The lush setting of Granada was like a heaven on earth, Moorish kingdom for two centuries. The Nasrid Dynasty reigned with a splendor unlike anywhere in the world. Flourishing for centuries, it became their last bastion in Spain when the Catholic Monarchs captured the city. Although now predominantly Christian, Granada has inherited rich Islamic and Jewish influences. The Albaicín (old Moorish town) and the Alcaicería (spice market) have an authentic Arabic flavor. Start the tour from the hilltop, at the Alhambra complex, as you reach the hulking Carlos V Palace, which clashes spectacularly with its surroundings. It is the only example in Spain of the Renaissance-era circle-in-a-square ground plan, with an interesting story behind. Walk down the forest, to reach the lower part of the Albayzín Quarter, where its labyrinthine structure, has been kept untouched. Stop at the Corral del Carbón, a 14th century historic building. It is the only Nasrid alhóndiga or funduq (a commercial warehouse or inn) preserved in the Iberian Peninsula. The building is located south of the Albaicin Quarter, near the present-day Cathedral. Once at the former Spice Market, splashed with cafés “hookah pipes”, you’ll reach the Royal Chapel. Here they lie, Spain’s notorious Catholic Monarchs, entombed in a chapel adjoining the cathedral, far more peaceful in death than their tumultuous lives would have suggested. Granada exudes beauty, color and good vibes, but also nice food! It is part of the local culture to crawl from one bar to the other, to eat and socialize, with a gourmet tapa and a fresh beer.