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WHEN YOU GO:   Granada, Spain

Getting There:

Granada is about 420 km south of Madrid. Depending on the U.S. departure city, flights are available to Madrid by American, TWA, and Delta. Granada has its own airport and connections are available from Madrid to Granada on Iberia Lineas. It may be cheaper to rent a car (Auto Europe, Europe-By-Car, or Hertz) and drive from Madrid to Granada via Autoroute E-5 to N 323, or to take the train. There are two daily Madrid-Granada trains, one of which is overnight. The 1-800 phone numbers and Web links for these airlines and autos are available at this magazine’s Airlines and Autos pages.

If you are traveling elsewhere in Spain and/or Europe by train, you may want to consider a Spain or Eurail pass. These are available from Europe Through the Back Door, Inc., (206) 771-8303 and Europe by Eurail.

Staying There:

There are a number of lodging choices in Granada. We stayed in the Hotel Macia on the Plaza Nueva, within walking distance of all the historic sights, and nearby many restaurants and cafés. Staying at the Alhambra is also an option, where the Parador Nacional San Francisco and some hotels are located.

A variety of lodging accommodations and eating establishments for Granada are described in detail in Rick Steves' Spain and Portugal, which also provides excellent Spain itineraries and information. The Michelin Green Guide: Spain provides an excellent map and history, and description of the Alhambra and other Granada sites, as well as other major attractions in Spain.. These and other books on travel in Spain and Europe are available via the amazon.com link below.

Fast Facts:

Granada has a population of over 200,000 people. Even though it is a sizable city, all the historic sites are within a 20-minute walk of the Plaza Nueva. Average annual temperature is 60 degrees F., hot in summer, but pleasant in the spring and fall, the major tourist season. The currency for Spain is the Spanish Peseta with one US dollar equal to about 148.70 ESP (Oct. 1997). Spain’s national train system is the RENFE.

Useful WWW sites for Granada are:

More than 150 free online Spanish lessons: http://www.learnalanguage.com/learn-spanish/
The City of Granada: history, hotels, restaurants, useful phone numbers, sites, and more
All About Granada: sightseeing, eateries, fiestas, nightlife, weather
A Tour through Granada’s famous sites: the Alhambra, etc.
A Beginner’s Guide to Tapas in Granada: what they are, where to find them
Map of Spain: with tourist destination links
AmeriSpan: Spanish Immersion, Volunteer/Intern and Educational Travel programs

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