Most people would agree that Granada is one of the most spectacular and charming cities in Spain, which explains why it welcomes so many visitors every year. However, there are incredibly beautiful towns near Granada, some of them under an hour from the city, which can be visited in only one day and constitute lovely getaway destinations.
Nerja, in the province of Málaga, is a great place to visit near Granada. If you go in the summer, you might want to check out its most popular beaches: El Chucho, Burriana, El Chorrillo and Carabeillo. Apart from that, the balcony of Europe is a must-see oj Nerja, as well as the route of the river Chillar. Another interesting plan to do there is visiting the caves of Nerja. They extend for over 5000 metres, which makes them one of the largest stalactite caves in the world.
The beaches of Almuñécar stand out due to the fact that they have gravel instead of sand. The most visited beaches in Almuñécar are Costa Tropical, La Caletilla, Calabajío and Fuentepiedra. Those who enjoy cultural tourism will love the castle of San Miguel, the archaeological museum of Cueva de los Siete Palacios, the church of La Encarnación and the botanical garden of El Majuelo.
We will head inland from the coast to visit one of the most beautiful towns in Granada: Guadix. Some of its most remarkable corners include the Roman theatre, the palace of Villalegre, the cathedral, the square of La Constitución and the gate of Arco de Torcuato. If you still have some time left in Guadix, you can also visit the church of Santiago, the citadel and the lookout of La Magdalena. However, the most distinctive site in Guadix has to be the neighbourhood of Barrio de las Cuevas, which hosts more than 2000 cave-houses.
Salobreña rests on the lovely coast of Granada too, and this town is one of the closest to the city. Apart from the beautiful beaches of Salobreña, like La Caletilla or La Guardia, there are many other places worth visiting there. For instance, we have a castle, a beautiful old town and the rock of Peñón de Salobreña. Besides, if you wish to enjoy some stunning views of the town, we suggest checking out the lookouts of El Postigo and Enrique Morente. It is also worth noting that, in Salobreña, they harvest avocados, mangoes, custard apples, papayas and guavas, so there we have a little tropical corner in the province of Granada.
Pampaneira lies at the very heart of the Alpujarra region. This charming town belongs to the Sierra Nevada National Park, a perfect natural setting for hiking and canyoning. If we visit the town, some interesting spots to explore there are the square of La Libertad, the chocolate factory, the church of Santa Cruz and the fountain of San Antonio. It is also lovely to just wander through its streets and discover all the hidden corners that make Pampaneira so special.
It might not be a typical tourist destination, but Alhama de Granada is doubtlessly one of the most beautiful towns near Granada. We suggest taking a bath at the hot springs at the entrance of the spa resort, which are free to visit. Some other interesting spots in Alhama de Granada are the church of El Carmen, the old prison, the fountain of Wamba, the building known as Casa de la Inquisición (“House of the Inquisition”) and the castle. If you have some spare time in Alhama de Granada, you can also visit the Hospital de la Reina, the church of San Diego, the Roman bridge and the town’s interpretation centre.
One of the must-see towns near Granada is Montefrío, which is one of those places that looks so good in pictures one simply cannot resist the urge to visit it. It stands out for the giant rock on top of the town, where the church and the old castle proudly rise. Besides, the city centre spreads under the rock, hosting the old cemetery, the convent of San Antonio, and the hospital of San Juan de los Reyes. Lastly, it is worth mentioning that in this town we can find the church of La Encarnación, with a peculiar circular floor plant.
The last town near Granada we will visit today is Alcalá la Real, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. Despite the fact that it belongs to the province of Jaén, it is only 58 kilometres away from the city of Granada. One of its most interesting tourist attractions is the fortress of La Mota, a defensive enclosure that was built between the 13th and 14th centuries, and one of the greatest vestiges of the Nasrid period in Andalusia. Other interesting buildings to visit in Alcalá la Real are the Abacial Palace, the church of San Juan, the Palacete Hilandera and the lookout of San Marcos.
All in all, there are many beautiful towns near Granada one can visit to experience this Andalusian jewel to the fullest. We have seen that a one-day trip can provide us the chance to dive into the history, culture and gastronomy of a place, as well as enjoying the beauty of its surroundings.