The Alhambra Gardens – The Generalife

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Before visiting the Alhambra in Granada, Spain I did not know too much about it. I was aware that it was a must-see destination in Granada and I roughly knew that it was a Moorish Castle.

That had some sort of ties to the famous English Queen Katherine of Aragon. What I did not know was the Alhambra Gardens were amazing in their own right and that I would be completely blown away by its beauty.

Generalife Gardens Alhambra Granda

What you see today though at the Generalife Gardens Spain may be nothing that was seen during the 13th Century when they were created. It’s not known how original these Alhambra gardens are, there where no plans or drawing left. What is known is that after the Moorish Kings were displaced there were many alterations done by the Christians.

No one quite knows for sure what the title Generalife means. Many have loosely translated Generalife to mean the Governor’s Garden or the Architect’s (Alarife) Garden. Unfortunately, people miss the Generalife Gardens as they are more interested in just visiting the Alhambra and in our opinion, this would be a huge mistake.

Generalife Gardens Alhambra Granda

Generally, it’s considered that the Generalife Gardens were built in the 13th century. This is known because there is an inscription that dates from 1319. The Generalife was used by the Kings as a place to relax and get away from the city. The Generalife Gardens and the Alhambra are very close together but in their day they were considered separate from the gardens located outside the city walls.

Make sure you book your Generalife Alhambra Gardens tickets online

Generalife Gardens Alhambra Granda

Generalife Gardens Alhambra Granda

The view as you walk into the Generalife Granada Gardens is eye-catching, to say the least. You are torn whether to look right or left. If you look right you see the amazing manicured gardens that seem to continue to rise on various levels.

If you look to the left you look out over the Alhambra and the Granada Township, white houses with tiled roofs and onto the distant mountains.

And then there is the beautiful citrus smell that follows you everywhere you go. It is not an overpowering smell but one that just seems to sit on the air.

It just gave it another amazing aspect of how well the gardens were an important part of life outside of the city. With the roses spotted all over the gardens, they must have made it smell heavenly when they are all in bloom.

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The Water Stairway at Generalife Granada Gardens was my Favourite!

Generalife Gardens Alhambra Granda

One of our favourite parts of the Alhambra and Generalife gardens was The Water Stairway. The Water Stairway is three levels of stairs with a pond in the middle of each section and water flowing down the side of the Stairways via channels. The Stairway is totally encased by overgrowing foliage. It was a beautiful part of the Gardens that leads to some of the highest points of the Generalife Sapin Gardens.

Generalife Gardens Alhambra Granda

The Court of the main Canel is a beautiful enclosed building with a canal the middle and fountain jets that cross each other. As beautiful as it maybe it is now a long way for what it originally looked thanks to a fire in the early 19th century and alterations made by the Christian Monarchs.

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The Generalife Gardens and the Nasrid Place are truly amazing

Generalife Gardens Alhambra Granda

At the top of the Water Stairway, you will reach the highest point in the Generalife Gardens. Here you will find The Romantic Observation Point. A relatively new addition to the Generalife Granada Gardens built in 1836 and it is called The Tower. It generally differs from the rest of the architecture of the Generalife but the views from the top are stunning.

There are stairs, fountains and hedges which make for a great adventure. Our kids were very interested in the Kings and Queens who lived in The Alhambra and relaxed in the Generalife Gardens..

Make sure you book tickets to the Alhambra and Generalife gardens

Family Travel Tip: Book your tickets online well in advance as they sell out quickly. Tickets can be booked on Ticketmaster Spain and Get Your Guide.

Book your entry to the Nasari Palace for around lunchtime that way you have a few hours prior to exploring the Generalife Gardens. Get a taxi to the Alhambra it’s just as cheap as the bus.  You can then stroll down the hill back into town.

Also, take some snacks for the kids. Waiting in line was where ours decided that they were really hungry. There is a cafeteria in the grounds of the Alhambra but it seemed very busy.

Generalife Gardens Alhambra Granda

The Gardens of the Generalife Granada are, not to be missed. There are many things to do in Granada but make sure the Gardens are on your list. It’s a great choice for adults and kids in Granada. Along with the Alhambra, the Generalife is the top Granada attraction to see on your visit.

Where to stay in Granada

The Granada Old Town area is a nice place to stay it’s close to the Alhambra, Granada Cathedral and the Albaicin. Granada accommodation comes in shapes and sizes. Hotels, hostels and apartments for singles couples and families. You can browse the apartment Granada listings below

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit the Alhambra and Generalife gardens and stay in Granada. There are so many things to do in and see in Granada Spain. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Spain click through to our Spain Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.

Rebecca Wyld

Content Creator/SEO Editor

Co-founder and SEO editor here at Wyld Family Travel. Bec has travelled to over 45 countries across 3 continents and is a travel with kids advocate. When Bec is not planning travel, she is creating content for our family travel blog or doing local community services work. You can find all of Bec’s detailed travel guides here on Wyld Family travel and on other popular websites such as Lonely Planet.

13 thoughts on “The Alhambra Gardens – The Generalife”

  1. It is a very unique garden though some of the Mughal Gardens in India have similar kind of concept the execution and design here is very unique +

  2. The gardens look incredible – your photos really sell it well. We came here during our big Andalucia road trip a few years back – it’s not only stunning, but so romantic to walk through with your partner to hand ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. What a gorgeous place. I’ve been once and was happy to go back there virtually with you. Looks like you had a beautiful day!

  4. These gardens look amazing. I had Alhambra in mind but I didn’t know this place existed. Seems so peaceful. Great photos.

  5. Such an interesting place with history, thanks for sharing all your tips here! Definitely going here whenever we do visit Spain ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. The garden looks incredible in the pictures! It’s quite hot there ibn the summer so I guess it must feel like an oasis then ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’ve never heard of this place either, but I can see why it’s so popular. The photos of the gardens are amazing, so I can only imagine how awesome it is in person. Those Kings were so lucky to have a beautiful garden like this!

  8. Wow, I haven’t gotten a chance to visit an amazing garden like this. I simply can’t wait to see it myself soon. This will surely be penned on my bucket list.

  9. Thanks for the virtual tour! Definitely looks like Generalife gardens are an amazing attraction in their own right and I can see why you were completely blown away by its beauty. Hey, if it’s good enough for Kings right!!

  10. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. One of my favourite things to do in the UK is visit gardens. Funnily enough I forget when I’m abroad. You have convinced me to visit more gardens in other countries. And particularly this one in Andalusia. Great pictures BTW!

  11. Love it. We’ve been in Spain for nearly a year and a half and still haven’t got to Alhambra yet. That’s one fo the great things about living in Spain. There’s so much to see! Wish we could have met up in Valencia or elsewhere. Next time, Mark.

  12. Going to be there in a few months.. yay! It looks incredible, cannot wait. Great trip for you guys, I’ve loved following along!


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