Welcome to this week’s instalment from Matthew Hirtes’ “Go Expat In…” series. This week focuses on moving to Granada. We hope you enjoy!
The Moorish Jewel that’s more Al-Andalus than Andalucia
El Albaicin, the district that’s worth a visit as much as the more famous Alhambra. Both are World Heritage Sites.. Make like Marty McFly here with a leap back in time. But instead of visiting 1950s California, you’ll be transported to the medieval era when the Moors ran their Iberian kingdom.
Its cobbles. Although the centre is largely pedestrianized, your heels are going to suffer with the far-from-smooth surface. But is wearing comfortable shoes over a smarter pair really that much of a style crime in the circumstances?
In and out
Don’t let the full name of Granada airport (GRX) fool you. Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén airport is a 20-minute easterly drive from Granada. Yet it’s over an hour away on the A-44 from the more northerly city of Jaén.
Nabss, aka the National Association of British Schools in Spain, list only one establishment in Granada. That’s Granada as in province rather than city. For Almuñécar International School is over 80km away. The easier-on-your-wallet option, bearing in mind both education and fuel costs, is to go local in one of the Spanish state schools within the city itself.
Shop until you drop…
Confuse your loved ones, who thought you were holidaying in Spain rather than North Africa, with some souvenirs that have nothing to do with bulls. So bring back hookahs and slippers purchased in the bustling Calle Calderia Nueva. Although, more a service than a shopping experience, the traditional cobbler might well come in handy.
Such is Granada’s regard for its past, you’ll just as likely to find a rustic inner-city apartment as you are a new-build one. The beauty of the Albaicin is that it’s a residential zone first and tourist area second. Although 16th-century exteriors will come equipped with 21st century interiors boasting all mod cons.
One-three bedroom apartments, €100,000-€350,000. Detached Villas, €220,000-€1,000,000. Country fincas €90,000-€270,000.
In Praise Of
“Granada’s known for the Alhambra palace, free tapas with your drink, and flamenco dancing in Sacromonte caves. That’s great for your first visit. But I love Granada for its contrasts. Seeing the snow on the Sierra Nevada mountains while hot July sun beats down. Enjoying the colourful skies at sunset and seeing fluffy pink clouds in a blue sky. The lively streets are busy with people at all times. Students, tourists, and locals.” Molly Sears-Piccavey (Granada’s resident expert)
• Are you an expat in Granada? What do you like/dislike about it? Let us know below.
Matthew Hirtes, our resident broadsheet journalist, moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria back in 2004. He’s travelled extensively through Spain, covering it for such publications as Telegraph Travel, Metro, and The Independent. The author of Going Local in Gran Canaria: How To Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home, Matthew truly is a resident expert.