Visiting Arab Baths In Granada
Why would you just go to see the ruins of an Arab Bath in Granada when you can visit a functional Arab Bath? Okay, if you’re interested in history visiting the ruins of ancient baths will be worth it. But go to a modern Arab Bath as well though, so you can experience how the ancient baths must have been in their time. It’s a perfect way to relax after a day exploring Granada. And Granada has a lot to offer besides the Alhambra. Even if you’re just in Granada to visit Alhambra relaxing in a Hammam afterwards is a perfect way to end the day. You can check out my tips for visiting Alhambra here.
I did a lot of research to narrow it down to three Arab Baths in Granada that sounded the most promising. Out of the three, I found the one I was most excited about, we wanted to book online… and it was closed the whole week we were in Granada. So we tried the other two on my list. The one we couldn’t try was the Al-Haram Hammam, let me know in the comments if you have tried that one and what you thought of it. Anyway back to the ones we actually visited: Elvira Traditional Baths and Hammam Al Ándalus.
You’re not allowed to bring your phone inside the bath, so I couldn’t take any pictures myself on the inside.
What Is an Arab Bath
There used to be many Arab Baths in Granada during Muslim rule. The so-called Hammams were an important part of the culture. People would meet there to socialise but also clean and purify the body. When the Christians conquered Andalusia they destroyed many Arab baths and closed the remaining ones.
The modern Hammams or Arab baths are purely for relaxation, they consist of multiple rooms and pools with different temperatures. There’s quiet instrumental music in the background and the lights are kept in a low orange-red glow. Most Hammams offer massages or other treatments, like exfoliation. So you can completely escape the outside world.
Elvira Traditional Baths
Elvira was the first Arab bath we visited in Granada. From the outside, it didn’t look like what I expected. It’s inside a hotel and you wouldn’t know it’s a bath at all weren’t it for the poster outside. The inside waiting area also just looks like a hotel.
Anyway, I went there at the end of October and managed to book an appointment for the same evening. The guy at the reception was very friendly and helpful and explained all the options. We went for the “relax circuit”, which includes the entrance to the bath for 75 minutes and a 30-minute massage for €50 per person. You have to pay in cash at the time of your appointment. The only thing you need to bring is a bathing suit, you get a towel and flip-flops there.
Layout Of The Bath
The changing room reminded me a bit of gym class in school when we went to the indoor pool. So to say, not that special and relatively small. Once changed a nice lady waited for us to show us around the bath. The bath consists of one warm water pool, one small cold water pool, a steaming room and a small area to sit down and have some tea. It’s quite small and cosy, it looked like it was for four pairs of people maximum, since the tables had name tags and there were only four tables available. I really liked the name tag at the table and the coathooks, so you can leave your cup and towel at your spot and find them again without any confusion.
You can get as much free tea as you want and every couple gets one bowl of fruit and one bowl of (non-vegan) chocolate. The tea tasted nice, but it would have tasted even nicer if it weren’t in a plastic cup.
The warm water pool could be a bit warmer. It’s nice and warm when you first get in but then you get used to it and it feels a bit chilly. The cold water pool is only for hardcore cold-water-loving people. I only managed to go in for a few seconds. My favourite place in the bath was the steaming room, even though I usually don’t like humid heat that much. It had a very nice temperature and smelled of eucalyptus.
The massage tables are located in the main room of the bath. We had the last possible appointment for our massage, so the bath was already empty except for us and so it was quiet. Even though you should be quiet in the bath anyway, I can imagine that it can get a bit loud if the bath is full of people. We only heard the soft music in the background and the water trickle down, which was kind of relaxing.
After spending some time in the bath, they told us that it was time for our massage. So, I think that’s the usual way, bath first massage later. This means, however, that you wear your wet bathing suit for the massage. I thought that would be a bit uncomfortable, but actually, it was alright.
The massage itself was very soft, to me, it sometimes felt like the masseuse was just stroking me, to Jack, it sometimes felt like his masseuse was tickling him. To be fair, we did not ask for a firmer massage, we weren’t asked either though.
Hammam Al Ándalus
Hammam Al Ándalus seems to have the most money for advertisement out of all Arab baths in Granada, on- and offline. When we went there to book an appointment, the outside already looks sophisticated. The only available appointment they had on the same day was at midnight, but that was too late for me to go to a bath. So we booked for another day, which was no problem for us since we stayed in Granada for a week anyway. If you’re only in Granada for a day or two, you might want to book online at their official webpage to make sure to get an appointment on your day in Granada.
They offer different services, we went for “Mimma 45”. Our treatment included 45 minutes in the bath and a 45 minutes massage and it cost €85 per person. A small discount applies if you have a ticket to Alhambra. You have to pay when making the booking by cash or card. Same as at Elvira, you only have to bring a bathing suit, and they provide towels.
Layout Of The Bath
The waiting area already looks very nice and welcoming. When you come in, you have to sit down on a sofa and they bring a bowl and warm water for you to wash your hands. You get a cover for your shoes, so the floor in the changing rooms stays clean. The changing room is very spacious with a few showers and toilets. They provide everything you might need, like hairdryers, hair straighteners, body lotion, face lotion and so on.
One person gets assigned to you to show you around and to be there if you have any questions. They have two hot water pools, one warm water pool, a small cold water pool and a steaming room. There’s also a small tea area, where you can pour yourself some free tea in metal cubs (so much nicer than the plastic ones at Elvira). The decor in the whole place is stunning with candles everywhere, even in the steam room. You can really imagine how the people bathed in times gone in this magical ambience. The water in the two hot pools was really warm, I loved it.
Since we had the 45 minutes massage, we started with the massage and went to the bathing area later. We got to choose the scent of your massage oil among four options before we were led to the massage area.
There are two different massage areas. Most massage tables are next to the shower area and some massage tables are in a separate room on the first floor. We had our massages on the first floor, it was a very quiet room. Before the massage started they asked if we wanted a relaxing or a firm massage and if there was any body part we wanted the masseuse to focus on. The massage was very professional, the only shame was that my masseuse skipped my feet at my full body massage. And especially a foot massage would have been great after a day spent walking.
Which Of The Arab Baths In Granada To Choose
I enjoyed our evenings in both Arab baths in Granada. It’s a perfect way to relax after a day spent exploring Alhambra or the city of Granada. But ultimately there’s only one winner for me: Hammam Al Ándalus. The whole experience was wonderful. I loved the atmosphere with candles everywhere, the hot water pool was really nice and warm and the steaming room with candles inside was amazing. Even the changing room was so elegant and welcoming. It was expensive but it was worth it. And even though the massage was very good, I would recommend going there just for the bath if you’re short on cash.
It looks so beautiful there!!
These fabulous and they always fascinate me, but I can’t choose just one I would love to get a massage one of these places that would be amazing. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
Getting a massage is one of the simple pleasures of life. Getting a massage on vacation… heavenly.
So true, massages on holidays are the best!
It looks so pretty, definitely worth a visit.
Brings magical feelings, so inviting..
It definitely has a magical feeling about it with the candlelight everywhere.