Between Salobreña and Motril there's the CN323, a road which leads to Granada. After leaving behind the bed of Guadalfeo, the road climbs between slopes coved with almond and fruit trees and passes through lovely scenery. At a distance of 27km. there is the turn off for Lanjaron, the point of departure of the itinerary through the Upper Alpujarra, which will be described later on. From this point onward the excursion takes place at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. (Total length of the trip: 308km.)
Granada (67km. from the coast) is one of the most attractive cities in Spain and visiting is a must when the traveller is on the Costa del Sol. Both the Nasrid palaces, which belong to the most outstanding sights of Islamic culture, as well as the Gothic and renaissance buildings raised after The Christian conquest would individually justify a much longer journey than the one suggested herein. A perfectly preserved Moorish area - El Albaicin -, a very pleasant urban centre and an extremely valuable art treasure are further weighty arguments in favour of prolonging the visit as much as possible.
La Alhambra and El Generalife occupy a series of fenced hills converted into gardens with a really magnificent panorama. A visit to the halls, rooms and patios (inner courts) - which may be described as the architecture of pleasure -, to the areas and gardens, where water is an ever present element in the pools and irrigation channels, is something the traveller will never forget. Among the Nasrid buildings there stands an imposing edifice designed in the purest Italianised Mannerism to serve as a royal residence. This is the Palace of Carlos V, today a Fine Arts Museum.
A walk includes the added attraction of the magnificent background consisting of the Sierra Nevada and El Albaicin as well as the Christian part of Granada city. Inside La Alhambra there is a Parador, which occupies a convent standing on the site of an Arab palace.
La Carrera del Darro, a boulevard on the Darro, one of the two Granada rivers, lies between the towers of La Alhambra and El Albaicin. The aristocratic western façades along the river on this side are the boundary of this lovely area, which is almost a proclamation of urban Muslim architecture. Small, winding streets climb the slope of The Albaicin between whitewashed houses, cypresses and palm trees. The panorama once again fully justifies the pleasant walk.
La Carrera del Darro gives access to Christian Granada, where the Cathedral should undoubtedly be visited first. Los Reyes Chapel, a part of the church, is a magnificent example of Isabelline Gothic: the sepulchres of the Catholic Monarchs and the main reredos belong to the Renaissance. The Cathedral as a whole is of the same style and it is considered a key example of Spanish classicist architecture. The collections of paintings and sculptures contain very valuable works of art.
Other sights impossible to omit are San Jeronimo Church, the Royal Hospital and the sacristy of La Cartuja, the latter being perhaps the best example of Andalusian Baroque. On a walk through the centre the traveller discovers areas exclusive to this city: La Alcaiceria, which is a maze of little, narrow streets like passageways, Bilbarrambla Square, El Corral del Carbon and other places of similar attraction.
Outside the city there is yet another place of interest: El Sacromonte, an area where gypsies have their cave dwellings, some of which are used as restaurants and for flamenco shows today.
A local road climbs rapidly to a height of 2,500m. in the Sierra Nevada. The skiing resort, the Parador and other facilities have turned these parts into a crowded place. The same road continues to climb almost as far as the Veleta, a 3,396m. peak, in the vicinity of the Mulhacen (46km. from Granada), which is the highest peak (3,482m) in the Iberian peninsula. The view from there covers the whole southern slope of the sierra and the region of Las Alpujarras. There's a forest track between the Mulhacen and the village of Capileira, but it is suggested that the traveller take a much longer, though much safer, route, by which he gets to know the most fascinating parts of Las Alpujarras, a region which treats its Moorish inheritance with the utmost care.