticise and the only places in Spain to uphold the tradition on this day are Alhama and Sevilla. You'll need some stamina for this one as the bars are packed til the small hours .....

Restaurants:
Alhama deGranada In May
Alhama deGranada In May
Bar Achoa that puts burning plates of embers under your table to keep you warm in the winter; this best loved bar in town also has fantastic tapas, an easy-going, child-friendly atmosphere and impromtu flamenco sessions in the back room.







Gazpacho, served in summer, it's refreshing, healthy and delicious. Locally, you can also choose garlic soup (the predeccesor to gazpacho, from Morocco) or picadillo - a mixed broth.

Other recommendations:
Grapes
Grapes
Vegetables and Vegetarians: you may have gathered by now that rural Andalucia is pretty meat & fish orientated but don't despair, there are quite a few options as long as you know where to go. Here are some ideas: For tapas, Bars El Tigre and Ochoa do lovely grilled oyster mushrooms with garlic; Bar Ochoa also does a grilled mixed vegetable plate (delicious!) with oil, garlic, mayonnaise and lemon and El Tigre does grilled aubergines (with honey!). Everywhere does salads, tortillas, gazpacho and some bars do red pepper salad (ask for it without tuna!), the best is Meson Diego. You will often get cheese and olives as a tapas and, if you say you are vegetarian, all bars will try their best to cater for you (you may need to explain that means you don't want tuna or ham!!). For main meals Al Dente is excellent with a good choice of vegetarian salads, pasta and pizza dishes. The pizzeria on Calle Picasso does excellent vegetarian pizza (and, away from the main square, is cheap and a great little eatery often packed with locals). Bar El Rincon has an English speaking chef who will do you good vegetarian food if you ask him although it's not on the menu. Finally, you can buy soya products and frozen veggie meals, sausages etc in the big supermarkets in Granada or the coast, try Carrefour, Hipercor, Super Sol and Eroski.

Published on Saturday February 28th, 2009


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Sun, Mar 29 2009 - 07:06 AM rating by davidx

I loved this place - even though I went when all the monumental buildings were closed. Your report is a great reminder.

Fri, Mar 13 2009 - 11:42 AM rating by bootlegga

Wonderful pictures!

Sun, Mar 01 2009 - 04:21 PM rating by bineba

I like the report very much. And great pics, too!

Sat, Feb 28 2009 - 07:49 PM rating by robynallen

Love the pictures and report.

Sat, Feb 28 2009 - 02:27 PM rating by pesu

Great pics, very nice inviting report. Thanks!

Sat, Feb 28 2009 - 12:58 PM rating by frenchfrog

Great report for a great place, the lake look amazing! Great pics as well. well done and thanks for sharing

Sat, Feb 28 2009 - 08:07 AM rating by porto

Looks and sounds great,well done.

Sat, Feb 28 2009 - 07:40 AM rating by jorgesanchez

I enjoyed reading your report. Thanks. I have to try grilled aubergines with honey!

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