Car Hire at Granada Airport
This information is correct as of July 2015.
Granada, with its multitude of attractions, makes an excellent city to check out in the south of Spain. You will find here a medieval charm due to the magnificent Alhambra and other ancient structures, as well as a modern vibe in the bars, flamenco haunts, and the tapas culture. Going here is possible through Federico Garcia Lorca Granada-Jaen Airport, or simply Granada Airport, from where you can venture to different points in the city and the surrounding area.
Where to hire a car at Granada Airport
Renting a car is one of the possible options when commuting from Granada Airport. Its website lists Europcar, Goldcar Rental, and Avis-Budget as the main companies serving here. Their desks can be found at the terminal, which makes it easier to transact with them for your transport needs. It is better if you think of pre-booking with them before the trip to minimise any possible difficulties along the way.
You must be aged 18 or above to drive and at least 21 years old when hiring a car. Some of the companies may also insist that you need to be licensed for at least one to two years before being allowed to rent. They will also ask for documents such as a valid driver's licence with a paper counterpart (an official translation in Spanish may also be useful), proof of identification, and other relevant papers. You may also bring an International Driver's Permit (IDP) just to be sure. Make sure to enquire about any concerns and clarify the terms and conditions. Upon finalising the agreement, you can choose among a wide variety of vehicles, given that you will find international car rental companies here.
What to expect when hiring a car from Granada Airport
Granada Airport is linked to a few large routes, which makes it easily accessible by car. The A-92 is the main access road, and is a large autovia leading from Granada. It continues west all the way to Seville. The A-44 is also connected to Granada Airport which leads to Jaen, and then the A-92 from the airport itself. The A44, on the other hand, leads south towards the coast. These roads are often busy, which makes it important to prepare ahead for any obstructions. The rush hour often occurs around the mornings and mid-afternoons to the evening hours.
The nearest cities from Granada Airport are Granada proper, Armilla, Guadix, Alcala la Real, Niguelas, Loja, Montefrio, and many others. Along the way to other cities are toll-free roads, however, large sections of the motorway are tolled, but you can find an alternative free route. One drawback from using a free road is more congestion. To determine which routes are free and which ones are toll roads, look at the roads whose numbers are prefixed with the letters AP. These require toll, while those with the letter E does not have them. Tolls can be paid in cash, by credit card, or via Telepeaje, an electronic payment system that requires an installation of a transmitting device in the car. Congestion charges are also applicable in Granada, which makes it important to consider paying additional charges for a hotel with parking or use a pay car park. You can also pass by several BP stations and local gas outlets in Granada proper, which can make it convenient to refill fuel.
Driving around Granada Airport
Granada, almost 18 kilometres away from the city, can be reached within 30 minutes or so in light traffic. You can head west on GR-4075 and continue on GR-V-1121. Take A-92G and Av. de Andalucia to Calle Cárcel Baja in Granada. The peak congestion times often occur after 8:00AM and around 12:30PM, as well as 3:30PM and 6:30PM. Upon reaching the city, there are blue parking zones (Zona Azul) signs and Pay and Display ticket machines. You can usually park in these zones for up to two hours, but the fees and time limits vary from town to town.
You should also have the following items in the car: reflective jackets for the driver and passengers, a spare pair of driving glasses, a warning triangle, and headlamp beam deflectors or manually adjusted beams. Adhering to the speed limits is also important. Motorways or autovias require 120 km/h, with selected motorways allowing 130 km/h. A dual carriageway pegs the speed at 110 km/h, with other roads at 90 km/h only. In built-up areas, 50 km/h is the limit, with towns upholding a mere 20-30 km/h. Overtaking can only be done on the left side of the car which you wish to pass. A broken white line also allows this, but you must always indicate when pulling out to overtake and when pulling back in.
Getting to your destination
There are a number of areas you can reach from Granada with your rental car, starting from Granada Airport. Some of them are:
Alhama de Granada
With origins in the famous baths and thermal waters in the Roman times, this town is set in beautiful mountainous surroundings with charming white houses clinging to the side of a steep gorge. Many historic structures can be found here, such as Torresolana watchtower and the granary, as well as an old synagogue from the 13th century.
To get here, head west on GR-4075 and follow A-92 and A-402 to Alhama. Drive to your destination from here, and look for parking in the major establishments and accommodations. The trip going here can last about 45 minutes if the traffic ls light.
About 55 kilometres from Granada, the town is washed by water from many rivers and streams. Various structures can also be found here, from palaces, churches, and convents to stately houses and gardens. The most outstanding landmark here is the Encarnacion Church, built in the 16th to 18th centuries, as well as the Alcazaba, the old fortress. The Sierra Martilla site with its megalithic necropolis and settlement can also be found here.
Get on A-92 and follow it to take exit 193. Continue on Av. Andalucia and drive to Calle Sta. Teresa de Jesus in Loja. The drive can be made in around 35 minutes, depending on the traffic conditions. Parking can be done in some of the accommodations in the area.
Inland the province of Granada is Guadix, one of the oldest settlements in the country. You will find here the medieval Arab Citadel, the Cathedral, and several Mudejar-style buildings. There is also the Guadix Cave, which houses the Museum of Traditional Culture to check out.
To visit Guadix, get on A-92 and follow it to A-4100. Take exit 292 from A-92 and then turn to Av. Mariana Pineda to Calle San Fandila in Guadix. The drive can be accomplished in around 50 minutes from the airport. You can also look for parking by some of the establishments in the area.