In a quiet little town in south of Spain, is the Alhambra palace (which literally means "the red one"). One of the most iconic tourist attraction and perhaps the only palace with Islamic architecture in Spain. The palace and fortress was built by the Nasrid dynasty, the Muslim Rulers in Spain. They ruled from 12th century and these palaces served as royal residence until 14th century when Spainsh Rulers took over. In the 15th century the Palace of Charles was built within the Alhambra fortress. It was restored in the 19th century and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Supposedly the theme followed by various rulers in building different parts of the Alhambra palaces and its fortress was 'paradise on earth', which can be experienced even after so many years of it being built. Or was it the touch of autumn which transformed this place into a paradise. I don't know which one it is, but definitely it is one of those few places in the world, you visit it once (even if its just for a day) and it stays with you for a lifetime. And again here I must add my photos don't do justice.
Beautiful archways looking into the town
Palacio de Comares
Star shaped marble ceiling with exquisite Islamic Art
Intricately designed column arcades
Alhambra sits on a high point and offers beautiful views over the whole Granada town
View of the Alhambra Woods
Portico and pool in the Alhambra complex
Courtyard of Palace of Charles V, built 15th Century within the Nasrid fortifications.
Fountains and flowing water are a common feature around the Alhambra
Palacio de Generalife
Views of Nasird Palace from Palacio de General life
Walking back from Alhambra palace to the town
View of Alhambra Palace from the foothills
Would strongly recommend to book online tickets (which are hard to get otherwise) in advance and then plan your stay/trip to Granda accordingly. Only a allotted number of tickets are allowed entry to the palace each hour. This is to limit the no of visitors in each hour hence its difficult sometimes to get the day and time that you are looking for.
There are 4 main parts to the Alhambra - Alcazaba, Nasrid Palaces, Partal and Generalife. And there are numerous tours - the nasrid palace day tour, the general life tour, the garden tour, the night tour. Plan how many hours you would like to spend and how much of the palace you want to cover. Its a huge palace and can easily take more than 5-6 hours to visit this place. And stick to the timing issued on the ticket, as they are pretty strict about it. We took the Blue circular pass - Pass to visit the Alhambra and the Generalife in two consecutive days (a general visit and a Evening visit).
How to get to Granada and Stay in Granda:
We took a bus from Madrid in the afternoon and by late evening were at Granada. We checked into our hostel and stayed for two nights.
The bus ride was comfortable and economical with beautiful vistas of the countryside of Spain. The hostel was one of the most beautiful hostel I have stayed in and staff/people were friendly and gave tips, maps etc to navigate around Granda.
How to reach Alhambra:
There are buses from various points in the city taking you to the Alhambra palace which is very conveinent. Or you can walk through the city towards the Alhambra palace. The hostels/hotel should be able to give you route. We took the bus in the morning as we had entry at 9:00AM into the palace and did not want to be late. And while returning from the Palace we walked downhill into the town. It was easy hike down after a lovely day of sightseeing at Alhambra.