Granada, located in the southeast of Andalusia, stands at the foot of Sierra Nevada before a wide, fertile plain watered by the Darro and Genil rivers..
The first settlement in this region dates back to the 5th century B.C. and in Roman times it was known by the name of Ilíberis, which later changed to Elvira. It was later dominated by Visigoths whose reign ended in the year 711 with the Islamic conquest.
From their very arrival in Spain, the Moors settled in the city. In 1013, the Zirie dynasty declared it an independent kingdom, and the town underwent a period of expansion. For two and a half centuries Granada experienced its era of maximum splendour, becoming a symbol of economic, artistic and cultural wealth. The main aim of its successive kings was to embellish the city in ways that nobody could match. Its beauty is enhanced by attractive constructions such as the Alhambra and the Generalife. Granada was the last Islamic bastion in Spain and with King Boabdil the Nasrid dynasty came to an end, when he handed over the keys of the city to the Catholic Monarchs in 1492 and agreed the terms of surrender in Santa Fe.
From the city's Arab past remain many monuments, quarters, gardens, dozens of small squares or "plazas", hidden corners and fountains, which tell us of the spell cast by a past history surrounded by legend. In contrast with Muslim Granada are the Renaissance and Baroque areas of the Christian era. The city is home to one of the country's oldest universities, whose students contribute to an animated cultural and civil life.
Granada today constantly surprises the visitor with the contrast between old and new, between areas such as the Albaicín or the Alhambra, with their hidden corners which fill the soul with peace and memories of times gone by, and the bustling lower part of the city, full of life and colour, of people coming and going, with its bars and shops.
A few kilometres away is one of Spain's best ski resorts, and at less than an hour's journey is the Mediterranean, with attractive, tropical beaches..