Staff Review

Malaga & Granada

by The Kirker Team

Since visiting Seville last year, I have been absolutely desperate to return to Andalucia to explore the beautiful countryside and other historic towns in the region. On this recent trip, I visited the eastern half of Andalucia, beginning in Malaga: a historic and culturally rich provincial capital which has long lived in the shadow of the other more famous Andalucian cities of Granada, Córdoba and Seville. It has rapidly developed as the province's city of culture with its art museums being compared to the likes of Madrid, it was, after all the birth place of Picasso… I would highly recommend a visit to the Picasso Museum and the Kirker Concierge would be happy to book tickets before you go. The tastefully restored historic centre is a delight: its Gothic cathedral is surrounded by narrow pedestrian streets flanked by traditional and modern bars, as well as our favorite hotel in Malaga the Molina Lario (4*) whose rooms have spectacular views over the cathedral. After stopping for a quick bite for lunch at the Parador Gibralfaro, set on a hill with breath-taking panoramic views over Malaga and the Mediterranean Sea, we drove to Granada, a straightforward 90 minute journey by road – which is easy to self-drive, although we can arrange a transfer for those who prefer.'We stayed in the Hospes Palacio de los Patos, located in downtown Granada. I was pleasantly surprised by the buzz and vibrancy of this ancient Moorish city, and stepping out of our hotel to look up the hillside at the Alhambra Palace was an unexpected surprise. The following day we woke up early, arriving at the Alhambra and the Generalife gardens for 8am, which was well-worth tearing ourselves out of the comfortable bed for – not only had we gained a step on the crowds and avoided queuing, we also had the Alhambra almost entirely to ourselves. The heat of the day had not yet come and the morning light lit the historic buildings in a way that words cannot describe. Whatever time you arrive, it is essential to pre-book entrance into the Nasrid Palace, at the heart of the complex. The Kirker Granada Card, which we include complimentary when visiting Granada, ensures you entrance into this exquisite citadel with its endless Moorish corridors, courtyards and gardens with bright flowers. Nothing really prepares for you for the grandeur of the citadel, and it would be a mistake to not travel to Andalucia to take a step back in time to wander through this awesome complex. After exploring the palace buildings themselves, do take time to walk through the gardens of the Generalife – a gentle oasis of trickling water features and fragrant foliage – before stopping for a well-earned tapas lunch.

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