A European trip for the cash conscious traveller

A European trip for the cash conscious traveller

Here’s how it all started. My first European trip. Imagine a young South African that’s never been outside the country, finally doing so for the first time in Europe. I’ve never experienced anything outside South Africa aside from the occasional road trip to the West Coast and Garden Route.

I spent a lot of time wondering and imagining what it would be like to walk the cobbled streets of Paris and savour delicate mussels in Italy. I often found myself daydreaming about discovering the wonder in Germany and Switzerland. To my surprise, my first European trip was much more than I could have imagined. One of the highlights of my European trip was visiting the beautiful city of Granada in Spain. Here’s what I got up to during my two-day stay in Granada, Spain.

European trip

Granada, Spain: The highlight of my European trip

First attraction on my list – the majestic Alhambra. Lots of people suggested that I visit the immaculate and historical site of Alhambra. After some research I discovered that it is the most visited monument in Spain. The architecture and history is incomparably breath taking.

The Alhambra is both a palace and a fortress that is surrounded by high and age old walls. Once a resident of the Nasrid Dynasty, this historical site will take you back in time and offers you insight into how life was between the 13th and 15th century. This during the reign of the dynasty. During their time of ruling, the Nasrid Dynasty created palaces, towers, and royal apartments with gardens that glorify the city with splendour beauty. And so, visiting the Alhambra was an awe-inspiring experience.

Visiting times at The Alhambra are during mornings and the afternoons. There is an option to visit during the evening; however, this will only allow you access to explore the Nasrid Palaces, the Alcazaba and the General life.

While there are plenty of sites to visit I needed a well-rounded tour of the city, as I had only two days to spare. Because I wanted a mixture of culture, history and majestic scenery, on day two I decided to venture on a hike at the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It was the best decision. The short time I had to spend in Granada meant that I could only spend one night at the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Certainly, time was against me but the effort was well worth the experience.

Early morning I hopped onto the Alas bus that leads to the mountains. I opted for public transport, as parking is an issue at the reserve. Sierra Nevada Mountains has three tiers and many other regions. In addition, there are vast areas to explore at the mountain range. These include:

  • Alpujarras
  • East of Granada
  • Sierras de Alhama Tejeda y Almijara

Exploring Alpujarras was a spectacular moment indeed. The moderate trail includes scenery consisting of white villages, countryside terraces, orchards. Right close to Capileira remember to stop and take in the scenic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. While it is a moderate walk, there are a few uphill sections, however, there is ample time put aside to catch your breath.

I think it’s essential to stay at least one night as there’s so much to explore. For accommodation options, you can have a look at the Trek Sierra Mountains website that also offers information on the various hiking trails and regions of the mountain range.

Europe in general is a spectacular place to explore, especially if it’s your first time out of the country. Considering the cost of travelling these days, I was pleasantly surprised at the experience that I gained. I’m already planning my next European trip and with there being so many affordable European trips, I’ll definitely be returning soon.

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