Running in Granada

Have you ever been to Granada? It’s an old city in Andalusia, Spain. I’ve been there a couple of times and I love visiting the city center as well as the Alhambra. If you can manage it, try to be there the week before Easter Sunday, when Spanish people celebrate Semana Santa (Holy Week). The daily processions are amazing. Starting on Sunday, and continuing throughout the week, church groups carry heavy statues from their own church to the Cathedral, accompanied by music. It starts late in the afternoon and continues well into the evening. Prepare for a heavy crowd and long waits but it’s totally worth it.

As soon as you know when you will visit Granada, be sure to go online to reserve tickets to visit the Alhambra. They allow a fixed number of visitors every day and tickets sell out rather quickly. You wouldn’t want to miss out on spending at least a half day on the grounds as there is so much to see: the castle walls, the inner palace with the elaborate carvings and the summer residence surrounded by luscious gardens. The Alhambra requires a lot of walking and to get to the entrance from the city center is a bit of an uphill climb. So touring the Alhambra will easily take care of your first 5k of the day.

Nevertheless, if you want a bit more exercise to stay and be able to enjoy the tapas which Granda is famous for, this is the 5k run I embark on when I am visiting Granada. You’ll run a bit outside the city center but I like it because the sidewalks along the river Genil are not too busy and good for running. Part of your run will take you through the park. You will pass the Palacio de Congresos, where the steps offer an excellent workout for a bit of additional cardio if the Alhambra didn’t tire you out. The run as shown below is 3.4 miles (or 5.5km) but there are bridges to cross the river at various places if you want to extend or shorten your run.

One last thing: Granada is only about an hour away from the Sierra Nevada which offers good skiing conditions in winter. I went and explored the Olympic venues – the area is a bit small but you’ll find enough variety for 2 days of ski fun.

Happy Running!

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