I´ve been looking into to some new experiences than are on offer to you when visiting the city of the Alhambra Palace, in Granada, Spain. Head out of the city down to the coast in a vintage style car or even climb up over the clouds and see it all from above! Andalusia has alot to offer.

A drive along the Tropical Coast

This elegant Hurtan car is carefully hand-made in Granada. I have discovered that a local hotel has designed a day´s experience with this car manufacturer so you don´t actually have to purchase the car to enjoy it while visiting Granada. Hotel Palacio de los Patos Granada have negotiated an excellent package so that you may enjoy a day out in the Andalusia countryside in this beautiful vintage style car.

The hotel can even prepare for you a delicious picnic hamper ready for you in the back prepared by the excellent chef at the Senzone Granada Restaurant.

 These cars are certainly head turners, elegant wooden finishes, a vintage-styled vehicle produced with exquisite care in Granada in very limited quantities.

These cars feature soft leather seats and walnut dashboard but also incorporate all mod cons such as power steering, CD player and anti-lock brakes.

The day trips that are suggested are a route around the Alpujarra area to see the picturesque mountain villages, a day out at the coast, a visit to the Natural Park of Sierra Nevada or a drive North to Guadix to visit the caves houses and the area of the Marquesado. Any of these options make a fantastic experience while visiting Granada or Andalusia.

My visit in the Hurtan car was to the Albaicin area of Granada, to see the Alhambra from the famous Mirador de San Nicolas. As I was wearing heels it was a lot better driving up to the mirador in this sweet little car rather than walking along the cobbled streets. Speaking to the Hurtan driver when he arrived at the hotel with the car he mentioned that in Granada these cars are often used for local weddings to take the bride to church. What a lovely idea for your Spanish wedding!

I certainly enjoyed my ride around in the Hurtan car. You could even take the Hurtan and drive down to Marina del Este (close to Almuñecar) and link up with Granada Sailing to complete your day out.

This quaint recreational port in Granada province is just a short drive from Granada. Marina del Este, a great place to enjoy a day´s sailing when visiting the city of the Alhambra. Located close to Almuñecar on Granada´s Coastline I noticed this beautiful Baveria 37 C yacht was moored here. After getting information from the locals I arranged a 6 hour sailing trip on this immaculate sailing boat on a Saturday morning 

The plan for the day was to leave mid morning, have lunch at a restaurant along the way and then return mid afternoon. The drive down from Granada to the mooring at Marina del Este took us around 40 minutes.When we arrived to the port, everything was all ready for us to jump aboard. We got a warm welcome with Spanish Cava already on ice.

Setting off from the port as we moved steadily from the harbour walls we saw this beautiful boat which was moored at the Marina del Este. I was already enjoying the views before we´d even left the mooring. The clear turquoise waters in this area of the coast allow you to see the stones and fish in the water which is perfectly clear.

We set sail passing the resorts of La Herradura, the larger beaches of Almuñecar and getting as far as Nerja, Malaga, which is well-known for it´s famous caves. Along the way part of the coastline is a protected. The Natural Park Maro-Cerro Gordo. This makes great setting for sailing close to the coastline as you can see lots of birds along the rocks, there are several caves in the rock where the sea meets the coast. A paradise for scuba diving but you need make sure you get the correct permissions for any activity around this area is protected.

After finishing our glasses of chilled cava, seeing the amazing cliffs and caves along the coastline we headed to La Herradura to have lunch. We anchored the boat ´Acheron´ and got in the dinghy to head to shore.

Jorge, the excellent captain, helped me so I could land on the shore without having to paddle at all. The perfect host. The fantastic restaurant that Jorge selected for us at La Herradura serves us a tropical salad for starters with cold beers. This salad which is typical in this area, using local oranges, grapes and strawberries. It´s perfect for summer lunchtime. The second course was a tasty mixed paella with tasty shrimp and mussels.

Lunch was a leisurely affair, from out beach table we could see the boat bobbing in the waves waiting for us to return. After a quick dip in the sea to cool down, I boarded the Acheron to head back to the port. The 6 hour sail was a wonderful treat. I´m sure that during the long hot Spanish summer I´ll repeat the experience. 

Maybe the sailing is too slow a pace for you. If helicopters are more your idea of fun, then you’re in luck. In Motril a new company has been launched: Tropicopter have Robinson R-66 Turbine helicopters powered by Rolls Royce engines flying you over the Alhambra Palace and Generalife gardens.

Video footage of Tropicopter flight (commentary in Spanish)

See amazing aerial views of this historic monument and of the city of Al Andalus below you as you fly along at 240 kms per hour.

They offers flights above the Alpujarra mountain villages or even over the Granada´s Tropical Coastline which also flies above Marina del Este port. For the ski season (Nov to April) this company offer a flight from Motril to the ski resort at Sierra Nevada for a day of skiing or snow boarding. In their glossy catalogue they also offer Air taxi services and personalised day trips adapted to your own tastes.

If you are looking for a holiday to explore the real Andalusia. An elegant way to discover this historic region of Spain is aboard the Al Andalus train. The train was completely refurbished in 2011 and is a luxury hotel within a train. Stopping at the most emblematic places throughout Andalusia. Granada, Cordoba, Jerez, Ronda and Seville.

Being able to see the dramatic landscapes and olives groves while you dine in elegant period feature carriages really captures the feel of this romantic Spanish region. The itinerary for the Al Andalus holiday is 6 days and 5 nights offering the highlights of the best Andalusian monuments and gastronomy.

I hope you enjoyed the ride (post) I certainly did!

(photo at El Barco restaurant on the port terrace at Marina del Este, Granada)