The charming little village of Víznar has been called the bread basket of Granada due to the many bakeries which thrived here over the years. To protect this tradition, the typical loaves of Víznar and neighbouring Alfacar have been awarded an official seal of quality by the Junta de Andalucia.
Víznar´s bread-making past can be explored at a local flour mill-turned-museum with a permanent exhibition showing the process of milling wheat to make flour.
To see inside the Museo Etnografico Molino de la Venta it´s necessary to book an appointment through Víznar Town Hall (Ayuntamiento de Víznar) which you will find in Plaza de la Constitución (9am-1.30pm Mon-Fri).
En route to the Town Hall from Aguas de Víznar you will pass the Palacio del Cuzco, built in the late 1700s as a summer residence for the archbishop of Granada. Although currently closed to the public, its delicate Italianate frescoes can still be glimpsed through the windows of the high walls that surround the formal gardens. Next door, a small public square (Plaza Mirador de Víznar) offers up a wonderful panorama of Granada, the Sierra Nevada and the Sierra de Elvira.
Víznar´s historic canal, the Acequia de Aynadamar, was a key component in the extensive network of water courses developed during the golden age of Islamic rule in Granada. It played a crucial role in bringing fresh water to the city from mountain sources, exploiting sloping land to maximum advantage for both irrigation and drinking. In addition to its practical benefits, the Moors also valued the sight and sound of water. Canals, pools and fountains are central to the design philosophy of the Alhambra, for example, where running water is skilfully deployed to soothe the senses and lower the ambient temperature of living spaces.
Natural Park of the Sierra de Huétor
The Sierra de Huétor is a comparatively youthful mountain range made up of limestone rocks slowly shaped by water, forming a karst system with caves, galleries and stallectites.
Rock climbing, mountain biking, road cycling and hiking are popular activities here, and there is even a jungle gym in the trees, called Aventura Entre Pinos con tirolinas y diversas actividades.
A variety of wonderful walking trails reveal the park´s many natural attractions, along with some rather unexpected echoes of human suffering. Gun emplacements and trenches dotted across the park in strategic locations remind us that this was the frontline during Spain´s bitter Civil war of the 1930s.
Indeed, the evocative Barranco de Víznar (on the old road to Alfacar from Viznar) is the spot where the poet Federico García Lorca was executed by Francoist sympathisers near the onset of that same conflict.
Diente de León can accompany and guide us in climbing and trails.
The park was designated a Special Protection Area for birds in 2002. Warblers and rock buntings populate higher rocky areas. Birds of prey include golden eagles, booted eagles, northern goshawks, eurasion sparrowhawks, little owls and tawny owls.
Visitor Centre Puerto Lobo is a ten-minute drive north east of Víznar and the best place to get information on flora and fauna, activities, walking routes and special events in and around the park. (Tel: +34 958540426 o +34 657279898)
A second information centre for the natural park, La Tablilla, is located in the Sierra de la Alfaguara north of Alfacar, Víznar´s neighbouring village.
Both visitor centres have a regularly updated programme of activities and events, so it´s a good idea to pop in and find out what´s happening early in your stay.
No visit to Granada is complete without a tour of the Alhambra Palace, Spain´s most visited tourist attraction.
The incredible designs, intricate tiling and plasterwork and the interplay of water, gardens and architecture all combine to capture the essence of Moorish Spain.
The city also rewards those who take the time to stroll through the picturesque streets of the Albaicín neighborhood, opposite the Alhambra, and who pause to enjoy traditional Andalucian hospitality in the tapas bars and “teterías” (tea shops).
You can find out all about Granada´s troglodyte heritage at the Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte. This is the city´s gitano quarter which comes alive at night with flamenco shows (tablaos), many of which take place in cave restaurants.
Kids and adults alike will love the immersive experience at the Parque de las Ciencias, where you can take a tour inside the human body, see stars at the planetarium or watch real birds of prey in flight. The Biodomo recreates various Madagascar-style habitats for a wide variety of animals, including lemurs, sloths and tucans. An interesting take on the aquarium concept showcases the Mekong River ecosystem.
Guided segway or walking tours are another great way to discover this most atmospheric of Andalucian cities. Themed tours include important locations in the life of Federico Garcia Lorca, gastronomic or tapas routes, or a tour of the historic centre´s many fascinating monuments. A search for Free Tours Granada will throw up some interesting options.
DISTANCES FROM AGUAS DE VÍZNAR
100 m.: Palacio del Cuzco. Plaza Noguera, Víznar (closed to the public).
0’6 km.: Barranco de Víznar. The site of Federico García Lorca´s execution (1936).
1’4 km.: Aventura Entre Pinos. Jungle gym in the trees.
2’5 km.: Centro de Visitantes Puerto Lobo. Natural Park of the Sierra de Huétor.
8 km.: Granada. Historical centre, Albaicín.
9’4 km.: Alhambra y Generalife. Acces via Puerta de las Granadas in Cuesta Gomérez.
16 km.: Parque de las Ciencias. Science Park of Granada, Planetarum and Biodome.
38 km.: Sierra Nevada. Ski station and National Park.
Placeta de Las Escobas, 1
18179 Víznar (Granada)
(+34) 647 136 120