The local Tourist Board for Granada province (El patronato provincial de Turismo de Granada) organized an interesting event at the end of June, called #GRXperience. I already consider myself as a local but after this experience I already want to go back to some of the places that we visited on this 4 day trip.
(Leer el mismo post en Español: #GRXperience )
(Read a similar post in German by @marioschumacher Granada, die Stadt der Kalifen – Alhambra meistbesuchteste Attraktion Spaniens)
The group was made up of 14 Social media experts and also specialists in Tourist marketing from differents areas of Spain. The objective was to show the variety that Granada´s region has to offer to the tourist and share this on Social Networks. I believe that they have achieved their goal!
#GRXperience took place from 28th June to 1st July visiting several different towns and villages throughout the province. The companies participating were able to show the diversity of the area, highlighting lots of rural tourism activities, a vast cultural offer and outdoor adventure trips set in the dramatic countryside. Not forgetting the selection of typical Granada gastronomy and local produce offered to us over the four days was breathtaking.
I ask myself, Is this kind of offer is possible in any other place? Local Tropical fruit, enjoy skiing 5 months of the year, experience hundreds of years of history at the Alhambra palace or visit the megalithic tombs in Gorafe. The province of Granada allows us to savour a varied cultural programme including an exhibition of modern puppets by the Granada company Titeres Etc celebrating 20 years in business at Granada Science Museum (until June 2013) and the spectacular programme of Granada´s International Festival of Music & Dance.
I still haven´t even mentioned the well-known tapas, Flamenco shows, beaches along Granada´s coastline or the famous Arab style tea shops in the lower Albaicin that everyone remembers when thinking about Granada.
I´m English, although I´ve lived in Granada for years. Initially in Lecrin Valley and then in the city of Granada. It amazes me that there are still things unfamiliar to me in the province of Granada. I already knew the Alpujarra villages but it doesn’t matter how many times I revisit I never tire of seeing the spectacular views or seeing the typical houses in these white hillside villages.
Bloggers and Social Networks experts from Madrid, Bilbao, Barcelona and Valencia have witnessed themselves that the region of Granada has alot more to offer tan the Alhambra palace, magnificent though it is. They have experienced the quality in tourism in the area and seen the professional service that is given to the visitors in this corner of western Andalusia.
The kind of accommodation that was chosen for this group was chosen intentionally to show the different options available. Cave houses in the North of Granada, a touristic village in the Alpujarra region and 2 modern hotels in Granada´s city centre.
We could clearly see that the hotels are prepared for Spanish tourists as well as International visitors. The food offered on the menus was varied and in many cases they were using local produce to elaborate the dishes. Menus, local information and other services are available in several languages.
In the Alpujarra and in Lanjaron the hotels particuarly impressed me. The Hotel Alcadima and the Villa Turistica de Bubion (Alpujarra) have fabulous modern accommodation in a remote rural setting. Boasting views over the dramatic countryside. I can now actually see that comfort in accomodation and a rural location do exist. Both places were cosy, welcoming and offered us a excellent break in the country. They both had internet connection even though they are far from the cities and larger towns.
The gastronomy in Granada city itself as well as in the province is prepared for the even the most demanding of visitors. At the Hotel Alhambra Palace we had dinner while contemplating the impressive nighttime views of the city below us. The food was delicious and well presented. The service was discreet and professional. The perfect venue for the nighttime visit to the Alhambra as it is just a few steps away from the entrance to the monument.
It is evident to me that tourism in the province of Granada has perfect locations for outdoor activities as well as the typical city breaks or beach holidays. We took a day trip in 4×4 across the desert in the Marquesado are, we heard an experienced mountain guide about the walks and skiing trips offered in the breathtaking Sierra Nevada mountain range. One day we went to the Rio Verde, close to the Village of Jete. Splashing around in the clear turquoise waters of the river on a hot summer day and seeing powerful waterfalls was fantastic. This area is a fabulous venue to practice Canyoning in Spain, part of the area is done abseiling, some of it swimming and the rest jumping into the crystal clear waters. Lots of geographical variety in a radius of just a few kms.
After this experience what I would highlight to anyone who doesn’t know Granada to take note of the balanced offer of activities. The modern hotel installations contrast with the incredible history visible to us in the region. The oldest traditions of small villages and the latest technology in Granada Science Park. We can be connected to internet from the most remote Alpujarra village. The heat of the Gorafe desert and the morning freshness in the Poqueira gorge. The red colour of the Alhambra fortress contrasting with the intense blue of the Andalusian sky. The height of the village of Trevelez and the depths of the underwater caves along Granada´s coastline. The proximity of local produce compared with the long distances some tourists travel to visit this wonderful corner of the world.
I really want to Thank @Raulgrx for his kind invitation to this event. It´s been a whirlwind of activity and emotions. A great selection of participants who it´s been great to travel with. I´m sure some interesting collaborations will appear from the group.