Granada is the jewel of Spain’s Andalusian region, and visitors flying into this city will be able to delve into its extensive history, and rich culture, which has been so heavily influenced by the ingenious Moors.
Granada Airport (GRX)
The full name of the Granada Airport is Federico Garcia Lorca Granada-Jaen Airport, named for the area’s most celebrated poet, Federico Garcia Lorca. Though GRX is located only 15km from the city of Granada, it is also in close proximity to the city of Jaen (approx. 100km), and passengers headed for Jaen will also fly into this airport.
GRX airport is small, and so the facilities aren’t extensive, but they are competent. You will find ATMs, meeting rooms, public telephones, a duty free store, a bar and cafeteria, and free WiFi for the first 30 minutes.
Airlines to Granada
Because Granada is such a popular destination in Spain, you’ll find larger international carriers like British Airways will partner smaller domestic airlines to fly into this location.
The airlines that currently serve Granada Airport are operated by Air Europa, Air Nostrum, BA CityFlyer, Evelop, Iberia, Orbest, Transavia.com, Volotea and Vueling Airlines.
Getting into Granada
Probably one of the most popular ways to get into the city is by grabbing a cab. These aren’t too pricey if you’re heading directly into the city, but if you want to go further afield, like the Sierra Nevada, the prices can soar, and it would be worth hiring a car instead. The journey into the centre by taxi is much faster than a bus, though it will cost you 25EUR ($39) to get into Granada city centre.
By public transport
The airport has a fairly comprehensive bus system, operated by Autocares José González. The bus will run you into Granada city centre and stop at many of the most famous parts of the city, such as the Cathedral and Palacio de Congresos. The journey only takes around 45 minutes, and costs just 3EUR ($4-5). These buses run seven days a week, but only about every hour, and they finish early in the evening.
There are a plethora of options when it comes to car hire at Granada Airport, as driving around this part of Spain is extremely popular with tourists. You can find all the car hire companies in the Arrivals Hall once you pass through baggage claim. The main operating companies are: Avis, Budget, Europcar, EasyCar, National Granada, Auriga Crown and Alamo.
What can you do in Granada?
You cannot visit the city of Granada without making time for the majestic Alhambra. This Moorish fort is made of red sandstone, sitting on a tree-covered hilltop, with the Sierra Nevada mountain range as a backdrop. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is considered to be a magnificent medieval example of Islamic architecture. Visit the complex and beautiful Nasrid Palaces, where the rulers of the Moorish Empire lived between the 13th and 15th centuries.
For a little more architecture, wander through another UNESCO protected site, the Albaicin, known as the Arab Old Town, which climbs up and around the hilly landscape of Granada. Not only is this an excellent place to get a feel for the city as a whole, it also offers brilliant views of Alhambra.
However, the Islamic influence of the city is matched by the Christian wave of the Renaissance, the finest example of this being the Granada Cathedral, where huge, white marble colonnades frame the intricate nave.
Outside of architecture
Whilst Granada’s architecture is stunning, there are plenty of other ways to explore the personality of Granada. Go shopping in the spice market, called La Alcaiceria, a labyrinth of colourful stalls, where people selling crafts and souvenirs abound.
Go see a flamenco show in the gypsy quarter of Sacromonte, or take a dip in one of the hammams, traditional Arab bathhouses.
For those wanting to experience the outdoors, there are few places more beautiful than the Sierra Nevada. Take a trip out of one of Spain’s most famous national parks. Here, you can trek through the surrounds, as the park offers hikes and walks for all abilities; with each walk offering differing views of the flora and fauna.
When should you go?
Generally the best time to visit Granada is in the spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November) seasons, as the weather is warm and dry. Though you can visit in the summer, Granada has been known to reach temperatures as high as 40°C, and that can be unpleasant if you are planning to tour the city.
What do you need to know?
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Visa: If you hail from a country that is part of the European Union, you do not need a visa to enter Spain. If you’re a foreign national outside of the European Union you may require a visa. Check your individual requirements on the official government website to see if you need to apply in advance of your trip to Spain.
Please note all information is current as of October 2015.
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