As important as it is to visit the Alhambra in Granada, is to visit another of the emblems of the tourism in Granada as it is the Generalife. Conceived as recreational villa of the sultans and built between the 13th and 14th centuries, the Generalife of Granada is a spectacular complex that really worth to visit when you go to see the Alhambra.

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Generalife. Photo by Pepe Pont @flickr

The richness of its Nazari architecture, that combines perfectly with the renacentist art that you can also find here, as the stunning beauty of its gardens and orchards have made that the Generalife of Granada has been recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO.

Things to see at the Generalife of Granada

Some of the highlights of this villa are:

  • The Low Gardens: This are the new gardens of thecomplex, include one maze garden, with roses and cypresses.
  • Courtyard of the “Acequia”: A narrow courtyard  where the Royal irrigation channel passes by, that it’s the main water axis in the complex. The courtyard is cruised shaped and has a central belvedere, that it’s the only point where you can see outside the complex.  
  • Water Staircase: Surrounded by laurel trees, this staircase is to access to the highest part of the Generalife.
  • The High Gardens: If you go in the right season, you’ll see beautiful magnolias in this garden. It also has plenty of different deciduous trees and evergreens, ornamental trees and there is also a romantic garden.
  • Palace of Generalife: It has to main courtyards, the Dismounting patio and another one. After you pass through this 2 patios and also by the Courtyard of the Acequia, you’ll get to the Regal Room,  decorated with beautiful plasteries and columns, beside, there are side rooms decorated with archeries.
  • Courtyard of the Cypress of the Sultan’s Wife: It’s a baroque garden that has a pond  with the shape of an “U”, that has another smaller pond with a fountain in its centre.
  • Romantic Belvedere: Located in the higher point of the complex, there is this lovely neo-gothic belvedere.
  • Cypresses Walk: An avenue created on the 20th century, that is the way to exit the Generalife.

There are other enclosures at the Generalife that you can visit, but these are our favorite ones.

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Cortyard of the Sultan’s wife, Generalife. Photo by Nirgal Ksi @flickr

If you like the architecture, specially the arabic style, the best you can do is to reserve your accommodation in Granada and to plan a getaway to this lovely andalusian city, that is full or contrasts. For sure you’ll fall in love with this place, as the famous flamenco guitar player Paco de Lucia did, with his song  “Generalife bajo la Luna” (Generalife under the moonlight)

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