Monday, 7 December 2015

Andalusian Fantasy

Looking for a Christmas present?

This piece of pianomusic made by composer Lionel Sainsbury (UK 1958) is easy going piano music, with influences of latin and flamenco music.

See more about the composer on his own website

The studio Navona Records has released this record.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Biking in Sierra Nevada and the Alpujarras

This year the Vuelta de España, the famous Tour of Spain 21 days biking event ended one day in Capileira.

Froome and company ascended quickly the last part of the 181km from Jaen to Capileira, whereas we mortal people suffer going up all the way from Orgiva at some 450m elevation to Capileira at some 1500m in only 20km.

Mayka, Chaves, Valverde, Quintana arriving at Alto de Capileira, Vuelta España 2015

But anyway, the Alpujarras is an excellent place for biking, either for roadbikes or mountainbikes.

Prado Grande, septiembre 2015

Last saturday we spotted a group of bikers who came from Granada, went up to the Veleta (3372m) passed the Mulhacen (3492m) and then came down to Capileira to pass Lanjaron to get back to Granada.

Near Prado Grande

We hope you enjoy our photos!

Enjoying the descent

See more photos of the Vuelta de España 28 august 2015
Biking events in the Alpujarras: La Indomable and website of La Indomable (yearly event)
Transnevada: cycle tour around the Sierra Nevada

Where to sleep?

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Free to visit in Granada each saturday

Three monuments can now be visited for free each saturday in Granada. These monuments are: The Bañuelo, Casa del Horno de Oro, and the Palace of Dar al Horra.

The Bañuelo (eleventh century). Carrera del Darro 31

An Arab public bath. It is one of the oldest and best preserved in Spain. It was built in the time of the Taifa Ziri. Opposite the remains of the old bridge of Cadi. Other authors cite it as "bath Palaces" oe "l bath Guadix Gate".

It was called Hammam al-Jawza, it was the bath of the Axares neighborhood (low Albayzin). It has been declared of cultural interest. It was open until the time when Felipe II decided to close it, regarding it as sinful space. Today is accessed through a remodeled Christian home.

Its premises are the changing room, the cold room, the warm room and the hot room. The whole bathroom is covered with star vaults and octagonal skylights to vent and give light. They could be opened and closed to regulate the steam inside.

El Bañuelo

La Casa del Horno de Oro (late fifteenth century) C / Horno del Oro, 14.
Located in the Albayzín, in the "neighborhood Axares

With the changes that were made in the sixteenth century, the Casa del Horno del Oro, is a good example of Moorish house, where both Islamic as Castilian elements are integrated.

Contrasts the simplicity of its exterior amd the intimate character with the beautiful harmony of its interior architecture. As a hispanic-musulman house, the building is centered by a rectangular courtyard with a pool. In the shorter sides are the rooms. The plaster arch that leads to the south room upstairs is from the original construction. A precious polychrome armor covers this room.

Casa del Horno de Oro

Palace of Dar Al-Horra. (XV century palace built on an zirí eleventh century).
Callejon de las Monjas, in the high Albaicin.

The name "Dar Al-Horra" means "House of the Honest".

This was the last house where the Sultana Aixa, wife of Muley and mother of the last king, Boabdil lived. Outside the perimeter of the Alhambra, Palace of Dar Al-Horra, is the clearest example of Moorish palatial architecture by its structure and decor. It has, like all Andalusian houses, a central courtyard with pool, around this the different rooms are distributed.

The most interesting part is the north gate as its viewpoint allows to see a beautiful view of San Cristobal Hill and the western part of Granada. Plasterwork inscriptions reveal the privacy of this house, "blessing", "happiness", "health is life" and "the blessing continues". This palace, was part of a huge estate with gardens and orchards. Isabel the Catholic gave the garden and farm to found the Convent of Santa Isabel la Real.

Patio Dar al Horra

Visiting hours of the monuments:

- From September 15 to March 31 from 10:00 to 17:00.
- From 1 April to 14 September: from 9:30 to 14:30 and 17:00 to 21:00.

More articles about Granada:
About the Madraza
About the Lions of the Alhambra
Monument of Max Moreau
Where to see flamenco

General information for your Iphone; iSpain

Sunday, 23 August 2015

New historicTrain in Andalusia: Train Ventas de Zafarraya

A replica on small scale of the train known as El Tren del Llano, which connected formerly Malaga with Ventas de Zafarraya is now operating a a tourist train on a scenic track.

In 1905 the ‘Ferrocarriles Suburbanos de Malaga’ train company was established with one main mission - to connect Malaga city to Granada. In 1922 the final 31 kilometre stage, from Vélez-Málaga to Ventas de Zafarraya, which had taken 12 years to complete due to the impossibly steep terrain was completed.

In those days it took nearly 5 hours to arrive from Málaga to Ventas de Zafarraya.
But by 1959 with harsh competition from new roads and efficient bus services the train ceased to operate.

Now an initiative of the owner of the old hotel 'La Estación' Francisco Moreno and an engineer of Mare, a company dedicated to save moribund but scenic trainroutes from disappearing, has made that you can enjoy now the new Tren el Llano and visit the museum in the cellars of the hotel with memorabilia from the former train and the hotel.
In the bar and pastry shop Gloria you can remember the old times by all the old photos decorating the walls enjoying a coffee or having a drink.
Hotel Estación de Zafarraya, now bar and pastry shop Gloria.


The train runs nowadays only when there are organised excursions.
You can book through SOHA or calling Francisco Moreno, tel 687547221

Tren del Llano

See for more information: El Tren del Llano or Sohapi

Museo Tren del Llano

Thanks to the information provided by El Sur in English, 14 august 2015

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Boabdil, the last moorish sultan of Spain

Boabdil, the last Moorish sultan was born in the Alhambra palace in 1459, son to his father Muley Hacen and his mother Aixa.
As Muley Hacen did prefer a Christian woman over Aixa, she tried to do everything so that her son occupies the throne. This finally occurs in 1482 with the help of the family Abencerrajes (who are said to be slaughtered later by Muley Hacen in the famous room of the Alhambra, Sala de los Abencerrajes)

Boabdil tried in 1483 he to conquer the village of Lucena, but he isthen  captured and will remain so during three years.
His popular name is 'El Rey Chico' the small king, which refers to the size of his ever smaller getting kingdom.
He died in Fez in 1533, at the age of 74.

Now his robe and his shoes are on exhibition in Toledo in the Museo del Ejercito.

Robe of Boabdil

Photos: El Pais

Museo del Ejercito Toledo
More information about Boabdil you can find on: Wikipedia

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Sun, the Salt and the Sound

This video about Flamenco is absolutely fantastic.
The gala was held to make Flamenco a world heritage asset in 2010.
We hope you will enjoy this as much as we did.

Where to go and see flamenco?

In Granada:
Le Chien Andalou
Jardines de Zoraya
Maria la Canastera 
Cueva los Tarantos 
Cueva la Rocio
Venta el Gallo

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Kings Path or El Caminito del Rey

This stunning path near el Chorro in Malaga province is recently reopened after a thorough renovation project.

Before it was a very dangerous and prohibited to 'walk' on the caminito, as this photo clearly shows:

Caminito del Rey before renovation

But now it is safe again, thanks to the alpinist workers who with aid of helicopters have managed to reconstruct the path.

In the video you can see how the great grandfather of Felipe VI, Alfonso XIII opened  the Kings Path in 1921.

Actual picture of the Caminito

Caminito after renovation

Nowadays you have to make reservations to walk the path.
More information you can find on internet in English, French and German

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Unknown monuments in Granada 1: Carmen of Max Moreau or Carmen of Geraniums

We like to present to you this tipical carmen of Granada, with excellent views onto the Alhambra.
In Granada 'carmen' means a house with garden and vegetable garden enclosed by white painted walls, normally located in the Albaicin or Realejo district.

The Carmen of of Max Moreau we are presenting to you, also known as the Carmen of the Geraniums, is located in the Albaícin district ( adress Calle Nuevo de San Nicolas 12) and was the former dwelling of a Belgian Painter called Max Moreau, who lived here some 30 years.

Self portrait Max Moreau

He gave the carmen and some of his paintings to the city of Granada

Carmen de Max Moreau, Granada

Actually the carmen consists of three independent buildings connected by patios: One of them is used for exhibitions, another one is the studio where Max painted, here you can see his oeuvre and the other recreates the lif of the painter.

Garden Carmen Max Moreau
 Visiting hours:Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00-13:30 and from 16:00 to 18:00, Sunday, Monday and holidays closed.
Durin the summer the house opens from 17:00 till 19:00 in the afternoon.

Entrance fee: free

Phone number: 958-293310

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy 2015!

Hi People,

Some time without any news from us, since we have started our shop Sierra Nevada Outdoor in Orgiva. But we are still renting out all these beautiful houses in Andalusia and you are very much welcome to come over this year and enjoy some relaxing holidays in superb surroundings!

We wish you all a very happy 2015!

Janny & Manuel