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Real (Acera del Darro; per hr/day 1.
45/17) .
Free parking is available at the Alhambra car parks.
Taxi If you’re after a taxi, head for Plaza Nueva, where they line up.
Most fares withinthe city cost between 4.
50 and 8.
Around Granada Granada is surrounded by a fertile plain called La Vega, planted with poplar grovesand crops ranging from melons to tobacco.
The Vega was an inspiration to FedericoGarcía Lorca, who was born and died here.
The Parque Federico García Lorca,between the villages of Víznar and Alfacar (about 2.
5km from each), marks the sitewhere Lorca and hundreds, possibly thousands, of others are believed to have beenshot and buried by the Nationalists at the start of the civil war.
FUENTE VAQUEROS The touchingly modest house where Lorca was born in 1898, in this otherwiseunremarkable suburb 17km west of Granada, is now the Casa Museo FedericoGarcía Lorca ( 958 51 64 53; www.museogarcialorca.org; Calle Poeta Federico García Lorca 4; admission 2; guided visits hourly 10am-2pm & 5-7pm Tue-Sat) .
The place brings his spirit to life, with numerous charming photos,posters and costumes from his plays, and paintings illustrating his poems.
A shortvideo captures him in action with the touring Teatro Barraca.
Ure?a ( 958 45 41 54) buses to Fuente Vaqueros (1.
55, 20 minutes) leavefrom Avenida de Andaluces in front of Granada train station, roughly once an hourfrom 9am during the week, and at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 5pm on weekends andholidays.
Sierra Nevada True to their name, Spain’s highest mounta?ins rise like icy sentinels behind the cityof Granada, culminating in the rugged summit of Mulhacén (3479m), mainlandSpain’s highest peak.
But the snowcapped mountains you see shimmering in thebackground of all those scenic Alhambra postcards are just the tip of the iceberg.the Sierra Nevada proper stretches 75km west to east from Granada into Almeríaprovince.
The upper reaches of the range form the 862-sq-km Parque NacionalSierra Nevada, Spain’s biggest national park, with a rare high-altitude environmentthat is home to about 2100 of Spain’s 7000 plant species.
Andalucía’s largest ibexpopulation (about 5000) is here too.
Surrounding the national park at lower altitudesis the 848-sq-km Parque Natural Sierra Nevada .
The mounta?ins and Las Alpujarras valleys comprise one of the most spectacular areas in Spain, and the areaoffers wonderful opportunities for walking, horse riding, climbing, mountain bikingand, in winter, good skiing and snowboarding.
ESTACIóN DE ESQUí SIERRA NEVADA The ski station Sierra Nevada Ski ( 902 708090; www.sierranevadaski.com) ,at Pradollano, 33km from Granada on the A395, often has better snow conditionsand weather than northern Spanish ski resorts, so it can get very crowded on weekends and holidays in season.
A few of the 85 marked runs start almost at thetop of 3395m-high Veleta.
There are cross-country routes and a dedicated snowboard area, plus a raft of other activities for nonskiers.
In summer you canmountain bike, ride horses and more.
In winter Tocina ( 958 46 50 22) operates three daily buses (four on the weekends) to the resort from Granada’s bus station (5/8 one way/return, one hour).
Outside the ski season there’s just one daily bus (9am from Granada, 5pm from theski station).
A taxi from Granada costs about 50.
TWIN PEAKS The Sierra Nevada’s two highest peaks are Mulhacén (3479m) and Veleta (3395m).
Two of three known as Los Tresmiles, because they rise above 3000m, they’re on the western end of the range, close to Granada.
From the ski station on the mountains’ north flank, a road climbs up and over to Capileira, the highest village in the Barranco de Poqueira in the Alpujarras on the south side, but it’s closed to motor vehicles on the highest stretch.
From late June to the end of October the national park operates two shuttle buses to give walkers access to the upper reaches of the range – or just a scenic guided drive.
One bus runs up from 3km above the ski station, starting at the national park information post at Hoya de la Mora ( during bus-service season approx 8.
30pm & 3.
30pm) .
The other leaves from the town of Capileira in Las Alpujarras.
Tickets are 5 one way or 9 return.
From the end of the bus route on the north side, it’s about 4km up Veleta, an ascent of about 370m with 1? hours’ walking (plus stops); or 14km to the top of Mulhacén, with four to five hours’ walking.
From the Mirador de Trevélez (the end stop on the Capileira side) it’s around three hours to the top of Mulhacén (6km, 800m ascent).
If you want to make it an overnight trip, you can bunk down for the night at the Refugio Poqueira ( 958 34 33 49; Mulhacén, Sierra Nevada; per person 15) .
The refuge is open year-round.
Information The Centro de Visitantes El Dornajo ( 958 34 06 25; 9.
30pm & 4.
30pm) , about 23km from Granada, on the A395 towards the ski station, has plenty of information on the Sierra Nevada.
Knowledgeable, English-speaking staff are happy to help.
Las Alpujarras Below the southern flank of the Sierra Nevada lies the 70km-long jumble of valleysknown as Las Alpujarras.
Arid hillsides split by deep ravines alternate with oasislikewhite villages set beside rapid streams and surrounded by gardens, orchards andwoodlands.
An infinity of good walking routes links valley villages and heads upinto the Sierra Nevada: the best times to visit are between April and mid-June, andmid-September and early November.
A recent upsurge in tourism, and New Age and foreign (mainly British) settlershas given the area a new dimension.
History In the 10th and 11th centuries Las Alpujarras, settled by Berbers, was a great silkworm farm for the workshops of Almería.
But after Granada fell to Ferdinandand Isabella in 1492, the industry languished and many villages were abandoned.
South from Granada by Gerald Brenan, an Englishman who lived in Las Alpujarras village of Yegen in the 1920s and ’30s, gives a fascinating picture of what was then a very isolated, superstitious corner of Spain.
Another Englishman,Chris Stewart, settled here more recently, as a sheep farmer near órgiva.
His entertaining best-selling Driving over Lemons tells of life as a foreigner in Las Alpujarras in the ’90s.
LANJARóN Known as ‘the gateway to the Alpujarras’, Lanjarón’s heyday was during the late19th and early 20th centuries, when it was a fashionable balneario (spa).
Today,although Lanjarón water is sold all over Spain, the Balneario ( 958 77 00 137;www.balneariodelanjaron.com; Avenida de la Constitución; 1hr bath 30) is visited largely by elderly Spanish cure-seekers.
Yet the town has authentic charms.
Traditional family life is lived along its main streets, Avenida de la Alpujarra andAvenida Andalucía.
The Museo de Agua (Water Museum; 10am-2pm & 6-9pmTue-Sun) explores water’s link to agriculture, industry and health, along with medicinal qualities of Lanjarón’s water.
There’s an exhibition hall and an audiovisual show.
There are plenty of hotels.
Hotel Andalucía ( 958 77 01 36; www.hotelandalucia.com; Avenida de la Alpujarra 15-17; s/d 42/52; ) close tothe balneario is a good budget option, with clean if bland rooms and an outdoorpool.
Eat at seafood restaurant Los Mariscos (Aveni
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