Recommended Reading

Guide Books

A wealth of guidebooks exist for Spain and, more specifically, Andalucia. Lonely Planet also do a general guide to hiking in Spain.
Click here to search for a guide book on Amazon.co.uk or click on one of the suggestions below.

Local Interest Books

Driving Over Lemons and its sequels by Chris Stewart offer a delightful insight into life in the Alpujarras, from when he bought his remote farm in the late 1980s to the present.


South from Granada by Gerald Brenan – From 1920 to 1934, Brenan lived in the desperately poor and isolated village of Yegen in the Alpujarras. This book gives a fascinating insight into the customs, traditions and intrigues of village life in a world that seems incredibly far removed from modern Spain. Some people might find the style slightly old-fashioned, but it’s a unique portrait of the Alpujarras.

Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving – The book that brought the Alhambra to the attention of the world when it was a crumbling ruin in the 1830s. A mixture of essays and atmospheric stories set in and around the Alhambra.

Spanish History and Society

The New Spaniards by John Hooper – looks at how Spain has developed since the restoration of democracy in the 1970s. An extremely readable account of contemporary Spain and its many contradictions and paradoxes.



Ghosts of Spain – Travels Through a Country’s Hidden Past by Giles Tremlett – A very personal take on modern Spain, seen in the context of its recent, troubled past. Giles Tremlett is the Madrid correspondent for the Guardian, and has lived in Spain since 1992. His children have also grown up and gone to school here, so he knows the country in a way that many ex-pats never do. Highly recommended if you want to know a bit more about the Spain beyond the beaches, tapas bars and historic monuments that most visitors normally see.

The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Antony Beevor – An excellent impartial and authoritative account of the Spanish Civil War.

Flora and Fauna

A good book in Spanish about the flora and fauna of Andalucía which contains some beautiful pictures is Andalucía al natural by Bernadino León Diaz, available locally (ISBN 978-84-96337-51-0).

In English, Wild Spain: The Animals, Plants and Landscapes by Teresa Farino is a good overview of Spanish flora and fauna, while Spain: Traveller’s Nature Guide by Teresa Farino and Mike Lockwood is a more convenient field guide.


The Alhambra