Throughout the Coronavirus lockdown, the world has been suspended in a time frame of some disbelief and sobering news reports. But perhaps now, with governments in Europe setting out their programmes for the gradual easing of lockdown and travel restrictions, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
A difficult time for so many, it has also been a time to dream and to plan. As soon as we can get back to the New Normal, or whatever we are in preparation for, we will all surely need a getaway. From the army of angels in our Health Service to the ocean of new home office workers, typing away on sofas and dining room tables – all of us who are experiencing COVID 19 will need a new horizon to look forward to.
You may not know when your next trip is going to be just yet but you can choose where. How about Spain, where, despite the lockdown, the sun still shines and the recovery, at the time of writing, is on the up?
A city break to Granada is not too far to go but would be just the prescription to fit the bill.
Whether you’re a first time visitor or a returning traveller, Granada is a great choice for a city break post-pandemic.
Not too large, just big enough to be able to walk around and explore, not too much of a shock to the system when we have been so aligned to self-isolation.
The weather of course – walking around in mellow, healing Spanish sunshine, with lots of places to escape the daytime heat as well, and of course, the most romantic city to see the sunset over the towers and walls of the Alhambra Palace.
Explore the small, hidden streets, quiet corners, shaded squares and leafy parks side by side with city life and lively bars and restaurants, all waiting to be discovered, or rediscovered.
Granada | GranadaSpain
“The truth is, that I’m beginning to wonder if there is any greater pleasure in life than visiting Granada. …and it is going back and visiting it again.”
Choose the food
Spain and food – a classic combination. Whether you plump for a great value menu del día with three courses including bread and your drink, or a never-ending desgustación of little plates in order to taste absolutely everything, it’s always a good choice.
Is there any greater pleasure than eating out of doors? Sit in the sunshine of Granada and prepare to be wowed by each little plate of food called Tapas which accompanies every drink – and of course, all the food comes included in the cost of that drink.
It’s very easy to either get roaring drunk or extremely full in Granada for very little of your holiday cash! Spirit measures here are also of gargantuan proportions – but when life gives you lemons – make Gin and Tonic. A student city, many of the bars have twigged that larger portions bring attract the custom of poor students who would rather socialise than stay home and cook – so some of the plates are pretty generous too. Comfort eating was never so good. Bring your appetite when you book that trip to Granada!
Tapa of gazpacho | GranadaSpain
Choose the sights
We know already that long-distance travel will be strictly controlled for some time post-pandemic and that short-haul will likely most travellers first foray into the New Normal.
Even so, it’s likely that cities such as Granada will not see the high numbers of foreign tourists it is used to. This should be viewed as an advantage to the travellers lucky enough to visit, as fewer crowds make for a more pleasant sightseeing experience.
The majority of the Alhambra and Generalife can be explored outside in the open air – allowing visitors to observe a love of safe social distancing. This sprawling hilltop fortress complex encompasses royal palaces, serene patios, and reflecting pools from the Nasrid dynasty, as well as the fountains and orchards of the Generalife gardens, and you can explore them all in comfort.
Be sure to also see:
The Cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación
Capilla Real where the Royals are interred
The Albaicín (The Gypsy Quarter) and the many Miradors (Viewpoints)
La Alcaicería (Arabic spices and souvenirs)
Sacromonte Abbey and the Lead Books
San Juan de Dios and the breathtaking gold interior
Granada Cathedral | GranadaSpain
Choose the outdoors
Now more than ever people are appreciating time spent out in the open air and enjoying nature. Granada has a stunning coastline, the Costa Tropical, offering beautiful beaches with clears waters.
The Sierra Nevada has so much to offer the visitor. Pretty whitewashed villages, set in a region of outstanding natural beauty and exceptional bio-diversity, attract people from all over the world.
The virtually unspoiled slopes of the Alpjuarras are particularly stunning in the springtime, when the wildflowers are out and the summer heat has yet to arrive, or in September to October, when the days are bright, and the hillsides ablaze with autumn colours.
You can explore this fascinating region by bus, car, cycle, on foot or even on horseback.
View of Sierra Lújar, Alpujarras | GranadaSpain
Choose to Contribute
Remember that tourism is one of the industries worst hit by COVID 19, worldwide. Governments will do all they can to soften the blow, but the real heroes will be the returning visitors who enrich the local economies that require rebuilding on a massive scale, and keep breathing life into such places as Granada.
Your choice is your voice and will be a large chunk of restoration to Spanish tourism, and to the wonderful city of Granada.
When can you safely travel to Granada?
In a press conference held on 23 May by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, held to discuss the latest measures being taken by the Spanish Government during the ongoing pandemic, it was announced that the tourist sector should begin preparations for the upcoming summer season.
Sánchez encouraged Spaniards to start planning their vacations, and said that from July, foreign tourism would return to Spain “in safe conditions.” The plan is to lift the two-week coronavirus quarantine requirement for overseas arrivals from 1 July onwards.
Many museums and theatres would also be reopening under this next phase of de-escalation.