The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex in southern Spain, occupying a hilly terrace on the southeastern border of the city of Granada. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and was a nominee as one of the new seven wonders of the world, albeit that was a bit of a stretch. The palace was the residence of the Muslim kings of Granada and their court, but is currently a museum exhibiting exquisitely well kept Islamic architecture. Any trip to Southern Spain could not be complete without visiting this stunning peaceful oasis.
Moorish poets described it as “a pearl set in emeralds,” in allusion to the brilliant color of its buildings, and the luxuriant woods around them. The park in spring is overgrown with wild-flowers planted by the Moors with roses, oranges and myrtles; its most characteristic feature, however, is the dense wood of English elms. The park is also celebrated for the multitude of its nightingales, and is usually filled with the soothing sound of running water from several fountains and cascades.
Walking around the grounds of the palace is a true delight and very relaxing. In fact, it’s so relaxing that between the sounds of the running water and the birds chirping along with the scent of fresh flowers and plants, you have to fight to not fall asleep. Perhaps looking out over the lovely city of Granada will help keep you awake though as the views from above are breathtaking.
Guided tours in multiple languages are available and it is recommended that you purchase your tickets in advance online as they only allow a few thousand visitors a day. During the summer, Granada is packed with tourists so plan ahead especially if you only have a day or so in Granada because the Alhambra is the heart of Andalucia and is something that shouldn’t be missed.