Every city has its own culture and characteristics that make it special in its own way. Granada is no exception. One of the things that make Granada so unique is the diversity from neighborhood to neighborhood. You have the hustle and bustle of the city center and the winding roads of Albaicín, but one of Granada’s most unique neighborhoods is Sacromonte.
Sacromonte sits on the east edge of Granada and stretches across one of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This neighborhood, however, isn’t your typical Spanish neighborhood. Sacrmonte is filled with caves turned into homes.
Split into two parts, the lower part of Sacromonte is filled with modernized caves and restaurants. On any given night, one can hear the lively music of flamenco shows coming from the caves.
Flamenco, a dance native to Andalusia and southern Spain, is one of the highlights of the Sacromonte caves. Visitors are welcomed into the caves to experience an authentic part of Granada’s culture. The flamenco caves span deep into the hillside in narrow corridors lined with a row of chairs on each side. The live music bounces off the walls while the rhythm of the dancers’ shoes accompany it.
Climbing higher up the hillside are the caves inhabited by gypsies. There are no paved roads in this part of the neighborhood, only worn footpaths made from years of foot traffic. Some of the inhabitants have even created pasture space for horses and livestock. While the outsides of the cave homes are intriguing, the interiors remain a mystery.
From this part of Sacromonte, inhabitants are gifted with million-euro views of Granada and the distant mountains. Some caves have been purchased by wealthy Spaniards and other Europeans, and have been completely modernized the interiors with running water, electricity and who knows what else.
And for those of us who don’t have the luxury of waking up in Sacromonte every morning, we still can enjoy the incredible views from San Miguel Alto, a scenic overlook. From San Miguel you can see the Alhambra, the entire city of Granada, the Sierra Nevadas and other distant mountain ranges. On any given night, a small crowd can be found sitting on the half-wall watching the sunset, as a musician strums away on a guitar. Once nightfall hits, the lights of the city sparkle.
While it’s a bit of a climb to reach Sacromonte and San Miguel, you can catch your breath taking in the views. You’ll need twice as long to take in the views as you’ll need to catch your breath. I guarantee it.