I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

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BENIDORM
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I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby BENIDORM » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:43 am

YES, Now that the New Year has arrived one of my Resolutions is to make a determined effort to visit the Alhambra in Granada.

Wow ..I hear you say-----you've never visited the Alhambra ?

Well yes actually I have ..in the 1970's.!
And despite visiting Granada very often over the years for one reason or another I've never actually got around to doing the visit.
Probably what puts me off is having to be herded around with crowds of tourists, I like to meander and quietly drink in the history and atmosphere and do a bit of relaxed time travelling...
So what I need now is advice about the best time to make my pilgrimage and any good tips, so if anyone has been recently I would really appreciate your help..
Regards,
Gordon :thumbup:

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costakid
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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby costakid » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:50 am

And i am very interested in the answers as we have never done the tour for the very same reasons. Its bad enough at the airports being treated like cattle.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby Gasman » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:40 am

Beni -we find ourselves perhaps in a similar situation with still lots to see in Sevilla and even throughout Huelva province, but dont get round to it until we have visits from friends and family, then we get to tick off another (ro more) on the tourist trail. Would you find it more easy to become a tourist and visit when you have someone else visiting so you can share the experience ...
Certainly the times to visit the Alhambra have got to be when fewest tourists are likely to be about, though with all the Junta is doing to encourage tourists from far and wide all year round, that is becoming difficult to estimate - early spring might be nice, say end March BEFORE the easter crowds!

BENIDORM
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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby BENIDORM » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:15 pm

Costakid & Gasman,
First ..Good to hear that I'm not the only expat who doesn't get around to doing the 'tourist circuit'.!

Probably it would be best to join in with visiting 'tourists' to go, however we only seem to get visitors during the summer months and I hate trailing around in the heat, so probably Spring could be a good time.. :thumbup:
I was chatting with some locals and they have lived all their lives near the 'Alhambra' and have not visited either, and I have relatives who have only visited Spain a couple of times but have visited more of the tourist spots than me, bit embarrassing ..really...
So anymore good tips gratefully received....

Regards,
Gordon

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby El Cid » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:46 pm

It should never get overcrowded in high season as the number of visitors are limited in each entry slot. Obviously off peak may result in smaller numbers for each slot. You have to book in advance and are allocated a slot at that time.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby olive » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:42 pm

We have been half a dozen times and like you Beni first went more years ago than we care to remember. In those days you could drive right up to the entrance and park for free. No timed tickets and no hordes making photos difficult. The last time was with friends and was a modern experience. Drive straight up to the pay park via a dual carriageway. Still manage to see new things.

I would second not going in the heat of summer.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby Wicksey » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:45 pm

Benidorm I am the same about the UK .... there are many places I have never seen, like Cornwall, Wales plus many interesting towns and cities. I have travelled here a bit though, and am trying to make the effort to see more of Spain, especially places off the beaten track.

I think everywhere now is a lot busier than it used to be. We went to the Alhambra a couple of times in the early 2000s and as Olive says, there was no queuing and no timed tickets. We just wandered about and had the place to ourselves in some areas. I must admit I have heard such horror stories about some tourist spots like Venice, that I am reluctant to even go there as I don't like crowds or having to jostle for a glimpse of a tourist sight. I think with the advent of cheap travel and the increase in cruises, many of the touristic hotspots are very busy now. Even Malaga has many more cruise ships in dock than it ever did a few short years ago, throughout the winter too.

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gus
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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby gus » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:20 pm

It’s a couple of years since we last did a trip to the Alhambra but , I must say, I don’t recall being overcome with “swarms” of tourists. It is true that you get a timed slot for visiting the Nasrid Palace but this only applies for entrance to the palace - once in you can wander at your leisure (as I recall it).
Remember there is no time constraint on access or time spent in the Generalife.
And I would agree, early spring is the time to visit.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby chrissiehope » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:22 pm

I thought the booked time was only for the Nasrid Palaces ? When we last went, a few years ago, that was the only time restricted bit - the rest was go as & when you want.
Just seen gus's post, saying the same ;-)
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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby El Cid » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:35 pm

That’s right but there is loads of room in the gardens and you can stay as long as you like, so presumably that’s why it is not controlled in the same way.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby Miro » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:03 pm

The only thing I can add is, from our most recent experience, having previously visited in the day time - do NOT bother going at night. We thought it would be very atmospheric and pretty; it was not, it was just dark - very dark. So dark that we couldn't read any of the inscriptions without using the flashlight on my mobile phone.
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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby katy » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:24 pm

Wicksey wrote:I think everywhere now is a lot busier than it used to be. We went to the Alhambra a couple of times in the early 2000s and as Olive says, there was no queuing and no timed tickets. We just wandered about and had the place to ourselves in some areas. I must admit I have heard such horror stories about some tourist spots like Venice, that I am reluctant to even go there as I don't like crowds or having to jostle for a glimpse of a tourist sight. I think with the advent of cheap travel and the increase in cruises, many of the touristic hotspots are very busy now. Even Malaga has many more cruise ships in dock than it ever did a few short years ago, throughout the winter too.


Yes mass tourism has ruined most popular landmarks. I am glad I saw most years ago. Haven't been to Alhambra since the late seventies and it was full then, Ticketing doesn't really help as they still allow too many. If I were to go would choose early spring, a day when there are no cruise ships in Malaga (a five thousand passenger ship will probably see at least thousand heading for granada) and in the afternoon. Many people pay money to see famous sites and just wander through looking at it through their iPhone or camera.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby elusive » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:38 pm

Anytime other than the heat of summer is a good time.aslong as the sun is out winter is fine too. Spring early summer is prob the nicest for flowers etc. I've only been once when we came here on hols before we moved.that was the begining of july and it wasnt busy.collected our pre booked tickets from the machines at the entrance and your straight in.As others said the only timed entry is for the palace which involves queing but its only a small part of the entire grounds.the rest you can just wander as you like aslong as you remember you entry slot for the palace.i might go again in the future but unless you have a real passion for the place to me its a case of once you have seen it you have seen it type place.parking is very easy right next to the entrance.if you want to go into granada afterwards i would leave the car there (fines if you drive in the centre without permission) and either get the shuttle bus down or we got a taxi 7 euros or so to the mirador square opposite the alhambra in the albacin for views of the palace then walk back down through the arab quarter to the centre

I think people are the same anywhere interms of not visiting places of intrest that they live near.its a case of i live here i can see it anytime i want so never bother getting round to it.or only visiting somewhere very rarely.one of the reasons we came here was to see as many places as possible as its easier and certainly cheaper to do it from here than the uk.we have got through alot of our bucket list in the last few years and visited places we had never heard of until we came.the more off the standard tourist places that normally get advertised to brits. Places like ubeda and baeza, montefrio guadix type places.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby markwilding » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:55 pm

Sometimes having a few tourists around creates atmosphere. We have spent a few days this week in Venice and it being wet meant there were hardly any people in St Marks Square. It was rather disappointing.

On Friday the weather was much better and being a long weekend there were more people and it was much nicer.

I suppose it's a fine balance because I've read that when the Cruise ships are in, it's so packed you can't move.

I visited the Alhambra in August about 10 years ago, I have to say don't remember it being over crowded and it was possible to wander round at a comfortable pace,

Beni, I would say it's well worth a visit.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby BENIDORM » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:39 am

That's Great..
Many thanks to all members of the 'A.Team' for your advice and thoughts...'The Time Team' really appreciates all your help. :thumbup:

So now I will plan our visit..early spring, as suggested and maybe we will see some other members, like us, who have never got around to visiting this very important historical site..
I'm particularly interested in following the steps of the artist M.C.Escher who spent several years, I believe, sketching and forming the ideas for his paintings, which I have always admired.

Also, while we are discussing visiting historical and interesting sites, has anyone visited the Federico Garcia Lorca houses and trail ?
We have very recently spent a full day visiting, starting with the house of his birth through to the lonely hillside where he met his violent and tragic death.
It was a very interesting and moving experience , and I did on the day 'write it up' with my own system of keywords and was going to report on it here on the forum, but wasn't sure if anyone would be interested in reading my report, the day was very thought provoking for us.
Regards,
Gordon.
Last edited by BENIDORM on Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fincalospinos
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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby fincalospinos » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:14 am

Hi Benidorm,

I went last month to visit the Alhambra, here are a few tips.

First of all, unless you want a guided tour, buy your tickets from this site https://tickets.alhambra-patronato.es/en,
There is a lot to see, so allow at least an hour between your anticipated arrival time and your entry to the Nasarid Palace.
When you pay you can download a ticket voucher, and when you arrive at the ticket office you take this voucher and exchange it for a pass.
If you are a pensioner, you get a discount. If you do get a reduced rate, remember to take ID and proof of age with you.

To get to the Alhambra from the city, you can either get a taxi ( arounnd 7 euros), or hop on one of the buses from the centre for 1.40 euros. These run at approx 10 minute intervals and are very reliable.

I would suggest that you arrive as early as possible, particularly in the summer, because although there are plenty of shady areas it can get very warm.

Try and avoid the height of summer, school holidays and fiestas, as it gets very busy and the gardens are not at their best.

We spent around 4 hours visiting the gardens,the palace and Generalife, but still didnt see it all, so allow yourselves plenty of time.
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Wicksey
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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby Wicksey » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:35 am

Elusive, I second Ubeda and Baeza, and we came back home through the Cazorla national park area. Also as you suggest, walking around the old town Granada is recommended and through the Albaicin up to the viewpoint Mirador San Nicolas which we always do when visiting the city.

Extremadura too was a big favourite trip away. Trujillo, Casares and Merida where they have fantastic Roman ruins and the place was pretty empty too when we went a few years back.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby elusive » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:49 am

Casares merida etc is on my list.its just abit of a drive along with valencia also cartagena. And although ive been to seville a couple of times we want to see carmona and ecija etc so are planning a couple of nights in carmona soon.

Preigo de cordoba is lovely aswell. A palce i had never heard of until our spanish class had a end of year day trip there.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby katy » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:26 am

Yes, I would recommend Carmona, not as busy as Sevilla. My Brother used to have a house there. Extremadura is good, not so full of tourists. Once drove an inland route from Ronda to Cadiz, saw a castle in the background and drove through a few lanes. Completely deserted, ruined but possible to walk around the battlements. No ticket office, just abandoned.

If you want to splash out have lunch in the Parador in the Alhambra. Bit pricey but has a lovely courtyard to eat outside.

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Re: I Really Must Make More Effort !!!

Postby markwilding » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:32 am

Extremadura is a long term goal as well as the area around Cadiz. I'm not going to recommend places to visit in the far south of Spain because most members know it far better.

If you get the chance Ávila is a beautiful castle city well worth a visit.


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