Altiplano de Granada
A magical area in inland Spain to relocate to, or to have a holiday home……. to buy cheap real estate in the form of a delightful cave house……… to escape to a vacation in the winter sun……… to enjoy the summer without the coastal holiday crowds……... to come for exploring, walking or activitiy holidays - rock climbing, cycling, paragliding, water sports ……. or for a camping or caravanning holiday…….
What Is the Altiplano de Granada?
The region of Spain known as the Altiplano de Granada is a high plateau largely surrounded by spectacular mountain ranges, with unique and often stunning landscapes. The area is dotted with a number of attractive and historic villages and market towns.
Where Is It?
The Altiplano is situated in inland Spain, in the north-east of the province of Granada, which is in the beautiful autonomous region of Andalucía (Andalusia). It is one hour by the A-92 motorway from Granada and within easy access of several international airports. It is bordered by the provinces of Almería and Jaén and the Region of Murcia.
Why Go There?
In stark contrast to the bustle of the coastal resorts, which are easily accessible from here, this unspoilt and uncommercialised area is peaceful throughout the year and is very much a part of the "real Spain" of Andalucía. It is a land of contrasts in itself. Agriculture still plays a very important part in the economic life of the Altiplano de Granada and whilst the latest in farming machinery is generally used, some of the older generation can still be seen going out to tend their plots of land on donkeys or mules, in the time-honoured way.
The historic towns, with their choice of shops, banks and markets, provide all the facilities of modern living. The friendliness and liveliness of the inhabitants of both the towns and the normally tranquil villages are particularly in evidence during the many colourful, vibrant and spectacular fiestas.
This part of Andalucía generally enjoys long hours of sunshine and minimal rainfall throughout the year. The long, hot and dry summers are particularly enjoyable as they are normally free of the uncomfortable humidity that often affects the coastal resorts. Although the winters tend to be cooler at night than on the coast they are just as sunny and very often drier and less prone to winds. The days can often be warm, with the backdrop of snowy mountains serving as a reminder that it is still winter.
There is a kaleidescope of incredible landscapes to be enjoyed. There are pine-clad, snow-capped mountains, deeply eroded, ochre desert plains, lush green fertile valleys and Natural Parks and stunning lakes with astonishingly quiet bathing areas.
Fascinating Cave Houses
One of the most outstanding and unusual features of this region of Andalucía is the multiplicity of cave dwellings in the area. Visitors are often amused and intrigued by the sight of chimneys protruding from grassy hillsides. These cave houses (casas cueva) are to be found in towns, villages and throughout the countryside.
The Altiplano de Granada is of enormous historic and archaeological interest, with a wealth of remains which date back to earliest prehistory. Millions of years ago most of the area was occupied by a great lake which attracted many species of animals, amongst them hyenas, bison, rhinoceroses and horses. It is believed that the abundance of game in turn attracted man's first hominid ancestors, well over a million years ago.
Left Almond Blossom
Right 18thC Sanctuary
Long after the lake had drained, the Altiplano acquired importance as a trade and military route between the Levante (Eastern Spain) and Murcia and the rest of Andalucía. Many cultures have left their mark on the area including Iberians, Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. Of these, the influence of the Moors can mostly strongly be seen and felt today. At the end of the 15thC, in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the "Reyes Catolicos", the area finally came under the domination of Christian rulers. There are museums and many fine monuments to be seen and a multitude of historic sites to be visited.
Recreation and Sports
Although there is a wealth of opportunities for exploring this tranquil part of Andalucía by car, bicycle or walking, there are also many sporting activities and other leisure pursuits to be enjoyed. Amongst them are horse riding, rock climbing, water sports, paragliding, cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, angling and bird watching.
There are many properties full of charm and character for sale in the Altiplano, often at surprisingly economical prices, in an area of Andalucía where the cost of living is generally cheaper than elsewhere. Cheap cave houses can still be found which can be turned into unusual and very comfortable homes, complete with all mod cons. As a result, this has attracted people from other parts of Spain, and also foreigners, to make their homes in the area.
So Much to Explore
The aim of this site is to generate interest in this largely ignored region of Spain by providing information on some of the exciting leisure opportunities that this area has to offer. The " Exploring the Area" section will be added to on a regular basis with suggestions for the exploration of towns, villages and countryside as well as sight-seeing trips both in and around the Altiplano de Granada.
This is a fascinating and unspoilt region of inland sunny Spain and an unusual destination both for vacations and for all-year living.
Start your tour of the towns and villages: Baza
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