Situated atop one of Granada’s northeastern hills, the tiny Ermita de San Miguel Alto (Hermitage of San Miguel) is known for its sweeping views. From the church, look out over the whole city, from the Albaicín neighborhood to the Alhambra fortress and beyond to the distant and often-snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains.
La Ermita de San Miguel Alto dates back to 1671, when it was built on the site of a former Muslim tower. Destroyed during French occupation in the 19th century and later reconstructed, the church today is a humble place of worship with a simple, single-balcony facade and a panorama of the surrounding landscape.
Though it isn’t possible to visit the church's interior, the views and solitude make the journey well worth the uphill effort. After enjoying the views, take a break in the nearby Sacromonte neighborhood, known for its large Roma population, flamenco tradition, and caves. Guided walking tours of Granada that include La Ermita de San Miguel Alto are available.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- It’s about a 30-minute walk from Plaza Nueva to La Ermita de San Miguel Alto, depending on your physical condition.
- Be aware that the climb up is windy along very narrow roads, with steps towards the end.
- Bring binoculars to get a better look at the landmarks.
- There are some vendors on-site, but packing your own food and water is recommended.
La Ermita de San Miguel Alto is situated on a northeastern hilltop above Granada and can be reached by bus N9 or on foot, though the walk requires an uphill climb. You can also take the bus uphill and walk back down to Plaza Nueva, which takes about 20 minutes at a relaxed pace.
When to Get There
Arguably, the best time to head up to La Ermita de San Miguel Alto is at sunset, when you will have sweeping views of the Alhambra bathed in golden light. The church was built in honor of the Archangel Michael, and on September 29, residents of the Albaicín quarter take part in a procession to La Ermita de San Miguel Alto known as Michaelmas, a Christian festival celebrating the archangels.Sacromonte
It’s about a 15-minute walk from La Ermita de San Miguel Alto to Sacromonte, a neighborhood known for its clever cave dwellings, which are carved out of the hillside. Here, you can also take in more views of the Alhambra and the Albaicín, then catch a dramatic flamenco performance inside one of the cave venues.