Granada, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada is a speck at the foot of a slope of pine forests, prickly pear fields and fertile plains, seen from the inside it shows hills, valleys and rivers, hills and fertile plains. The geology of this city whose whitewashed walls are dotted, almost crowned with cypress tips, is capricious and very diverse. Its green gardens contrast with a terrain of combed strings of olive groves coming from the north and southwest. Its parallel slopes are also combed by the layout of terraces. The enclave is also framed by hills of clay and scree that form the backdrop to neighborhoods of caves and villas. From inside, two shady and sinuous traces of deciduous vegetation make more noise than show the waters just poured from the sources of Sierra Nevada. They are the fry rivers: the Genil and the Darro.
There is no artifice. The city is honest and accidentally beautiful. Nature takes in its folds of water from the peaks and moulds them. Between the folds of sediment, springs gush forth and the slopes are perforated. These are the caves. Now and always dwellings, even if they used to be burrows.
... From its official website..."The Geopark of Granada is located in the central sector of the Betic Cordillera surrounded by some of the highest mountains of the Iberian Peninsula (Macizo Prebetic and Sierra de la Sagra [2381 m], Sierra Mágina [2187 m], Sierra de Arana-Huétor [1940 m], Sierra Nevada [3484 m], Sierra de Baza-Filabres [2271 m], Sierra de las Estancias-Cúllar [1471 m], Sierra de Orce-María [1612 m]). All these mountains form a depression that represents most of the territory of the Geopark and has traditionally been subdivided into a western half (Hoya de Guadix) and an eastern half (Hoya de Baza), although in reality they form a single intramountain depression."
It is a tapestry of polyhedral patches of almond trees, broad beans, asparagus, artichokes and poplars. The river plain gathers within its "Mesopotamian" geology the last urban splashes in the form of old tobacco dryers, sugar factories and farmhouses. The water has washed away the sediment and deposited itself in a hollow, making it flat. Underneath the earth the humidity flows as in the Qanat of the Persians, causing the vegetation now tamed by the farmers to sprout from an apparently dry enclave.
The space that follows the rivers of the Atlantic slope flows into the Genil River and gives it the name of "Vega de Granada". It is here that the Muslim irrigation channels flow and enrich the city. In the bowels of this plain the poems of Federico García Lorca rhyme and the dramas of human history bleed. To observe it, the arrogant Alhambra, above a shoulder of forest, on the summit of the Sabika shelters the Realejo and the Albaicín.
Within this geological enclave of Granada is the urban centre. It is down below where most people live, being permanent witnesses of the presence of the crowned hills. Four promontories display crowns, seemingly well-wed couples, of sultans, kings, emperors or fairy tales. The Albaicín boasts San Nicolás and San Cristóbal; El Realejo, whose crowns are Torres Bermejas and the Alhambra Palace; El Sacromonte with the Abbey and San Miguel Alto; in the Sabika, Alcazaba de la Alhambra, Torre Comares; and on the Cerro del Sol, Generalife and Silla del Moro.But there are many others too: Carlos V, El Salvador, La Chumbera, El Carmen de los Mártires, Dar-al-Horra, Manuel de Falla, Rodríguez Acosta, Santa María de la Alhambra... And these are just the jewels of the summits.