Environmental

The Great Outdoors of Spain

Hanna Sykes is a student at the University of Colorado – Boulder and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Granada, Spain

My favorite thing about traveling through Spain so far has been discovering all of the variety of landscapes. No matter where you travel to in Spain, every view is bound to be unique and there are endless outdoor places to explore.

The first city I traveled to in Spain that took my breath away was Toledo. The city had an immense historical background and there were so many different landmarks to explore. The heart of the city was built on the side of a mountain surrounded by a beautiful river.

Another city with incredible views was Sevilla. ISA took our group on a weekend trip there with many fun-filled sightseeing opportunities. My favorite part was the tour of the Sevilla Cathedral. At the top of the building, there is a bell tower; you have to walk up 32 winding flights of stairs, but the view of the city is unforgettable!

My friends and I planned a weekend trip to Almeria, Cabo de Gata, and Malaga in February. Cabo de Gata was by far the most beautiful place in Spain I have seen thus far. Every beach there was unique and had clear, turquoise colored water. One day we did a 9-hour hike that trailed through the desert with incredible views of the ocean along the way.

A beautiful rock form on a beach in Cabo de Gata.

But of course, Granada is my favorite city in Spain to explore and I have found many wonderful places in the outdoors here as well.  One thing I love about Granada is all of its viewpoints. Most of them are scattered throughout the Albaycin, since the ground is much higher, therefore making it a perfect spot to see the whole city. Mirador de San Nicolas is my favorite because it has a perfect view of the city and the Alhambra. At night the building is lit up and gorgeous!

If you want to get away from all of the tourists, the best viewpoint is hidden at the very north point of the Albaycin. The locals call it “Amsterdam” and have even brought couches and chairs to it so visitors can fully relax. It’s also a perfect place to watch the sunset with a gorgeous view of Granada.

For people who love hiking, there are lots of great trails around the outskirts of the Alhambra and Generalife area. If you hike high enough, you can see all of Granada and the snow-capped Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Lastly, an amazing thing that Granada has are fountains, such as this one by my apartment, that provide everyone with free, clean, “potable” water. I love that I never have to worry about bringing a water bottle with me when I go for a walk.

If you’re like me and love exploring, studying abroad anywhere in Spain will satisfy your outdoor appetite. I’d suggest you come to Granada! J

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