Granada - county for seniors

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In the end of September 2012 project “Tourage” partners met in Granada for projects first Annual Conference and Study Visit. The Study visit was focusing on good practices located in Granada region. All the project partners got information about three examples of good practice in senior tourism: Programme “Alhambra for Seniors”, The accessibility in a tourist cave: Cave of Windows of the municipality of Píñar and The Tropical Coast of Granada, a tourist destination for European senior tourism.

The Alhambra was so called because of its reddish walls (in Arabic, («qa'lat al-Hamra'» means Red Castle). It is located on top of the hill al-Sabika, on the left bank of the river Darro, to the west of the city of Granada. The Alhambra is located on a strategic point, with a view over the whole city and the meadow (la Vega), and this fact leads to believe that other buildings were already on that site before the Muslims arrived. The complex is surrounded by ramparts and has an irregular shape.

The Alhambra was declared as a UN Human Heritage Site in 1984. Based on the Granada Tourism Observatory ( - p.74.), in 2010 2.170.250 tourists visited the Alhambra. This makes Alhambra the most visited tourist attraction not only in the region, but in Spain. 

Senior citizens (aged 65 years and over) and pensioners from the European Union have a reduced price ticket to Alhambra (for Andalucian seniors it is free), and also there is opportunity for seniors to participate on special guided vsiits prepared for their needs (only for Andalucian seniors). For further information please visit the website of the Alhambra.

The Cave of Windows of the municipality of Pinar was visited by the group as part of the afternoon study visit programme. The cave has been occupied by man since the Upper Palaeolithic and declared a Natural Monument and Property of Cultural Interest. It is a good example of a cave that has been fitted out for tourism.

The cave was opened for public 12 years before. It is one of the few tourist caves in Spain without architectural barriers. It is 1,200 long, and the tourist visit covers the first 500 metres of the upper part of the cave. They are accessible by paths and walkways, with experimented guides. Visitors will be able to discover interesting places, from a hyenas' den to a Neolithic burial site, with different reproductions of the prehistoric habitat.

The city of Pinar has 600 inhabitants, therefore the cave as a touristic attraction is important in the local economy. In order to solve accessibility issues (mainly parking) a train from the town hall to the entrance of the cave was opened. Annually 60-70 thousand visitors arrive ti Pinar, they are specialized on school groups, but alos for seniors they offer reduced ticket prices and group doscuonts of 30%. The cave is readay to host in its lower part concerts, every last Saturday of the month classical concerts are organised, but also weddings.

As a unique accessible cave annually around 150-200 visitors with wheel chair are welcomed, but also blind people visit the cave regularly.

For further information, please visit the website of the cave. (only in Spanish).

The presentation of The Tropical Coast of Granada was hosted by the Headquarters of the Delegation of Employment and Provincial Development of the Provincial Council of Granada. The programme „Tourismo Tropical“ includes 138 municipalities of Granada. The target group is citizens over 65 and disabled persons. The Diputacion of Granada owns a property in Almuneca, which is a 2­* resort of apartments for 190 persons including additional services (e.g. pool). The seniors can be accomodated in low season in groups for 4days / 3 nights. Annually 3000 senior participate in the porgramme, the cost of accomodation is free (the diputacion has an operation contract which gave the opportunity to the Diputacion to use 3000 nights for free at the resort). The municipalities of Granada can use the opportunity in rotation, every second year there is a group opportunity for the municipalities (participation share is based on the size off the municipality). The municipalities usually pay as a contribution of their own the transportation to the resort.. Concession ends in April 2013, new tender aims better quality services. This is a unique solution, when there is no co-financing need for seniors. For further information, please visit the website of the resort (only in Spanish)


Author: Zoltán Balogh, Component 3 Leader, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County Regional Development and Environmental Management Agency, Hungary

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