Easyjet launches new routes from London & Manchester to Granada.
Low-cost airline Easyjet have will start operating flights to Granada airport in Andalucia from London Gatwick (February) and Manchester (21 July) this year.
The London Gatwick flights will run three times a week all year round (including low season months) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; bringing an estimated 20,000 British visitors to Granada next year (according to the Granada Tourism Board), in addition to those arriving on the existing British Airways service from London City airport.
Photo: Alhambra at sunset, Pepe Marin (Patronato de Alhambra).
In addition, the airline expects to launch up to 15 new routes from Granada to other European cities this year including Milan (Italy), which is set to start in March.
The city´s tourism board is hoping to use these new flights as a way to attract greater numbers of tourists to the province as a whole. Their message at last week´s World Travel Market (WTM) in London being: 'there is more to Granada than the Alhambra Palace'.
We´d agree and in fact we´d say the same for Andalucia as a whole! Granada´s Federico García Lorca airport (also called Granada-Jaén) is well connected by motorway to Jaén and the coast, and is a convenient gateway for exploring less-well-known regions of Andalucia such as Priego de Cordoba & the Sierra Subbetica, Antequera & El Torcal and Ubeda & Baeza. Read more below…
Photo: Priego de Cordoba´s old town (Casa Olea).
GRANADA - GATEWAY TO HIDDEN ANDALUCIA...
* Alcala La Real
A small market town, with good local wines and a craft brewery, dominated by the impressive Fortaleza La Mota hill-top castle which has recently reopened after years of painstaking archaeological restoration.
Photo: Fortaleza La Mota castle (Alcala La Real) with views to the Sierra Nevada.
* Priego de Cordoba & Sierra Subbetica
Home of the world´s finest olive oils and great for hiking and biking in the Sierras Subbeticas Natural Park - designated a UNESCO Global Geopark for its stunning karst landscape. Located half way between Cordoba and Granada, Priego is the capital of Andalucian Baroque and has many traditional festivals, including Semana Santa (Easter).
Photo: aerial view of Priego de Cordoba´s cliff-top old town, Joan Vendrell (Casa Olea).
* Antequera & El Torcal
A lovely, historic town with megalithic dolmens & nice walking in the El Torcal Natural Park, both declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016. Antequera is well connected by road and rail, situated at the axis of major motorways and fast-train links (the new AVE Antequera-Granada line is due to open in 2017).
Photo: the fantasy filmset landscape of El Torcal natural park, near Antequera.
Worth a visit for the views from its hill-top Santa Catalina castle, its enormous cathedral and beautifully-preserved 11th-century Moorish baths and Art Naif museum in the excellent Baños Arabes Cultural Centre (Villardompardo Palace).
Photo: 11th-century Arabic baths in Jaen.
* Ubeda & Baeza
Now more accessible than ever, thanks to the brand new “Olive Motorway” from Jaén (opened 2016), these two UNESCO World Heritage cities are home to some of Spain´s finest Renaissance architecture and yet remain delightfully “off the trail”.
Photo: Ubeda in Jaen province, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
* Sierra Nevada skiing
Although not comparable with the Alps, the Sierra Nevada does still offer 124 runs and over 100km+ of slopes. A great option for a fun day or two´s skiing combined with the city, cultural sites, olive groves or coast. Europe´s most southerly ski resort, and Spain´s highest, it is usually a good option for early and late season snow.
* Costa Tropical
The quietest stretch of the Costa del Sol with lower-key resorts like Nerja, picturesque rocky coves (the best of which can´t be reached by car), white villages just inland and tropical fruits cultivated such as mango, papaya, kaki, avocado and sugar cane.
CASA OLEA is an award-winning boutique B&B, located near Priego de Cordoba in the Sierra Subbetica mountains, around an hour´s drive from Ubeda, Baeza, Granada and Cordoba, and a comfortable base for hiking and biking in the surrounding hills and olive groves.
Voted in the “Top25 B&Bs/Inns in Spain” from 2011-2016,
Tripadvisor Travellers Choice Awards.
Photo: Casa Olea B&B near Priego de Cordoba, Sierras Subbeticas.