Vacations in Granada: Sea and mountain experience / 2 in 1

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Vacations in Granada are a unique experience. Granada is a city of contrasts. With the peaks of the Sierra Nevada just a heartbeat away and the beaches of the Costa Tropical just 70 kilometers to the east. It is one of the few cities in the world where you can ski and swim in the sea on the same day.


It is also one of the most heterogeneous, at least in terms of population, Spanish cities, with the Arab, Jewish, and Gypsy quarters (Albaicín, Realejo, and Sacromonte respectively) bustling with life and giving the city a colorful and distinctive flavor. At the same time, the city’s nightlife is considered to be one of the best in the whole of Andalusia.

Vacations in Granada: Skiing at the Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada is a mountainous massif of Spain belonging to the group of the Betic mountain ranges, specifically to the Penibetic system. It is located between the provinces of Granada and Almería. It is the highest mountain massif in Western Europe, after the Alps. Its maximum altitude is reached at the Mulhacén peak, 3479 m above sea level. In 1986 it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. In 1989 a large area of this mountain massif was declared a natural park and in 1999 a large part of it was considered a national park1 for its botanical, scenic, and natural values.

Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada ski and mountain resort

On its slopes is the Sierra Nevada ski resort, the southernmost in Europe and the highest in the Iberian Peninsula. A 35-minute drive to Granada and a 55-minute drive to Costal de Sol and the Costa Tropical , make the Sierra Nevada ski resort one of the most famous and favorite destinations.

The ski resort of Sierra Nevada is a small to medium-sized resort, next to a small town called Pradollano. This town is built right in the middle of the valley. But at the same time provides a breathtaking view of the plains of Granada and the mountain. Pradollano has plenty of restaurants, bars, clubs, and a busy nightlife, but also a lot of hotels and apartments for solo travelers, families, and couples.

The ski station has been open since 1964 and in the last years regularly holds international competitions and events. It’s a well-equipped friendly resort, that offers something for everyone: down-hill skiing and cross country, snowboarding, snow-show hiking, and sled-riding. A snow park for experienced snowboarders and freestylers, but also ski schools both for children and kids, make it a place for all tastes.

skiing in Sierra nevada

The ski season is typically 5 months, from the end of November until the middle of March. But the Sierra Nevada ski and mountain resort stays open during summer too. With an average temperature of 20 degrees and with a range of outdoor and sporting activities for all ages, make it a perfect destination and a great place to escape the hot days of summer.

Vacations in Granada: Explore Costa Tropical

The coast of Granada is called Costa Tropical because of its exceptional climatic conditions. Thanks to the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada it is protected from the north winds. The sun shines all year round on the Costa Tropical of Granada, warming it generously in winter.

Costa Tropical

The average annual temperature is between 18ºC (in winter) and 25ºC (in summer). With minimum temperatures that do not drop below 14ºC and maximum temperatures of 33ºC (95ºF).

The Costa Tropical of Granada has such an ancient history that dates back to the times of the Carthaginians. There are remains of Roman walls and aqueducts, Arab castles, and churches of the XVI century.

Seventeen municipalities share the denomination of Costa Tropical de Granada. Some of them are inland, located in a surprising enclave between mountains and tropical valleys, such as Jete, Molvízar, or Ítrabo.

The four most important towns of the Costa Tropical of Granada are Motril, Salobreña, Almuñécar, and La Herradura.

The beaches of Costa Tropical

The charm of Costa Tropical’s coasts and what makes them a very special place in their landscapes full of contrasts, as well as their historical and cultural heritage. During most of the year, you can contemplate from them the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada. This creating a beautiful postcard and giving the traveler the possibility to enjoy the sea and the snow all in one day.

vacations in Granada

The Costa Tropical, located between the Costa del Sol and the Costa de Almeria, occupies a privileged strip that has the best conditions and attractions to enjoy an excellent vacation.

The coasts of Granada are not as urbanized as those of the Costa del Sol, and you can find quiet coves with crystal-clear waters.

The Costa Tropical of Granada has large tourist beaches that offer all kinds of services, but also small quiet coves. Above all there are beaches for all tastes and ages. From beaches especially for nudists to sandy beaches suitable for children and families, but also full of beach bars and life for younger generations.

vacations in granada
Here is a list with the most famous beaches in Costa Tropical:
  • Motril Beaches
  • Granada Beach
  • Beach Poniente
  • Calahonda Beach
  • Carchuna Beach
  • Torrenueva Beach

Vacations in Granada are a unique experience. It combines snow, sea, good food and alcohol and of course a lot of fun. And all of these in one day, why not.

Here is a guide for skiing in the Sierra Nevada and one for exploring Beaches in Granada, tips, and what to do.

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