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A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Granada with Map

October 5, 2023 By Somto Ugwueze Leave a Comment

Panoramic aerial view of Granada in a beautiful summer day, Spain

Hi! I'm Somto. Two years ago, I stopped making excuses, ditched my indecisive friends, and started booking flights. Today, I'm a full-time solo traveler on a mission to inspire young women to seek new adventures.

self guided walking tour granada spain

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self guided walking tour granada spain

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Who Is Somto Seeks?

Hi there, I’m Somtochukwu. Can you try pronouncing that? I've always gone by Somto (Sohm-toe). I'm a child of Nigerian immigrants who decided to pursue her dream of living an extraordinary life. In 2015, I chose faith over fear, packing my bags and moving to Spain with $1,000 in my pocket. This was after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that caused me to develop a giant bald patch in the middle of my scalp. Living in Spain and traveling around Europe for a year changed my life forever, allowing me to discover the freedom of solo travel and the freedom of working from anywhere. Today, I’m a full-time travel writer whose mission is to help you navigate this big, beautiful world with confidence and have those omg-pinch-me-moments you’ll remember for a lifetime.

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The best self-guided walking tour in Granada + map to download!

self guided walking tour granada title photo

A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend and I went on a free walking tour in Granada, and we absolutely loved it! I had been to Granada before but was so mindblown about how beautiful the city was in December. But regardless of when you decide to visit Granada, I am sure you will have a great experience. But now let’s talk about the self-guided walking tour for Granada you can find in this blog post: I absolutely love doing walking tours whenever I visit a new city. They really help to understand a new city better and to know where all the important monuments are.

During my stay in Granada, I did both a free walking tour of the city and a food walking tour. Apart from them, I also found some gems in Granada during my time there that I made sure to include as well. And the outcome is the following blog post: A self-guided walking tour of Granada with the city’s most important monuments , viewpoints, tapas bars, and more.

So, if you are interested, keep reading. 

Here is an itinerary for a self-guided walking tour in Granada

Affiliate links may be sprinkled throughout the free content of this blog post. If you purchase from one of the links I may receive a small commission while the price for you stays the same. This helps me cover the costs of The Lithuanian Abroad. Gracias!

Other blog posts about Granada you should check out: 

Visit Granada in winter, the best activities & more: This blog post has amazing recommendations for visiting Granada during the winter months. And yes, it is absolutely worth it! You can find more information here.

Tipping in Spain, everything you need to know: This guide includes everything you need to know about Spain’s tipping culture. How much do you tip and when is tipping necessary? 

35 funny sayings in Spanish you should know: Here are 35 hilarious Spanish phrases you should know. And we talk about Spain’s obsession with milk as well. Check it out!

Self guided walking tour of Granada in winter Alhambra with Sierra Nevada

FAQs about Granada and this free self-guided walking tour for Granada:

Is granada worth visiting.

Granada is one of the many cities in Spain you have to visit! Not only is it home to the Alhambra palace , which is a famous UNESCO World Heritage site . It also is full of incredible history and amazing food. Granada is also close to the Sierra Nevada mountains which makes it a perfect destination for nature lovers as well. 

What if I want to book a free walking tour in Granada? 

Of course, you can also book a free walking tour in Granada. Free walking tours are amazing if you want to see Granada’s most important monuments and areas in one afternoon. I did a free walking tour in Granada myself and really enjoyed it. The best part of free walking tours are the local guides who do an amazing job showing you the city through the eyes of a person that lives there. You can also ask them for recommendations for activities after you finished your tour. 

How do free walking tours work? Free walking tours do not come with a specific price, which is why they are free. You will spend a couple of hours with your local guide walking around the city and learning a lot about Granada’s history. After the tour, you have the chance to leave your local guide a tip. And it’s totally up to you how much you would like to tip them! It usually depends on your budget and on how much you actually liked the tour.

You can find all free walking tours in Granada here .

But if you have a tight schedule and want to explore Granada on your own, keep reading this blog post 🙂

Granada in winter blog post photo self guided walking tour Granada

What should I keep in mind before I do a walking tour in Granada? 

Make sure to wear proper footwear ! Granada is an incredibly walkable city. So, you should wear should you can walk in for a couple of hours without a problem. Then, you should take a water bottle with you to refreshen yourself during your walk. 

How long does this self-guided walking tour of Granada take? 

In theory, the tour is 3km long and if you just walk to all destinations without a break, you should be done in 45 min. But in practice, I am sure this walking tour will take you much longer. We will walk around the historical city center of Granada , and check out incredible viewpoints and other monuments of the city. If you want to enjoy your time without rushing, this tour will take you around 2-3 hours.

By the way, I made sure to include tea and tapas places that I loved. That way you can make small stops in case you get hungry 🙂

self guided walking tour Granada in winter Generalife

What places are we going to see on this Granada walking tour? 

Our self-guided Granada walking tour starts at Plaza de Bib Rambla, which is a very central square close to the Cathedral of Granada . From there, you will walk to the Cathedral of Granada and see the Royal Chapel. Then, we will walk to the lower areas of the Albaicín neighborhood and see two important viewpoints: Mirador Placeta de Carvalejas and Mirador San Nicolas. After spending some time at the viewpoints you will walk down to the famous Paseo de los tristes with amazing views of the Alhambra in Granada . The walking tour ends in an area full of bars and restaurants. Perfect if you want to keep exploring Granada’s surroundings.

Interactive map with our Granada walking tour itinerary

This is an interactive map with the itinerary for our self-guided walking tour in Granada. You can send the whole itinerary to yourself and display it on your google maps. That way you won’t get lost! By the way, I also included great tapas and tea places on our way.

Let’s start: Itinerary for a self-guided walking tour in Granada

1. start of our walking tour in granada: plaza de bib-rambla.

Many walking tours in Granada start at exactly this place: Plaza de Bib-Rambla . This place is a small square not too far from the Cathedral. On this square, you can find several restaurants where you can have tapas or churros. 

I got recommended the place “Los Manueles” a lot for their tapas. If you want to have a snack before your walking tour, you could go there! Or what about having churros at Cafetería Alhambra ? Churros are very common in Granada. You really should make sure to try them during your stay. 

When I visited this Granada in December, this plaza had a small Christmas market full of souvenirs and gifts. But apart from that, let’s not stay in this square for too long. There are many incredible destinations in our walking tour to come.

self guided walking tour granada spain

2. Walk to the famous bazaar Alcaicería in Granada

Walking time: 3 min

The Alcaicería is a hidden street full of souvenir shops in the center of Granada. The Arabic-style shops sell all kinds of souvenirs, from jewelry, purses, and t-shirts to other small things related to Granada. If you want to bring back a souvenir from Granada for your loved ones, this is one place you could take a look at!

Walk around the small street and peek inside the shops. This Arabic style is very common in the South of Spain. Make sure to pay attention to the beautiful decorations on the walls. 

Make sure to walk to a small square called “Placeta de la Seda” to admire the beautiful tiles on the walls. Such a beautiful and hidden place in Granada!

self guided walking tour Granada alcaiceria entrance

3. Admire Granada’s gorgeous cathedral at Plaza de las Pasiegas

Walking time: 2 min 

The Cathedral in Granada is one of the must-see places on this tour. For being such a small city, Granada actually has the 4th largest Cathedral in the world! The construction of this Cathedral started in the 16th century, after Granada’s conquest and more than 600 years of Muslim dominance . Like many other Cathedrals in Andalusia, the Cathedral in Granada was built on top of the city’s main mosque. 

The exterior structure of the Cathedral is of gothic architecture. The main facade was designed by the famous Spanish architect Alonso Cano . The inside of the Cathedral is also worth seeing! The inside has been constructed in a Renaissance design with colourful tiles and five main naves. The whole building looks absolutely beautiful. 

If you have time and are interested in seeing the Cathedral inside, you should absolutely do it! The entrance costs 5€.

Cathedral winter in Granada self guided walking tour Granada

4. Walk to the Royal Chapel, right behind the Cathedral of Granada

The Royal Chapel of Granada is a very unique building: This building is the burial place of the Spanish Monarchs Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand I . Apart from that, the building has some very impressive architecture and shows art related to Queen Isabella. Other tombs include the bodies of Juana de Castilla, Felipe I de Castilla and their grandson Miguel who died as a child.

I have to be honest, my boyfriend and I went to check out the Royal Chapel thinking it will be one more religious building to look at. But we were very impressed by the statues, the artwork and how well-preserved everything is! The marble statues look absolutely insane and were crafted with so much detail. Keep in mind that the Royal Chapel of Granada was constructed at the beginning of the 16th century. 

If you have time and are debating whether you should visit it, give it a try. In my opinion, this is a very underrated place and worth visiting (Taking photos is not allowed! Which is why I cannot show you any!)

Winter in Granada the Royal Chapel self guided walking tour of Granada

5. Check out the Palacio de la Madraza, 

Walking time: 2 min

The good news is that the old town of Granada is very small and all monuments are very close to each other. By now, we did not even have to walk that far. Right next to the Royal Chapel is the Madraza , a historical Islamic educational institution. 

Nowadays, the Madraza belongs to the university of Granada. It was built in the 14th century by Nasrid Monarch Yusuf I. The Madraza was close to the city’s main mosque, which today is the Cathedral of Granada. Close are also the Albaicería bazaar where silk and gold were traded. 

You can enter the front part of the Madraza to admire the beautiful Arabic decoration of the wall, very unique!

self guided walking tour of Granada Madraza

6. Let’s go to our first viewpoint: Placeta de Carvajales

Walking time: 10 Minutes

From the Madraza , walk towards Gran Vía de Colón , cross the street and keep walking towards the lower part of the Albaicín neighborhood.

There, our next destination is Mirador Placeta de Carvajales . Once you arrive, you will immediately understand why many travelers recommend this viewpoint: From here, you have a spectacular view of the Alhambra on the hill. Make sure to not skip this viewpoint on your Granada walking tour! 

Apart from that, there is a small square right at the viewpoint with beautiful water plays where you can do a small break. 

Close to this viewpoint is also a place called “La Taberna del Beso”, where you can sit down for a tea and a small snack. 

granada view point albaycin quarter self guided walking tour of Granada

6. Walk to Granada’s most popular viewpoint: Mirador San Nicolas 

Walking time: 10min 

Now, we are going to continue walking uphill in Granada’s Albaicín neighborhood . Believe me, it is absolutely worth it. Only 10 walking minutes away you can find Granada’s most popular viewpoint Mirador San Nicolas. A must-see place during your Granada trip!

This viewpoint has incredible views of Alhambra , and you can even see the Sierra Nevada behind it. This image of the Alhambra with the snow-covered mountains behind it is insane! 

To be honest, this place is not a hidden gem anymore and you will find many people there, especially on sunset. Usually, there is also live music , which really gives this place a special atmosphere. 

What can you do there? You can sit down on the walls of the viewpoint and just admire the incredible view and listen to live music. You can also buy a souvenir from one of the sellers of this viewpoint. I recommend doing a small break and having a tea at “Tetería Marrakesh”.

winter in granada viewpoint san Nicolas self guided walking tour of Granada

Not tired yet? Then check out the Mosque “Mezquita Mayor”

This Main Mosque in Granada is located right next to the viewpoint and is accessible for free. I really liked visiting it because the views are very similar to the San Nicholas viewpoint, but there are much fewer people there. Apart from that, the mosque is absolutely gorgeous and is also home to a beautiful garden. If you have time, check it out 🙂

Granada in winter mezquita mayor view

7. Let’s continue walking to Paseo de los Tristes!

Walking time: 8 min 

We finally get to walk downhill on this self-guided walking tour of Granada! Our next destination is a street that is officially called “Andres Manjon” , but locals call it “Paseo de los tristes” . Translated it means “The street of the sad people” . This street is right next to the Darro River and you can easily reach it just by walking downhill from the San Nicholas viewpoint. 

The interesting name of the street derives from the funeral processions that would take place on this street on the way to the San José cemetery in Granada. As you can imagine, it was probably not the happiest place in Granada. 

But nowadays, this street is full of bars and local shops you can visit. But not only that. from there you also have amazing views of the Alhambra , which is lit up beautifully during the evening.

self guided walking tour Granada paseo de los tristes

I have to recommend a tea place here which is super cozy with great views of the Alhambra as well: Tetería El Bañuelo. 

self guided walking tour granada in winter tetería buñuelo

8. Keep walking to Plaza de Santa Ana, the end of our Granada walking tour

Walking time: 8 minutes

Our last stop on this walking tour is Plaza Santa Ana , a central square from which you can continue and go on other activities in the city of Granada. 

On this square, we can find the court of Granada, the tourism office, and a beautiful water fountain. Around this square are many historical buildings, like the Santa Ana church. If you want to extend your Granada walking tour for a bit, you can check it out. 

Apart from that, scroll down if you are looking for more activities you can do after your Granada walking tour

self guided walking tour Granada Plaza Santa Ana

That was not enough? Other activities you can do after this Granada walking tour: 

Visit the hammam andalus for a relaxing experience.

This is the perfect plan if you want to have a relaxing afternoon: The Hammam Andalus are traditional Arabic baths you can visit for the ultimate SPA experience. These baths include hot and cold pools and other SPA services. Fancy a massage? Then, you should go here.

You can book your tickets for the Arabic baths in Granada here.

granada in winter Arab baths self guided walking tour granada

Check out a world-class Flamenco Show in Granada

The South of Spain is known for its amazing Flamenco performances . And Granada has several places where you can go! Close to Plaza Santa Ana is Flamenco Place La Alborea . If you have never been to a Flamenco Show, you will be mindblown!

You can buy tickets and find out more about La Alborea here.

Christmas in Madrid things to do in Madrid at night romantic places in barcelona solo travel barcelona things to do at night in barcelona bucket list 4 days in madrid Spend 2 days in Madrid visiting Madrid alone Flamenco Show

Make sure you bought your ticket for the Alhambra gardens!

Just a word of caution! Make sure you already have your tickets for visiting the Alhambra before you come to Granada. If you still don’t have them, make sure to check here if there are still tickets available during your stay in Granada.

Make sure you buy the tickets that include visiting the Nasrid Palaces as well. You can book your tickets here!

self guided walking tour granada in winter Alhambra granada in december

Explore Granada’s best tapas restaurants!

Close to our last stop on the Granada walking tour there are a lot of great restaurants you should try! Granada is famous for its tapas culture, where you usually get a free appetizer (tapa) whenever you order a drink. 

Famous tapas places I can recommend are Bodegas Castañeda, La Buena Vida and Los Manueles

self guided walking tour granada in winter tapas bars

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Self-Guided Walking Tour of Granada (Discover the Secrets of This Historic City!)

Discover the secrets of Granada on this self-guided walking tour that takes you through the city's highlights

Granada Cathedral

Granada Cathedral

Embark on a Self-Guided Walking Tour of Granada

Most accounts of Granada concentrate on the Alhambra and Generalife but, magnificent as they are, we don't want to do that. We want to show you the real city and the best way to do that is on foot. There are plenty of good hotels in or near the city centre, and the bus service is excellent, charging a standard price for each journey no matter how far you travel. Before embarking on the tour make sure you have two maps, one showing the street plan of the city and the other showing the bus routes. Both are available at the hotels and any Tourist Information office.

Discover This Vibrant City on Foot

Granada is a vibrant city. It bursts with life both during the day and in the evening. Its citizens are cheerful and friendly and include a healthy dose of students for Granada is a university town. The students here are the same as elsewhere, hard up and always interested in finding good value cafés, bars and restaurants. In Granada, there is no shortage of places to eat.

Eating and Drinking in Granada

For those wanting to sample the authentic culinary delights of the area, then the streets leading off the south-east corner of the Plaza del Carmen are filled with bars where, when you purchase a drink, a tapas is automatically put in front of you.

These are not the tapas with which you are familiar. The competition is so fierce that the bar owners seem to be engaged in a tapas war, each one trying to outdo the other, which benefits the customer. You can expect a tapas of sweet morcilla, four huge gambas a la plancha, a large chunk of melon served with succulent Jamon or meatballs in a saffron and almond sauce, all for the price of a couple of beers.

Not surprisingly these bars are packed daily from noon to 4 pm when everybody in Granada takes a siesta before starting again about 8 pm. For those who prefer a more tourist atmosphere then there is the main city square, Plaza de Bib-Rambla, near the cathedral where we will be finishing our tour.

Begin Your Self-Guided Walking Tour of Granada at Puerto Real

Puerto Real Granada

Puerto Real Granada

Our self-guided walking tour of Granada starts at the Puerto Real, right at the heart of this city. In 1624, a gate was built here to commemorate the visit to the city by Philip IV. From here, we walk up one of the main shopping thoroughfares, Reyes Católicos, to the Plaza del Carmen and the imposing façade of the town hall, previously the Convent of Carmelitas Calzados.

Self-Guided Walking Tour of Granada (Discover the Secrets of This Historic City!)

Video By: Julie Evans

Corral del Carbon

Leave the Plaza via Calle Mariana which runs parallel to Calle de Los Reyes Católicos, after a hundred metres, you will see one of Granada's hidden surprises, the Corral del Carbon.

This 14th-century building, incredibly still intact, was an inn and warehouse for merchants visiting the city. Entering through the ornately decorated main gate, you find yourself in a square. This was where the merchants gathered to haggle and barter. Surrounding the square is a covered patio with stables and storerooms behind. On the upper floors were the inns and sleeping accommodation.

The building is still used for a variety of commercial concerns.

Plaza de Isabel la Católica

Return to the Calle de Los Reyes Católicos and turn right. You soon enter the Plaza de Isabel la Católica where you will see a monument. This sculpture, in stone and bronze, is the work of Mariano Benlliure and was erected in 1872. It depicts Columbus showing the queen his maps and charts.

Plaza Nueva

Further along, you will come to Plaza Nueva.

Here you will see one of the most outstanding palaces in Granada. It dates from 1530 and is now the seat of Andalucia's High Court. Adjoining the square is the Church of Santa Ana. Designed in 1537 it sits on the site of an older mosque and has a slender brick tower decorated with glazed tiles. It is said to be one of the loveliest churches in Granada.

El Banuelo

Passing the church, you enter the Carrera del Darro. In Moorish times, there was a wall parallel to the river with bridges connecting the Alhambra, that rears up on your right, with the Albaicin district of the city, then the most important and wealthiest area. In the 16th century, the wall was demolished to make way for a new street with churches and aristocratic houses.

One of the original Moorish buildings to survive is El Banuelo, or public baths, built in the 11th century. A vestibule leads to some rooms that had cold, warm or hot water. The cold water room is the largest whilst the hot water room is the smallest.

Beneath this room, with its extra thick walls to retain the heat, is the oven that heated the water. The capitals that support the portico in the main room are a mixture of Roman, Visigothic and Caliphal, clearly showing this building's origins and continued use through the ages.

A Moorish innovation was the star-shaped holes in the arched ceiling. They were initially covered with coloured alabaster to allow a rainbow of light to illuminate the interior. The whole atmosphere was enhanced by aromatic smoke from the perfume holders on the walls.

Puente del Cadi

Opposite the baths, you will see the remains of the Puente del Cadi - a bridge built by King Badis that was the main communication route between the Albaicin behind you and the Alhambra ahead.

With its bars, cafés and artisan shops the Carrera del Darro is a good place from which to explore the small alleys across the tiny pedestrian-only bridges. These narrow streets, nestled at the foot of the Alhambra, contain some of the nicest, and oldest, stores in the city. At the end of Carrera de Darro, just before it becomes Paseo del Padro Manjon, on the left is the Granada Archaeological Museum.

Paseo de los Tristes

Continue on Carrera del Darro that soon changes its name to Paseo del Majon, popularly known as Paseo de los Tristes (Passage of the Mourners) since this was the route taken by funeral corteges.

You will enter an open space with the river on your right; there are fine views of the Alhambra above and a few cafes. From here, you can admire the small houses clinging to the side of the Alhambra hill, nestled under the walls for protection, each with its vegetable plot, still inhabited as they have been for the last six hundred years, before we go to an area of the city less frequently visited by tourists.

Monument to a Gypsy

At the end of the Paseo de Padre Majon, a bridge over the river leads to two paths, one of which is a steep winding climb to the Alhambra.

Take the Cuesta del Chapiz to your left, a steep street leading into the northern part of the Albaicin. A couple of hundred metres up this street, on your right, you will see the Granada School of Arabic Studies that comprises two Morisco dwellings with later Christian style additions, a typical example of the architectural style employed immediately after the reconquest.

You will then enter the Plaza del Paso de la Harina with, on your right the Camino del Sacromonte. At the entrance to this road is a statue, a Monument to a Gypsy, for this narrow, winding street leads to the barrio famed for its gipsy cave houses. You soon find yourself in an area of dilapidated dwellings that merge with the rock behind.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Chimneys protrude from the solid rock above and narrow, twisting alleys lead to flamenco taverns. The Sacromonte gipsies are credited with the creation of the Zambra or flamenco fiesta and the house of the flamenco dancer Maria la Canastera is open to the public to celebrate the event.

One of the cave dwellings has also been opened as a museum and shows a sanitised, romanticised, version of how these people lived. It is hard to imagine the poverty, filth and disease that must have been endemic in this area so close to the opulent Albaicin.

Many of the cave dwellings are still inhabited, and you are given a unique opportunity to glimpse life as it must have been in Mediaeval times. You are given the impression, probably totally erroneously, that this is not an area in which to linger and it will only be the most adventurous who venture back here at night to sample the Zambra.

Retrace your steps to the Monument to a Gypsy.

El Albaicin

Turn right onto Cuesta del Chapiz. This road leads up into El Albaicin, the former Alcazaba district that was clustered around a fortress built by the Ziri monarchs.

The hill on which this district sits is the site of the original Iberian and Roman settlements although nothing now remains of that period, or the fortress. El Albaicin is, however, packed with wonderful examples of Moorish and Christian architecture. Time does seem to have stood still in these narrow, winding streets.

A notable feature of El Albaicin is the aljibes or cisterns. These were used to collect rainwater and protect it from evaporation giving the residents a source of fresh water. Many are still in use. El Albaicin is a warren of narrow, winding streets constructed over the ages with no thought for town planning.

Plaza del Salvador

The first plaza encountered, after a few minutes walking, is Plaza del Salvador.

At one side of this square is the Casa de Yabquas, a Morisco house with Nasrite, Gothic and Renaissance decoration. Opposite is the Aljibe de Polo and on the third side, dominating the square, the church of El Salvador. The church was built in the 16th century on the site of the main mosque. At the time of the reconquest, the Albaicin had a total of twenty-six mosques.

Aljibe Bib-al-Bunud

Leave Plaza del Salvador by heading down the left-hand side of the church into Plaza del Abad where you will see a very elaborate aljibe known as Bib-al-Bunud. Keep left down the Calleja de las Tomasas and then right as you go around the Convento de las Tomasas and into Cuesta de las Cabras.

Mirador San Nicolas

Go straight ahead until you reach the Mirador San Nicolas and be amazed by possibly the most exceptional views of the Alhambra, the city and in the distance the Sierra Nevadas. Behind you, as you look out over the city, is the Church of San Nicolas.

Puerta Nueva

Walk up the left-hand side of the church into Callejon de San Cecilio. You will see the Chapel of San Cecilio that was built on the gate to the former Alcazaba Cadima; the Ziri built fortress of the 11th century. The Puerta Nueva, with the typical turret and defensive zig zag design of Moorish gates, replaced the original gate.

The Puerta Nueva leads into Plaza Large. It is usually full of colourful market stalls and surrounded by cafes and bars, still performing its function as the busiest thoroughfare in the district.

Walls, Gates and Churches

Leave Plaza Large via Calle de Agua until you reach Calle de Pagés. You may now walk up Calle de San Gregorio Alto until you reach the outer city walls and the Puerta de Fajalauza.

This gate has an impressive minaret and barrel vault and was the start of the road to Guadix. You should then retrace your steps to the top of Calle de Agua and down Calle de Pagés until you enter Plaza de San Bartolome that contains, inevitably, another church that was built on the site of an older mosque. The Church of San Bartolome boasts a beautiful Mudejar tower.

Take Callejon del Matadero into Brujones and so to the Mirador and Church of San Cristobal. You are now at the highest point in the Albaicin with the city and its walls spread out at your feet.

Elvira Gate

At the foot of the Mirador, you will see the beginning of steeply descending streets on which, if you count them, you go down over 120 steps into the Cuesta de Alhabaca where you turn right and continue descending until you arrive at the Elvira Gate. This gate was at one time the principle gate into the city.

About halfway down Cuesta de Alhabaca, look out for Carril de la Lona off to your left. A diversion down here takes you to the Puerta Monaita, once another entrance to the Alcazaba Cadima. Stay on the twisting Carril de la Lona and in a few minutes, you will arrive at the Convent of Santa Isabel la Real, with an ornate and elaborately carved Isabelline entrance and just beyond that the Palace of Dar Al Horra.

Palace of Dar Al Horra

In the 15th century, this palace was built on the site of the Ziri Alcazaba and housed the Sultana Aixa, mother of Boabdil after she was disowned by her husband who then married a beautiful Christian woman, Isabel de Salis.

What's in a Name?

Return to the Cuesta de Alhabaca and turn left on your original route.

You will now have time to consider some of the explicitly descriptive street names used in the Albaicin to describe the activities found there. Calle Ladron del Agua (Water Thief Street), Calle Arremangadas (Rolled Up Street), Calle del Horno de Vidriol (Glass Oven Street), Placeta del Mentidero (Gossip Square), Peso de la Harina (Weight of Flour), and Calle Oidores (Judges Street), all very useful for the first-time visitor to Granada in the 15th century.

The arch that survives dates back to the 9th century. From there, take Calle de Elvira back to the centre of the city. This street, although dilapidated now, was once the main road separating the Albaicin area from the administrative and commercial centre during the Moorish period.

For those who prefer a modern street with shops and restaurants, the Gran via de Colon runs parallel about 50 metres to the right.

Calle del Zacatin

Either way, you will find the Cathedral, the Royal Chapel of Granada and the most colourful street in the entire city, Calle del Zacatin.

During the Nasrite era, the area around the cathedral was the primary administrative and commercial centre of the city as well as being the site of the main mosque. Today we can only experience a small part of what must have been the most colourful and vibrant area on Calle del Zacatan, just east of the cathedral.

Calle del Zacatan was Granada's main thoroughfare until the 19th century. The name El Zacatan is Arabic for 'old clothes dealer' and halfway up the narrow, bustling street, you will come across the Alcaiceria or Moorish silk market.

Originally the Alcaiceria was much more extensive and functioned as an independent 'village'. Access to it was closed at night and the district had its own baths, exchange, House of Justice, mosque and customs house as well as a souk where exotic goods from all over the Moorish world were bought and sold. Even today, mixed in with all the tourist glitz, you will come across real silk garments, products from North Africa and genuine jewellery from the Near East.

Plaza de Bib-Rambla

Even narrower streets lead from Calle del Zacatan into Plaza de Bib-Rambla, the last stop on this self-guided walking your of Granada. This square is the hub of social life in Granada and the site of the fish and meat market. In the centre of the square is the enormous 17th-century statue, Fountain of Los Gigantones, dedicated to Neptune and made in Elvira stone.

The Plaza de Bib-Rambla is the hub of the fiestas and celebrations that are part of this city's life. Restaurants of every sort and nationality bound the square. They tend to be tourist traps so check to make sure the tapas put before you is gratis and that IVA is included in the prices. The competition is fierce, so the food is good. Keep your eyes open for the heladerias in one corner of the plaza. Each tub of ice cream displayed is a work of art and the perfect way to cool down after all that walking.

What UNESCO Says about Granada

Rising above the modern lower town, the Alhambra and the Albaycín [sic], situated on two adjacent hills, form the medieval part of Granada. To the east of the Alhambra fortress and residence are the magnificent gardens of the Generalife, the former rural residence of the emirs who ruled this part of Spain in the 13th and 14th centuries. The residential district of the Albaycín is a rich repository of Moorish vernacular architecture, into which the traditional Andalusian architecture blends harmoniously.

The Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín were inscribed in 1984 and extended in 1994.

When to Visit Granada

Granada is one of the five hottest cities in Spain during July and August. The other four are Seville and Córdoba, both in Andalucia, Badajoz in Extremadura and Murcia. The best times to visit Granada are from October through until June.

More on Granada

  • Historical Guide to Granada City
  • Visitors Guide to Granada
  • Visiting the Alhambra
  • Generalife and Alhambra Gardens
  • The Royal Chapel
  • Granada Archaeological Museum
  • Alhambra Museum
  • Palacio Dar al-Horra
  • Granada Science Park

Recommended Spain Travel Resources

Travelling to/around Spain and need some help? Here are our favourite travel resources.

We usually use Booking.com to look for hotels or apartment rentals. Lots of choice & you can unlock more discounts with their Genius loyalty programme!

To research transportation options around Spain, we like using Omio . It’s an easy way to compare different modes of transport and prices in one place.

For last-minute holiday deals, check out Expedia UK .

Looking for things to do? Viator has a huge catalog of activities and tours across many cities in Spain. We also love Get Your Guide !

Guruwalk is our favourite platform to find the best free walking tours in a city.

For money transfers or spending overseas in foreign currency, Wise is our favorite borderless banking service.

Travel insurance is a must to protect against emergencies and unexpected incidents. Get a quote from SafetyWing here.

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Alhambra - Self Guided Tour Itinerary

Self guided alhambra tour itinerary – arrival by car..

by Chris Chaplow

Having parked your car in the main car park , walk to the ticket office complex where the entrance is located. There are two lines, one for individual ticket holders and another for groups. Your allocated entry time for the Nasrid palaces will be on your ticket - it will comfortably take about half an hour from here to the palaces’ entrance.

If you have time, there is a visitor centre containing a book and souvenir shop, and beneath the ticket hall are toilets, vending machines and left luggage lockers.

At the entrance to the Alhambra complex, your ticket is scanned and your name checked against your ID. Walk through gardens that gently slope downhill and, after 5 minutes, you will reach a turning to the ‘new bridge’ on the right-hand side.

Most people visit the Alhambra palaces first and the Generalife afterwards, but if you still have more than 90 minutes to go before your time slot to enter the Nasrid palaces, you may choose to go through the Generalife gardens first. If so, continue walking straight on. If going to the Alhambra first, turn left over the new bridge.

Alhambra alta

You are now at Alhambra Alta . Walking down the footpath from the bridge, you will see on your left a gate in the wall called Puerta de los Siete Suelos (Gate of the Seven Floors, or Levels). It is so called because it was originally protected by a larger external gate, similar to the Puerta de la Justicia, which had seven "steps".

You will also walk by the ‘city of the Alhambra’ - medina al-Hamrat – which was excavated in the nineteenth century, revealing the foundations of luxury homes, some of which had their own baths.

Monastery of San Francisco

Passing a control point, leave the gardens to enter a free public access area. On the right is the Monastery of San Francisco , now a Parador Hotel . If you have time, go in for a look at the public areas.

Walking down the path, on the right are the Moorish Baths followed by the  Church of St Mary .

On the left are some souvenir shops with refreshment opportunities, and an information office. Also on the left is the Puerto de la Justicia (Justice Gate) , where visitors arriving directly from the city will enter the site.

Palace Entrance area

Now you have arrived at the palace entrance area, where there is a toilet block and vending machines in a out-building. This will be your last chance for refreshment or to use the toilets for about another hour. If you are close to your ticket time slot, proceed directly to the entrance queue for the Nasrid palaces . There are usually two control points; at the first, your ticket is checked to ensure you are arriving at the correct time, and at the second, the ticket is scanned and your ID checked to admit you.

If you still have some time, you can also pass through the  Puerto de Vino (Wine Gate) into the Alcazaba courtyard and see the Torre de la Vela and the Bell Tower .

You can also visit the Palace of Carlos V (the imposing square-shaped Renaissance building on the right-hand side. There is also an Alhambra Museum

NASARID PALACES

The Nasrid palaces consist of three parts; Mexuar , Serallo (including Palacio de Comares) and Harem (including Palacio de los Liones). In the tour, this is followed by the Emperor’s rooms, built after the reconquest for King Charles V.

The first room you visit is the Sala de Mexuar , a reception room complete with a small oratory (prayer room). From here, you pass the small Golden Room and its patio.

PALACIO DE COMARES

From this point, only ministers or special dignitaries would enter deeper into the Palacio Árabe (Arab palace), or Casa Real , by a small door and corridor leading into the Patio de los Arrayanes (Court of the Myrtles). This is also called the Patio de la Alberca (Court of the Blessing or Court of the Pond), from the Arabic birka, meaning "pool".

You will notice that the pool divides the courtyard into two sides and is fed by a fountain at each end. The pool is full of goldfish and has myrtles growing along its sides, the fruit, leaves and branches of which are used to make medicine. Around the outside of the patio are chambers; the most important are on the north side and form the Comares Palace , the official residence of the King.

The inside of the Comares Palace provides a great angle to take photos of the pool outside. You can then exit the Palace by the same door and walk along the far side of the patio to take photos looking back down the 34m pool to the court; this is one of the most distinct and popular views of the Alhambra.

CASA REAL & PALACE DE LOS LIONES

Leaving by a side chamber, you will enter perhaps the most beautiful part of the famous Alhambra; the construction of these Royal Palaces dates back to the fourteenth century and is the work of two great kings: Yusuf I and Muhammed V. We first pass through the Patio of the Lions .

The centrepiece of the court is the Fountain of the Lions , which offers another classic photo opportunity. It comprises an alabaster basin supported by the figures of twelve lions in white marble. At the edge of the great fountain is a poem written by Ibn Zamrak which praises the beauty of the fountain and the power of the lions, but also provides an account of the ingenious hydraulic systems by which the fountain functioned.

There is a series of important rooms around the patio. The Sala de los Mocárabes is on the west side from which you entered; the Sala de Abencerrajes is to the south; the Sala de los Abencerrajes (Hall of the Abencerrages) derives its name from a legend according to which the father of Boabdil, the last sultan of Granada, having invited the chiefs to a banquet, massacred them here. This room is a perfect square, with a lofty dome and trellised windows at its base. The roof is decorated in blue, brown, red and gold, and the columns supporting it branch out beautifully into the ceiling’s arches.

The Sala de los Reyes is next visited on the eastern side of the court, before you return back past the lions and leave through the Sala de las Dos Hermanas on the north side.

The Sala de las Dos Hermanas (Hall of the Two Sisters) is named after the two white marble slabs laid as part of the pavement, which each measure 500 by 220 cm. There is a fountain in the middle of this hall and a magnificent ceiling - a dome honeycombed with tiny cells, all different, said to number 5000.

The Salón de los Embajadores (Hall of the Ambassadors) is the largest room in the Alhambra and occupies all the Torre de Comares Comares Tower . It is a square room with a 23m high domed ceiling. This was the grand reception room, and the throne of the Sultan was placed opposite the entrance.

Rooms of Carlos Quinto

After visiting the Palace of the Lions, you will pass through a Christian addition to the Alhambra, known as the Rooms of Carlos Quinto <, built between 1528 and 1537.

Passing along a wooden balcony with open views to Albaicín opposite, you can then descend the staircase into the Patio de la Reja , with its cooling fountain. Next door, in the cloisters of the gardens of the Patio of Lindaraja , there are a number of welcomed benches. This patio is the last room of the the Nasrid Palaces, where a drinking water fountain waits for you outside.

Jardines del Partal

Back outside, relax a little and enjoy the flowers in the Jardines del Partal ( Partal Gardens ). El Partal comes from an Arabic word meaning "the portico". Torre de las Damas is the picturesque arcade and tower with a pond just in front of it.

From Jardines del Partal, you can return along Paseo de las Torres , which follows the castle wall to exit by the new bridge. Here, you can turn left to visit the Generalife or turn right to return to the ticket office and car park.

Leaving Jardines del Partal, you can also bear right and return to exit near Palacio Carlo V if you are interested in seeing that and the Alcazaba (which you may not have had time to see before entering the Nasrid palaces).

Generalife Palace

Visiting the Generalife will take about an hour. It was formerly the ‘country retreat’ for the Arab rulers and is a small white palace nestled in the trees on El Cerro del Sol , a south facing hill near the Alhambra Palace. It was not a summer palace, but rather a refuge where rulers could hide from the clamouring demands of their subjects. The visit first passes through twentieth-century gardens.

You will notice the open air auditorium (where the Granada music festival is held every summer); stroll through the rose gardens and enter the Generalife in the same courtyard where visitors arrived. There is another ticket and ID control point. Climb the stairs up to the legendary Patio de la Acequia for another golden photo opportunity.

After leaving the Generalife Palace and passing the iron turnstile, turn right for the direct route through the gardens to leave the complex. Alternatively, if you have 15 minutes and enough stamina, turn left and climb the Escalera del Agua (water staircase), where the two stone banisters have been hollowed out to become refreshing water canals.

Both routes then lead back to the ticket office and the car park via a gentle stroll through the woods.

Hill of the Martres

The Hill of the Martyrs located to the south of the car park, was given its name by the Catholic monarchs because many Christian captives suffered and perished in the Moorish dungeons on this site. A Carmelite monastery was later founded here and, in the nineteenth century, the monastery was demolished to make room for a villa and gardens in the Romantic style. It is a quiet place to complete the tour you have just undertaken.

Fever - Candlelight: Vivaldi 4 Seasons

Candlelight concerts that bring the magic of a live music experience to amazing venues. Buy your tickets now to discover Candlelight: Vivaldi's Four Seasons at the Basilica San Juan de Dios in Seville city on evening of Friday 15th March 2024 and Friday 12th April 2024.

Hotels near the Alhambra

Stay at a hotel located within in the Alhambra gardens or just in walking distance of this magnificent monument.

Alhambra Tickets and Tours

self guided walking tour granada spain

Read our detailed page on how to purchase you Alhambra tickets. We also present a hand picked selection of Alhambra tours with and without hotel pick up. Tickets and tours are fully booked most of the year. If fully booked, purchase a Granada Card which usually has availability.

self guided walking tour granada spain

  • Last Minute

Granada and the Alpujarras

Walk through whitewashed villages in the Alpujarras | Erin Williams

  • self guided walk
  • 7 nights in 2-3 star hotels and charming guesthouses
  • 7 Breakfasts

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Bosnia and herzegovina, czech republic, liechtenstein, netherlands, north macedonia, switzerland, türkiye/turkey, united kingdom, bike & boat, multi-activity, vessels & boats, advanced search, accommodation.

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Trip highlights

  • Exploring Moorish villages with steep, narrow lanes which cling to the mountainside
  • Walking in beautiful surroundings at high elevations with sweeping views
  • Discovering the fascinating remains of times gone by, including ancient acequias and Moorish threshing circles
  • Being surrounded by diverse Mediterranean vegetation with the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada as a backdrop

From the intriguing city of Granada to the lofty heights of the Alpujarras, the focus is firmly on culture and mountain landscapes. Small and surprisingly cosmopolitan, Granada offers a bizarre mixture of ancient history and modern living. There will be time to visit the Alhambra, the spectacular Moorish monument which is a must-see. After two nights in the city, you will move up into the mountains, to the Alpujarras. This beautiful area still reflects its Moorish origins, recalling times when groups of Moors inhabited these hills resisting the Christian Reconquest. In this fascinating historical context, the Alpujarras' high elevation makes for an ideal alpine experience with the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada, as a backdrop. All sorts of crops thrive in the Mediterranean climate: olive orchards, orange and lemon groves, almonds, figs and grapes. Amidst this abundance you will enjoy dramatic views from the enchanting white-washed villages as you walk among terraced fields and along the irrigation channels which survive from the Moorish era.

Trip Grading

self guided walking tour granada spain

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Day 1 Arrive Granada

Meals:   Nil

Day 2 In Granada, free time to explore the Alhambra

Day 3 local bus to capileira then circular walk through the río poqueira valley (3 or 5.5hrs), day 4 walk through taha de pitres villages and forests to mencina-fondales (3hrs), day 5 ascend to the highest village in the alpujarras, trevélez (7hrs).

Meals:   B,D

Day 6 Choice of walks from Trevélez including a short walk along the Camino de Granada (3.5-8hrs)

Day 7 ascend el portichuelo and continue to bérchules (5.5hrs), day 8 optional walk through the río grande valley (3hrs), return to granada by local bus.

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines. On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 3 dinners
  • 7 nights accommodation in 2-3 star hotels and charming guesthouses on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Digital information pack including smartphone app with maps and routebook, GPS Tracks
  • Luggage transfers on days 4, 5 and 7, 1 piece maximum 20kg, supplement applies for excess (you will need to take your luggage with you on the bus from Granada to Capileira on day 3, and from Berchules to Granada on day 8)
  • Emergency hotline

What's not included

  • Travel to and from Granada
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Guide – this is a self-guided walking holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Entrance fees not listed as included
  • Local transport including from Granada to Capileira and from Berchules to Granada
  • Transfers by taxi or public transport if you need to skip a stage
  • Excess Luggage
  • Hotel taxes if applicable – payable directly to the hotel
  • Items of a personal nature

self guided walking tour granada spain

Comfortable Hotels

During the trip you will stay in comfortable hotels that have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. When in the Alpujarras you will stay in small, family-run hotels, set in the beautiful whitewashed villages. All rooms have ensuites.

moderate   

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This is a self guided walk with average daily stages of 2.5 to 7 hours. The trip is graded moderate as it is mainly on wide unsurfaced tracks, footpaths or animal trails, with the occasional section on surfaced tracks or tarmac roads. Although sometimes the ascents are several kilometres long, they are gradual and technically easy. The use of walking sticks is recommended. A reasonable level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure.

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self guided walking tour granada spain

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

self guided walking tour granada spain

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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Wild Rover Travel

The Alpujarras and Granada

Year-round walking in Andalucía's Sierra Nevada

The Alpujarras and Granada

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  The impressive Moorish legacy of the Alpujarras and the stunning Alhambra of Granada

 Beautiful mountain trails at the perfect elevation for year-round hiking

  Charming white-washed villages with narrow winding streets

  Dramatic views of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada

  Delicious local food, including mountain-cured hams and meat stews with exotic spices

Hiking in the Alpujarras & Granada

Self-guided walking holiday with luggage transportatioon.

Starting and ending in Granada , against the dramatic backdrop of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountain range, this self-guided walking tour takes you through picturesque white-washed villages on hillsides that have been carefully terraced and irrigated since Moorish times. The Alpujarras are at the perfect elevation for year-round hiking and with well-trodden footpaths connecting each village, it’s an area that’s just begging to be explored on foot.

The lower reaches are home to a wide variety of traditional Mediterranean crops, from olive orchards, orange and lemon groves to almonds, figs and grapes. All of these ingredients make their way into the delicious local food dishes, along with lamb, rabbit and the famous cured ham of Trevélez . The cuisine retains its Moorish influences and dishes are often colourful and flavoured with Arabic spices.

As you move higher into the mountains, you will find an ancient web of hiking paths that lead you between rural hamlets; their Berber-style flat roofed houses offering panoramic views of the mountainous landscape and their winding lanes inviting further exploration.

Back in Granada, you can finish your Andalucían adventure in style with a visit to the eternal and stunning Alhambra , which is truly one of the wonders of the world!

Day 1: Arrive in Granada

From afar, the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada provide a spectacular backdrop to one of Europe’s most striking cityscapes. Once you get up close, Granada is an intriguing mix of the ancient and modern. Its Moorish architectural heritage is clear to see; the undoubted jewel in its crown being the stunning hilltop Alhambra palace, with its dazzling Islamic decor and landscaped gardens.

Away from the Alhambra, Granada also has an abundance of Moorish bathhouses, authentic flamenco clubs and tapas bars which still serve a free tapas-plate with each drink!

Your accommodation is at the Hotel Reina Cristina, a lovely city-centre hotel next to the cathedral.

Day 2: Bus to Capileira and walk through the Río Poqueira Valley

Option A –  Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 560 m | Descent: 560 m | 5½ hrs approx.

Option B –  Distance: 7.4 km | Ascent: 350 m | Descent: 350 m | 3½ hrs approx.

After breakfast, you will take a local bus (with your luggage) to Capileira, the largest and highest of the Alpujarras’ villages, at 1436m. This pretty town has a very good selection of restaurants, as well as a long tradition for producing top quality leather goods. Capileira’s Moorish heritage is still clearly evident in its white-washed houses clinging to the hillside, its tiny squares with fountains, and a mysterious network of steep, narrow lanes.

Having checked in and deposited your luggage at your hotel, you have a choice of circular walks in the Río Poqueira Valley, from Capileira via Bubion to Pampaneira, passing ancient threshing circles as you make your way through the agricultural land of the high mountain slopes.

Overnight: Capileira

Day 3: From Capileira to Mecina Fondales

Distance: 7.5 km | Ascent: 315 m | Descent: 635 m | 3 hrs approx.

Following old paths that connected the Poqueira valley with the small villages of the lower Alpujarras. Walking from one white-washed village to the next enjoying the varied scenery. Landscape changes gradually from an ancient Mediterranean holm oak forest, then pine tree plantations and finally irrigated fields approaching the “Taha” de Pitres; an ancient water council centre which dates back to Moorish times.

Overnight: Mecina Fondales.

Day 4: Trevélez Valley walk

Distance: 19.6 km | Ascent: 1050 m | Descent: 530 m | 7 hrs approx.

A long but not too difficult route through the Trevélez River Valley with fantastic viewing points along the way. Today’s walk takes you to the highest village in the Alpujarras and (they claim) in all of Spain.

Trevélez is rightly famous among food-lovers as the home of some of Spain’s finest ham. This cured jamón serrano matures perfectly in the rarified mountain air of the Sierra and is best enjoyed with a glass of local wine while gazing out at the spectacular mountain scenery.

Today’s walk can easily be shortened by driving part of the way with your luggage and getting off in Pórtugos or Busquístar.

Overnight: Trevélez, dinner included.

Day 5: Choice of walks from Trevélez

Option 1 – Distance: 18 km | Ascent/Descent: 1400 m | 8 hrs approx. Option 2 – Distance: 14 km | Ascent/Descent: 500 m | 5½ hrs approx. Option 3 – Distance: 12 km | Ascent/Descent: 285 m | 3 hrs approx.

You have a choice of three fantastic walks to choose from today, including a spectacular longer walk high into the Sierra Nevada, a circular route in the beautiful surroundings of Trevélez or a shorter walk along the historic Camino de Granada.

Day 6: Bérchules via El Portichuelo

Distance: 16 km | Ascent: 620 m | Descent: 880 m | 5½ hrs approx.

A pleasant route along narrow footpaths through shaded woodlands. The last section offers sweeping views over the Sierra Nevada. In clear weather, the African continent is visible from the highest point, El Portichuelo.

Overnight: Bérchules, dinner included.

Day 7: Acequia walk in Río Grande Valley, bus to Granada

Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 170 m | Descent: 170 m | 3 hrs approx.

On your final day you have the option of taking a morning bus and having the full day to explore Granada or taking one final walk in the Alpujarras before catching the bus to Granada in the afternoon.

The optional walk, in the valley north of Bérchules, follows an ancient irrigation channel to the ruins of a 13 th century Moorish silk-washing house.

Once back in Granada, a visit to the magnificent Alhambra is not to be missed. Early evening is a great time to visit this magical place. Tickets are not included in the tour arrangements but can be pre-booked here .

Day 8: Departure

Our services end after breakfast, unless you have booked any additional services with us. We would be happy to book additional nights for you in Granada. Just let us know at the time of booking if you would like to extend your stay.

Getting to Granada

From granada to capileira.

The Alhambra in Granada and Sierra Nevada Mountains

Tour Reviews

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I really loved this walking vacation! It has everything: culture with Al Hambra, beautiful villages and nice walks in nature. The hotels are all very nice and clean and the baggage always arrived there before I reached the hotel. The trails are not always very easy to follow so make sure to have both a gps and the route notes (I used my garmin phoenix 5s watch and it worked perfectly). It is also nice that you can chose how long you would like to walk on some days. I never really got lost and I am not a great navigator! I did get a few scratches here and there from some bushes but nothing too serious. I was travelling as a woman alone and never felt unsafe. Even though I did not meet a lot of other hikers on the trail, mostly there is phone network and the one place where there was no network (siete lagunas), there were plenty of other hikers. Also all of the hotels were aware of my imminent arrival so if I would not have come I am sure they would have inquired after my progress on the trail. Niall always replied to me very quickly to my inquiries and the local travel company in Spain was really helpful when I informed them that my luggage had gone missing by the airline.The hotels are aware that I am vegetarian and most of the meals were really amazing (and really a lot) All in all definetely worth booking this trip!

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Otros Caminos

Hiking on The Route of the Caliphate, from Cordoba to Granada

Andalusia , córdoba , granada , jaén , spain.

Mezquita De Cordoba

Type of Tour

Featured , Hiking through Andalusia , Self-guided

Difficulty Level

Easy , Moderado

8 days and 7 nights

Departure - Destination

Zuheros - Granada

Number of participants

mimium 2 travellers

Route of the Caliphate

“The Route of the Caliphate” is designated Major European Cultural Itinerary. The prestigious Foundation Legado Andalusí in co-operation with Otros Caminos has re-discovered this itinerary and developed it as a historical and cultural experience, connecting the cities of Cordoba and Granada with their world cultural heritages: the stunning “Mezquita” in Cordoba and the marvelous “Alhambra” in Granada.

Walking between Cordoba and Granada

This walking holiday explores the human and natural landscapes that mark out the famous Route of the Caliphate, between Cordoba and Granada. Once we get to Cordoba, immersing ourselves in its splendid past and its bustling present, we will then travel to the romantic white washed village of Zuheros, in the Subbética Mountains.

Sierras Subbeticas Natural Park

The Subbetica mountains (designated Nature Reserve and UNESCO Global Geopark), reach some 1,500 m above sea level and constitute an impressive limestone range southeast of the city of Cordoba. Since time immemorial they have been home to some of the most beautiful towns and villages in Andalusia, such as Priego de Córdoba, Carcabuey, Cabra, Zuheros and Luque… Age-old olive groves, holm- and gall-oaks grow on the red-coloured hillsides, hiding magical rock formations such as the Cueva de los Murciélagos (Bats’ Cave).

Moorish Castles

We are not limited to this nature reserve and its stately villages, however. We will also walk through the area surrounding a major fortress (Alcalá la Real) and the brief, yet rugged mountains that protect the plain and the Nazrid capital of Granada, heritage of a small, legendary village called Moclín, with another Moorish castle. Here you will walk on the Gollizno Route towards Tózar, where you can visit the Medieval Necropolis and the trenches and casemates dating from the Spanish Civil War.

Once in Granada itself, if the host of attractions on offer allow you time, you can still discover the secret of Moorish wells and waterways, search out the origins of famous poems in the walls of the Alhambra, take a stroll through the old Moorish neighbourhood, the Albayzín, packed with sounds and aromas, and try some tapas enjoying views out to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, already thinking of coming back soon!

Logos Fpa El Legado Andalusí 2020 Color

Arrive in good time so as to visit the famous "Mezquita" (Grand Mosque). Later, a walk through the old Jewish quarter to see its beautiful patios and have tapas in its inns. Finally we suggest you to experience an authentic flamenco show to get you ready for a journey which has only just begun.  

Cordova-Zuheros by bus

Cordova-Zuheros by bus

You can still visit the famous "Mezquita" of Cordova today, before you take the public bus to Zuheros. After about 1 hour and a half by bus you arrive to the picturesque, romantic village of Zuheros. Your accommodation is in the centre of the village, next to the ruin of the castle.

Zuheros, río Bailón (12-17 km) o Cabra-Zuheros (21 km)

Zuheros, río Bailón (12-17 km) o Cabra-Zuheros (21 km)

Today you will go on a circular walk close to Zuheros, through the beautiful Bailón River Canyon. You can just walk along the river part of the Karst landscape, with good views over Zuheros and turn around when you feel like it. Or continue to the Cerro de Bramadero and enjoy the silence of this part of the Subbetica Nature Park. You can make an extra d-tour of 5 km to the Chorreras on the grassy high plateau. At the end you will meet the Bailón river again to return to Zuheros.    

Zagrilla-Priego de Córdoba (10 -17 km)

Zagrilla-Priego de Córdoba (10 -17 km)

A taxi will bring you to the start point, the village Zagrilla Alta. From Zagrilla you can get to Priego either on a short route of 9 km (230 m ascends) following the Colada del Camino del Hoyo; otherwise, take a longer route of 16,5 km (and 500m ascends), via the village of Carcabuey, through fields with streams flanked by dense quince trees, then crossing the Pollos or Jaula Mountains, where you will find an abundance of holm-oak and olive trees. Finally, you get to Priego along the old path to Rute. Your accommodation is right in the heart of the oldest quarter “Barrio de la Villa”, and you can relax with a session of Arab baths for free! (normally we book it for you at 18:00, you can add as well a massage on your own account)        

Priego-Alcalá la Real by taxi, circular hike (12,5 km)

Priego-Alcalá la Real by taxi, circular hike (12,5 km)

By taxi, travel to the next accomodation in Alcalá la Real (30 minutes). The route starts at the accommodation itself.  The walk first goes along old paths through walled olive groves, then you climb up to the large plateau via a beautiful path surrounded by sumacs, which are particularly spectacular in autumn (late October-early November) with their beautiful red fruits. Once on the plateau, you walk with beautiful views of both the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada and the imposing fortress of Alcalá. After your visit to the castle, walk back to your B&B in Alcalá.

Alcalá la Real-Tózar (Moclín) (8-17 km)

Alcalá la Real-Tózar (Moclín) (8-17 km)

After breakfast a short transfer by taxi (about 15-20 minutes) to an olive cooperation to start the walk through olive groves to the medieval village/fortress of Moclín. If you would like rather a shorter walk today you can ask the taxi to drop you in Moclín, and you start the route from there, between 6-8 km, and about 450 m ascends to Tozar From Moclín you can either head straight down through a forest and over a suspension bridge to Tózar (6km, 400m ascends), or else make first for Olivares and continue on the natural pass through the mountains to Tózar (8 km, 450 m ascends). You pass some anthropomorphic tombs dug out of the rock and the remains of a defensive system set up during the Spanish Civil War before reaching the quiet village where you can enjoy the sunset at the roof terrace of the hotel…

Tózar-Granada (taxi) & Alhambra

Tózar-Granada (taxi) & Alhambra

After breakfast a taxi will collect you and bring you directly to your hotel in Granada to spend the most of the last day visiting the palaces and gardens of the Alhambra (tickets not included in tour price). Later, take a stroll through the old Moorish neighbourhood, the Albayzín, packed with sounds and aromas, and try some tapas enjoying views out to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. At night you can have dinner in one of the ten most romantic restaurants of the world, with a view of the Alhambra.... Your charming hotel is right in the historical centre!

Granada, end of journey

Granada, end of journey

After breakfast the journey comes to an end in Granada. Maybe you still have some time to stroll through the Alcaicería, full of little Arab shops and souvenirs before returning home. Or book an extra night, as there is so much to see and do in this charming town!

Accommodation with breakfast

Information on the trip, luggage transport, telephone helpline.

Organised taxi to come to the start point of the route or to be picked up at the end of the route.

Services not included

Supplement for single occupation.

Not Included

150/185/195€

Mid-season Supplement

09/03/to 19/03/2024 and 26/08 to 04/11/2024

supplement high season

01/04 to 15/06/2024

Supplement start on Fridays and Saturdays

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Sócrates 4, Granada, Spain. CP 18002 | Phone. +34 958 291893 | +34 616 449 400 | [email protected]

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Top 5 Free Walking Tours in Granada

© Matt Perreault/Flickr

Although parts of the city are hilly, resiting the temptation to jump on one of Granada’s tourist buses will prove worth it. The best way to acquaint yourself with this mysterious city is by foot, enabling you to explore the tiniest, most charming backstreets that are inaccesible by car or bus. Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of superb, free walking tours in Granada, run by guides with intimate local knowledge of its history and customs. Below are the best available and, although there is no formal fee for any of them, it’s worth remembering that a lot of the guides are volunteering their time and knowledge. Tips or donations, therefore, are always welcome at the end of the tour.

1. walk in granada.

Offering the most comprehensive coverage of the city for free, Walk in Granada runs three walking tours. The first, called A Historical Tour, takes you around the cathedral and Alcaiceria market then up into the old Arabic quarter of Albaicín . The focus of its narrative is Granada’s great Moorish period and the upheaval of the Christian reconquest in 1492. Next – and requiring a sturdier pair of shoes – is a tour up into the Gypsy flamenco quarter of Sacromonte , exploring a bucolic, cave-dwelling lifestyle that has hardly changed since the 18th century. Finally, it provides a walking tour of Albaicín. Full of local insight, it delves into this neighborhood’s unique ambience, owed in part to dual Moorish and Christian influences.

Walk in Granada Tours, Plaza Nueva, Granada, Spain , +34 630 070 893

self guided walking tour granada spain

Granada’s free walking tours explore the streets and squares of its old Arabic quarter | © Olivier Bruchez/Flickr

2. Feel the City Tours

You cannot miss the irrepressibly cheerful guides from Feel the City Tours on and around Plaza Nueva: dressed in bright purple t-shirts and weilding purple umbrellas advertising their free walking tours, they pull in huge groups of passing tourists. The free route starts at the heart of Granada’s old town center – now a chic shopping area – and takes in the cathedral and the important churches that surround it as well as Plaza Bib-Rambla and the Alcaiceria market – formerly the site of Granada’s Grand Bazaar. Their guides aren’t just notable for their enthusiasm; they’re also highly educated in the subjects relevant to the tours.

Feel The City Tours, 10 Calle Almona del Boquerón, Granada, Spain, +34 606 657 049

3. Pancho Tours

In addition to the obvious attractions held by the city itself, the countryside surrounding Granada – particularly that which separates Sacromonte from Albaicín – vastly rewards anyone willing to explore it. For this reason, you might want to take Pancho’s ‘Sacromonte and The Caves’ route. Battling the purple-clad guides of Feel the City for customers on Plaza Nueva, their equally eye-catching representatives are dressed in bright orange. Sacromonte and The Caves takes in the scruffy, flamenco-saturated gypsy quarter and looks at its traditional cave dwellings as well as including a mini-trek up to San Miguel Alto, the highest church in Granada. There are few better vantage points from which to take in the vast, wild countryside that surrounds this ancient city.

Pancho Tours, 14 Plaza Nueva, Granada, Spain , +34 664 642 904

self guided walking tour granada spain

The rooftops of Sacromonte, best explorable by foot | © of Encarni Novillo

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5. City Tour Granada

Starting where its tourist train-bus stops on Plaza Nueva (a method of touring the city which is to be avoided at all costs, by the way), City Tour’s twice-daily, two-hour explorations of Granada take in the old city center and Albaicín. They concentrate on the two principal religions and cultures that have given all of southern Spain its special character – namely, Christianity and Islam. Perhaps nowhere better is the confluence of the two on display than in the area explored by this tour: right next door to the city’s great cathedral, for example, is the site of its once-enormous Bazaar, where the best silks and spices from north Africa were sold.

City Tour Granada, Carrera del Darro 3, Puerta A, Granada, Spain , +34 958 224 527

self guided walking tour granada spain

All of Granada’s free walking tours explore the Alcaiceria market, formerly the city’s Grand Bazaar | © Nicolas Vollmer/Flickr

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  • Private Visit of Alhambra
  • Guided Tour of Alhambra
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Alhambra Palace: Self-guided Tour

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What to expect from the Self - Guided Tour of Alhambra Palace

This activity is not available at this moment.

We still have availability for the:

Guided Tour of Alhambra in a group

Private visit of Alhambra Palace & Generalife Gardens

Visit the Alhambra Palace of Granada , the jewel of the Andalusian Heritage . It is the most visited monument in Spain and a masterpiece of Muslim art in Europe. It is also an architectural wonder that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO . We propose a visit “at your leisure” where you set up the pace and the times. That is, a visit for non-conformist people, who do not want a traditional visit and corseted in organized trips. Visit the Alhambra with an Electronic Guide .

Meeting Point

Pepe Tours Welcome Center at Alhambra ( find us on Google Maps )

Meeting Time

  • Please note that sometimes the meeting time might be altered. It is imperative that you contact us one day before the visit to check if there have been any changes.

Price Includes

  • Entrance ticket to Alhambra with access to the entire monument.
  • Electronic guide (headphone device) available in several languages.
  • Information brochure & map of the Alhambra.
  • Orientative session before starting the visit.
  • Telephone support from our team before & during the tour.

Not Included

  • Hotel pick-up and transfer to Alhambra
  • Food, drinks and any private expenses
  • Any service not mentioned as "Included"

Preparamos la visita a la Alhambra con Guía Electrónico

Para la gente que ya había visitado antes La Alhambra , o los que simplemente quieren descubrir por su cuenta la magia de este enclave, esta  Visita a la Alhambra con Guía Electrónico a su aire es sin duda, la mejor opción para conocer este monumento único .

Antes de comenzar la visita, nuestros representantes les darán una sesión orientativa para familiarizarles con el monumento. Así se les informará sobre los detalles de la visita, itinerario sugerido y sobre todo, indicarles los horarios de acceso a los Palacios Nazaríes . De este modo nos aseguramos de que no pierdan el acceso a la parte más bonita e interesante de La Alhambra . Encontrarán así respuestas a todas las preguntas o dudas que puedan surgir antes de su visita. Además, les entregaremos sus sistemas de audio-guía, configurados ya en su idioma deseado, y les explicaremos cómo funcionan. Por favor, tomen nota que deberán dejar un depósito de 20 € por cada guía electrónico. Este importe se les devolverá íntegramente cuando lo entreguen al finalizar el tour.

La visita a la Alhambra con Guía Electrónico comienza en nuestro Centro de recepción de visitantes situado al lado de la Entrada Principal de La Alhambra (ver detalles abajo). Durante 2,5 horas, aproximadamente, paseará por las calles, palacios , patios y jardines de La Alhambra apoyándose en su mapa explicativo de La Alhambra y su audio guía. Dicho audio guia le dará muchísimas informaciones sobre la construcción de La Alhambra y la arquitectura. Y además, apuntes históricos sobre la vida de los reyes y sultanes árabes que vivieron en La Alhambra .

La Alhambra - Un lugar mágico

Visitar la Alhambra , recorrer sus palacios, jardines, torres… es toda una experiencia repleta de sensaciones. Es como un viaje a través del tiempo velado de misterios e incógnitas. Sus muros, sus celosías, sus inscripciones, sus juegos de luz y color, el sonido del agua, sus vistas, desprenden belleza y armonía. Además evocan historias del pasado que nos transportan a otra cultura, a otra forma de entender la vida, de vivirla.

A través de este recorrido aprenderán a leer, percibir y comprender el silencioso lenguaje que se desprende del monumento y de los elementos que lo conforman. Así pues, entenderán su relación con el entorno que la rodea y  descubrirán los mensajes que están presentes en la arquitectura de la Alhambra.

Itinerario sugerido para los Palacios Nazaríes

Comenzarán la visita descubriendo la Ciudad Palatina de La Alhambra (la única Ciudad Palatina de época islámica que se ha conservado). En primer lugar descubriremos sus bellos Palacios Nazaríes ( Palacio de Comares y Palacio de los Leones ).

Visitarán la Madraza de los Príncipes (Universidad Real) y el Mexuar (sala de reuniones del antiguo Consejo de Ministros y también lugar donde el Sultán impartía justicia). A continuación admirarán la Fachada de Comares con sus bellas decoraciones y lugar donde celebraba el sultán las audiencias públicas, recibiendo a los súbditos que lo solicitaban. A través del Patio de Comares o Patio de los Arrayanes se llega hasta la Torre de Comares, zona que era destinada exclusivamente al sultán, ya que contiene sus dependencias privadas. Allí se encuentra el Salón de Embajadores , donde el sultán celebraba las audiencias privadas con embajadores y personas de alto rango.

Seguirán adentrándose en la arquitectura nazarí visitando el impresionante Palacio de los Leones , que a través de su construcción y decoración marca el apogeo del sultanato. Descubrirán los detalles arquitectónicos de la Sala de los Mocárabes y Sala de los Reyes. También escucharán la trágica leyenda del suceso ocurrido en la Sala de los Abencerrajes .

Luego descubrirán la Sala de las Dos Hermanas , que es la vivienda más completa del palacio. Allí destaca el romántico Mirador de Lindraja , un mirador con ventanas bajas, para sentarse en el suelo. Desde allí, supuestamente, contemplaba el sultán el Albayzín y el Sacromonte .

Luego, parada obligatoria en la famosa Fuente de los Leones , centro neurálgico de este palacio. Aquí, el murmullo del agua que sale de esta fuente, los reflejos de luz y la delicada decoración de su palacio con su galería de arcos y columnas crean una atmosfera divina.

Jardines y Palacio del Generalife

La visita continua a través del Palacio del Partal con sus bellos jardines aterrazados hasta la Medina (que fue el barrio de artesanos, comerciantes y servidores de la familia real). Este paseo a través de la Medina nos conduce hacía otra parte destacada de La Alhambra : el Generalife . Hay una Alhambra monumental , palacios hechos de piedra, ladrillo, estuco, mármol… Pero también forma parte de la Alhambra la naturaleza : los jardines, las huertas y el bosque…

No se puede despedir uno de La Alhambra sin conocer antes Generalife y sus famosos jardines árabes. Este es un espacio único y exuberante que pretende ser lo más parecido al paraíso. O al menos con tal idea fue concebido, ya que en la cultura musulmana la imagen celestial está ligada a la figura del jardín. Lo cierto es que la belleza y armonía reinan en el Generalife . Aquí todo parece estar dispuesto para deleitar sus sentidos durante la visita. El murmullo del agua, los reflejos de luz, el perfume de las plantas aromáticas, la delicada decoración de su palacio, el color de las flores…

Con las montañas de Sierra Nevada como espectacular paisaje de fondo, el Generalife era una finca de recreo que utilizaban los reyes de la Dinastía Nazarí. Además, sus huertas abastecían antaño las cocinas de La Alhambra . A este sitio acudían los monarcas en busca de intimidad y sosiego.

Una vez acabada la visita a la Alhambra con Guía Electrónico, deberán pasar por nuestra oficina para devolver los equipos de audio y que les reembolsemos el depósito abonado.

Fotos de la visita a la Alhambra con Guía Electrónico

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Punto de encuentro

Oficina Tickets Alhambra meeting point

Related Tours

Entradas a La Alhambra con guía | Visita Alhambra en grupo | Visita guiada Alhambra con entradas incluidas

Alhambra & Generalife Gardens – Guided Tour

2.5 hours visit official local guide of Alhambra Skip the line tickets to Alhambra incl. Nasrid Palaces & Generalife Gardens

Visita privada de La Alhambra con entradas y guía oficial

Private Visit of Alhambra with Official Local Guide

personalized visit of 2.5 hours private guide at your disposal Skip-the-line Entrance Tickets to Alhambra incl. Nasrid Palaces & Generalife Gardens

the Sierra Nevada from the north

The Sierra Nevada (with or without) Guide

Guide, routes, maps and inspiration for self guided walking and hiking in spains sierra nevada.

This site provides the self guided hiker and trekker with some inspiration to come out to the Alpujarras, Sierra Nevada and surrounding areas to enjoy the wonderful mountain experiences to be found here. All these routes are done regularly by ourselves.

It is not meant to be a full-on Guidebook replacement. Fully detailed route maps are supplied, but only brief notes are given in assistance. Use our Walk and Trek Finder below to navigate your way through our site and to find the hike or trek to your liking.

Of course, if you prefer to have a guide along, we can arrange with one of our local qualified, english speaking guides to come with you.

If you are looking for a guidebook to carry with you on your mountain adventures we recommend reading or downloading the Cicerone Guide "Walk and Trekking in the Sierra Nevada" by Richard Hartley. It is available from all good online book stores such as Amazon, Waterstones etc.

N.B Walk/Trek Finder - make your choices below to find relevant walks. Click on any walk photo to enter the walk

Walk and Trek Finder

2 day trek from ski area to Capileira via Cerro de Los Machos

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Unguarded Refuges

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Logotipo Walking

  • Free tour Essential Granada
  • Free tour Albaicín & Sacromonte
  • Alhambra & Generalife Private Tour
  • Small group with tickets included
  • Premium group with tickets included
  • Historic City Centre and Albaicín
  • Albaicín & Sacromonte
  • Royal Chapel & Cathedral Private Tour
  • Royal Chapel & Cathedral Group Tour
  • Federico García Lorca city centre tour
  • Federico García Lorca villages tour
  • A day with Lorca in La Vega tour
  • Historic City Centre and Albaicín accesible tour
  • Alhambra accessible tour
  • Customized tours
  • Antequera & Torcal
  • Caminito del rey
  • Guadix and Gorafe
  • Nerja & Frijiliana
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Úbeda and Baeza

Hammam Al-ándalus

Gourmet menus, olfactory route.

  • Gastronomic group routes
  • Private gastronomic route
  • Spanish cooking class
  • Bus tickets
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  • Balloon Flight

Free tour Granada

Discover and enjoy granada.

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Granada walking tours, guided visits to the Alhambra, and unforgettable experiences in the city. Discover Granada with us.

We are a local tour operator in Granada specialising in historical and cultural tours. We believe that Responsible Tourism is possible. We offer tours as well as private and personalised visits in the Historic Centre, Albaicín, Sacromonte, Alhambra and much more.

Free Tours

Free tours in Granada. Choose one of our two available itineraries.

Alhambra

Discover the Alhambra, its gardens and palaces. Guided tour, private or in group.

Guided tours

Guided tours

Guided tours tailor-made for you and your group. Discover the secrets of Granada.

Experiences

Experiences

Different routes, excursions and unique experiences to discover Granada.

+ than 140000 travelers since 2015

+ than 30 guided tours per week

+ than 10 official guides

For a Responsible Tourism

Our most popular services

Free Tour Essential Granada

Free Tour Essential Granada

Guided tour in Granada. Immerse yourself in the history of the city of the Alhambra.

Alhambra y Generalífe

Guided tour with Alhambra & Generalife ticket

Enter the palatine city of the Alhambra and its impressive gardens.

Free Tour Albaicín and Sacromonte

Free Tour Albaicín and Sacromonte

Of narrow streets and breathtaking viewpoints. Discover these two neighborhoods.

Depending on the season

Private Tour of the Alhambra

Private Tour of the Alhambra

If you want to visit the Alhambra with a guide dedicated only to you and your family and/or friends.

Foto de free tour

Free tours every day

We believe that everyone has the right to know the history and culture of a city, and for this to be possible it must be affordable to everyone.

For this reason we offer a range of different Free Tours. Each person decides how much they’d like and are able to give the guide at the end of the tour, according to their means and level of satisfaction. It’s our way of supporting a conscious form of tourism while valuing the collective importance of culture.

The Alhambra is without a doubt a must-see if you come to Granada. Millions of travelers visit the Andalusian palatine city every year to admire not only the magnificent interiors of its Nasrid Palaces, but also the beautiful gardens in the Generalife, its fortress and its breathtaking views out onto the neighborhoods of Albaicín and Sacromonte.

On our 3 hour tour you will discover not only its historical and artistic value but also its hidden corners, legends and secrets. You will visit its many rooms, gardens, fountains and walls in the company of a professional guide who will make your visit interesting and fun!

Join a group or private tour with an expert guide from € 49!

Palacio de la Alhambra

If you’re looking for a more personalised tour, you can hire us for private tours. To ensure the quality of our work, we limit the size of groups to 30 people per guide. Amongst our services we offer: tours to the neighborhoods of Sacromonte, Albaicín and the historical center of Granada, Alhambra guided tours and more!

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With Walk In Granada you also have unlimited options to continue discovering the city: witness a Flamenco show in one of the most iconic places in Granada, relax after a long day in the famous Arabic baths of the Hammam Al-Ándalus, or gain a deep understanding and fascinating insight into the history of Andalusian society with “The Andalusian Way to happiness”. Gastronomic tours, day trips, transfers and hiking routes that are a stone’s throw from the city are other experiences and services that we can organize to make your stay in Granada unique and unforgettable.

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Great experience Tripadvisor

Essential Granada, Albaicín and Sacromonte, 2 tours in which we have coincided with Alain. The route is wonderful and Alain is one of those guides who makes you think, one of those who tells the story in a very pleasant way... a marvellous guide. We also booked a tour of the Alhambra, in this case we were guided by Edu, who is very knowledgeable about the history and landscaping. The 3 tours we have done with Walk in Granada 100% recommendable.

Grupo 1

A wonderful walk through Granada's history. Tripadvisor

La Fonda and the Alcaicería (Zacatín). An entertaining and didactic class on the history of the four cultures of Granada. It was very short.

Grupo 2

Granada is unique Tripadvisor

Granada is a unique city and if you are lucky enough to have a person like Eduardo explain it to you, the city becomes even more attractive. Very, very entertaining and historically accurate visit.

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A Do-It-Yourself walking tour of Ronda

Andalucia (M - Z) , Ronda / / 4 Comments

Ronda is a very popular place, one of the most popular places for visitors in all of Andalusia . It’s a small city which you can visit on a guided tour if you wish (as many people do…) OR you can follow the Do-it-yourself walking tour itinerary that I’ve spelled out below.

I have to give credit for this itinerary to Hotel Polo . We had booked a night there and when we checked in they sent us a copy of this itinerary on Whatsapp (the map you see below). Very helpful, very good hotel. More on that at the bottom of this post along with some restaurant recommendations that they also provided.

A Do-it-yourself walking tour of Ronda

self guided walking tour granada spain

Puente Nuevo

Your walking tour should start here because it is by far the most popular attraction in Ronda. It is what Ronda is famous for.

Ronda is divided by a deep gorge which historically separated two parts of the city: Old Ronda on the southern part of town (shown on the right in the map above) and Newer Ronda (to the left).

The New bridge was built in the 1700’s to connect the two parts of Ronda. There were already two bridges in place, the Old Bridge and the Roman Bridge, but they were small and further upriver. The New bridge took 34 years to build (completed in 1793) and is deeper than it is wide – it is 66 meters wide but reaches 98 meters to the bottom of the gorge. Building the bridge was a technological marvel at the time, requiring huge stone blocks being brought up from the bottom of the gorge.

The bridge is made up of 3 large arches, the center one which has a large room which was used to house political prisoners during the Spanish civil war of the 1930’s. The bridge was also where, in 1936, approximately 500 fascist sympathizers were thrown into the gorge.

The bridge transformed Ronda, bringing the two sides of the city together.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Viewpoints around the Puente Nuevo

There are a bunch of viewpoints around the Puente Nuevo. Walking around the Parador de Ronda (a modern Parador which is also one of Spain’s most popular paradors ) you’ll get views looking back at the Puente Nuevo and the gorge below. A little further, you’ll see views of the Mirador de Ronda and the valley and mountains beyond. You could continue on to the Mirador but for now I suggest walking back to the Puente Nuevo…

Crossing the Puente Nuevo you’ll get lots of different views of the bridge and landscapes. Stop at Mirador de Aldehuela for a different view of the bridge

self guided walking tour granada spain

Plaza de María Auxiliadora

Make your way to Plaza de María Auxiliadora. From there you’ll see a little path going down into the gorge (see the path marked in red on the map above). 10 minutes will get you to a little area where you get great views looking towards the bridge. It’s the setting of most of those postcard photos of Ronda that you’ll find in the stores.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Plaza Duquesa de Parcent

Walk to Plaza Duquesa de Parcent (you’ll see indications on the map: “Santa Maria la Mayor” and “Ayuntamiento” that indicate that spot). But first you’ll pass Palacio de Mondragón which is worth a visit if you have a bit of time in Ronda.

Plaza Duquesa de Parcent is the center of Old Ronda. The highlight of this pretty plaza is the church: Santa Maria la Mayor . You can climb up the tower from great views of the city.

Right next to the church is the Town Hall, the “Ayuntamiento”.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Medieval Walls

Behind the Ayuntamiento are a series of stairs. Go down and follow the road downhill.

You’ll get to Iglesia del Espíritu Santo , a 15th century church constructed over a mosque. The outside walls of the church are thick and actually make up part of the fortifications of the city. Walk a few minutes from the church and you’ll get to Puerta de Almocábar . This is the most impressive gate along the walls of the city, however is was not the main entrance to the old town as many people assume (it in fact faced the old cemetery). You can climb up the walls for some views.

self guided walking tour granada spain

From here you have to walk back from where you came from, walking up the hill. But stick to your right. You’ll soon see more medieval walls. Called the Arab walls, these walls were built by the Moors and defended the eastern edge of the city. The walls continue downhill, passing the Arab baths (Banos Arabes on the map). Near the Arab baths, you’ll spot the small Roman bridge – next to the bridge stood the gate that was the main entrance to the old city at the time. It was the reason for all these impressive fortifications*.

* During Moorish times, visitors would enter the city at the gate next to the Roman bridge (also called Puente de las Curtidurías or Puente Arabe. It seems to go under many names). They would go to the Arab baths, then a small mosque that stood there for prayers, before entering the city at the Puerte de la Cijara).

self guided walking tour granada spain

Puente Viejo

Climb up the steep path/stairs. It’ll take you to the Puente Viejo. Next to it is a picturesque gate which built in 1742 – it is the gate of Felipe V and provided yet another defended entrance to the city.

The Puente Viejo was the 2 nd oldest bridge built in Ronda (after the Roman bridge). It was completed in 1616. It’s a small bridge that has only pedestrian traffic these days.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Jardines de Cuenca

On the edge of the gorge in the new city (which you entered crossing the Peunte Viejo), these gardens are dedicated to the city of Cuenca – Ronda’s “sister” city (both cities share a common geography with their deep gorges).

Here you get incredible views of the gorge and the Guadalevín River. As you wander up further, you have a totally different view of the Puente Nuevo than you had previously.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Plaza del Socorro & calle Carrera Espinel

Plaza del Socorro is the main square in the new town (and modern Ronda). It’s a pretty plaza with a church (the 20 th century Iglesia del Socorro ) and lots of bars and restaurants. Right next to the square is calle Carrera Espinel, the main commercial street in Ronda.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Parque Alameda del Tajo

Walking down calle Carrera Espinel you’ll pass the bullring. Ignore it for now. Just next to it is the Parque Alameda del Tajo. A nice park with gardens…but the highlight is the long ‘terrace’ with views of the valley below and mountains in the distance. Walking along you’ll get to the Mirador de Ronda which is another pretty spot with similar views.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Plaza de Toros (bullring)

Ronda’s bullring is advertised as both the largest and oldest in Spain. In fact both statements are disputable. Ronda’s bullring seats 5,000 spectators – las Ventas bullring in Madrid seats almost 24,000. Construction of Seville’s bullring started in 1761, Ronda’s construction started in 1779 (but Ronda’s was finished a year earlier in 1784). What is definite is that Ronda’s rueda , the sandy circle in the middle of the ring, is the largest in Spain (a diameter of 66m, 6 m more than Madrid’s).

More on the Ronda bullring . (Note: at 8 Euros/pp, entrance is expensive. Too expensive in our opinion).

self guided walking tour granada spain

The above are the highlights of Ronda and can be visited in a full and busy day . If you want to do a more detailed visit (including entering all the sites you have to pay for: the bullring, Palacio de Mondragón, Santa Maria la Mayor and the Arab baths) then it’s worth staying a night.

Practical Information on Ronda

Getting there

  • Ronda’s train station is a 15 minute walk from the center of the new city. We came by train from Antequera (1 hr). We left the same way, taking the train back to Antequera then connecting to Malaga (30 minutes by high-speed train)
  • The bus station is even closer to the center of the new city (about 10 min). Damas does Ronda-Malaga in 1 hr, 45 min.

Where to Stay

  • We stayed at Hotel Polo as mentioned above. Very comfortable, good value (it’s a 3 star hotel so don’t expect the Ritz). They have a kitchen downstairs with a kettle, dishes and anything else you need. Great! Recommended. If you want something more fancy it has to be the Parador de Ronda . You can’t beat the setting.

Where to eat

  • The restaurant connected to the hotel was very good for breakfast. Otherwise, we didn’t have much luck with restaurants: we were there in January and all restaurants recommended to us were closed (we were told that’s often the case after the holidays). The hotel did recommend some bars and restaurants however. See the map below.

self guided walking tour granada spain

Related: Seeing the highlights of Seville- and saving money!

self guided walking tour granada spain

Related: Highlights of a day trip to Córdoba (Spain)

self guided walking tour granada spain

Reader Interactions

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August 22, 2023 at 12:43 pm

This was a really helpful read that we came across on our first day in Ronda. Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a useful blogpost,

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August 22, 2023 at 12:46 pm

Great!! Happy that it helped! Thank you for letting me know, appreciate it 🙂

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February 22, 2023 at 4:13 pm

Thank you so much for this! We’ll be there in early May and this is extremely helpful. Looking forward to the visit!

February 22, 2023 at 4:49 pm

Thank you very much for the comment! Much appreciate. Enjoy Ronda!

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